Accommodating just 12 guests at a time, the M/V Kinfish was recently transformed from a Norwegian research vessel to a classic passenger ship.
|11 Days||£8095||Apr - Aug 2022 & 2023||Svalbard||Small Group Safari|
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.
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.
Veteran BBC presenter Kate Humble has joined us as specialist leader on two of our Svalbard Polar Bear Explorer expeditions thus far. 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 first trip to Svalbard with NWS, 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 many 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.
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.
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 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.
You will arrive back into Longyearbyen in the early morning, disembark and then time to say your final farewells and begin your journey home.
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)||Accom. highlights|
|Apr 29 - May 07 2023||9 Days||£9445||Benjamin Hardman||M/V Kinfish|
|May 07 - May 15 2023||9 Days||£9445||Graeme Purdy||M/V Kinfish|
|May 15 - May 23 2023||9 Days||£8095||M/V Kinfish|
|May 23 - May 31 2023||9 Days||£8095||M/V Kinfish|
|Jun 08 - Jun 17 2023||10 Days||£9895||Drew Doggett||M/V Kinfish|
|Jun 17 - Jun 27 2023||11 Days||£8795||M/V Kinfish|
|Jun 27 - Jul 07 2023||11 Days||£8995||M/V Kinfish|
|Jul 07 - Jul 17 2023||11 Days||£8995||M/V Kinfish|
|Jul 17 - Jul 27 2023||11 Days||£9895||Andrew James||M/V Kinfish|
Accommodating just 12 guests at a time, the M/V Kinfish was recently transformed from a Norwegian research vessel to a classic passenger ship.
Accommodating just 12 guests at a time, the Polarfront is a polar expedition yacht that combines comfort and space, designed to take on the toughest conditions.
The M/S Freya is a 16-passenger ship exploring the icy seas of Svalbard.
Accommodating just 12 guests at a time, the M/V Togo is a charming small expedition ship for a classic Arctic experience.
Our destination specialist, Gemma, was terrific! Gemma - and her colleague Chloe - were always quick to respond to our inquiries and provided very helpful information. We are very grateful they alerted the Polarfront crew (especially chef) to our need for a gluten-free diet. We didn't know what "muck boots" were and Gemma helped us figure out how to equip ourselves. Ten stars for Gemma! We had a great trip! Our guides, Hadleigh Measham and Mats Forsberg were phenomenal guides. They figured out the best daily plans given the weather and then the outlook for wildlife sightings. They said we were very lucky to have seen so many polar bears and cubs, plus great interactions with walruses and polar bears. But we know it was more than luck. They knew where to go to maximize wildlife viewings. They also kept us safe from polar bears. We also appreciated their knowledge when we visited historical sites. The NWS app is great! Kudos also to the terrific Polarfront team. The food was innovative, delicious, and tantalizing at all meals. Chief Stewart, Lydia, was so welcoming and helpful. The Captain was informative and friendly. The whole crew took on the immense challenge of anchor problems with an amazing team effort that was amazing to watch. Just a great job by everyone which made for a fabulous trip! We really appreciated the organization and attention to details of the NWS team. The App is great. Each member - from Gemma and Chloe to everyone on the Polarfront - was top-notch. A really impressive group all around.
We had some wonderful and experienced guides! The ship's cabin, crew and food were superb. We'd love to travel again perhaps to East Greenland, gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda, Brazilian Pantanals!
Gemma was a paragon of patience whilst helping us book our trip! Not sure how she did it, but getting us a cabin on the Polar Pioneer was FANTASTIC! Could not have been happier. We'd love to travel again, especially with such a professional organisation.
Our destination specialist was an excellent communicator, prompt in responding to queries or requests for information. We were thrilled to have spotted polar bears, walrus and other Arctic wildlife! The guidance team was excellent, so was the Meet-and-Greet team. Accommodation and food on the Polar Pioneer was excellent, catering for almost every taste.
Our time in Svalbard was amazing! The trip was really properly tailored with great food, tours on Zodiacs, talks - everything was perfect!
