Franz Josef Land Photography Expedition

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Free Tutorials
International Photo Workshop
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Tour starts
Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Minimum age:


Join us on the adventure of a lifetime on this 14-day photography expedition to the Russian High Arctic!

Franz Josef Land is a remote and enigmatic destination that harbours a treasure trove of photographic opportunities, just waiting to be revealed. The archipelago is situated in the northeastern Barents Sea – far above the Arctic Circle – and consists of 191 islands, forming a sanctuary to some of the most spectacular wildlife on Earth. Polar bears, walrus, Arctic foxes, seals, migratory seabirds and endangered bowhead whales are only some of the animals that you will encounter as we sail from the fjords of Svalbard into the waters of the Russian Arctic National Park.

The polar-class expedition vessel, M/v Sea Spirit, will be your home away from home as we cruise through the Arctic Ocean, in search of mindblowing compositions. Throughout the expedition, we'll make several shore landings and excursions to explore the breathtaking landscape ofo the many islands by foot. We'll be travelling during August at the height of the summer season, meaning that we'll experience a phenomenon known as the 'Midnight Sun'. During this time of year, the sun never dips below the horizon. The result is 24 hours of light marked by blazing golden and red hues during the late night and early morning hours of each day.

This workshop will be guided by award-winning photographer, Daniel Kordan, in partnership with Andreas Umbreit – a Franz Josef Land specialist – and polar cruise operator, Poseidon Expeditions. They'll share their wealth of knowledge with you to ensure that you have a well-rounded and immersive experience in these extraordinary surrounds. You can expect to develop your photography skills both in-field and out with a range of post-processing masterclasses, lectures, feedback and critique sessions during your time onboard.

Do not miss out on this adventure of a lifetime to Franz Josef Land, one of the most remote places on Earth! Check availability by choosing a date.

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1 pre-voyage night on Day 1 in Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen in Longyearbyen
Group transfer from the airport to the hotel on the day prior to embarkation
Group transfer to the ship for embarkation on Day 2
Shipboard accommodation
All meals on board throughout the voyage
Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily
All scheduled landings/excursions (subject to weather and ice conditions)
Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team
Branded Poseidon Expeditions parka
Rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise
Welcome and Farewell cocktails
All port fees
Group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation
Pre-departure materials
Digital Voyage Log


Photo Tours
Photo Workshop

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Franz Josef Land Photography Expedition - day 1

Day 1 - Day 1: Arrival in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

You'll arrive to Longyearbyen airport in Svalbard, where you'll be met by our expedition team. From there, you'll be transferred to your hotel where you'll check in and have some time to rest or to explore the local sights at your leisure. Among the attractions to be found in this small town are the Svalbard Museum and the North Pole Expedition Museum, Svalbard Brewery and the beautiful Svalbard Church. You can enjoy some of the delicious local and traditional cuisine of Svalbard for dinner before taking a stroll through the town in the evening, making the most of the daylight. This far north of the Arctic Circle, the sun never sets so you'll have plenty of time to explore the wonderful surrounds.
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Day 2
Franz Josef Land Photography Expedition - day 2

Day 2 - Day 2: Embark

You'll have the whole morning to yourself on day two to spend exploring the rest of Longyearbyen, so feel free to treat yourself to a sleep-in before having breakfast at your hotel. Be ready to check out though in the afternoon, when you'll be transferred to the pier to embark upon our deluxe expedition vessel, the M/v Sea Spirit. After boarding, you'll receive a polar expedition jacket that will keep you warm for the duration of the tour. You'll then settle into your suite and get to know your fellow guests who will be joining you on this incredible adventure into the Russian High Arctic. Your expedition team will provide a safety briefing and introduction to our crew. It's the perfect time to ask any questions that you may have before we set sail through Isfjorden, the second longest fjord in Svalbard.
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Day 3
Franz Josef Land Photography Expedition - day 3

Day 3 - Days 3-4: Sail Across the Barents Sea

Over the next two days, we'll sail south from Isfjorden to Sørkapp, where we'll enter the waters of the Barents Sea. Although it is largely frozen over during winter, it will likely all have melted by this time in the summer. This is when we'll begin making our way northeast into the reaches of Franz Josef Land. Along the way, you'll have great opportunities to capture seabirds such as northern fulmars as they soar in the wind alongside the ship. It's a good idea to keep your eyes open and your telephoto lens at the ready, as we may come across humpback whales, fin whales and bowhead whales amongst other wildlife. On our second day of sailing, we'll catch our first sight of Alexandra Land on the horizon, signalling our entry into the archipelago of Franz Josef Land.
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Day 5
Franz Josef Land Photography Expedition - day 5

