12 days

Spitsbergen Explorer - Escorted by Photographer Steve Davey

Spitsbergen Explorer - Escorted by Photographer Steve Davey

Three polar bears - photo taken by Steve Davey

Arctic fox - photo taken by Steve Davey

Steve Davey on his last Arctic adventure

Arctic landscape - photo taken by Steve Davey

Walruses - photo taken by Steve Davey

Arctic flowers - photo taken by Steve Davey

Polar bear family - photo taken by Steve Davey

Walk or kayak around Blubber Town: Smeerenburg

On board to a strange new world at Longyearbyen

The groans of 14th of July Glacier

The Walrus of Moffen Island

Trip rating
  • If there is such a thing as a “classic Arctic” expedition, this is it. Explore the western edge of Spitsbergen and some outlying northern areas home to polar bears and walrus. Come across colonies of seabirds numbering into the thousands and look for whales in the water.

    Joining you on this exclusive departure will be photographer Steve Davey. Steve is an experienced Arctic photographer, and brings a unique blend of tailored tuition, encouragement and boundless enthusiasm to every tour he accompanies. He has led a number of travel photography tours to some of the world’s most fascinating destinations. He'll be on hand to give you detailed instruction about taking the best landscape and wildlife images on this expedition. Meet Steve on the first night in Longyearbyen for a three course welcome dinner and drinks. This is also a great chance to find out what to expect on your Arctic adventure.

    Steve will provide practical photography tuition to ensure you bring home spectacular images. Although the primary focus of this photography trip will be to help you to take better pictures the Arctic, Steve will use the time on board to help improve your general travel photography skills. Join him for a range of illustrated talks, group practical sessions, photographic tasks and group and personal review sessions. He will cover exposure, shooting in RAW, composition and also the post processing of your images. He will share advice and insights about why the Arctic conditions are so unique and provide simple yet comprehensive solutions to dramatically improve your Arctic photography. Come home with a perfectly finished set of pictures to amaze your family and friends.

    Based in London, Steve’s love of travel has taken him to some 87 countries. He has also written a number of international best-selling BBC books: Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die (BBC Books, 2004) and Unforgettable Islands to See Before You Die (BBC Books 2007). His recent book, Footprint Travel Photography (Footprint Books, 2008) is one of the leading titles on travel and location photography and covers all aspects of travelling with a camera.

    Private group Zodiac convoys will give you the chance to get to know Steve, and utilise his photographic experience in this region. This departure follows the standard Spitsbergen Explorer itinerary but an additional nights' accommodation in Longyearbyen has been included before embarkation.


    Note: Weather, ice and other mitigating factors may result in changes to our itinerary and alteration to certain shore excursions.


    Day 1 - Longyearbyen

    Arrive at the small town of Longyearbyen before 5pm and settle into your hotel. This evening, join host Steve Davey for a three course welcome dinner, where you'll get to meet him and hear more about what to expect on your Arctic adventure. Spend the next 10 days benefitting from his photography knowledge and expertise.

    Arrival Transfers: A representative will meet all flights arriving into Longyearbyen after 12 midday. If you arrive before this and would like transfers, please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.


    Day 2 - Embarkation Day

    Your Spitsbergen adventure voyage begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. As you embark, you’ll get great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop to this seaside settlement.


    Day 3-11 - Around Svalbard

    These days are spent exploring the coast, moving generally in a clockwise direction. There will be ample time for shore excursions, where we can simply sit on the beach and take it all in or enjoy energetic hiking, wildlife spotting or stunning Zodiac cruises. Since our itinerary is difficult to predict due to ever-changing ice conditions, we’ve provided some samples of possible excursions we may undertake from Day 3 through to Day 11. We may not have time to visit all these spots, but no matter where we end up, it is guaranteed that our explorations will involve many memorable moments. We may also visit other locations should their beauty or interest warrant it.

    You will also enjoy daily presentations from Steve Davey ensuring you take home the best possible pictures of this unforgettable Arctic journey.



    This cliff is a seabird centre, where brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres) raise their young. An estimated 100,000 breeding pairs raise their young here in the basalt cliffs. The birds do not build nests, rather they lay an egg on the bare ledge.


