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Best time to go
May - August

Cl Svalbard Kinfish June Credit Alex Stead

Svalbard Safari Vacations

In the remote northern reaches, between Norway and the North Pole, lies one of the world’s northernmost inhabited places, comprising a vast area of icebergs, fjords and unspoilt Arctic wilderness. Literally meaning ‘Cold Coast’, Svalbard is home to the magnificent ‘King of the Arctic’ - the mighty polar bear. Journey through the fjords, each inlet revealing historical mining settlements, magnificent glaciers and a wealth of wildlife inhabiting the tundra. Marvel at the white-capped mountains fronted by desolate tundra, glittering glaciers under a constant midnight sun and brilliant blue skies in the summer months.

The Svalbard Safari Experience

  • Witness the polar bear prowling his territory for a seal, piles of blubbery walruses lounging on ice floes and catch a glimpse of white Arctic foxes as they hunt along the shores. Spot whales such as humpbacks, minke, belugas and orcas, breaching from the water and listen to the bewildering amount of nesting birds twittering from the cliffs.
  • Sail past icebergs, watch huge chunks of ice calve off the face of mighty glaciers and waterfalls bursting through ice walls.
  • The constant midnight sun never dips below the horizon during the summer, casting a stunning constant light over the archipelago.
  • Experience the eerie, unique and undisturbed silence of the Arctic pack ice, far from any civilisation.

Why Natural World Safaris for your Svalbard Safari?

Natural World Safaris is a member of AECO, the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators, which manages responsible, environmentally friendly and safe tourism in the Arctic. Our exclusive small ship charters navigate even further north into the polar bear kingdom as you travel along the coastline, scouting for wildlife, walking ashore or surveying the area on a zodiac-boat cruise. Our expedition ships' size allows more access to some of the more pristine and wilderness regions of the frozen Arctic.

Cl Svalbard Polar Bear Caron Steele

Talk to a Svalbard Specialist Today

The Svalbard Safari Experience

The Best Time to See Polar Bears

It is tricky to say when specifically it is best to see polar bears in Svalbard. Early in the season – during the month of May – conditions can be perfect, as the ice has not yet melted and thus the snowy white backdrops can make for a photographer's dream. Later in the season however – between June and August – the pack ice begins to melt, meaning you can push further north, cover more ground, and the polar bears are often more concentrated in the remaining icy areas.

How Much Does a Svalbard Safari Cost?

Our polar bear explorer expedition start from $10,660 per person on a shared twin cabin basis, including all food and drink onboard, limited to only 12 guests. For a 5-day land based snowmobile safari, expect to budget from $4000 per person.

When To Go to Svalbard?

In the winter months, thick ice and snow carpets the archipelago, so for wildlife the time to go is between late April/early May to August, when the ice encompassing the archipelago allows enough access for us to navigate the icy waters and explore the frozen north. At this time, the midnight sun reigns over the dramatic landscapes, casting an ever-glowing, ambient light.

Abbie Svalbard

Abbie Hicks

Polar Operations Specialist, who traveled to Svalbard in 2023

Abbie Hicks

Polar Operations Specialist, who traveled to Svalbard in 2023

It was really a once in a lifetime trip, the landscapes are just so out of this world. Kinfish in particular was such a warm & friendly atmosphere, I felt super comfortable and safe as a solo female traveller, even in Longyearbyen by myself. The whole trip was just incredible, gives a different sense of reality, you feel so small in comparison. The guides had an amazing depth of knowledge, made the experience special for everyone despite different interests or previous travels. Highlights were definitely the polar plunge and setting foot on the sea ice, but loved all of the excursions.

Client Reviews

Rated 4.8/5 based on 6 customer reviews

Svalbard Safari Vacations FAQs

How Do I Get to Svalbard?

To get to Svalbard you will need a flight to Oslo in Norway, from there you can get a connecting flight to Longyearbyen, either direct or via Tromsø. Direct from Oslo takes approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes, the journey from Tromsø to Longyearbyen is about an hour and 40 minutes. Longyearbyen is the capital city of Svalbard and contains the archipelago’s largest airport.

What to Do in Svalbard?

Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago, offers a range of activities for those seeking to experience its unique environment. Wildlife enthusiasts can observe polar bears, reindeer, and Arctic foxes in their natural habitats. Explore glaciers, hike, or travel early season to try out dog sledding. Svalbard also serves as a hub for Arctic research, with scientific stations and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault playing essential roles in advancing our understanding of the Arctic ecosystem and biodiversity conservation.

What Country does Svalbard belong to?

Svalbard forms part of Norway and is the considered the northern most tip of Europe.

Where to Stay in Svalbard?

Flying into the northernmost permanent settlement on earth, your adventure begins in the town of Longyearbyen where you will spend your first night in the archipelago. From the port of Longyearbyen, embark on an expedition ship to start your safari into the Arctic wilderness. Land-based safari options include Isfjord Radio, a former satellite communication station converted into a unique boutique hotel. Read more about where to stay.