Ever since its discovery by the Dutch in 1596, Svalbard has been a benchmark for extreme adventure and unique wildlife.
From the world‘s largest land predator, the mighty Polar Bear, to the enormous Walrus and its impressive tusks and the whales who roam the ocean, this is a land of giants like no other.
Everything is unique here: The sun doesn’t set for our entire stay, the snow may fall even in the peak of summer while ancient glaciers carve the landscape of the fjords.
Latitude: around 80° north
Size: 61,000 Km2 (23,500 mi2)
Human Population: 2,000
Polar Bear Population: 3,000
Temp. during stay: +10°C / 50°F
Our Private Ship
We are thrilled to embark on another exclusive Phototeva expedition. On a private ship all to ourselves, we explore the world of the largest and most impressive land predator - the polar bear. In a world that is all white and where the sun never sets, we will observe countless animals: thousands of walruses, Arctic foxes, reindeer, many types of birds and, of course, the polar bear.
What's Unique About it?
Geographic and Photographic guidance by Roie Galitz or Another member of
Two Local Polar Bear Specialists looking for Polar Bears 24 hours a day
Two Zodiac boats allow us to get close to the action, with only 6 people per Zodiac
Total freedom - go practically anywhere
Best time of the year for Polar Bears
Private chef for excellent cuisine
Why a Private Ship?
If you’re traveling all the way to Svalbard, do so in a way that provides the best results, the greatest freedom and of course - the closest proximity to the wildlife. That's why we offer this private Phototeva expedition on a ship that is all to ourselves - we decide where to sail and where to anchor, without being restricted by the narrow constraints of large ships. Zodiac boats let us approach wildlife up close, closer than any other organized trip.
Your Expedition Leader
Roie Galitz is an award-winning wildlife photographer and educator, ambassador for Gitzo, Lowepro, DJI, G-Technology and Greenpeace. For over a decade, Roie has been exploring our planet’s wildlife. His photographs get great exposure worldwide, millions of views and frequent appearances in the media (check out BBC's Snow Bears film). He was presented in international exhibitions and in exclusive magazines and honored with many international awards.
DAY 1 - Arrival in SvalbardWe will meet in Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s capital. We will let you know exactly where and when to be there and our driver will pick you up from the airport. This day is mostly about settling in, relaxing and organizing everything for tomorrow’s expedition.
DAY 2-10 - The ExpeditionIn the morning, Roie Galitz, will show you around lovely Longyearbyen. You will have time to shop for souvenirs and anything else you might need for the expedition - this is the place to get it. In the afternoon, we will embark the M/S Origo and after a safety briefing, we will head out to the northern tip of the Archipelago. We will set out to explore the fjords, bays, icebergs and of course the fast ice of the north pole. The exact locations will be determined while on board, according to sea ice condition and the whereabouts of wildlife, primarily the mighty polar bear. During this journey, Roie Galitz and the boat staff will teach us about the Arctic animals and nature surrounding us. Since it will be the peak season, we expect to see mothers with cubs and single males roaming along the island’s shores. We might even spot Arctic Foxes near their dens with pups. During our extended expedition cruise, we hope to enjoy the view of seals, walruses, whales and many birds. Thanks to our boat size, we will have many opportunities no other bigger boat can get - this is an amazing privilege in the high Arctic!
DAY 11 - DisembarkationWe will get back to Longyearbyen harbor and spend our last night on board in the harbor. Depending on your flight times, you can disembark the boat whenever you wish until 09:00 am the following day.
TRAVEL INSURANCE & NOTES
Medical and Travel Insurance: You must purchase a comprehensive and extended insurance policy that covers all the activities during the trip (including winter sports and air medical services). This includes: personal insurance, baggage insurance, full adventure travel insurance, including medical evacuation from remote and dangerous areas and subsequent treatment in Israel or your home country, as well as trip cancellation insurance. To be clear, Phototeva does not insure or provide insurance coverage for participants. Participants must purchase full insurance coverage for all the regular and extreme activities expected on the expedition, including accident and medical insurance. Participants are responsible for purchasing the required insurance policy, and it is very important to get it done as soon as possible. In addition, participants should check with the nearest travel clinic about relevant medical requirements, such as vaccinations.
As expected in an extreme expedition to one of the coldest, and most isolated areas in the world, including face-to-face encounters with the world's largest land predator (without protection), this trip poses clear risks that could result in injury or even worst.
It will be cold and snowstorms are a routine occurrence. The expedition includes various extreme activities such as, but not limited to: Zodiac boat rides, ice and snow walking, close proximity to polar bears, sailing through extreme weather and so on.
The participants must be physically healthy and mentally stable in order to deal with potential mishaps, extreme weather and problems that arise along the way. It is imperative that they listen to the guides and drive according to their instructions.
The expedition is contingent on a minimum number of participants.
The order and content of the expedition might change based on the decision of the guides (at their professional discretion), due to various constraints.
By joining this Phototeva expedition, the participant hereby declares that he/she understands the nature of the activities and the potential dangers of the expedition and is medically fit. If the participant has a medical problem that may hinder or prevent his/her participation in the various activities of the expedition, it is their responsibility to notify the company and the guide before embarking on the journey. In some cases, the participant will have to present a note from his/her doctor in order to participate in the expedition. Without this note, the participant will not be allowed to join the expedition.
This is not a cruise ship; it is "Spartan" in essence. This ship is designed for research and photography at the North Pole. There is no doctor onboard, but there is a first-aid kit. In case of emergency and only if conditions allow, there will be evacuation by helicopter to a hospital in Longyearbyen.
This is a wild area with more polar bears than humans. The odds of spotting a polar bear are high, but not guaranteed. Nature is wild and unpredictable, so there is no way to guarantee the animals’ behavior and proximity or even ensure sightings at all. The crew of the ship will make the final decision regarding the route of the voyage and the order and content of the activities, keeping passenger safety as their top priority.
In rare occasions, the guide may be replaced before the start of the expedition.
Upon registration, 20% of the full amount will be charged as an
advance payment, this advance is non-refundable. The full payment
will be transferred within 3 months of registration.
We strongly recommend getting travel insurance that covers unexpected cancellations.
Methods of payment: Bank transfer/credit card
Please note that payment by credit card will be charged an additional 1.5% fee
1. Expedition Cruise on board our Vessel, 9-10 nights on board (depending on trip)
2. Beach landings and Zodiak cruises.
3. Geographic and Photographic guidance by Roie Galitz or Another member of
4. A staff of 2 expert naturalists specializing in Polar Bears.
5. All the permits and regulations required by the Governor of Svalbard.
6. All boat expenses (Fuel, Insurance, Docking fees etc.)
7. Preparation meeting and post trip meeting online to prepare you for the trip.
8. Full board: 3 meals a day by a chef.
2. Pre-boarding accommodation in Svalbard.
3. Boutique consumptions
4. Phone, internet, e-mails
5. Insurance which you must have.
6. Gratuity for ship’s crew
7. All items not described in “included in the above charter rates”