Spitsbergen Explorer Photo Expedition with Paul Goldstein

with 12 guests on MV Vikingfjord

Svalbard

10 Days

May - June

From €14,450

Join accomplished and legendary wildlife photographer Paul Goldstein and our veteran guide duo John Rodsted and Mette Eliseussen, on a small ship photo expedition to explore Spitsbergen with just 12 guests on the magnificent MV Vikingfjord.

During June polar bears can be seen hunting on the pack  offering gorgeous backdrops for photography. You can expect huge rafts of sea ice, walruses hauling out on remote beaches, Arctic foxes and encounter some of Spitsbergen’s countless glaciers with 24 hours of daylight. The expedition days will be spent searching for wildlife from the ship and the Zodiacs.

Exploring on a small ship allows a great deal of flexibility, Paul is big on flexibility and works VERY long hours. When wildlife is encountered, if pertinent, Zodiacs can be launched in under 15 minutes ensuring opportunities are rarely missed. There will be bags of instruction, advice, entertainment and chatter from Paul and plenty to learn about Spitsbergen from our experts John and Mette along the way.

MV Vikingfjord is a best in class small ship which benefits from an ice strengthened hull, fast cruising speed, a complete refit and a new engine making it the perfect choice for exploring polar waters. Expect onboard creature comforts including a large panoramic guest lounge, all ensuite cabins,  situated above deck, an on deck hot tub and sauna to enjoy after a busy day (or indeed ‘night’) out in the ice and mountains of this captivating archipelago.

Images by Paul Goldstein and Secret Atlas

A word from Paul Goldstein

‘Spitsbergen has haunted me for 20 years. Its scenery is mesmerising: the snap crackle and pop of the sea ice, the artillery-like concussion of a calving glacier, the perfect arc a northern fulmar describes over a gunmetal ocean or the impishness of an arctic fox. Then there are the walrus hauled out on cobalt blue sea ice and of course the graft spent gazing through precision optics, looking for a distant ivory blob and indeed the thrill when one bear suddenly becomes a family.  Twenty charters in 20 years may seem like a lot but once I saw this vessel twinned with the two guides (friends of almost 20 years) it was not a hard decision. This is a brilliant ship for this sort of voyage and John is precisely the sort of guy I like to work with, both he and Mette have a nautical polar pedigree  longer than almost anyone so rest assured we will be working every hour to deliver some precious polar moments.’

Expedition Highlights

  • Learn from world class wildlife photographer Paul Goldstein and veteran expedition leaders John and Mette.
  • Explore in comfort on the newest and most environmentally friendly small ship in the polar regions with a 95% reduction in NOX emissions.
  • Small, intimate group size of just 12 like minded guests.
  • June offers a great time of year to encounter polar bears, walruses and whales and sea ice.
  • 2 Zodiacs to use for exploring and close up photography of wildlife
  • 3 guides for a group of 12 offers the best ratio available
  • Friendly, inclusive atmosphere

The Voyage

Day 1 Welcome aboard! Embarkation in Longyearbyen at 16:00

Day 2 – 9 Exploring Spitsbergen

Day 10 Disembarkation in Longyearbyen at 09:00

Secret Atlas is founded, led, and made for explorers by explorers. We understand that every expedition is unique, so we don’t follow a fixed itinerary. We believe that real expeditions should follow the opportunities that the wilderness offers and our expert guides know exactly how to maximise your experience.

The expedition is flexible and its course will be defined on daily bases sustained by the opportunities presented by weather, ice and wildlife.

Spitsbergen photo tour with paul goldstein

Day by Day

Day 1

Longyearbyen

The expedition departs from Longyearbyen, the most northerly town on earth. The transfer will collect you from your hotel / airport and take you to MV Vikingfjord at 4pm. For the next 10 days civilization bid farewell as the  wilderness of Spitsbergen is comprehensively explored. The aim of this expedition is to spend lots of time out in the field photographing the wildlife, nature, scenery, and glaciers of Spitsbergen. In the spirit of true exploration we don’t have a set itinerary which gives the expedition team flexibility to ensure you maximise your time.

Days 2 – 9

Exploring Spitsbergen

The focus of this voyage is capturing some beautiful imagery of Arctic wildlife.  We will explore by ship and Zodiac in search of polar bears, walruses and Arctic wildlife under the guidance of Paul and the expedition team. Every day will offer a different experience and the focus will be spending time out on the Zodiacs and on deck to maximise photography opportunities. During June bird colonies become active, Arctic foxes can be seen beneath the steep cliffs and there are walruses in abundance.

