Svalbard

Svalbard in October

October weather and when to go

As sunlight hours wane and the spectre of winter begins to draw in, October is not an ideal month for wildlife-viewing. Temperatures will likely remain below freezing from now until the spring thaw, which means ice cover in Svalbard’s waters will steadily increase as the month draws on. This makes it much harder for ships to navigate, so sea-based expeditions will cease. If you're hoping to see wildlife in October, our Arctic Canada safaris offer a fantastic chance of seeing polar bears and other Arctic animals at this time.

However, this doesn’t mean October in Svalbard is a complete no-go for polar travellers. Temperatures will not fall as low as they do in the ensuing months, and there will still be at least some sunlight each day until the sun finally falls below the horizon on October 26th, marking the beginning of the polar night. This is a great time for snowmobile and dog-sledding safaris, which are a thrilling way of seeing Svalbard’s interior.

If you’re looking to travel to Svalbard in October, make the most of the wintry conditions and embark on an overland journey.

Snowmobiling and dog-sledding safaris are a great way to see Svalbard. These overland adventures take you from Longyearbyen into Svalbard’s frozen interior, staying in remote accommodations far from civilisation. To find out more about these exciting trips, NWS Alice – one of our Polar Destination Specialists – has written a detailed blog which you can read here. Wildlife sightings are hard to come by in Svalbard in October, but if you’re hoping to see polar bears and other such creatures at this time of year, our Arctic Canada safaris offer a fantastic alternative.

Starting in mid-October, polar bears can be spotted in and around the town of Churchill in Manitoba. This is when the bears of the region begin to gather on the shores of Hudson Bay, waiting for the water to freeze and provide a route to their winter feeding grounds further north, where they will feast on seals until temperatures warm again. Cubs will accompany their mothers and it is not uncommon to see large groups congregating in the same area. The waning daylight hours also provide a chance to witness the breathtaking natural spectacle that is the Northern Lights.

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