Our ship, the Polarfront, was lovely - the staterooms are larger than expected with lots of storage. Hadleigh was fantastic and spent lots of time on the ship with the guests making us feel welcome and having fun during downtime.
The trip was organised very efficiently by Gemma, Alice and Chloe. It was really useful to be able to discuss small details with someone who had actually been to the destination! The trip was absolutely outstanding. The Polarfront was a superb ship in which to travel, with a really friendly and welcoming crew, superb food and very comfortable accommodation. Hadleigh and Mats are simply outstanding leaders/guides who ensured we had the most incredible wildlife experiences. The highlight of the trip was of course the 11 polar bears we saw but it was the quality of the sightings which our leaders provided that was so impressive - intimate time with a mother and cub showing their affection for each other, a mother with two cubs hunting a seal and a large male in a standoff with a group of walruses will never be forgotten. However, the other wildlife experiences were equally impressive, including an Arctic fox that curled up for a snooze only yards from us, a pod of at least 50 belugas that accompanied us for an hour on our first evening, the stunning ivory gulls which were my main avian target and which Mats and Hadleigh were so keen to make sure I saw and, on the last afternoon, a blue whale - another lifetime ambition fulfilled! Words are really insufficient to express what a fantastic experience this was - I have had many amazing wildlife experiences but this was among the very best.
A great trip! We loved the small group and with excellent guides our wild adventure had some fantastic wildlife sightings.
Everything about the trip exceeded our expectations - which were pretty high to begin with! Great experience! We'd love to travel again as the destination suggestions and choices are great, as are the planning and execution of our trips. Everyone at NWS is a pleasure to work with.
Hadleigh and Sandra were wonderful guides. They worked phenomenally hard to ensure that everyone had an exceptional experience. They demonstrated deep knowledge of the polar regions. Chris Michel is an expert photographer and a giving teacher. He worked patiently with every participant to enable them to get superb images. There was not another thing that Hadleigh and Sandra could have done to spot more animals. They barely slept during the trip.
Overall a great trip all around. Our guides were outstanding and we had a great range of fantastic wildlife encounters.
I would love to travel again! The trip was well organised, and more comfortable than expected with very friendly guides, crew and fellow passengers.
Loved the Kinfish and its crew! Best guides ever. Our specialist leader, Chris, made everyone feel awesome!
Great trip, great little ship and wonderful crew - the midsummer party on the boat deck in the pack ice was brilliant. The food was good throughout, the explanations from the cook were always interesting. Our guides, Ben and Pernille, were great and knowledgeable and obviously knew what they were doing. The flexibility of the small ship approach was good, Zodiac cruises were extended when we found foxes - I don't think the large ships would have done that.
Gemma answered our many questions beautifully. She was extremely responsive, knowledgeable, helpful, and cheerful. Thank you! We feel very fortunate to have been on this spectacular adventure, with perfect guides (Ben and Pernille), on the ideal ship (M/V Kinfish), with the wonderful Captain Robin and his very friendly crew. Our guides and crew were completely dedicated to working around weather challenges, finding great animal sightings, responding to any individual passenger needs, as well as educating and entertaining us. An awesome ten days together!
Ben and Pernille were absolutely outstanding; could not have been better, and definitely went above and beyond! The crew and food were superb alongside our wildlife sightings.
A great trip with amazing wildlife sightings. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, especially with the guides, ship and the otherworldly feel of Svalbard!
A great trip, great little ship and a wonderful crew - the midsummer party on the boat deck in the pack ice was brilliant. Our guides, Ben and Pernille, were great and knowledgeable and obviously knew what they were doing. Whilst I have been to the Arctic many years ago, this was a different experience and different wildlife. The flexibility of the small ship approach was good, Zodiac cruises were extended when we found foxes - I don't think the large ships would have done that!
