NON-PROFIT expedition workshop to see polar bears in Svalbard, 2014

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Join us on a once-in-a-lifetime voyage in the High Arctic to experience polar bears in their environment, while learning about their biology, their current and future status, the threats against them, and what you can do to help protect them.

While we will provide and ensure the full experience that a regular small-ship expedition cruise offers, including daily landings and/or Zodiac outings, wildlife and wilderness experience, photography opportunities, customary on board service etc. – we additionally offer this voyage as an educational workshop combined with the expedition experience.

This is not a tourist trip like any other. It is a unique opportunity to learn in depth about polar bears while enjoying their natural habitat. Sailing along the shores and fjords of Svalbard, in the luxury of a small ship and the intimacy that only a small group allows, we will conduct lectures, workshops and discussions on board and in the field, that aim to tell you everything you have ever wanted to know about polar bears.

Thor S. Larsen and Nikita Ovsyanikov, two of the World’s leading authorities on polar bears, will guarantee the quality and intensity of the educational aspect, while one of the most experienced Svalbard expedition leaders will guarantee the quality of the expedition aspect of the voyage.

Any surplus moneys potentially generated will be devoted to polar bear conservation efforts.

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ITINERARY

We will board the M/S Origo in Longyearbyen on June 1st at 4 pm. In early June, there will still be a lot of sea ice around Svalbard, but how much and exactly where, we cannot know yet. This ice is the prime habitat for polar bears. It is also what will determine where we can go and where we should go.

We expect that we will primarily spend our time off the shores and deep in the fjords of the west and perhaps north side of Spitsbergen. Our aim will be to find some polar bears to watch, but also to give you a diverse experience of the High Arctic, including the ice itself, the landscapes, the tundra – and other animals such as seals, whales, birds, foxes and reindeer.


We will use the Zodiacs to depart from the M/S Origo and explore the sea-ice up close, cruising around the floes and along the ice-edge looking for wildlife, and at times we will go ashore and have a closer look perhaps at seabird colonies, rock formations, the frozen tundra, and more.

On board, and also during our outings, we will discuss Arctic ecology in general and polar bears in particular. The three staff combined have a hard-to-beat amount of knowledge about and experience with polar bears. Expect everything from surprising – and disturbing – facts to personal anecdotes.

In between all of that, we will enjoy the ambiance of the ship, the hospitality of the crew, and the chance to make new friends during our 10 day together. We disembark on June 10th, at 9 am.

You will need to be reasonably fit and mobile for this voyage, with no major health issues. Apart from that, there are no particular requirements to join.

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LIFE ON BOARD

The M/S Origo, built in 1955 in Stockholm, Sweden, has sailed in Svalbard every summer since 1991. She is the ideal vessel for a small group that wants to experience the Arctic first-hand.

Low and large decks, experienced crew and staff, 2 Zodiacs, and much more – all ensure that nature comes first and is never far away.

All meals, coffee and tea, regular housekeeping, comfortable cabins, informal but professional approach, and much more – all ensure that life on board is pleasant and personal.

Your outstanding team of expedition leaders will ensure a unique and intense learning experience of the Arctic ecosystem and its apex inhabitant, the polar bear.

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ACCOMMODATION

M/S Origo carries a maximum of 24 passengers in 6 cabin categories. All cabins except the superior cabin and cabin 21 have upper and lower berths. The superior cabin and two cabins on the main and lower deck have private bath, all other cabins on lower deck have shared facilities.

For more information, contact me at [email protected]

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Morten Jørgensen

Hi everyone. Thanks for all your interest. I have been getting some questions I would like to answer here. The language of the voyage: Yes, it will be in English, that is the official ship and voyage language. But of course Thor and Morten will be at hand to interpret unofficially into Scandinavian, Nikita similarly into Russian, between us we speak a few languages more too (German, Spanish, …) and we will make sure everybody understands everything all the time Availability. As of today, there are the following cabin types still available: twin shared $5900 & $6200 – still spaces… Read more »