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Special interest

Polar Bears

Expeditions to the Arctic offering the best chances for seeing Polar Bears

A Polar Bear playing with a piece of drift wood.
Svalbard, June 2023
© Jenny Varley

It’s a dream for many, seeing a Polar Bear in their natural home. For the best chances of encountering these wonderful animals, you must travel to the far north. Expeditions to Svalbard and the Canadian Arctic offer you the best opportunities to find Polar Bears.

© Szymon Niezabitowski

© Kyriakos Kaziras

© Szymon Niezabitowski

© Jenny Varley

© Jenny Varley
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Although you have a chance of viewing polar bears on any expedition cruise to the Arctic, some are specifically focussed on seeing and photographing bears. Our small ship Polar Bear Expeditions are led by experienced guides who are knowledgeable about the local environment, wildlife behavior, and safety protocols. They can enhance your wildlife viewing experience while ensuring minimal disturbance to the bears and their habitats.

Seeing polar bears in the wild is a unique experience, but it requires patience and an understanding that wildlife is unpredictable. Be prepared for variable weather conditions and changes to the itinerary based on wildlife sightings.

Impression

Find your expedition: Polar Bears

Special Offer

Classic Svalbard Expedition Cruise

Exploring West & North Svalbard

Travel duration: 8 days
Date: 17 Jun - 24 Jun 2024
Ship: Hondius
Passengers: 170 passengers

From € 3700 per person

Circumnavigation of Svalbard

Exploring Svalbard in depth

Travel duration: 10 days
Date: 24 Jun - 03 Jul 2024
Ship: Hondius
Passengers: 170 passengers

From € 4900 per person

Classic Svalbard Expedition Cruise

Exploring West & North Svalbard

Travel duration: 13 days
Date: 25 Jun - 06 Jul 2024
Ship: Sea Spirit
Passengers: 114 passengers

From € 8795 per person

Circumnavigation of Svalbard

Exploring Svalbard in depth

Travel duration: 10 days
Date: 03 Jul - 12 Jul 2024
Ship: Hondius
Passengers: 170 passengers

From € 4900 per person
Special Offer

Circumnavigation of Svalbard

Exploring Svalbard in depth

Travel duration: 10 days
Date: 13 Jul - 22 Jul 2024
Ship: Plancius
Passengers: 108 passengers

From € 4900 per person

Narwhal & Polar Bear Expedition

Canadian High Arctic wildlife expedition

Travel duration: 8 days
Date: 15 May - 22 May 2025
Ship: n/a
Passengers: 16 passengers

From $ 20495 per person
Signature Expedition

Photography Expedition Svalbard

Guided by Expedition Leader Rinie van Meurs

Travel duration: 10 days
Date: 19 Jun - 28 Jun 2025
Ship: Explorer
Passengers: 12 passengers

From € 12600 per person
Signature Expedition

Photography Expedition Svalbard

Guided by Expedition Leader Rinie van Meurs

Travel duration: 16 days
Date: 28 Jun - 13 Jul 2025
Ship: Explorer
Passengers: 12 passengers

From € 22800 per person

Circumnavigation of Svalbard

Exploring Svalbard in depth

Travel duration: 10 days
Date: 30 Jun - 09 Jul 2025
Ship: Hondius
Passengers: 170 passengers

From € 5150 per person

Circumnavigation of Svalbard

Exploring Svalbard in depth

Travel duration: 10 days
Date: 30 Jun - 09 Jul 2025
Ship: Hondius
Passengers: 170 passengers

From € 5150 per person
Signature Expedition

Photography Expedition Svalbard

Guided by Expedition Leader Rinie van Meurs

Travel duration: 12 days
Date: 13 Jul - 24 Jul 2025
Ship: Explorer
Passengers: 12 passengers

From € 15300 per person
Signature Expedition

Svalbard On Land & In the Water

With Waterproof experts Johnny & Debbie

Travel duration: 10 days
Date: 22 Jul - 31 Jul 2025
Ship: Polarfront
Passengers: 16 passengers

From € 10400 per person

FAQ

The best time to see polar bears in Svalbard is during the summer months, roughly from June to September. This is when the sea ice has retreated, and polar bears are more active on land, hunting for seals and socializing.

It’s crucial to prioritize the safety and well-being of both humans and wildlife. Maintaining a safe distance from polar bears and follow the guidelines set by your guides to avoid disturbing the animals are crucial.

When polar bears has been sighted, we will not actively approach them for a closer look. We will only observe the bears from the ship. Not only is this the safest way to view polar bears, we will also avoid scaring them off by sudden movements and noises.

In the case of a polar bear sighting while you are on land, the guides will urge everyone to go into the zodiacs immediately and return to the ship.

Although you have chances of viewing a polar bear on any expedition to the Arctic, we usually have much more encounters during our small ship voyages. These don’t have a fixed itinerary and are primarily focused on photography. Travelling on board a small ship with only 12-16 guests offers us the freedom to alter our plans according to wildlife sightings.