Been dreaming of that special trip… The one that has been sitting on your bucket list for a while now? Don’t wait any longer! Treat yourself this Christmas by booking a place on our 2014 adventure to the arctic with Journeys Unforgettable to see and photograph the mysterious and mighty polar bears.

Over half the trip is sold already and the remaining seats will be snapped up soon due to the very unique and special nature of this once in a lifetime adventure.  Visit our Photo Tours page for more info, dates and prices.


We have made special arrangements for our Svalbard Adventures to focus staying for as long as possible in the pack ice. This is to maximise the opportunity for polar bear sightings. We have also planned our departure dates to coincide with optimum summer wildlife behaviour in this region. This includes observing not only the polar bears but thousands of arctic birds that nest only during this time.  Walruses, seals, whales, arctic foxes and reindeer can also be seen.


We are chartering the MS Stockhold for our exclusive use, which means that we can best optimize the itinerary for all of our travelers. The MS Stockholm was built in 1953 and refurbished in 1998 as a passenger ship. The NS Stockholm’s unique deck layout – unlike any other vessel visiting Svalbard – allows for all participants to view all of the sightings uninhindered. For photographers it becomes very easy to move around without obstructing your fellow shipmates and photographers. This layout also facilitates quick and easy zodiac excursions.

The design of the ship allows for unique “eye level” viewing experiences as the deck and rails are very low compared to all other ships in Svalbard. And for those that want a bird’s eye view of the North Pole and are not scared of heights, they are able to climb up into the ship’s crows next!


For those travelers not as “serious” about the photography but who still want to visit this magical area, our unique departure and tour itinerary will inspire all. This is due to the unique expertise of the expedition leaders (Chris included) as well as an itinerary that is adapted and modified during the journey based on the sightings, special interests of the passengers, weather and ice conditions. Your enjoyment of this expedition will be unforgettable, regardless of whether you are taking photos or just enjoying the amazing environment around you.


This journey will be an immersion of educational and life changing experiences. We will see an amazing polar world and natural wonders whilst circumnavigating these arctic environments. With the challenges of global warming, you will be witnessing a place on earth that appears to be slowly vanishing.

Our expedition leader Rinie Van Meurs has been working as an expedition leader since 1989. He has led some 200 expeditions through Franz Joseph Land, Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, Scottis Islands, Antarctica and the Sub Antarctic. Svalbard has become so familiar to him it is like his back yard. No other person has done so many expedition cruises in this archipelago! His understanding of this environment and of the animal behaviour in this region is second to none.

Alongside Rinie will be Chris McLennan, dedicated to ensuring you come home from this unforgettable journey with the best images possible with which to remember your adventure by. Chris has a very hands on approach and will help improve your photography skills from capture through to output, with guidance and teaching developed over the duration of the trip to best suit each individual.


  • Classic accommodation onboard the beautifully restored MS Stockholm vessel.
  • Gourmet food and drinks, with special provisions for dietary requirements if needed.
  • Current updated satellite ice charts during the expedition to better facilitate searching for the polar bears.
  • Overnight at Base Camp, a unique arctic hotel designed like a traditional trappers lodge with dinner in Longyearbyen prior to departure.
  • A museum tour and lunch prior to boarding the boat, hosted by Rinie van Meurs.


  • Novice or advanced photographers all benefit due to the teaching abilities of our expedition leaders Rinie and Chris.
  • Tour leaders are dedicated to teaching and getting participants to learn new ideas with one on one help and image review.
  • Learn about composition elements, camera settings and more to optimize your photographic experience of this polar region.
  • Improve post production of your photos with various computer software discussions.
  • Land excursions via zodiac will be arranged to spontaneously respond to special sightings or to visit areas to observe certain arctic wildlife such as walruses and bird colonies.
  • View and photograph snow laden mountains, frozen fjords and spectacular carving glaciers.
  • Photograph the world’s third largest ice cap, Austfonna, and spectacular cliffs with breeding Brunnich’s Guillemots.
  • See Arctic foxes, reindeer and if we are lucky, migrating whales.
Click here to view dates, prices, more info, or to make a booking inquiry.  We would love to have you on board!!

 All images copyright Brennan Rimmer and Journey’s Unforgettable.

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23B Sarah Todd Lane, Waimauku 0812, Auckland, New Zealand   P +64 9 411 9561 F +64 9 411 9562