Top of the World

Svalbard - Lofoten - Sognefjord

Norway is a country blessed with some of the most beautiful and yet dramatic landscapes.  This tour is perfect for those who prefer to be away from the crowds.  The first location we visit is Svalbard, an archipelago high above the arctic circle.  The archipelago is largely uninhabited.  The largest town is Longyearbyen which is where we will be based for the duration of our stay.

Due to its remote northerly location, Svalbard has only several terrestrial mammals; the Arctic Fox and the Reindeer being the most obvious.  It does however have a large number of marine mammals.  We are looking to photograph Polar Bears and Walruses.  If we are lucky there may be some other seal species and whales.  The islands are home to a large number of migratory coastal nesting birds during the summer months.  And don’t forget you are also in the land of the midnight sun.

The Lofoten islands are going to afford us the luxury of more spectacular scenery.  It is another area with a high summer concentration of breeding coastal birds as well as a resident population of White-tailed Sea Eagles.

Western Norway is no less strikingly impressive in terms of its glacier formed landscapes.  It is another location to get that wide-angle lens into action.  Here we finally find some vegetation, forests which line the shores of the spectacular fjords.  Our stay will be in the heart of fjord country at Balestrand on the Sognefjord.  There will be the opportunity to wander on easy trails through the forest using macro-photography skills.  We will also being taking to a trip on the fjord and get some pictures of the world famous stave churches and glaciers.

18 nights – 1st-17th June 2020

£6149 per person

Places Available

Tour Itenerary

Day 1

Meet in Oslo

Day 2

Flight Oslo to Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Day 3

Walrus Tour Boat Tour

Day 4

Boat Tour

Day 5

Wildlife Walk

Day 6

Flight Longyearbyen to Oslo

Day 7

Flight Oslo to Svolvaer, Lofoten Islands

Day 8

Sea Eagle Boat Tour

Day 9

Wildlife Walk

Day 10

Birding Tour

Day 11

Flight Svolvaer to Oslo

Day 12

Train Olso to Flåm

Ferry Flåm to Balestrand

Day 13

Kreklingen Wildlife Walk

Day 14

Raudmelen Wildlife Walk

Day 15

Waterfall Walk

Day 16

Boat Trip on Fjord

Day 17

Ferry Balestrand to Flåm

Train Flåm to Oslo

Day 18

Depart Oslo

Essential Information

Despite the rugged scenery and dramatic landscapes, this tour has been designed to that there are no great physical challenges involved.  As long as you are reasonably sound in mind and body then there should be no problems.

The tours itinerary allows the participants to be able to use three main camera lenses; macro, wide-angle and telephoto.  Of course, the tour is not exclusively for photographers.  A large part of the Veridion Adventures philosophy is to go to remote locations and experience the beauty of the planet, you can just go and immerse yourself in the locations.  You will be travelling with people of a like mind so you should not be short of interesting conversation.

One aspect of the tours is to go see the plant and animal life that inhabits the ecosystems, we hope to take in everything from the large to the small.  If you enjoy being outdoors and have a love of nature, then these tours are for you.

The guides are experienced field biologists, naturalists, writers and photographers.  They can help you identify what you are looking at and give you tips as to how to get the best shot.

Above all we want you to enjoy your time with us, so much so that you will join us again as we travel the Earth.

What is Included

Flights within Norway

Rail and ferry travel within Norway

Hotel accommodation

Tours and guides

What is Not Included

Flights to and from Oslo

Travel Insurance

Tips and gratuities

Transportation to and from Oslo airport to hotel

Meals

Bar, gifts and services

Activities outside of those offered in tour itinerary

Equipment and Tips

Clothing

In summer the high arctic temperatures only reach 3⁰ C – 7⁰ C.  The trick to staying warm is layers.

Layer 1 – You should wear woolen or synthetic thermal long-sleeved and long-legged underwear and socks.  Do not wear cotton.  Loose clothing is better than tight-fitting.

Layer 2 – Warm woolen or synthetic long-sleeved shirt.  Warm fleece leggings.  Again, not cotton.

Layer 3 – Thick wool or fleece jumper and 3 or 4 pairs of thick and thin woolen socks.  Lined wind and waterproof trousers.

Layer 4 – Warm jacket, hat or balaclava and synthetic gloves with warm mittens.  A woolen scarf or synthetic neck protector.  Strong pair of winter shoes or boots with good tread and will have enough room for socks. Gaiters for rivers.

The further south we go, the warmer it will get.  Some lighter clothes would be an advantage on the Lofoten Islands and most certainly in fjordland where it might actually begin to feel warm.

Fauna and Flora Highlights

Palearctic mammals, birds and Landscapes

Arctic Fox, Red Fox, Otter, Reindeer, Moose, Polar Bear, Walrus, Ringed Seal, Bearded Seal, Harbour Seal, White Whale.

Little Auk, Northern Fulmar, Thick-billed Murre, Black-legged Kittiwake, Red-throated Diver, Pink-footed Goose, Barnacle Goose, Common Eider, Cormorants, Sea Eagles, Rock Ptarmigan, Purple Sandpiper, Grey Phalarope, Artic Skua, Glaucous Gull, Arctic Tern, Common Guillemot, Atlantic Puffin, Snow Bunting

Wildlife watching is somewhat capricious, there are no guarantees.  But if you are not there you won’t see.

Camera Equipment – recommended

Wide-angle lens

Macro lens

Telephoto lens

Tripod

Backpack for camera and lenses with straps for shoulders

Camera batteries do not like the cold, they will last only a fraction of the time.  Remember to take at least 2 or 3 plus charger of course.  Keep one battery in the camera and at least one warm next to your body.

Particularly on Svalbard taking a camera from cold conditions to warm conditions can cause condensation.  It is always a good idea to put the camera and lenses in a large dry bag outside and then it warm slowly rather than take it straight into a warm hotel room.

Bear in mind on the internal Norwegian flights you are only allowed 2 x 23 kg, (2 x 50 lbs), bags and one carry on so pack accordingly.

Binoculars or spotting scope.