The Arctic summer has arrived, the midnight sun reigns supreme and the purple saxifrage decorates the slopes. The ice is slowly starting to loosen its grip, which offers good opportunities to explore the seldom-visited eastern parts of the archipelago. With ten nights on board the M/S Quest, we have plenty of time for grand nature experiences and wildlife encounters. This workshop will sell out quickly.

I am scheduling this workshop with the anticipation and hope that we will be able to travel and hold this workshop safely by the time the workshop is to take place. If we must cancel the workshop due to the Pandemic then your deposit will be refunded or put forward to the following year.  

July 18 – 28, 2021 With Steve Gosling and Kevin Raber

An amazing adventure exploring one of the most photographic regions of the world.  You’ll see spectacular wildlife, polar bears, walruses, tons of birds great landscapes and so much more.

The Arctic summer has arrived, the midnight sun reigns supreme and the purple saxifrage decorates the slopes. The ice is slowly starting to loosen its grip, which offers good opportunities to explore the seldom-visited eastern parts of the archipelago. With ten nights on board, we have plenty of time for grand nature experiences and wildlife encounters.

Arctic Foxes
Arctic Foxes with a catch

Join Steve and me for a very special Svalbard Workshop with the Rockhopper Workshops. The accommodations will be onboard the M/S Quest. This is an eleven-day trip will allow us ample time to explore this fascinating region.

We’ll have the opportunity to see a Walrus haul out.

This is an adventure tailored to photographers.  We will take the M/S Quest, one of my favorite expedition ships, and push our way north into the sea ice above Svalbard.  If all goes well we will spend a few days drifting with the ice pack and waiting for the polar bears to come to us.  This will be an excellent chance to observe bears on the ice pack.

A Polar Bear on a kill

We will then head south and cruise to some of the most amazing places you’ll ever see.  We’ll cruise along the Austfonna Ice Cap.  This is one of the most amazing sites I have ever witnessed.  It’s a wall of ice as far as you can see.  There are dozens of waterfalls flowing from the top of the ice pack.  Combine this with the right light and you’ll come home with images from this location that will amaze your friends.

This is a typical Polar Bear image we will get from the ship

We’ll also visit the Alkefjellet Bird Cliff.  This is another one of those places that will be a once in a lifetime experience.  You’ll probably never witness so many birds in one place.  These birds are all nested on this cliff and the Sea Endurance will give us the perfect platform to photograph this amazing site.

Alkefjellet Bird Cliff
Alkefjellet Bird Cliff

We’ll also do zodiac cruises along numerous glacier fronts and with some luck, we’ll witness some dramatic calving. When conditions permit (there being no bears nearby) we’ll do landings so that you can photograph the incredible landscapes.  each landing will have something special to offer. Our expedition team will make sure we are guided to the best locations.

Austfonna Ice Cap
Austfonna Ice Cap

All along the way Steve and I will be there to help you see the best composition.  We’ll help you with the best lens selection, exposures, and other techniques that will help you capture the best images.  Back on board the ship, we’ll spend time in the observation lounge where we can do our first editing of images.  Steve and I will help you choose the best image and help you edit it to maximize the impact of the image.  We are both experts with Lightroom and Capture One as well as Photoshop and other programs.  We’ll give a few lectures too that will show you how to find the potential that may be hidden in your images.

Austfonna Ice Cap
Austfonna Ice Cap

A few years ago I did this trip with my friend Peter Cox and he wrote an article about the trip.  This article will give you an idea of what to expect.  Of course, weather and ice conditions will dictate where we can go but if all goes as planned this is a good representation of what you can expect. Take a look at Peter’s article Peter Cox’s Article On Photographing In The Arcticd=”1566″]

Peter Eastway made a video on our last journey to Svalbard

Arrive Early For A Day At Pyrimeden

After your booking is received I will send information about my annual trip to Pyramiden. This is an abandoned giant Russian coal mine settlement.  It’s an exceptional photo adventure.  Usually the day before departure I take a boat to the settlement for an afternoon of photography.  The cost would be on your own and the trip is definitely worth it. Look for an article in the near future on photoPXL.

Limited Space Available

Your Instructors


Kevin Raber

It’s all about the passion . . . the passion of photography and the beauty of the world that I get an opportunity to see and capture with my camera. I have been doing photography since I was 12 and since that first day and up to today and I am sure tomorrow, I find myself consumed with taking and making great photographs. My history runs deep and I have progressed through many stages of photography in my lifetime. I had studios in the Philadelphia area, I worked for one of the premier color labs in the country and I was a big part of the digital revolution that has enveloped photography today. Today I am the publisher of a website for photo pros and enthusiasts. Previously, for 13 years I worked for Phase One a very progressive camera company making the finest cameras in the world as well as 5 years as CEO and publisher of My job allows me to work with photographers from around the globe and to photograph in some of the most beautiful places there are. I am blessed with a job I love and many friends I have made along the way.


Steve Gosling

I am a professional photographer who specializes in producing creative & contemporary landscape images (my ‘signature’ style is moody, atmospheric and minimalist black & white photographs).

My images have been published internationally as posters & greetings cards and have appeared in advertisements, books, magazines, newspapers & calendars across the world. Prints of my work have been exhibited in venues throughout the UK and have appeared on sets for both theatre and film productions. My work has also won awards in both national and international competitions.

I particularly enjoy writing & teaching about photography. As well as being a contributor to many of the major photography magazines in the UK and abroad I regularly give talks to photographic societies and other groups. I have run a successful workshop program for several years encouraging and inspiring photographers of all levels from across the world.

