We are delighted to welcome Celina Fester to our team! Celina is a well-travelled and highly trained Arctic Nature guide. Stationed in Longyearbyen, she is possibly our biggest Svalbard fan! Her passion for the wild and her sporting aptitude make her one of the most enthusiastic guides you’ll find in the region!
Celina travelled extensively in Australia and New Zealand. “That is when I started considering studying Adventure Tourism. I moved to northern Norway and found a place in Alta. The Arctic was new to me, but I have fallen so much in love with the region!”
It was always about travel and adventure for her. “After college, staying in different places and meeting inspiring people is what drove me. You know, the kind of people that make you want to challenge yourself, do something new, learn new skills. In the end it was the Arctic Nature Guide studies that opened my eyes to the magnificence of this Polar region.
Seeing Arctic wildlife in its natural habitat and the endless landscapes, like glaciers without any sign of life … it really fascinates me. The outdoors is where I recharge my batteries. It can be demanding and physically challenging, but it puts my mind at ease. As a nature guide, I have learned to bond with people on a new level. When you go out into the wild together, you need to trust and look after each other. You really need to know what you are doing if you don’t want to put yourself, others, or wildlife in danger.”
Small group, great adventures!
Celina met Yves during a boating course in Svalbard to become a Skipper. “I was working as a guide for several local companies here in Longyearbyen, mostly snowmobile guiding and multiday ski tours. We were on the same wavelength and started talking about how it would be cool to do an expedition together one day.
He told me about Vega, and after I met Oscar, I felt this was a team of people who shared my vision. We want to travel with a small group of people, so we can get to know each other and experience something together that is beyond all expectations. We seek the same kind of adventures: seeing the vast wilderness and Arctic wildlife in its natural habitat. We all agree on the importance of respect for nature and that every expedition should be a valuable experience for everyone involved. So, we decided to work together.
Every trip is different, always a new adventure. When on an expedition, time does not matter. You go out and explore because the light is beautiful. It doesn’t matter if it is three in the morning. Being in this flow and just exploring the wild is the best feeling in the world. Going out in the zodiac is one of my favourite things because you are so close to the elements. You feel the breeze and salty sea splashes on your face, and maybe you can even smell the breath of a walrus.
Last summer, we were out on Nelson Island, north of Nordaustlandet. The island was named after a 14-year-old English boy who joined the famous Phipps expedition towards the North Pole in 1773. We were photographing puffins when this Arctic fox came out from behind the rocks. He was shy but seemed to enjoy our presence. And after a while, he became very playful. He really put on a show! We called him Nelson, and we all fell in love with that fox, even the captain. He was the main topic on board throughout the trip.
Facilitating these breathtaking experiences for people is my biggest motivation. You are shaping people’s connection to nature. During a whale-watching trip in Tromsø, an 80-year-old woman told me she had found a new passion in the whales because she found them fascinating. She said that, after she died, she wanted to be reborn as a whale. That brought tears to my eyes, knowing we had given more passion and meaning to her life. These experiences motivate me to explore much more together.”
Country of origin
Arctic Adventure Tourism
Certified Arctic Nature Guide
NOLS Wilderness First Responder
Knowledgeable Svalbard guide
A strong feeling for organisation
I’ve lived here since 2021, but there’s so much more to discover!
On my bucket list
Explore the Arctic and Svalbard more
Kayak with the Narwhals