M/V Kinfish

An interview with the MV Kinfish crew

Robin Dahlberg on the Kinfish - Northern Expeditions

Robin Dahlberg - Founder of Northern Expeditions

03 Feb 2021

The Owner of M/V Kinfish tells us about the expedition ship in Svalbard

The M/V Kinfish, a 12-passenger expedition ship, has been chartered by NWS over the past few Svalbard summers. Will fell in love with her as soon as he saw her, and our guests on expeditions since then, have raved about her and the crew.

We recently sat down with Robin Dahlberg,  owner of the Kinfish with Pelle Floren, to chat all things expeditions in Svalbard. 

Kinfish on Ice from Drone - Northern Expeditions

You are the owners of MV Kinfish. How long have you owned her and what was it about her that made you think she was perfect for voyages in the Svalbard archipelago?

Kinfish was purchased in early 2018, but we started looking for the ideal ship long before that. There is lots to consider when looking for a ship in the expedition market, including technical standards, safety features, size, passenger comfort, environmental impact, operational effectiveness and more. Some features often compromise others so it’s a challenge to find the best balance, we do however believe that we found just that in Kinfish. She is extremely manoeuvrable so we can navigate and manoeuvre in challenging conditions with good safety margins. We inspected many vessels before choosing Kinfish, and we still believe our choice was right. Much can be said from the feeling you get when you step onboard. Kinfish is expedition in pure form with a genuine touch and comfy layout, exactly as we like it!

What do you think sets MV Kinfish apart from other vessels operating in the archipelago?

Her layout and equipment allowing for outstanding flexibility and effective operations are key features for sure. However, your experience as a guest will be ruled much by the actions and service of the crew which is why we put so much emphasis on this area. We want to create a familiar and inclusive atmosphere onboard where we are all part of the adventure, and interaction between everyone onboard is a central part of the experience. We believe this is one of our strengths and is what makes a great experience even better.
Robin Dahlberg on the Kinfish - Northern Expeditions

Image of Robin Dahlberg


Guests often comment that the Kinfish crew is a very organised and tight-knit team. What sort of qualities do you look for when selecting crew for the ship?

Crew recruitment is challenging, but also a very rewarding part of building our product. We rely on a professional staff who are good team players and like what they are doing. Obviously competence in their role is paramount, but the magic experience is founded in social skills and understanding of the experience as the product. We value applicants who like to give service, who enjoy the adventure and like sharing it with others.

Do you have a favourite location in Spitsbergen? And if yes, why?

That is a hard one. We find that a big charm with the area is it’s ever-changing characteristics through the season and therefore different sites have their ideal times for a visit. While one site is great for scenic views, another is special for its cultural heritage. If I had to choose one, Monacobreen in Liefdefjord is an incredible place, simply because it’s such a beautiful area.
Pelle on the Kinfish - Northern Expeditions

Image of Pelle Floren

What is your favourite local wildlife, and why?

There is no doubt that the Ursus Maritimus (Polar Bear) is a thrilling and spectacular animal to see, but have you ever seen an Arctic fox family play hide and seek? The energy and playfulness of a group of fox siblings can make your heart melt and the rarity of the experience puts it high on my list.

What is your favourite time in the Arctic season?

The midnight sun is an exciting experience, but the changes in colour and atmosphere that come with the sun's ups and downs can also be just spectacular. We favour the early and late seasons with the shifting light conditions that can take the scenic views to the next level of beauty.
M/V Kinfish

What would you say is special/unique about a zodiac cruise?

Kinfish will offer you good low-level views for photography from her aft deck, but the closest to nature you will ever get is in a zodiac. Being right on top of the sea surface is a special feeling. When you turn the engine off and listen to the cracking of ice that echoes through the silence near a glacier front, that is magic that is hard to describe in words.

Guests love to come up to the ship’s bridge to spot wildlife from a vantage point. After all of your years up in Svalbard, are your eyes now tuned into spotting wildlife easily in the distance? Or like guests, do you often regularly claim there’s a bear in the distance which turns out to be a mound of snow?

Haha, well... We’d like to believe that experience raises the odds of spotting wildlife, but it should be acknowledged that we’ve had some spectacular spotters amongst our guests as well. The strength in spotting often lies in patience and perseverance and understanding the proportions and size of the wildlife in its surroundings. A good pair of binocular does, of course, help as well.
M/V Kinfish

Where has the MV Kinfish been, and what has it been up to, since you were last in Svalbard?

Much goes on "behind the scenes” when we are not running expeditions. Her home port is in Gothenburg, Sweden where she has spent her time since our last expedition finished. Anyone who owns a ship will know that the work never stops with inspections, maintenance and further improvements! We also help facilitate some of the maritime courses at the University of Chalmers where students come onboard to learn about seamanship and ship manoeuvring. If you would like to keep up to date with what the Kinfish is up to, follow @rvkinfish on social media.

What emotions do you feel when you’re taking the MV Kinfish from Sweden to Longyearbyen at the start of a season?

Pure excitement! The weeks before departure for the season is often quite hectic. All lines onboard somewhat marks the end of preparations and the beginning of new adventures. It is just a great feeling!
M/V Kinfish, Kate Waite

Below you can find dates and prices for our 2022 Polar Bear Explorer trips, taking place on the MV Kinfish. For more information, take a look through our itinerary.

Trip Details

Small Group Trip

Our Svalbard Polar Bear Explorer trip is a small group wildlife expedition. The M/V Kinfish is a small, intimate ship perfect for exploring the icy shores of the Svalbard Archipelago, ensuring your proximity to wildlife-rich areas of interest. Carrying 12 passengers, it creates unique and enchanting wildlife experiences with unrivalled up-close encounters of Arctic wildlife, including the mighty polar bear.

Trip Logs

To take a look and download trip logs from previous departures, for a sense of what may happen on your trip, take a look at our Polar Bear Explorer Trip Log page.


2023 Departures

Date  Trip Length Price From Ship Max Passengers Specialist Guide
Apr 29 - May 07 9 Days £9,445 M/V Kinfish 12 Benjamin Hardman
May 07 - 15 9 Days £9,445 M/V Kinfish 12 Graeme Purdy
May 15 - 23 9 Days £8,095 M/V Kinfish 12  
May 23- 31 9 Days £8,095 M/V Kinfish 12  
Jun 08 - 17 10 Days £9,895 M/V Kinfish 12 Drew Doggett
Jun 17 - 27 11 Days £8,795 M/V Kinfish 12  
Jun 27 - Jul 07 11 Days £8,995 M/V Kinfish 12  
Jul 07 - 17 11 Days £8,995 M/V Kinfish 12  
Jul 17 - 27 11 Days £9,895 M/V Kinfish 12 Andrew James


Chartering a Ship

We offer full ship charters for a few guests on board our ice-strengthened ships, the M/V Kinfish and the Polarfront. With a full ship charter, we can plan a trip that is tailor-made to suit your requirements, whether your focus is photography, wildlife, history, or simply seeing the best that the Arctic has to offer. Take a look at our chartering an expedition ship page or contact one of our Destination Specialists for more details. 

Request a detailed itinerary


Contact one of our Destination Specialists to start planning your journey to Svalbard. Please note we recommend a budget of from £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.

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