Getting to Svalbard
Svalbard is geographically closer to the North Pole than to Norway. Surprising then, that getting there is quite so straightforward, with regular flights from Norway to …
North of the Arctic Circle and halfway between Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard’s dramatic coastline and fjords are largely ice-free during high summer providing incredible …
Svalbard Landing Sites
Expedition cruising is all about active exploration - trekking the arctic tundra, watching for wildlife, studying Svalbard’s history or sailing through sea ice, and accompanied …
When to visit Svalbard
While Svalbard may be an almost year round destination, the changing weather, number of daylight hours, amount of ice and snow conditions through the year all have a marked effect …
Life before Swoop
Armed with little more than a largely useless archaeology degree and a passion for travel, I began working in travel around 2003. I've been to more than sixty countries and all seven of the continents but still count myself as pretty under travelled, with a growing (rather than shrinking) Bucket List of places still to visit!
My life at home is dominated by chasing after my three kids and trying to instil in them a strong sense of wanderlust, alongside the finer points of cricket and the joys of hot food.
My polar experience
I first headed south in 2005 with only 36 fellow passengers onboard on the redoubtable 'Professor Molchanov' and returned with a confirmed case of 'polar fever'. Further forays into the polar regions over the years have included exploring East Greenland by ship, mushing my own dog sled team across Spitsbergen , tracking polar bears in Churchill (Canada), and flying to Antarctica .
In spite of over 11 years association with the polar regions, they continue to be places which enthral me; kayaking beside a sleeping humpback whale, watching orcas on the hunt, and spotting 47 polar bears in two days in Churchill, being three incredible memories.
Why I love polar travel
When it comes to the Arctic, it’s the sheer diversity of the region which keeps me returning again and again. And the fact that, unlike Antarctica, you can explore from both land and sea opens up the variety of choices even further. I've been visiting the Arctic for over nine years and still feel as if I've hardly scratched the surface.
For a really great Arctic introduction, Svalbard is hard to beat, offering the best of the Arctic in microcosm. For sheer grandeur and spectacular 'Big Ice’, I would choose Greenland, while the Canadian Arctic's Northwest Passage is the pre-eminent history trip, and should be on everyone's Bucket List.
Day to day at Swoop
I oversee our expanding polar programme which involves work in sales, operations, product development and strategy for both Antarctica and the Arctic.
Take a look at all my photos from my polar adventures.
What our customers think
We will never finish thanking Alex for his help. It was thanks to him we could do the trip.
Virginia & Sophia Spehrs Switzerland July 2018
Our trip was highlighted by a half-day observation of lone young female polar bear and a haul-out of a herd/huddle of bearded walrus.
Rob & Bonnie Lesnick United States Of America June 2018
Now that we have launched Swoop Arctic, the north is a real focus over the next 18 months; with various exciting plans developing.