Polar bear on ice in Svalbard by Paul Goldstein

Playing polar bears in Svalbard – Csilla´s experience on an arctic photo expedition

Day 10

Longyearbyen

Either late the previous evening or early in the morning we will arrive back at the port of Longyearbyen. Today our Spitsbergen photography tour ends after after breakfast when we say our goodbyes after making new friends and sharing a wonderful adventure.

The above itinerary is a guide only. A part of any Arctic adventure is the flexibility to take advantage of the weather and ice conditions. Our expedition team will make sure you see as much as possible.

Inside This Spitsbergen Photo Tour

This voyage is aimed at anyone with a passion for exploring the Arctic and does not desire rigorous timetables and strict mealtimes. It is a small ship but big on excitement.

Remarkable Wildlife

We will visit areas where walruses haul out, encounter reindeer and Arctic foxes on land (perhaps), observe whales and other marine life and explore coasts and sea ice where polar bears are known to roam. The bears will be the principle focus.

Captivating Scenery

We will encounter mighty glaciers, Zodiac cruise tranquil steep-sided fjords and spend time outside exploring the beautiful untouched wilderness.

Climate Compensated

We’re serious about the environment and wildlife, which is why we’re proud to be a member of 1% for the Planet—an organisation dedicated to supporting impactful global projects that give back to our planet.

Guided By Experts

This Svalbard photo expedition is led by veteran wildlife photographer Paul Goldstein, and our Secret Atlas guide team. Our onboard guides are the core of what we do and will share their passion and knowledge of Svalbard throughout the trip. We offer the best guide to guest ratio.

Zodiacs For Exploring

Vikingfjord is equipped with 2 Zodiacs which we will use for exploring. There is room onboard for all the guides and guests, something you find find on larger ships.

Expedition Vessel With 12 Guests

We believe the best way to experience an environmentally sensitive place such as the Arctic is with a small group of travelers. New expedition cruise ships now take up to 350 passengers, we believe smaller is better.

Meet The Guides

Paul Goldstein with dog profile pic

Paul Golstein

A travel veteran of over 35 years, a multi-award winning photographer and he with a guiding retinue from six continents, Paul Goldstein has a broad and burgeoning bank of followers and indeed some even agree with him. He is also a big defender of persecuted species and has run 20 marathons including the fearsome Everest one last year in his now fabled tiger suit raising almost half a million dollars for his beloved Bengal cats. 

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John Rodsted Expedition Leader

John Rodsted

Originally trained as a commercial photographer, he has impacted the world of imagery with his work as war photographer. Today, he is not only known for his award-winning work as a photojournalist of communities at risk, but also for his artistic and written work. John is a Svalbard expedition leader with decades worth of experience exploring the High Arctic. He looks forward to sharing his love for polar exploration with you.

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Mette Eliseussen in Svalbard

METTE ELISEUSSEN

Mette has guided in all polar regions for over 16 years, totaling over 300 voyages. Before this, she was program manager for Save the Children in Afghanistan from 1990 to 1997 and was a key member of the international campaign to ban landmines, who were awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace prize. Mette has a deep passion for the polar regions and has been exploring the High Arctic over the last 20 years.

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Your Ship - MV Vikingfjord

Step aboard MV Vikingfjord a modern expedition vessel built for adventure

Introducing our newest ship MV Vikingfjord, a rugged ice-strengthened expedition vessel for 12 guests. New energy efficient engine and NOX cleaning fitted in 2023 offering the best environmental on a small ship with up to a 95% reduction in NOX emissions. 

Expect cruise ship comfort on a small ship with 9 ensuite cabins, an open plan saloon with rear facing windows, and on on deck hot tub and sauna.

  • Rebuilt in 2023 as a high-end expedition vessel
  • Large open plan observation lounge and dining area at the stern
  • Small group size of 12 guests ensures an intimate experience
  • Ice strengthened 1B hull for maximum exploration in the polar regions
  • Refurbished to a high standard with warm, comfortable cabins
  • On deck hot tub and sauna
  • Large en-suite cabins with suites, doubles, twins and singles.
  • Equipped with 2 x zodiacs for shore landings
  • Large open deck space and raised areas for photography
  • Expert team of crew and guides
  • Full safety gear
See Ship

Spitsbergen Photo Tour Dates and Prices

Prices quoted are per person for the expedition and local transfers. Twin and double cabins are based on double occupancy. For flights and pre-voyage accommodation in Longyearbyen and Oslo please speak to our expert travel team.

