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Expedition: Svalbard 2024 - II

With Thomas Heaton and Jonas Paurell

15 May - 24 May 2024

Price: 10995 EUR

General Information

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Welcome to the untouched wilderness and the magic of the polar region – welcome to the Arctic paradise of Svalbard. This adventure is about embracing the Arctic, the raw power of nature, and the satisfaction of conquering its challenges. Think wind whipping through your hair as you navigate icy fjords, the thrill of spotting a polar bear in the distance, and the camaraderie of sharing stories with other fellow photographers under the midnight sun.

Join us on this 10-day photography expedition that promises to be an unforgettable journey through stunning landscapes and encounters with captivating wildlife. Who better to guide you through this wonderland than Thomas Heaton and Jonas Paurell, two experienced photographers who are passionate about capturing the essence of this remote corner of the world and eager to share their expertise with you.

Throughout this unforgettable journey, you'll not only witness breath-taking landscapes and fascinating wildlife but also gain invaluable insights into the art of photography. You will learn to transform your vision into stunning images that showcase the beauty and resilience of this frozen wilderness.

On top of everything, you will get to enjoy the comfort and luxury of The Explorer – a 46.5-meter-long A1 Ice-Class Polar Yacht built in 1994 and recently renovated to a high standard in 2021. The modern expedition ship only accommodates 12 guests, allowing us to charter the whole ship to have an intimate, private experience and giving us the freedom to chart our course to taste.


Jonas Paurell

Creative Guide & Expedition Leader

Jonas  is the founder of Terra Photography Expeditions. He has been a  photographer for well over 20 years. He is a certified International  Mountain Leader (UIMLA) that has spent a lifetime exploring the world's  wild areas. Jonas loves working with  developing photographers to strengthen their technical foundation and support them to unleach their inner creativity. Jonas achieves this  through engaging lectures, educative assignments and hands-on teaching  in the field.

Jonas has had the  privilege of exploring the Arctic many times, most recently in 2022,  where he traversed Svalbard on skis with a group of climate scientists, and in 2023 when he led an Arctic photography workshop alongside  photographers Thomas Heaton, Brendan van Son, and Neil Arthurs.

For Jonas, this Arctic landscapes and wildlife is the environment that makes him feel truly inspired!

More info here.

Thomas Heaton

Creative Guide

Thomas Heaton is a landscape photographer who documents his work, adventures and travel through videos on his Youtube channel. Thomas enjoys shooting both digital and film, finding joy in all mediums. His digital work allows him to work fast and conveniently, reacting to the landscape around him as the light changes in a matter of seconds. His analogue photography allows Thomas to slow down and work within the limitations of film and connect more with the elements around him. Thomas is an outdoor enthusiast and aims to showcase the beauty of the great outdoors through his photography. 

Thomas has over half a million subscribers to his YouTube channel and has published two landscape photography books., youtube, instagram


Recommended Arrival Day ⏐ 14 May 2024

We highly recommend arriving in Longyearbyen on the 14th of May or earlier. This will ease the stress of potentially late arrivals and delayed luggage, which are unfortunately common on domestic carriers in Norway. There is a lot to explore in Longyearbyen and the surrounding area before the expedition starts. This day is not included in the expedition.

DAY 1 ⏐ Embarkation Day ⏐ 15 May 2024

Today you will board The Explorer - our comfortable expedition ship. After an orientation session with your guides, enjoy an introductory photography lecture and a hearty welcome dinner. Anticipation crackles in the air as we get ready to venture into the icy unknown.

DAY 2 – 9 ⏐ Expedition Cruise

The following days promise a burst of exciting discoveries. Prepare to trade the postcards for actual views, as we sail into the heart of Svalbard's breath-taking wilderness.

We'll navigate through the fjords as we admire beautiful mountain peaks and colossal glaciers whose turquoise body reflects the arctic sky.

Zodiac excursions will help us navigate through the ice in search of a unique opportunity to capture the pristine beauty of the Arctic.

Weather permitting, we'll make daily landings on the shoreline, where the thrill of a polar bear encounter can send shivers down your spine. Our expert guides prioritize responsible wildlife observation, ensuring unforgettable moments while respecting the delicate balance of this ecosystem. If we are lucky, we may see cubs and their mothers as they hunt seals across the sea ice. Alongside, reindeer grazing on the tundra and Arctic terns flying above will add to the enchanting wildlife spectacle.

While the Arctic adventure is thrilling, there will also be plenty of time for relaxation. Between excursions, enjoy moments of rest, photography from the deck, editing sessions, informative lectures, and relaxation in the ship's hot tub. As the day winds down, savor a drink or two while enjoying unparalleled views, truly making this expedition a perfect blend of excitement and leisure.

DAY 10 ⏐ Disembarkation ⏐ 24 May 2024

After a final breakfast with your newfound friends, depart from Longyearbyen, carrying with you not only stunning photographs but also cherished memories and a deeper appreciation for the Arctic's fragile beauty.


All Terra Photography Expeditions follow a proven curriculum that aims to teach the theory behind photography in a dynamic way that directly translates into easily actionable processes in the field. As we move through nature we also go through an introduction to the skills and knowledge required to be safe in the great outdoors.