Ship Details & Pricing

I have an entry in my blog with a gallery of images I made on one of my trips to Svalbard. Svalbard The Arctic

The Ship – M/S Quest

Accommodation – Cabin onboard the M/S Quest
Length – 11 Days and 10 nights on the ship.
We have 10 spots available, in various cabins

The Quest


The ship was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry on Greenland’s west coast. In 2004/2005 she was completely refurbished into a comfortable expedition ship and in 2018 she underwent a renovation of the passenger areas. M/S Quest takes 53 passengers and all 26 cabins are outside cabins with private facilities. The triple cabins have upper and lower berths. All other cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin, you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious and have armchairs and TV. The owner’s cabin has a double bed, two large picture windows, a separate seating area and TV.

In the dining room, you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge, you can enjoy breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape. Here you can listen to entertaining talks on the area’s flora, fauna, and history. In the lounge, you also find a bar and a small library. The ship has spacious observation decks, where you can enjoy the beautiful vistas. Passengers are welcome on the bridge around the clock and there is always something to see or search for. You are welcomed by an international crew and the atmosphere is relaxed and very friendly. There are five Zodiacs and five guides onboard M/S Quest.


Day 1: Longyearbyen

We arrive in Longyearbyen, embark our expedition ship in the afternoon and sail out through the spectacular Isfjorden.

Day 2 – 10: Svalbard

We are now in a part of the world where we are totally dependent on the ice and weather conditions. Our exact itinerary depends on these factors and on the wildlife we encounter. Our ambition is to make landings or cruises every day with our Zodiacs. Here are some examples of places we may visit:

Northwest Spitsbergen
The scientific village of Ny-Ålesund is situated in Kongsfjorden. It was from here that Amundsen and Nobile started their heroic expeditions to the North Pole. Two other courageous attempts to reach the North Pole started on the island of Danskøya. Swedish balloonist Andrée made an attempt with a hydrogen balloon and American journalist Wellman started with an airship. There are still interesting remnants from these expeditions left on this site.

Magnificent fjords
Svalbard offers the visitor countless spectacular fjords. During our journey, we will explore a few of them such as Liefdefjorden, meaning “The fjord of love”, is lined with snow-covered mountain peaks and here we hope to cruise along the face of the spectacular Monaco Glacier. Many common eiders and pink-footed geese nest in the area. In Krossfjorden we revel in the beautifully sculptured front of the 14th of July Glacier to the raucous greeting of a large number of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nesting on the nearby cliffs. Raudfjorden is an area of immense natural beauty – dominated by beautiful glaciers. It is also a favorite spot for seals and the bird cliffs are bursting with activity.

Hare Fjord Red Bush

Hinlopen Strait and Alkefjellet
If the ice allows we enter Hinlopen Strait. Here is Alkefjellet, an impressive, basaltic cliff, which is the home to an estimated 200 000 Brünnich’s guillemots. We may also continue into the beautiful bay Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet.

Eastern Svalbard
The island of Nordaustlandet is covered by an enormous ice cap and fascinates naturalists as well as historians. There are huge glacier fronts here, intersected by hundreds of waterfalls. Barentsøya and Edgeøya offer magnificent landscapes and vast tundra. Chances to encounter walruses, Arctic fox, and Svalbard reindeer are good here.

Arctic Glacier

Southwest Spitsbergen
The grand fjords of Hornsund offer spectacular glaciers and a breathtaking landscape of towering mountain peaks, often reaching above the clouds. On a clear day, we can see the summit of the highest mountain Hornsundtind, measuring 1431 meters. Hornsund is a favorite haunt for some of Svalbard’s polar bears and bearded seals are often seen resting on the fjord ice.

Tinayrefjord Spitsbergen Norway

Day 11: Longyearbyen

Early morning we disembark our expedition ship and begin our journey back home.

Please note: Our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions, and wildlife. The places mentioned are just examples of some of the many sites Svalbard has to offer. We always strive to maximize your experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!

2018 Svalbard Trip Map

Mark your calendars!

Download The 2021 Svalbard Registration Form

July 18th - 28th, 2021
With Steve Gosling and Kevin Raber

Risk-free bookings until 1st October 2020!

For all Svalbard voyages departing in 2021, we now offer a risk-free booking policy until 1 October 2020. For cancellations made before 1st October 2020, all to PolarQuest paid means are 100 % refundable. This applies to all Svalbard bookings made after 22nd April 2020. After 1st October 2020, our general terms and conditions apply.


  • Triple cabin (upper/lower beds) USD 7,790
  • Twin cabin (2 twin beds) USD 9,490
  • Twin cabin Plus (2 twin beds)USD 10,990
  • Double cabin (double bed)USD 10,990
  • Double cabin Superior (large double bed)USD 10,890
  • Owner’s cabin (large double bed)USD 11,190
  • Twin cabin for single use USD 15,990

Please note: It is always possible to share a cabin onboard M/S Quest. All cabins have windows and private facilities.

Price Includes:

10 nights onboard M/S Quest. All meals onboard. Coffee and tea. An experienced Expedition Leader and knowledgeable guides. Guiding ashore and talks on board. All excursions and activities. Comprehensive information material before the expedition. An illustrated post-expedition log.

Not included:

Flight to/from Longyearbyen. Travel and cancellation insurance. The customary gratuity to the ship’s crew. Personal expenses such as bar and shop charges.

We suggest you arrive a day early to make sure there are no flight delays and lost baggage issues.  There are a few nice hotels in Longyearbyen and we’ll be happy to help you select one for your arrival date. In many cases also I have stayed overnight after getting off the ship to have a day to relax before the long journey home.  Please communicate with us about any questions regarding arrivals and departures.

Download The 2021 Svalbard Registration Form

Limited spots available (we are carrying over rebooking from 2020 season due to the Pandemic Cancellations)