There were two outings each day if the weather cooperated. First the crew members sent out scouts to make sure that if we did go to land, there were no bears nearby. Then when it was determined to be safe, we all boarded 10-person zodiacs to get to land. The time a polar bear and two cubs was spotted, we did get into our zodiacs, but, obviously, we stayed in the water. However, we were certainly close enough for an incredible viewing. The cubs played with each other and I was in heaven!
When about 30 walruses were spotted on a beach, we again piled into the zodiacs to get a closer view. The walruses did not even mind us being there! They are huge, by the way. You can tell when you are so close!