Svalbard Polar bear safari review
For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to see Polar Bears in the wild. As a young boy growing up, I dreamed of going to the Arctic to see these magnificent animals in their natural habitat. In August I finally managed to fulfill those dreams by joining World Bear Safaris [Natural World Safaris] on their Wildlife Explorer voyage to Svalbard.
After several flights, we arrived in Longyearbyen and were met by our guide for the trip, Mats Forsberg. Mats is a first class Polar guide with vast experience, an easy going manner and always willing to answer any and all questions thrown his way no matter how trivial or awkward they might have been.
After introductions between the 12 passengers who had booked for this small group voyage aboard the excellent MS Stockholm, we had a quick look around the town before a visit to the museum.
We boarded the ship mid-afternoon and sailed at 1700 hours, heading West along Isfjorden. The scenery was beautiful and the birdlife engrossing as we steamed towards what turned out to be an adventure of a lifetime.
We sailed overnight, arriving in Ny-Alesund early the following morning. After breakfast, a walk around the various research buildings here was followed by a stroll across the tundra where various plant and bird species were noted, along with our first Svalbard reindeer of the trip. Ringed plovers ran around our feet and the tinkling songs of snow buntings rang in our ears. Purple sandpipers scurried amongst the rocks of the shoreline searching for food and a gorgeous ivory gull paid the ship a brief visit on our return.