Day 5 - Days 5-11: Franz Josef Land Archipelago

On day five, we'll cross the border into Russia, where we'll make our way to Nagurskoye – a remote military base and polar station where we'll receive immigration clearance to enter the Russian Federation. For the duration of this administrative process, the M/V Spirit will be anchored by the settlement of Cambridge Bay. For the next 7 days, we'll spend our time sailing between the islands of Franz Josef Land, as we make the most of the Arctic light. The conditions in this part of the world can be quite dynamic so our itinerary and route will depend largely upon the weather and sea ice. Our guides and expedition team are experts in their fields, so you can rest assured that you'll be in all of the best places at the right times for incredible photographic opportunities. During summer, the sea ice will have largely dispersed, meaning that we'll have the chance to head out further into the archipelago towards islands which are far less visited. Among some of the wildlife that you can expect to capture are polar bears, Arctic foxes, harp seals, bearded seals, walrus, bowhead whales and belugas. The spectacular cliffs that line the edges of the fjords are also home to colonies of migratory seabirds, including guillemots, northern fulmars, little auks and ivory gulls. Aside from the fauna, you'll be surrounded by breathtaking icy landscapes with beautiful mountain peaks and majestic glaciers all around. Some of the sites that we may visit include: - Cape Norway - Cape Flora - Tikhaya Bukhta, a Russian Arctic National Park ranger station - Champ Island - Rubini Rock seabird colony - Cape Fligely on Rudolf Island The days will be long and if we're lucky, we'll spend our nights sailing beneath the gorgeous golden light of the Midnight Sun through icy mists that will create a truly enchanting atmosphere for photography.
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Day 12
Franz Josef Land Photography Expedition - day 12

Day 12 - Days 12-13: Return to Svalbard

After several days in the extraordinary surrounds of Franz Josef Land, we'll begin sailing back towards Svalbard through the Barents Sea. Along the way, our photo guides will help you review the photos that you have taken. They'll also conduct a series of lectures and post-processing masterclasses that will no doubt be valuable as you work towards getting your images ready for print. When you're ready to relax, you can head to one of the open decks onboard the ship, where you'll be able to spot whales and other marine life frolicking in the waves. It's a great time to take advantage of the onboard recreational facilities as you consolidate your newfound friendships. As we near the southern tip of Spitsbergen, the largest island in Svalbard, there may be the chance to sail by the Sør-Spitsbergen National Park – time and conditions permitting. This wild and rugged protected area is a sanctuary for birds as well as other wildlife, including polar bears. Be prepared to witness jagged mountain peaks and spectacular ice caps in this high Arctic tundra. If we are looking good for time, then there will also be the opportunity to sail through Nordre Isfjorden National Park, where you'll be perfectly placed to capture the coastal tundra from the ship. This protected area provides many opportunities to photograph Arctic foxes, Brünnich’s guillemots, little auks and Atlantic puffins which will no doubt round out your portfolio from the expedition quite nicely.
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Day 14
Franz Josef Land Photography Expedition - day 14

Day 14 - Day 14: Disembark at Longyearbyen, Svalbard

This will be the final day of the expedition. You'll rise early in the morning for a final breakfast with your fellow travellers, before packing your belongings and bidding one another farewell. The ship will dock at Longyearbyen, where you'll disembark for your transfer to the airport or your hotel in the town centre – depending upon your own itinerary. We hope you'll have had an incredible adventure during this once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Russian High Arctic... until next time!
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Departure Schedule

13-26 Aug 2020: Guided by Daniel Kordan


Cruise rates are quoted per person and based on passengers sharing a cabin. Single supplement: 1.7 for Main Deck and Classic, Superior Suite; 2 for Deluxe, Premium and Owner's Suite.

Triple Suite - US $9995

Triple Suite staterooms are located on the Oceanus Deck and consist of two twin beds (which can be converted to a King) and a sofa bed. The rooms are 21 square metres (226 square feet). They feature a picture window, two wardrobes and en suite facilities. Amenities include an in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control and hair dryer.

