Rinie van Meurs

Expedition & Photo Leader

Rinie van Meurs is the only person who spend 31 consecutive years as expedition leader in Svalbard, and locked more than 250 cruises in his seafarers book. He has been fortunate to photograph and study many Polar Bears in the Arctic and has become passionate about these magnificent animals as well as other Arctic wildlife.

He developed a broad interest in the entire sea ice ecosystem and marine life which resulted in his book “The Future Polar Bear: The impact of the vanishing sea ice on an Arctic ecosystem”. Rinie will show you the most beautiful places in Svalbard and will give expert advice on photography in this unique environment.


After a formal education in Forest Management and Nature Conservation, Rinie started to travel in search of wildlife, although, he was already attracted by the Polar Regions since his youth. He knew; to explore the pack ice in the high Arctic Ocean that was his goal. In 1989, he accepted a job on board a small ship as a potato peeler for his first season in Spitsbergen, (Svalbard). After he came back he knew he was definitely hooked on the high latitudes. Since ’89 , he has made only around Spitsbergen almost 250 expedition cruises and he has logged in his sea man’s book a total of over 350 voyages including; East- and West Greenland, the Canadian high Arctic, Franz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya, Geographical North Pole, Antarctica, South Georgia, the Falklands, and many islands along the Atlantic Ridge. Taking groups (snorkelers) to the Orca and Humpback Whale feeding frenzies in Northern Norway is one of his more recent adventures.

Over the last 33 years he had the opportunity to study and photograph many Polar Bears in the pack ice; he has become passionate about these magnificent animals. He is now an expert in leading Polar Bear trips in the high Arctic and Hudson Bay, and has developed a broad interest in the entire sea ice ecosystem and marine life. He has published four books on the Polar regions of which one was about the Polar Bears of Spitsbergen and his last one was published 2019; “The Future Polar Bear: the impact of the vanishing sea ice on an Arctic ecosystem”.