We had a marvelous trip and saw some amazing wildlife with the help of our guides. The accommodation aboard M/V Polar Pioneer was great and we enjoyed our trip in the Frozen North
The trip was truly the trip of a lifetime. I never imagined seeing a bear cross the ice, come to the side of the Kinfish, and look me eye to eye. I never imagined walrus swimming right up to us on the beach. The Kinfish crew, accommodations, food were exceptional. Our guides, Ben and Pernille, are the best I've encountered on any expedition. I would love to travel on the Kinfish with Ben and Pernille again. We were incredibly fortunate to see 7 bears on the first day and each day going forward was just as mind-blowing. Svalbard is a magical place and it was made even more so by the crew's and the guides' passion for the area. I loved the small group, we became friends and have made plans to travel together again. I was a single traveler, but I quickly felt like I was traveling with family.
I had the most amazing time with NWS in Svalbard; the expedition leaders Mats and Hadleigh were great and got us really close to the wildlife and landscapes - the bear encounters were incredible (close and were able to watch them for literal hours demonstrating all sorts of behaviours), as were the opportunities to see walruses, seals, foxes and all sorts of birdlife. The ship was awesome, the open bridge policy was great and the crew were all lovely to chat to. The regular app updates on flight information, being able to see the travel docs etc. whilst on the boat (i.e. no wifi) was also really useful.
We LOVED so much about this trip, the service couldn't have been better! The crew was spectacular in every regard. Hats off to Ben and Penille, the Captain and crew for doing their 100% best.
We had a great trip that was well organised and received great service from the team.
The communication was very good. Every response was informative and answered the questions. The guides did an awesome job in seeking out not just wildlife but stunning landscapes. I know there had to be so much work by them behind the scenes but they made it all look seamless. At every turn, we were seeing something new and extraordinary. The Crew was also so very accommodating and friendly and handled all logistics with the ship without a hitch. We even continued to have a cold beer and cold soda even when the refrigerator broke, thanks to the pack ice!! The Captains were so flexible in letting us hang out in the Bridge which made all the difference in being able to see so much of the scenery. Overall it was an exceptional and once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.
We had a great trip which was well organised with great accommodation. I'd love to travel with NWS again, this time to experience the gorilla trekking!
The presence of David Yarrow and Cameron and the comforts of the ship with its crew were the highlights of the trip. The guides did an excellent job.
The guidance and accommodation throughout my trip were amazing and were a significant reason for my great trip with NWS. I'd love to travel again so that I can be introduced to even more wild places.
The NWS guides were excellent, very knowledgeable about the area, wildlife, climate, ship and equipment, but also very approachable and flexible to the guests interests and needs. The ship's crew was incredible, felt like family, the chef was amazing and gifted us lots of delicious food. I enjoyed a lot the accommodations and the ship felt very comfy and safe in the midst of the great Arctic. Will definitely love to travel with Polarfront again. The Arctic expedition exceeded any possible expectations and the guides were key to the amazing results we obtained in our final photographs. We were very lucky and had many wildlife encounters, to which the guides helped us get as close as allowed considering the light and composition conditions that would help us best in our photography process. Very thankful for that and all the stories they shared with us along the way. I really enjoyed my visit to Svalbard!
NWS enabled me to gain access to some of the most remote areas of the world and were extremely knowledgeable throughout the whole process.
This was the most stress-free trip I have ever planned thanks to the team's remarkable service! This trip exceeded even the highest of expectations. First and foremost, we had two incredible expedition leaders: Hadleigh and Mats made the trip enjoyable and educational with stories accumulated over decades of experience. Their hours and hours of dedicated scouting from behind binoculars paid off with great wildlife sightings. A particular highlight for me was sitting in a scree below a massive nesting sight of little auks, watching thousands of them take off at once and fly over us. It was a magical moment that I will probably never experience again, and I am very grateful to Hadleigh for taking us to this specific spot. We also have to give a shoutout to the wonderful crew of the MS Polarfront - every single member of the crew made our trip an absolute joy, with smiles and laughter all day long (and the midnight sun ensured that the days were long!). Engui is a master chef and we felt like we were at a top French restaurant every meal, every day. The whole experience with NWS was flawless and stress free - all flights, hotels, transfers, were taken care of and we had detailed information in our app at all times. It was truly unforgettable - thank you NWS! As nature and wildlife lovers, we are always looking for travel opportunities to wild places. After this experience we are convinced that NWS is the expedition specialist to work with for more exclusive, difficult to reach areas of the world.