Main Deck Suite - US $13,895

Main Deck staterooms are located on the Main Deck and consist of two twin beds or a King Size bed. The rooms are 23 square metres (248 square feet). They feature a minimum of two porthole windows and en suite facilities. Amenities include an in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD individual temperature control and hair dryer.

Classic Suite - US $14,795

Classic staterooms are located on the Oceanus Deck and consist of two twin beds or a King Size bed. The rooms are 21 square metres (226 square feet). They feature a picture window, two wardrobes and en suite facilities. Amenities include an in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control and hair dryer.

Superior Suite - US $15,095

Superior Suite staterooms are located on the Club Deck and consist of two twin beds or a King Size bed. The rooms are 20 square metres (215 square feet). They feature a picture window which overlooks an outside walkway on the Club Deck. Amenities include en suite facilities, walk-in closet or wardrobe, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control, hair dryer.

Deluxe Suite- US $16,995

Deluxe Suites with balconies are located on the Sports Deck and consist of two twin beds or a King size bed. The rooms are 24 square metres (258 square feet). They feature a sliding glass door that leads to a private balcony and a walk-in closet or wardrobe. Amenities include en suite facilities, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control, and a hair dryer.

Premium Suite - US $18,895

Premium Suites are located on the Sun Deck and consist of two twin beds or a King Size bed. The rooms are 30 square metres (323 square feet). They feature a private balcony with a sliding glass door, en suite facilities and lounge area. Amenities include an in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control, and hair dryer.

Owner's Suite - US $24,595

The Owner's Suite is located on the Sun Deck and consists of a King Size bed and a sofa bed. The room is 43 square metres (463 square feet) and is designed for entertaining. It features a separate living room with game and meeting area, BOSE stereo system, HD plasma TV and a private deck with sliding glass doors. Amenities include a jetted bathtub in en suite facilities.

About the M/v Sea Spirit

Explore the Polar Regions in style and comfort aboard the Sea Spirit, a polar class vessel that spans 90.6 metres (297 ft.) in length. Renovated in 2017, this incredible piece of modern engineering is perfectly suited to navigate the icy waters of the Arctic.


The M/v Sea Spirit is capable of carrying up to 114 passengers and 74 crew members.

Open Bridge Policy

You can talk to the Captain and officers as you cruise through the Arctic whilst catching a glimpse of the spectacular landscape from this special angle of view.


The Restaurant offers contemporary international cuisine by our talented chefs in an open-seating dining area.

Outdoor Bistro

The Outdoor Bistro is located in the Jacuzzi area. It's a great place to have lunch or a light meal if the weather permits.


The Bar is staffed by a professional bartender and serves a wide variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Relax with your peers after a long day out exploring!

Presentation Lounge

Lectures, briefings, social gatherings and masterclasses will be held in the Presentation Lounge. It features state-of-the-art equipment and spectacular views.

Expedition Desk

This is the place to go if you have any questions. Team members will do their best to help answers any queries you may have during the trip.

Club Lounge

The Club Lounge is a wonderful place to socialise with your peers and gaze at the beautiful landscapes as we sail through the Arctic Ocean. This area offers 24-hour self-service coffee and tea facilities.


Spend some time reading or relaxing in the onboard library with a selection of books, DVDs, magazines, reference materials and newspapers.


Stay fit in our onboard gym. It is open daily and offers a few machines as well as room for stretching and yoga.


You can attend the Reception at any time to speak with our team. They'll be able to help you out with any queries or services that you may require.

Adventure Options

Kayaking fee $655 USD

Sea Kayak Club is typically offered on this voyage to Franz Josef Land. Join us for an unscripted kayaking adventure as we explore rugged coastlines and remote waters that very few people have ever paddled.


We highly recommend that you purchase travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas.

The itinerary, landings and all other activities during the cruise depend strongly on ice and weather conditions and are subject to the decisions of the Expedition Leader and the Captain of the vessel. Encounters with any mentioned wildlife cannot be guaranteed.



Daniel Kordan

Daniel Kordan

English, Russian
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Renowned landscape photographer, Daniel Kordan, is an explorer at heart. Having realized his passion for photography and traveling at a young age, he now spends his time sharing his vision and the many wonders of the world with people all around him.

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