Realm of the Polar Bear In Depth – Expedition

Resort:Realm of the Polar Bear In Depth - Expedition
Operator: Explore
Destination: Arctic
Price From: £3999.00

Over View

This itinerary is similar to the Realm of the Polar Bear, but with even more time dedicated to searching for the King of the Arctic. You will enjoy three additional days scoping the ice, oceans and tundra for polar bears, seeing plenty of glaciers and other arctic wildlife along the way. With the extra time, you may have the chance to circumnavigate the archipelago. You can really make the most of your Arctic adventure on this in-depth voyage.
Discover deep fjords – with icy blue glaciers & sculpted icebergs
Wildlife – enjoy spotting an array of sea birds, walrus, seals & polar bear
Regular Zodiac excursions – explore the rugged shoreline and elegant ice shapes


Day 1 Join trip in Longyearbyen

Arrive in Longyearbyen, the largest settlement on the Svalbard archipelago. The town has a population of 2,060 people and about as many snowmobiles! Longyearbyen is located at 7813N 1533E and has an arctic tundra climate. Due to its location far north of the polar circle, it experiences polar night from mid-October to mid-February and polar day from mid-April to mid-August.

Arrive before 2pm on the first day of the tour. An arrival transfer is included if arriving in on day one of the itinerary. Upon arrival into Longyearbyen airport (LYR) please collect your luggage and look for a representative in the Arrivals Hall, holding a sign with your name on it. If you have booked your flights independently, please make sure that you have advised us of your arrival flight details, so that a transfer is booked for you. Be sure to keep all of your important documents – i.e. passport and travel insurance, and also your medication in your hand luggage, as your main luggage will be transferred separately to the ship.

There are no activities planned today so you will have time to visit the town before embarkation commences at 4pm. Perhaps you might choose to explore the town and the few shops that are located in its small centre. If you have extra time in Longyearbyen, we would recommend a visit to the Svalbard Museum, or take a tour of the Svalbard Brewery or Coal Mine Number Three. For longer stays, it’s worth pre-booking the Northern Lights dinner at nearby Camp Barentz.

Day 2 Around Spitsbergen

Each day will be planned to take advantage of local ice and weather conditions. Svalbard is one of the few places on the planet to offer so many natural and historical extravaganzas. We will spend the next eight days exploring the remote polar regions. Visit ice covered fjords with breathtaking mountain scenery and glaciers crashing into the sea around us. Spend time steaming through the ice in search of polar bears hunting seals. At one or more of the stops, we hope to see one of Svalbard’s species of reindeer. Some years it is possible to sail through the Hinlopen Strait to attempt a circumnavigation of the archipelago early in the season, while other years there is a great deal of ice, which makes it harder to navigate around. We recommend the early tours for those who are keen to see large ice floes and the richest bird life. For those who would rather travel further east with the chance to sail around Spitsbergen, we recommend a tour later in the season. The final itinerary is dependent on ice and weather conditions, which have to be assessed during the voyage.

Day 3 Around Spitsbergen

Krossfjord, Konigsfjord, Monaco Glacier, Edgeoya, Hornsund and Bellsund, are just a few of the places that we may visit, depending on ice and weather. We hope to cruise in zodiacs along the ice edge, viewing seals, walrus or polar bears and in fjords with glaciers spilling down to the sea. We’ll enjoy spectacular seabird cliffs from the edge of a Zodiac, as well as walks on shore, enjoying the arctic flora and fauna. Being in the land of the polar bear, your expedition staff will carry rifles and flare guns on shore for your protection. We take on an expedition spirit by not having a set itinerary and are free to take advantage of the best that Svalbard has to offer.

Day 4 Around Spitsbergen

Whilst people are initially drawn to this region for polar bears, Spitsbergen also has a prolific birdlife on offer. Enjoy the spectacular bird cliffs, filled with thousands of murres (guillemots), as well as kittiwakes and glaucous gulls and soak up the sound of these chirping, feathered creatures. A little auk colony will also be on our agenda.

Day 5 Around Spitsbergen

The Svalbard region is a land of history: from whaling to reaching for the pole, to trapping, coal mining and war. There is some evidence of the whaling industry on some of the landings and the on-board lectures, will give you a bit more insight into the history of this region.

Day 6 Around Spitsbergen

We will aim to get off the ship twice daily, either on a Zodiac cruise or on a landing. The sea time will be spent enjoying more informative lectures on board, delivered by our exceedingly knowledgeable expedition crew.

Day 7 Around Spitsbergen

We will spend time in zodiacs, cruising around the iceflows and may encounter some lounging walrus with their young. There will be more landings, with different options for walks, to suit all members of the group. The walks are normally divided into slow, medium and fast paced groups and depending on whether you want to take photographs near the beachfront, or hike up to the highest point, you can vary which option you choose each day.

Day 8 Around Spitsbergen

More time to soak up this exhilerating glacial scenery and it’s fresh Arctic air.

Day 9 Around Spitsbergen

Catch a glimpse of an arctic fox, roaming on the tundra. We also hope to see Svalbard’s unique subspecies of reindeer. They are much smaller than their southern relatives, but still carry impressive antlers

Day 10 Around Spitsbergen

After our last full day of adventure, soaking up the sights of the Arctic wilderness, we will anchor off Longyearbyen in the evening and enjoy our final night aboard the ship, recounting tales of our week-long adventure.

Day 11 Trip ends in Longyearbyen

The trip ends after breakfast on board the ship at approximately 8am.

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at any time and you will receive a complimentary transfer at the end of your trip. For those on morning flights, a transfer will take you directly to Longyearbyen Airport (LYR). For those on later flights, you will be transferred to the luggage storage point at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel and given time to explore the town, before being transferred to the airport later in the day to meet onward flight schedules. Transfer times will be confirmed and communicated on board the ship, prior to disembarkation. Luggage storage at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel will be available until the time of departure.

Due to restrictive airline schedules of flights departing Longyearbyen, we are pleased to offer an early morning disembarkation and transfer to the airport for any passengers with flights departing Longyearbyen around 2.30am (depending on airline schedules).