The M/S Freya in Svalbard | © Renan Ozturk

Svalbard 2019 Retrospective

Natural World Safaris

Natural World Safaris

04 Sep 2019

A look back at this year's expeditions through the words of our clients and the eyes of our photographers

As the M/S Freya came into port at Longyearbyen and the sun set over Svalbard for the first time since spring, our final expedition of the season came to an end. This is a bittersweet time for us: the onset of winter may soon usher away the blue skies and the sight of Arctic fox kits dozing in the sun, but to make up for it, we can look back at a year of incredible Arctic adventures.

Svalbard | © Alex Stead

From whales to walrus, from vast calving glaciers to tiny flowers sprouting on windswept tundra, Svalbard is about so much more than polar bears – although there have been plenty of them, too. In this blog post, we've selected some of our favourite images from the past season, shot by our clients and specialist leaders. We've accompanied each image with a quote taken from the reams of glowing feedback we were lucky enough to receive over the past few months.

Whether you've journeyed to Svalbard with us before or are looking forward to your first experience in the Arctic archipelago, we hope that this photographic journey serves as inspiration for your next expedition.

Svalbard | © Alex Stead

"Our guides were fantastic at scouting for wildlife. Their concern for our safety was obvious and they were equally concerned that we got as close to the animals as possible but that we did not stress them or disturb them. Our photographers Renan and Ryan were brilliant. They spent so much time with everyone helping to sort out camera problems, advising on ways to get interesting images and then helping us as a group and individually to edit our images. Many, many thanks to all the team, including our Captain, who worked so hard to make our trip special."

– Anne S.

Polar bear, Svalbard  | © Chase Teron

"The Kinfish was good and the crew fantastic. Chase, Nate and Beau were excellent guides and filled in quiet times with interesting talks. Chase was really helpful on the photography front. I give Chase a 10/10 – he made the trip!"

– Caron S.

"Magical! Bob, Ben and all the crew went above and beyond to create a wonderful trip. There was amazing wildlife, impressive geology, fabulous fun fox facts, delicious food (a massive thanks to the Chef for completely spoiling the vegan!) and so many little extra touches that just made it so very special. I can’t thank everyone enough."

– Renee M.

"Our adventure was truly amazing – it felt at times we were on a different planet. From the moment we walked onto our ship we were made to feel like a big family. The food was outstanding and the knowledge of our two guides, Bob and Ben, was fantastic – what they didn’t know wasn’t worth knowing. Our trips upon the Zodiacs were outstanding. We saw polar bears – one for over 10 hours – as well as walrus, Artic fox, and blue, minke and beluga whales. The views were breathtaking and I am still struggling to put our experience into words. Many thanks for a brilliant adventure!"

– Jean V.

Seal, Svalbard | © Alex Stead

Want to explore Svalbard with Natural World Safaris? Spaces are already selling out on our 2020 Svalbard Polar Bear Explorer expeditions. Each one of our 12 departures next year will take place aboard the M/V Kinfish, with professional photographers Martin Hartley, Andy Mann, Chris Michel, Chase Teron and Andrew James each leading their own trip. Click here for more information about this thrilling 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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