DateVoyageDurationVesselSignature Twin/DoubleSignature Penthouse (Double)Signature Single 
26th May – 4th June 2025Spitsbergen Explorer Photo Expedition with Paul Goldstein10 daysMV Vikingfjord€14,450€17,350€17,350 Book
4th – 13th June 2025Spitsbergen Explorer Photo Expedition with Paul Goldstein10 daysMV VikingfjordSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
DateVoyageDurationVesselSignature Twin/DoubleSignature Penthouse (Double)Signature Single 
26th May – 4th June 2025Spitsbergen Explorer Photo Expedition with Paul Goldstein10 daysMV Vikingfjord£12,500£14,900£14,900 Book
4th – 13th June 2025Spitsbergen Explorer Photo Expedition with Paul Goldstein10 daysMV VikingfjordSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
DateVoyageDurationVesselClassic PortholeClassic TwinSignature Twin/doubleSignature Single 
30th June – 8th July 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard9 daysMV VikingfjordSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
8th – 17th July 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV VikingfjordSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
15th – 24th July 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV FreyaSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
17th – 26th July 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV VikingfjordSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
24th July – 1st August 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard9 daysMV FreyaSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
26th July – 8th August 2024Svalbard Pioneer14 daysMV VikingfjordSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
1st – 10th August 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV FreyaSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
9th – 18th August 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV KinfishSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
18th – 27th August 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV Kinfish€10,900€10,200 Book
27th August – 5th September 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV Kinfish€10,900€10,200 Book
5th – 14th September 2024Svalbard Ice Waterfalls Photo Tour w/ Piet van den Bemd10 daysMV Kinfish€11,500€10,800 Book
DateVoyageDurationVesselClassic PortholeClassic TwinSignature Twin/doubleSignature Single 
30th June – 8th July 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard9 daysMV VikingfjordSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
8th – 17th July 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV VikingfjordSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
15th – 24th July 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV FreyaSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
17th – 26th July 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV VikingfjordSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
24th July – 1st August 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard9 daysMV FreyaSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
26th July – 8th August 2024Svalbard Pioneer14 daysMV VikingfjordSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
1st – 10th August 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV FreyaSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
9th – 18th August 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV KinfishSOLD OUTSOLD OUT   Join Waitlist
18th – 27th August 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV Kinfish£9,700£9,100   Book
27th August – 5th September 2024Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV Kinfish£9,700£9,100   Book
5th – 14th September 2024Svalbard Ice Waterfalls Photo Tour w/ Piet van den Bemd10 daysMV Kinfish£10,200£9,700   Book
DateVoyageDurationVesselSignature Twin/DoubleSignature Penthouse (Double)Signature Single 
28th April – 5th May 2025Frozen Svalbard Photography Expedition8 daysMV Vikingfjord€11,550€13,850€13,850 Book
5th – 12th May 2025Frozen Svalbard Photography Expedition8 daysMV Vikingfjord€11,550€13,850€13,850 Book
12th – 19th May 2025Frozen Svalbard Photography Expedition8 daysMV Vikingfjord€11,550€13,850€13,850 Book
17th – 24th May 2025Svalbard Encounter8 daysMV Freya€10,150€12,150 Book
19th – 26th May 2025Natural Wonders of Svalbard Photography Tour8 daysMV Vikingfjord€11,550€13,850€13,850 Book
24th May – 2nd June 2025Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV Freya€12,650€15,150 Book
26th May – 4th June 2025Spitsbergen Explorer Photo Expedition with Paul Goldstein10 daysMV Vikingfjord€14,450€17,350€17,350 Book
4th – 13th June 2025Spitsbergen Explorer Photo Expedition with Paul Goldstein10 daysMV VikingfjordSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
26th June – 5th July 2025Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV Freya€12,650€15,150 Book
27th June – 6th July 2025Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV VikingfjordSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
5th – 14th July 2025Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV Freya€12,650€15,150 Book
6th – 15th July 2025Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV Vikingfjord€14,150€17,050€17,050 Book
14th – 25th July 2025Svalbard Pioneer12 daysMV Freya€14,950€17,900 Book
15th – 26th July 2025Svalbard Pioneer12 daysMV Vikingfjord€17,050€20,450€20,450 Book
26th July – 6th August 2025Svalbard Pioneer12 daysMV Vikingfjord€17,050€20,450€20,450 Book
6th – 15th August 2025Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV Vikingfjord€14,150€17,050€17,050 Book
DateVoyageDurationVesselSignature Twin/DoubleSignature Penthouse (Double)Signature Single 
28th April – 5th May 2025Frozen Svalbard Photography Expedition8 daysMV Vikingfjord£10,550£12,600£12,600 Book
5th – 12th May 2025Frozen Svalbard Photography Expedition8 daysMV Vikingfjord£10,550£12,600£12,600 Book
12th – 19th May 2025Frozen Svalbard Photography Expedition8 daysMV Vikingfjord£10,550£12,600£12,600 Book
17th – 24th May 2025Svalbard Encounter8 daysMV Freya£8,900£10,550 Book
19th – 26th May 2025Natural Wonders of Svalbard Photography Tour8 daysMV Vikingfjord£10,550£12,600£12,600 Book
24th May – 2nd June 2025Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV Freya£10,900£12,900 Book
26th May – 4th June 2025Spitsbergen Explorer Photo Expedition with Paul Goldstein10 daysMV Vikingfjord£12,500£14,900£14,900 Book
4th – 13th June 2025Spitsbergen Explorer Photo Expedition with Paul Goldstein10 daysMV VikingfjordSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
26th June – 5th July 2025Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV Freya£10,950£12,950 Book
27th June – 6th July 2025Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV VikingfjordSOLD OUTSOLD OUTSOLD OUT Join Waitlist
5th – 14th July 2025Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV Freya£10,950£12,950 Book
6th – 15th July 2025Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV Vikingfjord£12,500£14,950£14,950 Book
14th – 25th July 2025Svalbard Pioneer12 daysMV Freya£12,900£15,550 Book
15th – 26th July 2025Svalbard Pioneer12 daysMV Vikingfjord£14,950£17,500£17,500 Book
26th July – 6th August 2025Svalbard Pioneer12 daysMV Vikingfjord£14,950£17,500£17,500 Book
6th – 15th August 2025Natural Wonders of Svalbard10 daysMV Vikingfjord£12,500£14,950£14,950 Book