We had a fantastic trip, really enjoyed seeing the scenery and the wildlife sightings were amazing. The guides were good at spotting the wildlife. We were grateful to NWS for co-ordinating the trip, and our time on the boat was wonderful. If we needed a company to put us in contact with local operators again, we would happily talk to NWS.
Onboard experience was great and the crew was wonderful!
Great service provided alongside the fabulous guiding whilst on safari
The wildlife and the teamwork between the crew and guides were exceptional, the crew aboard M/V Kinfish were particularly helpful, jolly and friendly.
All my questions leading up to the trip were answered quickly with all of the information I needed. Everyone kept me up to date as the departure date approached. The trip leaders were excellent and very helpful. The food was wonderful and everyone went far beyond normal to make the entire trip so great.
Gemma and the rest of the office staff were very responsive and helpful. The application you sent us to download on our phones was great as well. The trip was terrific and exceeded all expectations. Our guides were fantastic, as were the Kinfish staff. I know we got lucky, but we saw 28 polar bears and all sorts of other wildlife. The Arctic environment was astounding. I want to especially call out Ben and Pernille, our Expedition Leaders, who were just great.
Excellent communication and very prompt responses. An amazing experience that exceeded my expectations above and beyond – would recommend to anyone I know who is planning in future!
The crew was incredible and guides were amazing. I enjoyed the expedition and overall was very pleased and happy. I like the approach NWS takes towards interacting with the wildlife and making sure we leave no footprint, as well as ensuring we do not stress the animals. Very respectful approach.
Excellent and prompt communication which made the whole process easy and informative. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. On top of the great service at NWS, the team aboard the mighty Kinfish worked extremely hard to ensure we had an amazing time and saw as much wildlife and scenery as possible. I would go as far as to say this was the best trip I've ever been on! If travelling with you in the future, I have confidence that NWS will be able to provide the best possible safari experience.
Great service and I love that the company really cares about the places where they conduct their tours. This is something that is really hard to find today!
I loved being on the Kinfish and hope to visit another destination on this ship. Our guides were very well acquainted with Svalbard and were very successful finding wildlife. This was my first ship excursion and I know I will always travel with a small group. Nathan at NWS was incredible to work with and quickly answered all my questions. Your attention to detail was incredible and the quality of the experience was remarkable.
I loved the M/V Kinfish, her crew, and our fantastic guides Alex and Lauren. Steve Winter was really helpful when you asked him and held photo critique sessions – it was great to see what others had done and to get feedback on my efforts. I love the camaraderie of a small ship; I love the big, empty, wild places, being able to access the small bays and jumping into zodiacs to get a closer look.
Nathan at NWS was very attentive to our needs, a good communicator who kept us informed of developments as they occurred. This was a magical trip with an excellent crew and lovely fellow travel companions. We liked the intimate experience of travelling on a small ship and the expert guides who got us good wildlife sightings.
The whole trip was very good with excellent guides. Steve, the photographer, was also very good and supported us in improving our photography. The crew on board were also excellent, especially the captain, first officer and stewardess, but all were brilliant. The overall experience with the quality of wildlife and scenery, and the brilliance of our leaders, made it a very good trip. We have now had two very good trips with you, with good destinations, very good routes around the area, and excellent people leading us. You clearly know how to put the right people together, and this has led to two brilliant experiences.
I thought everything was well organised. The expedition team of Nate, Mats and Johan were terrific and extremely knowledgeable. The crew of the M/S Freya were also great – very friendly and excellent spotters. David Yarrow was fantastic. We had wonderful wildlife interactions, particularly the first day with the three bears; a particular zodiac trip where we were able to get amazing photographs of a lone bear; and the penultimate day when we watched a mother and cub in incredible light.
It was well planned, professionally guided, the food was great, and I just had a great time!
