An extended expedition encompasing Spitsbergen, the Seven Islands, Nordaustlandet, and smaller outlying islands.
The spectacular Svalbard Archipelago is a captivating land of peaks and glaciers. This itinerary is the most comprehensive voyage in Spitsbergen available - no other trip anywhere gives as much time in this intoxicating land of ice and tundra. Combining a great variety flora and fauna with stunning remote landscapes, Spitsbergen is a must for wilderness and wildlife enthusiasts. Situated high above the Arctic Circle, with 24 hours of daylight, the chance of outstanding wildlife sightings is greatly increased. Wildlife is worked for in Spitsbergen; binoculars and scopes are permanently trained on the ice and glaciers searching for bears, walrus, foxes and birdlife. It is also worth remembering that a voyage to Spitsbergen is not just about the wildlife; the archipelago also offers excellent trekking, outstanding ice formations and usually very calm seas.
Spitsbergen in Depth - Specialist Photographic Departure: 14 June 2014 (12 June 2014 from London)- Led by Paul Goldstein
Twelve nights, 24 hour daylight, the best ship, the finest staff and crew and an icy pilgrimage in search of polar bears. Walrus, glaciers, foxes and sea ice are also on the menu but it is the bear which is the principle quarry. Exodus and Paul Goldstein lead the way in Spitsbergen expeditions, with good reason. This will not follows a clinical schedule, it will spend hours searching the horizon and sea ice for bears but when found there will be no rush to head off.
Year after year these are the most exciting Arctic expeditions of all. Some people are coming back for their fourth and fifth time, just to spend more magical hours (at all times of the day and night!) in the ice and ashore in this magical land of ice and tundra. Why don’t you come and join them?
Exodus guide and award-winning photographer Paul Goldstein has often said that he is happiest on the plains of the Masai Mara or the decks of The Vavilov. Having completed over twenty expeditions, his choice for our summer months is Spitsbergen, a programme he pioneered six years ago. Exodus is now the market leader in small ship voyages there. Paul has a ridiculous amount of energy and is, as the Sunday Times described him, ‘a preposterously vivacious guide of almost psychotic gusto'.
"For seeing polar bears on ice in Svalbard, the most productive expeditions I have been on during the last eight years are those organized by Paul Goldstein from Exodus. The Exodus Svalbard charter is on board the Academic Sergey Vavilov which is simply the best available ship for this kind of trip, bar none. Beyond having the best ship though, what makes the trips work is that we don’t have a fixed itinerary. We focus on finding and searching the best habitat available, working hard to find bears and, when we do, remaining with them as long as possible to maximize the photographic and observational opportunities. Twenty-four hour daylight in the Svalbard summer helps immensely. Although nothing in wilderness wildlife viewing is guaranteed, in my experience this approach produces the best results for polar bears on ice. The next trip, in June 2014, looks most promising! "
Dr Ian Stirling, long-term polar bear researcher, ecotourism guide, and author of “Polar Bears: The Natural History of a Threatened Species”
‘A Paul safari or expedition stands out for three reasons: commitment, commitment and commitment. It is a dynamic effort by a dynamic personality to give even the most experienced traveller an unforgettable experience.‘
Peter Pickford, Photographer, RSA
For more information about Paul's trips please see the Photography page.
What the papers say about the Arctic...
The NY Daily News writes: Tourists witness glacier calve and plunge into sea (Aug 2013)
The Daily Mail writes: Polar bear cubs flee from male bear (Sept 2012)
The Sunday Times writes: Wildlife and a Cold Snap in the Arctic (Oct 2011)
The Sun - Travel Section: Arctic Pictures (Sept 2011)
Paul Steele writes on Huffington Post: Photographic Dreams Of The Wild Do Come True (Jun 2011)
What makes this trip responsible?
We take extremely seriously our responsibility to minimise our impact on these pristine areas. Exodus is an Associate Member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and has agreed to abide by one of the tourism world's most conscientious codes of conduct. Our ship operators in Spitsbergen are also members of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), which covers operations in Spitsbergen.
However, perhaps the single most important thing any polar travel company can do, is educate their clients to travel sensitively and compassionately. Our expedition team on each ship takes this part of their role very seriously, and looks forward to explaining how everyone can play their part.
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Polar bears, Spitzbergen