Svalbard Photography Tour FAQ

Departure Location Longyearbyen
Arrival Location Longyearbyen
Trip Style Exploration
Physical Rating Easy
Maximum Group Size 12
Accommodation Suites, Doubles, Twins & Singles
Duration 10 Days
Time of Year June
Included
Not Included

We offer payment via the following methods:

  • Credit card
  • Payment by bank transfer

Please let us know at the time of booking your preferred method.

You have the option to pay in full at time of booking or pay in the following instalments:

30% deposit is taken at the time of booking

30% 6 months before departure

40%  90 days prior to departure

It is mandatory you take out comprehensive travel insurance at the time of booking that also covers cancellation.

Solo travellers are welcome on all our voyages. We often host solo travellers, particularly on our photo voyages so the chances are you won’t be the only one. We offer the following accommodation options:

  • Single cabins with no additional single supplement.
  • Option to share a twin cabin with another traveller of the same gender.
  • Option to have your own double cabin for an additional supplement. Please contact us for this option as the price varies depending on trip and availability.

This trip is operated by Secret Atlas and is subject to the Secret Atlas terms and conditions of travel. You can read the full booking terms here.

Cabins

Signature Penthouse (Double)

  • For 2 Guests
  • Comfortable double bed
  • Ensuite shower and toilet
  • 15 m²
  • Located on deck 3
  • Windows
  • Desk & chair
  • Wardrobe
  • Cabin Number: 8

Signature Twin/Double

  • For 2 Guests
  • Your choice of Double or Twin Beds
  • Ensuite shower and toilet
  • 15 m²
  • Located on deck 1
  • Window 
  • Desk & chair
  • Wardrobe
  • Cabins 1 - 4

Signature Single

  • For 1 guest
  • 10 m²
  • Located on decks 1 and 2
  • Window 
  • Wardrobe
  • Cabin 6 - 7

Deck Plan

Vikingfjord deck plan

If you have any questions about this Spitsbergen Photo Tour please get in touch

Useful Information

How To Get To Svalbard

Svalbard is easily accessible from daily flights from Oslo in Norway. To find out more see our guide.

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New To Expedition Micro Cruises?

Find out all about the experience of travelling on an expedition vessel with 12 guests and how it compares to other cruises.

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Longyearbyen Travel Guide

All the information you need to plan your trip including how to get to Longyearbyen, arrival information, places to stay, and activities to do before your cruise.

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