Go deep into the experience of arctic wildlife in its natural habitat––discovering and observing polar bears, and the other unique creatures of the Arctic ice. And, this itinerary is focused on delivering that experience in exceptional depth:
- Polar bear and walrus sightings ensured by our skilled veteran spotters
- Arctic wildlife & natural history
- True expedition adventure––daily flexibility and spontaneity
- Active exploration––using kayaks, Zodiacs, hiking & walking
- Superlative photos ops & on-board photo assistance
- Lindblad-National Geographic expedition team to illuminate it all
Incomparable wildlife experience
Svalbard is the best place on the planet to see polar bears—wild, majestic, in their native habitat: the sea ice. And see them we do––during our season in Svalbard, we observe all manner of behavior from hunting for seals amid the floes to frolicking cubs––all viewable from the proximity and safety of our ship’s deck rail.
Over the past 30+ years, our ace spotters have given our guests multiple opportunities to experience close sightings. In 2009, we had a seasonal record of 105 bears in Svalbard. In 2010 we observed a staggering total of 229 bears. And in 2011 and 2012, we saw seasonal totals of 156 and 210, respectively. But it’s not the number of bear sightings that count, it’s the quality, and the fact that you can count on us to deliver this extraordinary experience. In addition to the bears, we’ll have the opportunity to see and observe walrus, fascinating creatures and wonderful photo subjects. Reindeer, elusive arctic foxes, fur seals, and a glory of birds––we’ll nose up to rock wall rookeries teeming with thousands of birds, see pelagic birds from the ship’s rail when we’re underway, and Zodiac cruise near a cloud of feeding Arctic terns.
Every day is active and engaging
You’ll get out on adventures every day we’re in Svalbard, weather permitting. The islands of the archipelago are ideal for walking, with some hikes revealing artful, sculptural arrangements of whale bones on pebbled beaches, and the ghostly remains of trapper’s huts. Your expedition leader will enable daily Zodiac cruises and kayak expeditions, too––enabling you to experience the wonders with all your senses, at water level or eye level. You’ll have a choice of activities, plus your choice of naturalists to join––for a movable feast of personalities, insights, and interests. Choice also includes opting to relax too. Enjoy the view from behind Explorer’s panoramic glass windows. Or visit the fitness center with its generous views of the ice vistas, or ease into the sauna or a massage in the wellness center. See what it's like.
Travel in excellent company
Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, an assistant expedition leader, eight veteran naturalists, a National Geographic photographer, plus a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, a Global perspectives guest speaker, an undersea specialist, a wellness specialist and a video chronicler. Their knowledge and passion for the fascinating Arctic region is the key to your extraordinary experience. Meet the team.
And when we finally pull away, leaving the bear in its world as we return to ours, we talk animatedly the rest of the day, the rest of the week for that matter, our words and stories filled with gratitude and joy.
National Geographic Photographer & Writer