The food was perfect, and the captain and crew made for an amazing cruise. The guides were very nice, interesting and fun: the perfect travel setup. It was a great to pleasure to meet all of them. Everyone did their best to make the perfect safari for us.
The service was excellent and highly organised. I had a fabulous time. The guides, crew and the other guests were all superb.
The guides (Nate, Mats and Johan) were incredible. The crew were absolutely fabulous. The group gelled really well and it was like a big family – crew and guides included. I feel blessed to have the group (again crew and guides included) we did and the wildlife encounters we did. I had a wonderful time – even better than anticipated.
Gemma was incredibly responsive and I could not have felt better taken care of. No matter how many questions I asked, I always got a quick and helpful response. This trip genuinely exceeded any expectations and hope that I had for it. I could not be happier with my experience. I would like to add that the guides, the crew on board and Steve Winter were absolutely fantastic!
We felt very well looked after. We liked the enthusiasm and expertise from NWS, and how individual the experience felt. Everything went very smoothly. All of the crew and guides worked hard to make this trip as memorable as possible. Thanks very much!
Words do no justice - a life-changing experience and trip. Our hearts and minds are still way up North in the High Arctic, where they shall remain until we return some day henceforth. Words do no justice to this experience...
The trip was well organised with the best team leaders in Annette and Ronnie that i could wish for. The boat was comfortable and well equipped with a friendly crew who couldn't do anymore for us. The food was fabulous and plentiful with a super atmosphere. David Yarrow was a brilliant bonus for me - I learnt a ton.
I would like to thank you for the most fabulous trip to Svalbard. The entire experience was absolutely amazing... far beyond my expectation. Everything was phenomenal. Mats and Nate, Chase, the M/S Malmö crew, and the entire group were beyond words. Simply fantastic. I can't thank you enough for arranging this trip.
What an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime experience. We felt like true explorers with this unique environment all to ourselves. The wildlife and nature sightings were breathtaking, while the guides and Kinfish team were professional and educative. Lorna and Alice were incredibly helpful with regards to packing recommendations, and all other details. The service on board was also outstanding, as was the dining. I particularly enjoyed the lectures from Ben and Pernille!
Very well organised from the booking process onwards. Excellent staff - efficient, courteous, friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, hard-working (this includes Natural World Safaris staff and the crew of the M/S Freya).
Fantastic sightings; great guides; lovely crew; characterful ship! Fulfilled more than I'd hoped. Thank you!
Excellent - great destination, smooth and stress-free, top guides and David Yarrow was fantastic.
Incredible – lived up to all expectations and more. The guides were fabulous, the crew also first-rate and the experience created for us was beyond all doubt spectacular.
Fantastic trip on the M/S Malmo. Great guides in Hadleigh Measham and Mats Forsberg, not to mention the ship's crew, with a special shout out to Paul the Chef!!! Also great to have Alice from NWS on board – she's written a great blog already. The team really worked hard to give us all a wonderful Arctic experience. Just awesome – way beyond my expectations and because we were only a small expedition it was very personal and we went places I imagine a bigger ship/group would not have been able to go.
The trip was amazing! It was incredible to be the only boat out in the waters. We were able to make changes based on the weather and the wildlife, which made the trip that much better. We were very lucky that Shannon sighted a polar bear swimming in the water. It was amazing being able to watch him come to shore on the zodiacs and wander around the ice and the glaciers. We were so lucky!
It was one of the best trips we’ve had in our life. Everything was great: the nature, the animals we saw, the crew, the guides, the chef and all the guests on board. We also liked the fact that we were a small group, giving us the feeling of an expedition (with a reasonable degree of comfort).
It was an amazing experience, great group and excellent crew made it unforgettable all-round.
It was a great trip. Svalbard is such a beautiful place - being able to travel among the icebergs and see polar bears walking around is really something special for me.
Our expedition ship, the M/S Freya, was perfect with regards to the newly refurbished cabins, viewing decks and bridge. The guides were amazing and very professional – their knowledge was excellent. Enjoyed their wealth of knowledge and would even launch the zodiacs at midnight. Excellent lectures.