Spitsbergen and Polar Bears: An Arctic Adventure - Travel Photographer of the Year

London - Spitsbergen - London

Journey to the frozen land of Spitsbergen on a 9-day expedition with renowned travel photographers, Chris Coe and Hazel Hayward.

  • Join a flight-inclusive expedition from London
  • Learn how to capture picture-perfect Spitsbergen with the guidance of expert photographers
  • Engage in daily lectures, workshops and tuition by Chris and Hazel
  • Keep watch for the King of the Arctic, local Polar Bears


Explore the extraordinary Arctic landscape, glaciers and bird cliffs. Being above the Arctic Circle you will enjoy the midnight sun, with long days and light nights. If you are really lucky you'll see the King of the Arctic; the polar bear. 

Join us on this photography voyage on 10 June 2017 for a special Spitsbergen experience. You will be accompanied by Founders of the Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) awards, Chris Coe and Hazel Hayward. Hazel has worked on the awards for 10 years and is a budding photographer under Chris’ tutelage. Chris himself has written over 40 books on travel and photography, and his articles and images have been used by such brands as British Airways, Condé Nast, National Geographic, P&O Ferries, and the National Trust.

Alongside our experienced expedition team, they will be guiding you on the best practices to improve your skills in composition, wildlife, landscape, and low-light photography. Daily talks will cover a range of these topics along with opportunities to receive personal one-to-one tuition and feedback from a professional.

Please note: departures from other regional aiports in the UK and Ireland are available at a supplement. Please contact our Reservations team to book this special voyage from other airports by calling 02037336843.

Price includes

  • Daily lectures, workshops, and one-to-one tuition by Chris Coe and Hazel Hayward
  • Return economy flights (ATOL-protected) from London Heathrow to Longyearbyen, including current taxes, charges and transfers as applicable
  • 4 nights bed & breakfast at the Spitsbergen Hotel, Longyearbyen
  • 2 days with a personal guide and excursions from your hotel
  • 4-day expedition voyage on MS Nordstjernen on a full-board basis
  • Professional English-speaking tour leader when on board MS Nordstjernen

Not included 

  • Travel insurance
  • Optional excursions
  • Luggage handling
  • Gratuities


  • From prices are per person, based on full occupancy of an inside twin cabin, on a full-board basis. Single supplement may apply. 
  • All planned landings are subject to weather - and ice conditions
  • All itineraries are subject to change

The itinerary

10 June 2017

Departure port UK to Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Day 1
Longyearbyen_©Dominic Barrington_day 12_1200x600.png
Photo: Dominic Barrington Photo

Take flight

Location: UK to Spitsbergen

Depart from London Heathrow via Oslo to arrive in Longyearbyen.
Check in at the Spitsbergen Hotel.

Day 2
Photo: Hanne Feyling Photo

Brush up your skills

Location: Longyearbyen

Chris and Hazel will be giving daily talks and group instruction on improving your photography skills. Practical workshops will also be arranged during your trip to make the most of Spitsbergen’s unique environment and photo opportunities.

Day 3
day6_exploring spitsbergen_shutterstock-ondrejprosicky_1200x600.jpg
Photo: ondrejprosicky / Shutterstock Photo

Location: Longyearbyen

As the summer’s midnight sun has melted the snow, Spitsbergen transforms into a colourful landscape of rugged brown mountains and green valleys. Much wildlife can be seen enjoying the sunshine, including polar bears, Arctic foxes, walruses, and puffins – all just waiting to be captured on your camera! 

With an average temperature of 7°C, it is mild enough to enjoy some optional outdoor activities.

Day 4
Photo: Trym Ivar Bergsmo Photo

All aboard

Location: Longyearbyen/Prins Karls Forland

We start the day with a half-day photography workshop before embarking MS Nordstjernen and sailing north along Prins Karls Forland.

Day 5
Monaco glacier_©Martin Johansen_day 5_1200x600.png
Photo: Martin Johansen Photo

Wildlife wonderland

Location: Woodfjorden, Liefdefdorden, Moffen Island, 80 degrees North

We cruise towards Monaco Glacier, passing a number of small islets where eider ducks nest during the summer. Polar bears are known to frequent these islets searching the nests for eggs. If the ice conditions are favourable, we will sail past 80 degrees North and towards Moffen, an island often home to walrus.

Day 6
Photo: Linda Drake Photo

Varied landscapes

Location: Kongsfjord, Ny-Ålesund

Kongfjord is the largest fjord on the north-west coast. We might also visit a large adjacent fjord called Krossfjord. The landscape varies from large tundra plains to alpine peaks with dramatic glaciers tumbling into the ocean. We also call in at Ny-Ålesund, once coal mining community turned Arctic research station.

Day 7
Photo: Hanne Feyling Photo

Fjord heaven

Location: Isfjord

Isfjord is the most prominent fjord system in the Svalbard Archipelago, with large 10,000 year-old U-shaped glacial valleys among the mountains. On arrival into Longyearbyen, transfer from the ship back to the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel.

Afternoon at your leisure before a farewell dinner at the hotel.

Day 8
Photo: Hanne Feyling Photo

Explore until your heart is content

Location: Longyearbyen

A day free to spend as you like; relaxing, exploring, or joining an exciting excursion.

Your ship

Our ship sailing this route

Set out on an expedition with MS Nordstjernen, which despite modernisation, still retains the aura of an old Atlantic ship, with new brass, classic wooden interiors and all her original art.

Getting you there

Please contact us if you wish to add on return flights and airport transfers to Longyearbyen.

Things to see and do


Learn more about the various seasons in Svalbard and the wonders of the High Arctic


Immerse yourself in the adventures you can experience on a voyage to Svalbard.