Svalbard 15.07-25.07 2020

Day 1 – 15.7.2020  We started our second Svalbard photo expedition for the season with a group of 11 photographers from Norway. Because of the strong Covid-19 regulation it was not possible at that point to travel to Svalbard for non-Norwegian (except Denmark, Finland and Iceland) without a 14 days quarantine. This time we decided to head directly north toward the drifting sea ice.

Day 2 – 16.7.2020  We reached the drifting sea ice at approx. 81 degrees north in the evening and enjoyed great weather conditions. The midnight sun was visible and we saw a few bearded seals and also a lot of seabirds in this area.

Day 3 – 17.7.2020  We spent the full day in the drifting sea ice, and this year had experienced thicker sea ice than we have seen during the last 5 years. Just before lunch we also saw our first polar bear on this expedition among the rough sea ice, which gave us some great photo opportunities.

Day 4 – 18.7.2020  There was too much ice to go east of Sjuøyene, so we rather decided to set course for the Hinlopen area which is especially great for birds. In the morning we had thousands of seabirds passing our ship, and around noon we saw a polar bear in the distance on land. We travelled into the Palanderfjord for the night in great light conditions.

Day 5 – 19.7.2020  Early in the morning a curious polar bear came towards our ship parked in the fjord ice. It is always great to see the Arctic King up close, when we are safe onboard the expedition ship. After “investigating” our ship the polar bear walked away, but had a seal hunting attempt just a few hundred meters away. This was a great experience for us and our clients. The rest of the day we explored the Wahlenbergfjorden with sightings of Long-tailed skuas and other birds.

Day 6 – 20.7.2020  The highlight of this overcast day was the Alkefjellet, one of the most impressive bird cliffs in Svalbard. Seeing thousands of seabirds on the cliffs, in the air and resting on the water was an overwhelming experience for all of us. Small blue icebergs drifting in front of the cliffs gave us the perfect setup for photographing seabirds.

Day 7 – 21.7.2020  During this day we travelled to the southern parts of Hinlopen with lots of sea ice. The fog made it very difficult to see or photograph anything, so we decided to escape the fog and instead try the Liefdefjorden area.

Day 8 – 22.7.2020  On our way to Liefdefjorden we saw a group of 20+ Minke whales, 2 Blue whales and a Fin whale. This gave us some nice photo opportunities in great midnight sun light. In the evening we had a beautiful zodiac excursion in front of the impressive Monaco glacier. Ivory gulls in the blue ice was the highlight for most of the photographers.

Day 9 – 23.7.2020  We spent the early morning in Magdalenefjorden with Little Auks. These birds are challenging to photography in flight, but it was also very nice to see them sitting in front of the great scenery in this area. During the evening and night we had a great zodiac excursion in Kongsfjorden photographing seals, foxes, seabirds and glaciers.

Day 10 – 24.7.2020  We spent the last full day on our photo expedition in the Isfjorden area. The highlight was a nice meeting with an Arctic fox family. In the evening we steamed towards Longyearbyen for the night.

Our second Svalbard expedition of 2020 was also a great success, and we thank both guests and partners for trusting us in providing a safe expedition in these difficult times!

Let us know if you want to travel with us on a similar photo expedition to Svalbard. See more info about the Classic photo expeditions HERE

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