Photography Techniques Covered on the Expedition

  • Storytelling - Telling stories and evoking emotions within the context of landscape photography

  • Composition - A comprehensive introduction to the theory of composition, including the elements of art and principles of design

  • Process - Learning and implementing a process to achieve consistent quality in landscape photography

  • Focusing - A science-based method for focusing to make your images sharp

  • Long exposure and filters - Long exposure and the use of Neutral Density (ND) filters, especially related to moving water and clouds

  • Panorama photography - exposing and merging multiple images

  • Multiple exposures and graduate filters - Achieving correctly exposed images in challenging conditions using  graduated filters and multiple exposures (exposure bracketing)

  • Finding locations - Using maps, weather services and other tools to identify potential photography locations and times.

Processing Techniques:

  • Workflow - Full post production workflow in Lightroom

  • Colour Balance - Using Lightroom to get the colour right!

  • Contrast - Using Lightroom to apply contrast

  • Shaping Light - Using local adjustments to shape and sculpt the light

  • Luminosity Masks - Using luminosity masks in Lightroom

  • HDR Images - Different techniques for blending multiple exposures of the same image

  • Panoramas - Stitching multiple panoramas together

  • Sharpening - Sharpening techniques

  • Black & White - Editing for powerful BW images

  • Photoshop and Layers - Using Photoshop layers to build up image adjustments

The Explorer

The Explorer is A1 ice-class polar yacht built in 1994 to perform oceanographic research in Greenland. At 46.5 meters long and 10.5 meters wide, the Explorer is designed for easy navigation through high seas and ice. It was entirely renovated in 2021 to a high comfortable standard.

A spacious panoramic lounge, gym, sauna, and a hot tub are all available for you to relax in after your Zodiac outings. Or you can choose to spend some time on the bridge where a second panoramic lounge opens out to an outdoor lounge-bar area. The Explorer is fitted with 14 to 17 square-meters cabins ranging from single to twin or double cabins, and suites equipped with picture windows for greater observation.

Additional Information

The Agenda, Weather, and Daylight Hours

Remember, the Arctic is a wild and unpredictable place. While we have outlined an itinerary, the final course of our adventure will be determined by the ever-changing ice and weather conditions. This flexibility is not an obstacle, but an invitation to embrace the unexpected, to let the Arctic weave its own magic into your photographic journey.

In May the midnight sun is up so we will enjoy low golden light for much of the day.

Polar Bear Sightings

While our focus is on spotting polar bears, particularly during this timeframe when the chances of sightings are good, it's crucial to understand that polar bears are wild animals and sightings cannot be guaranteed. However, the itinerary is thoughtfully designed to maximize our chances of encountering them in their natural habitat and our expedition team will be scouting for polar bears day and night. If one is found, we will all do our best to get the best possible photography from the deck or Zodiacs. Even if this happens in the middle of the night.


All main meals are included in the price. If you have any special requirements or allergies, please notify us at the time of booking.

Leave No Trace Policy

Terra Photography Expeditions has a strict leave-no-trace policy. This policy is also applied to how we share information about fragile ecosystems that we gently and respectfully visit. This means that we have withheld exact locations from the itinerary. You are welcome to get in touch if you'd like to discuss the itinerary before applying to join. Thank you for your understanding.

How Challenging?

This expedition has a Lowland Workshop effort level.

Our Lowland Workshops are designed to be accessible and enjoyable for a wide range of participants. Most of our locations are situated along roadsides or can be reached by walking a few kilometers on well-maintained trails. For winter workshops the conditions can sometimes be snowy and on not maintaned paths. 

Price & Details


  • The expedition cruise

  • Expedition staff

  • Photography workshop in the field

  • Theoretical sessions

  • Editing sessions

  • Food, water, coffee, tea onboard the ship


  • Flights to/from Longyearbyen

  • Transfers to/from the ship

  • Hotel on the night before embarkation, and possibly after disembarkation

  • Wifi

  • Customary gratuity to guides and staff

  • Alcoholic beverages and sodas - they can be purchased from the ship’s bar

  • Insurance

  • Photo equipment

  • Outdoor clothing

Status: Pending


  • Embarkation: May 15, 2024 at 5 PM (Arrival to Svalbard minimum one day before)

  • Disembarkation: May 24, 2024, 9 AM

  • Start/End: Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Price: EUR 10995 per person

  • Shared Double Room 17m2 (double bed) - € 10995 per person

  • Shared Twin Room 14 - 16m2 - € 10995 per person

Solo travellers wil be partnered with other solo travellers to fill the twin rooms. Single occupancy is only possible by purchasing two entire spots. 

Given the last-minute nature of this expedition, 30% of the expedition price is due on booking and the balance payment is due as soon as we have reached the minimum number of participants. We will know this with certainty before 20 Feb 2024.

Participants: Minimum 9, Maximum 10

Please note: the expedition needs to reach the minimum participation to go ahead. Do not make any travel arrangements until we have notified you that the expedition is confirmed to go ahead. If the expedition is not confirmed, a full refund is guaranteed to all guests.

We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, and unforeseeable circumstances.

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