Svalbard Polar Bear Explorer

Explore the stunning Spitsbergen Archipelago aboard the M/V Kinfish - intimate ship charters focusing on sightings of the amazing polar bear and other Arctic wildlife of Svalbard.

Itinerary Summary

11 Days
Apr - Aug 2020
Small Group Safari
Duration Price When Destination Type
11 Days £7195 Apr - Aug 2020 Svalbard Small Group Safari
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About this trip

The best time to see polar bears in Svalbard is during the summer months, when you can explore the wildlife capital of the Arctic aboard one of our small ship expeditions. You will sail north from Longyearbyen exploring the western coast of Spitsbergen in search of colonies of walrus as well as other resident marine mammals. Setting sail during the heart of the Arctic summer, the sea ice will be fragmented, sending ice floes along the eastern part of the Archipelago. Searching these principle hunting grounds for the polar bear, the M/V Kinfish will allow close-up encounters with this majestic creature.


What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Navigate far into the icy north for close-up polar bear encounters.
  • Stay aboard an intimate expedition ship with as few as 11 other passengers.
  • Enjoy walking and sailing through incredible landscapes and breath-taking fjords and waterfalls.
  • Witness other Arctic wildlife including walrus, whales, Svalbard reindeer and more.

Embedded Video Overview

A 9-, 10- or 11-day wildlife-focused specialist-led set departure aboard the M/V Kinfish  
from $9,318 per person, excluding international flights

Kate Humble & Natural World Safaris

In July 2018, we were lucky enough to have veteran BBC presenter Kate Humble join us as specialist leader on one of our Svalbard Polar Bear Explorer expeditions, on board the same ship – the M/S Freya – which fellow specialist leader David Yarrow travelled on the year prior. Kate’s passion for wildlife and the natural world has seen her feature in a cavalcade of much-loved television programmes like Springwatch and Animal Park, while she also involves herself in charity work for a number of conservation organisations, from the RSPB to the Marine Conservation Society.

Upon returning from her trip, Kate shared the following words with us:

”As you know, the beauty of great wildlife encounters is that they are unpredictable, and although knowledge and experience of a place can up your chances, there are no guarantees. The first talk I did for the guests was absolutely about that – that even with a BBC Natural History team, cameras, specialist guides and equipment, there is no certainty that you are going to find what you are looking for, and even if you do, see it doing something that is interesting enough to film. But the combination of knowledge of both the landscape, and the ice, with some luck, and a flexible itinerary, meant we not only saw over 30 polar bears throughout the trip, we also witnessed some really wonderful behaviour.

It was this that made our Svalbard safari a completely stand-out wildlife-watching experience.


Day by day

Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Longyearbyen

Today you will arrive in Longyearbyen ready to board your expedition ship in the afternoon and start your Arctic adventure. Meet your fellow passengers and sail through the spectacular icy fjords of the Svalbard Archipelago.

Days 2-10

Exploring Svalbard

Your time aboard the M/V Kinfish will be spent exploring the Svalbard Archipelago in search of Arctic wildlife and frozen landscapes. The exact itinerary will depend upon the weather conditions, the density of the pack ice in the north and wildlife opportunities; as well as the chosen length of your trip. During your Arctic safari you can expect to visit ice-filled fjords framed by breath-taking snow-capped peaks, towering bird cliffs with colonies of seabirds numbering in their thousands and see gigantic glaciers crashing into the icy seas. Alongside stunning landscapes go in search of polar bears as they hunt for seals, seek out colonies of walrus basking in the sun and spot whales breaching in the icy seas. On shore you may come across Arctic fox, Svalbard reindeer and, of course, the impressive Arctic flora.

Day 11

Depart Longyearbyen

You will arrive back into Longyearbyen in the early morning, disembark and then time to say your final farewells and begin your journey home.

Trip Details

Our Svalbard Polar Bear Explorer trip is a small group wildlife expedition. The M/V Kinfish is a small, intimate ship perfect for exploring the icy shores of the Svalbard Archipelago, ensuring your proximity to wildlife-rich areas of interest. Carrying 12 passengers, it creates unique and enchanting wildlife experiences with unrivalled up-close encounters of Arctic wildlife, including the mighty polar bear.

Trip date Duration Prices from Specialist guide(s) Availability
Apr 24 - May 04 2020 11 Days SOLD OUT Chris Michel  
May 04 - May 12 2020 9 Days £8495 Martin Hartley Cabins available
May 12 - May 20 2020 9 Days £7195   1 male share space, 1 female share space
May 20 - May 28 2020 9 Days £7195   1 male share space, 1 female share space
May 28 - Jun 05 2020 9 Days SOLD OUT Andy Mann 1 cabin
Jun 11 - Jun 20 2020 10 Days SOLD OUT    
Jun 20 - Jun 30 2020 11 Days SOLD OUT Andrew James  
Jun 30 - Jul 10 2020 11 Days £8295   1 male share space
Jul 10 - Jul 20 2020 11 Days SOLD OUT    
Jul 20 - Jul 30 2020 11 Days SOLD OUT    
Jul 30 - Aug 08 2020 10 Days £7895   Cabins available
Aug 08 - Aug 18 2020 11 Days SOLD OUT Chase Teron  
Trip Logs

M/S Freya Log 2019 | Apr - May 2019

Talk to one of our specialists for further details on our Svalbard safaris.

Find out more about this itinerary

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We are wildlife specialists, not led by commissions but instead by putting people in the right place at the right time. When you get in touch you’ll discover what makes our trips so different. Our award winning safaris can’t be replicated by other companies. A destination specialist will be in touch; we don’t do hard sales but you will get plenty of inspiration and advice, as well as help creating your next trip.