    This is a well-known walrus haul out. The pink colour to a walrus’ hide as it lies in the sun is caused by blood pumped to the skin’s surface to aid cooling, similar to that of a hippopotamus in Africa!


    In 1906, His Serene Highness Prince Albert I of Monaco visited Lilliehöök Glacier to conduct scientific investigations. His great-great-grandson visited the glacier 100 years later. He, too, was part of a scientific investigation, this time to further our understanding of the Arctic clam, a species that lives for more than a century. The growth rings of a single clam’s shell contain evidence of the chemicals encountered by the clam. Scientists can determine the variations of the water’s temperature and pollutant content by studying the shell.


    Eighteen hundred people inhabit the administrative capital of Svalbard, which is situated on the shore of Isfjorden. The settlement was founded in 1905 by John Munroe Longyear, the majority owner of the Arctic Coal Company of Boston.


    HSH Prince Albert I of Monaco, a pioneer of oceanography, led an expedition to Svalbard in 1906. His team used sophisticated photographic techniques to understand the shape and position of several glacier fronts. Monaco Glacier honours the expedition, the prince and the principality over which he reigned.


    This is the second-largest island in the entire Svalbard Archipelago. The largest glacier in Europe is located on the island, which is a known habitat for reindeer and walrus.


    On the western coast, this bay stretches south and east from the Wahlenberg Fjord. This is a typical Polar desert scene where the ‘ice bear’ can sometimes be seen roaming in search of food.


    This small archipelago is the northernmost land in Svalbard. Englishmen left their mark during a survey of the islands in the 1780s. The party named the islands after themselves, with the smallest and least significant island being named Nelsonøya, after the lowly midshipman.

    IMPORTANT REMINDER Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. The above is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 12 - Longyearbyen

    The time to say goodbye has come.Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight home. Accommodation: No post voyage hotel accommodation is included in the voyage price. If you need accommodation please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.

  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Pre voyage hotel night in Longyearbyn including 3 course dinner with Steve Davey
    • Exclusive photography presentations and photography tips / guidance from Steve Davey
    • Private (group) zodiac convoys with Steve
    • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
    • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board throughout your voyage
    • All shore landings per the daily program
    • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
    • A daily program of lectures by noted naturalists
    • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
    • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and Special Guests as scheduled
    • Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage
    • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
    • A waterproof expedition parka to keep
    • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
    • A selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
    • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
    • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
    • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
    • All luggage handling aboard ship

    Not Included

    • Passport and any applicable visa expenses
    • Government arrival and departure taxes
    • Any meals ashore except for first night
    • Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance
    • Excess baggage charges
    • Laundry and other personal charges
    • Telecommunications charges
    • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
    • Optional sea-kayaking activities

    Safety Information

    Safety is paramount on a Peregrine voyage. Due to new International Security Regulations, you will not be able to approach the ship on your own. You will have to arrive with the rest of the group, accompanied by a Peregrine representative. Full details of embarkation/disembarkation procedures will be supplied with your final documentation. On board you will be asked to participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. We will also conduct important briefings on landing procedures, Zodiac operations, polar bear management and firearm safety (there is a good chance that we will see some of these magnificent animals during this trip, but extreme care must be taken if we ever encounter them whilst we are ashore!).

  • Map Itinerary

  • Our Ships

    Sea Spirit

    Sea Spirit

    Sail aboard the luxurious Sea Spirit and you'll experience Antarctica in grand style. Built in 1991 and refurbished to a very high standard in 2010 she carries a maximum of 112 passengers; this outstanding vessel is equipped with rubber inflatable boats (Zodiacs) for shore transfers and cruising. You have a choice of one king size bed or two twin beds, in the most spacious cabins on the Sea Spirit. All cabins have facilities en suite and exterior views. Deluxe cabins, suites and the Owner's Suite have private balconies for viewing the extraordinary Antarctic icescape.

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PPSEC
Start City: Longyearbyen
End City: Longyearbyen
Style: Polar

What to know

Flights should be booked into and out of Longyearbyen.

Note: Weather or other conditions may require changes to our itinerary and shore excursions.

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