Photo trip 13-19 March, 2016: The light of the arctic winter!
Photo impressions by Alexander Lembke
During this exclusive photo expedition, you will have the possibility to experience Spitsbergen during one of the best times of the year and you will get endless opportunities to discover new frames and motives. The light keeps changing every hour and the sun is dancing on snow-covered mountain tops at the same time as the glaciers are dipped in that special light you can see only at this time of the year and only in in the high arctic.
Frozen glacier fronts: exciting trips in winterbound Spitsbergen.
Winter tourism in Spitsbergen usually means putting together a couple of days trips, often more or less at random choice. As an alternative, we have come up with an elaborate programme of a week’s duration: experience the most impressive landscapes imaginable, constantly changing through the daily move into a new area. A small group (maximum 10 persons) is accompanied by 3 experienced Spitsbergen guides to allow the best possible itinerary. We will undertake extensive excursions into the arctic wilderness with motor-sleds, starting out from the main Norwegian town of Longyearbyen and the Russian mining settlement of Barentsburg. This will offer you the unparalleled chance of experiencing a variety of arctic winter landscapes, with the peace and time to truly enjoy the magnificent nature. The concept of having two fully separated base camps for the group enables us to fully exploit the possibilities of the enormously varied scenery; having relatively short trips and thus more time on location there, where we want to be. Out there in the arctic nature.
The favourable ratio of guides to participants will enable the realisation of individual wishes.
Chances to see the Northern Lights are good in mid March.
It goes without saying that we will adapt the programme to the prevailing weather on site. We will remain fully flexible and will react to the conditions we encounter on the day – and also, of course, to the wishes of our guests.
Day 1: Arrival in Longyearbyen, pick-up at the airport. The first chance of exploring and shooting photos by way of getting used to the conditions. We will get to know one another in the relaxed atmosphere of the evening meal. Overnight stay in Longyearbyen.
Day 2: Explore Longyearbyen, individually or with one of your guides. Individual lunch. In the afternoon, we visit a glacial ice cave in Longyearbreen (-glacier), thus entering a completely different, but utterly beautiful world. We spend the night in Longyearbyen.
Day 3: Firstly, we prepare ourselves for the excursions into the arctic winter: Instruction in handling the motor-sleds, clothing, safety information. The first trip with the motor-sleds leads us to Grønfjord, specifically to Barentsburg. On the way we will take a few diversions and stop of for some photo opportunities, meaning that the trip will effectively take up the whole day. In Barentsburg we will move into the aptly named “Hotel Barentsburg”.
In Barentsburg the arctic nature and the Russian influenced civilisation collide in a visually very exotic way; the town in itself sends out a challenging invitation to extensively explore and take photos, and it should be noted that the light in the evening and by night is probably most attractive, making the most of the discreet artificial lighting. During the day we will devote our attention in the main to the beautiful arctic nature in the extended vicinity of Barentsburg.
Day 4: We take an extended trip into the arctic wilderness in the wider neighbourhood of Barentsburg. In the area of the Grønfjordbreane (-glaciers) we can, for example, take advantage of an impressively structured landscape formed by mountains, glaciers and frozen lagoons. Scenery like this offers – and demands – that we take our time to fully exploit the opportunity. In the course of the trip we will experience subjects which would never even occur to the everyday Barentsburg visitor in his limited time frame. Once again, we spend the night in Barentsburg and spend the evening as we please, looking for more impressions and images or discussing the photographic haul so far.
Day 5: Our excursion today takes us to the west coast, to Isfjord Radio/Kapp Linné. The little outpost was responsible for the communication between Norway and Spitsbergen as of 1933. Today, the station of Isfjord Radio is run as a small hotel in the wilderness under the name of Kapp (Cape) Linné. During a good two-course lunch we will get to know the charming former transmission station a little better and then devote our time to the unique scenery between the mountainous Grønfjord and the wide open west coast. We will spend the night in Barentsburg.
Day 6: We plan to leave Barentsburg via a different route to the one we came in on, to maximize the variety of our experience. In the evening, we will enjoy a delicious farewell meal in Longyearbyen.
Day 7: Breakfast, transfer to the airport and departure.
The tour leaders
Alexander Lembke is professional photographer who has done work for GEO Saison Magazin (german), Mare and ZDF/3Sat. He is also teaching as a Professor at the BTK Hochschule für Gestaltung in Hamburg.
Doreen Lampe is a professional Guide and has been working and living in Spitzbergen since 2009. She is an authorized and trained snowmobile guide who also is specialized in rescue and safety operations. Her long experience will ensure a safe and smooth snow mobile operation.
Rolf Stange will be known to most of the visitors to our web site as a leading guide in the Arctic and Antarctic or as an author. There is more about me here and anyone who wants to know what I do, only has to click a little through the pages of this site.
Click on thumbnail to open an enlarged version of the specific photo.
Further Questions? Reservations or Bookings?
Should you have any further questions as to the tour, feel free to get in touch with Spitsbergen Adventures or with Rolf Stange (contact). For specialist photographic queries, Alexander Lembke (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the right man to get in touch with. To reserve or book your places, get in touch with Spitsbergen Adventures Contact:
Motor-sled in the evening light nearby Longyearbyen.
Prices, further details and small print
The price for the trip is 45,000.00 NOK (Norwegian Kroner), which currently corresponds to (November 2015) 4,870 Euros. Included are: all overnight accommodation, all excursions with guides and equipment as listed below. Inclusive meals are: Breakfast and lunch, evening meal in Barentsburg and in Longyearbyen. Lunch consists of a simple warm meal and snacks in the field and at Kapp Linné lunch is served in a hotel. Not included are: Evening meal in Longyearbyen on day 2, flights to and from Longyearbyen, additional drinks, Souvenirs.
The following equipment will be provided for motorised sled trips: Motorised sleds, special suit, shoes and gloves, helmet with visor and balaclava.
You should bring the following equipment yourselves, along with your personal and photographic equipment: long, warm underwear, e.g. Merinowool, warm fleece pullover, light and medium gloves, warm and wind resistant cap, skiing goggles. warm jacket (recommended: quilted down jacket) for walks in Longyearbyen and Barentsburg. The temperatures can fall to around -20°C, sometimes even lower.
Photographic equipment: When travelling by motorised sled, the weight of the equipment is not particularly important so long as it fits into your own photographic rucksack. (Tripods can be put on the trailer). We recommend: less is more, but good quality is important. In the twilight and darkness, an appropriately light (prime) sensitive lens, a tripod and maybe a flash are staples. Detailed information from Rolf on photo equipmment can be obtained here.
The exact programme is dependent on the weather. In the unlikely event that the weather makes a particular excursion dangerous, it could be that this single trip will be cancelled. Cancellations due to weather conditions do not constitute grounds for a refund. In any event the best possible achievable programme will be organised on site.
The language used within the groups and by the guides will be English and/or German, depending on the group.
Driving a motor-sled is technically quite easy and you will quickly get a grasp after our introduction. We (your guides) know the challenges of the arctic terrain well and we will make sure that we will deal with them safely and adequately. You need a car driving licence. The blood/alcohol limit in Norway is very strictly observed at 0.2 per mil. A certain level of endurance is required for excursions in the arctic terrain, even when using motorised vehicles. Pregnancy and problems with the back and lumber region constitute grounds for exclusion from excursions by motor-sled.
Maximum number of participants: 10 persons. Minimum number of participants: 8.
As always, all information contained herein has been compiled to the best of our knowledge and ability. We reserve the right to change the programme. We are not liable for factual or informative errors.
A few impressions from the arctic winter, such as those which we could encounter in Spitsbergen in March 2016: