Live Chat Subscribe Contact Us Order brochure Call us: 01252 883 761 Open 9am - 7pm
Opening hours
  • Monday 9am - 7pm
  • Tuesday 9am - 7pm
  • Wednesday 9am - 6.30pm
  • Thursday 9am - 6.30pm
  • Friday 9am - 6.30pm
  • Saturday 9am - 5.30pm
  • Sunday Closed
Menu
Realm of the Polar Bear - Expedition
8 days
Norway, Spitsbergen - Trip code ACS

Realm of the Polar Bear - Expedition

Arctic Wilderness Starting in Longyearbyen, we leave civilisation behind. Our aim is to sail this remote polar region in order to experience the arctic wilderness, drift ice, flora and fauna. Our final itinerary is dependant on weather and ice conditions, which have to be assessed during the voyage. The Gulf Stream has allowed the island's 400 km long western coastline to become incredibly rich in animal and plant life, while the remote east is forever under the grips of the arctic winter environment. Some years it is possible to sail through the Hinlopen Strait to attempt a circumnavigation of the archipelago, while other years there is a great deal of ice, which makes it harder to navigate around. There are departures in July, August and September. We recommend the early tours for those who are keen to see large ice floes and the richest bird life. For those who would rather travel further east, we recommend a tour later in the season. Our specialist guides will ensure we get the most out of the experience, as well as recounting tales of Svalbard's exciting polar explorative heritage - traces of this rich history can be found on several excursions when we go ashore. The Realm of the Polar Bear The further north that we sail, the more ice we will meet, and this ice will gradually build up into large ice floes with seals resting on them. This is polar bear country, where the bears hunt for food, here is your best chance of seeing the 'King of the Arctic' in his natural habitat. In Spring there are large ice floes and the richest bird life.

Trip highlights

  • Search for polar bears - the King of the Arctic is often seen patrolling the ice in search of food See an intoxicating mix of wildlife - walruses, Arctic foxes, seals and sea birds Discover deep fjords, ice-blue glaciers & sculpted icebergs Travel with expert naturalist guides, who will explain all about the wonders of the Arctic Regular Zodiac landings to explore the rugged shorelines
Accommodation grade:
Premium
Our premium accommodation is hand-picked and chosen for its character, location or local importance. These properties have excellent facilities and a higher level of comfort and service. They provide the perfect wind down after an active day.
Trip pace:
Relaxed
You can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences on these Relaxed pace tours, with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings, but still come home feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Polar information

Ship information
Expedition At a nimble 105 metres (345 ft) in length, with a capacity to hold 132 guests, the Expedition is an ideal vessel to ply polar waters. The ship is large enough to provide stability, speed, spacious cabins and ample public space, yet she is small enough to manoeuvre in remote areas and get you close to the action. Ship stabilizers ensure a smooth ride in rough waters, such as the infamous Drake Passage, allowing you to enjoy more of your time at sea. A fleet of ten zodiacs allows passengers to get out and actively explore the remote shores of our destinations. The Expedition is a speedy vessel. A top speed of 16 knots means you'll spend less time getting from A to B, and more time to explore your surroundings.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 7
  • Lunch: 6
  • Dinner: 7
Transport
  • Expedition
  • Zodiac
Trip staff
  • Expedition Crew
  • Naturalist(s)
Accommodation
  • 7 nights premium boat
Award Winning Explore Leaders
Read more
Price Guarantee Promise
Read more
Airport Transfers
Read more
FairFX currency card
Read more

Trip information

Country information

Norway Trips

Climate

Seasonal Climate Despite the northern latitudes the climate in Norway is not extreme, due to the affects of the North Atlantic Drift. Between May and September is the best time to visit this region, with summer temperatures reaching the high teens and rain a regular feature year round along the coast. North of the Arctic Circle the sun does not set between the middle of May and the end of July, so you can expect to encounter the midnight sun during this period.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Lutheranism

Language

Norwegian

Spitsbergen Holidays & Tours

Climate

Between May and September is the best time to visit this region, with summer temperatures reaching a maximum of 5 degrees centigrade. North of the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set between the middle of May and the end of July, so you can expect to encounter the midnight sun during this period.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

To add to your polar adventure, kayaking is available as an optional excursion on some of our departures for GBP 429 per person. This optional extra is only available if you book prior to departure - please speak to one of our polar experts for availability and to reserve your place.

Clothing

Parkas This will be provided by the ship operator. Please register your size with us before travel and we will arrange for your parka to be available in your cabin on arrival. Gloves Keeping your hands warm and dry can be a challenge. Thin polypropylene gloves can be worn underneath warm outergloves. This allows you some protection from the cold when removing your gloves to operate your camera etc. We strongly recommend that you bring more than one pair of gloves, in case one gets wet (or lost). Hat/Cap Warm, woollen hat/cap to protect your ears, as well as a scarf, neck gaiter or other face protection, such as a balaclava. Trousers Water-resistant trousers of coated nylon or, even better Gore-Tex®, are essential for your comfort. They can be worn over your regular clothes to keep you warm and dry. We suggest that you purchase trousers a few sizes larger than you normally wear as you will be wearing them over other clothing. Gore-Tex® or similar fabrics are excellent for keeping out wind and water without trapping excess heat. In addition to your waterproof trousers, warm ski pants are suggested if you have them. Warm trousers such as jeans, corduroys etc. are also good. Socks Warm wool socks worn over a thin pair of silk, polypropylene socks should provide enough warmth and insulation for your feet. Bring several pairs of socks, since you will inevitably get your feet wet. Outer Clothing Woollen, knit or cotton jumpers/tops, polar fleece tops (medium weight), several cotton turtlenecks and T-shirts for layering on and off the ship. Underclothing Thermal underwear is highly recommended as it will keep you warm without adding bulk. Most polar travellers prefer a lightweight version.

Footwear

Complimentary, used, waterproof boots will be supplied onboard. However, guests might want to bring their own if they are the following sizes due to the limited quantities onboard: - men's UK size 12 & 13 1/2 - women's UK size below three & seven and above Guests must bring their own if they are: - men's UK size six 1/2 or smaller - men's UK size 13 1/2 or larger - women's UK size two or smaller - women's UK size nine 1/2 or larger These are rubber, waterproof boots that are just below your knees with a strong, ridged non-skid sole. You usually have to step from the Zodiac into icy water up to 30 cm high on most landings. Do not bring heavy, cumbersome boots that make it difficult to walk or boots with metal cleats, as they cannot be used for landings. For maximum warmth, wear loose-fitting boots and two pairs of socks. Try out your boots before the voyage.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.

Equipment

Sunglasses and sun cream Personal toiletries A refilllable water bottle Books/reading material Camera and extra memory cards (and something to protect the camera when out in the elements - dry bags are very useful for protecting camera gear) Seasickness remedy Walking poles Personal First Aid

Tipping

Local crew
Tipping is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. It is an expression of satisfaction. The suggested amount is USD $10 - 15 per person per day spent on board. Of course, tipping is a personal choice and the suggested amount is set only as a guideline. The money is collected by the Hotel Manager at the end of the voyage and distributed among the crew and Expedition Staff. The Officers choose not to participate in the tipping pool.
Country Information

Norway Trips

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Dinner price
£35.00 - 40.00
Beer price
£6.00 - 8.00
Water price
£2.00 - 3.00
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Norwegian Krona
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Take Norwegian Krona with you
Where To Exchange
Recommend you buy some Norwegian Krona before departing the UK (or whist in transit in Oslo).
ATM Availability
ATMs are available in Myre and at Oslo and Evenes Airports.
Credit Card Acceptance
Credit cards are generally accepted at many hotels and optional excursions may be paid for by credit card.
Travellers Cheques
Not recommended.

Spitsbergen Holidays & Tours

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Dinner price
£35.00-40.00
Beer price
£6.00-8.00
Water price
£2.00-3.00
Foreign Exchange

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Expedition, Zodiac

Ship description

Expedition At a nimble 105 metres (345 ft) in length, with a capacity to hold 132 guests, the Expedition is an ideal vessel to ply polar waters. The ship is large enough to provide stability, speed, spacious cabins and ample public space, yet she is small enough to manoeuvre in remote areas and get you close to the action. Ship stabilizers ensure a smooth ride in rough waters, such as the infamous Drake Passage, allowing you to enjoy more of your time at sea. A fleet of ten zodiacs allows passengers to get out and actively explore the remote shores of our destinations. The Expedition is a speedy vessel. A top speed of 16 knots means you'll spend less time getting from A to B, and more time to explore your surroundings.

Cabins

Prices are based on the use of outward facing, category one cabins on the lower deck. Category one cabins are triple or quad share. They are comfortable with a private toilet and shower, and porthole. The Expedition has a number of different cabin categories, all outside facing and with two beds (apart from suites which have queen size beds). Some have larger windows. We can also offer single occupancy, subject to availability. Call us for details on the cabin choice to fit your requirements.

Ship dining

Onboard our expedition ship you\ ll find a diversity of gourmet international cuisines prepared and catered by professional chefs; all meals are included in the price of your expedition. Dining is casual, tables are unassigned and the dining room is capable of seating the entire passenger compliment at one time. There is always a selection of different meals available, and vegetarians will find plenty of options. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice; please advise us at time of confirmation. Coffee, tea and water are all provided free of charge. All other beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are not included and can be purchased in the dining room, pub or in the lounge.

Essential information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Essential Information

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Norway Trips

Vaccinations

The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider.

Spitsbergen Holidays & Tours

Vaccinations

Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from
Single room option
Thursday 14 June 2018 - Thursday 21 June 2018
This departure is guaranteed
ACS_2018
From £2649
Single room option
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Longyearbyen
Time and place
00:00 at
Information
Please make sure you drop your checked luggage off at the meeting point between 9am - 12pm. A local representative will be in the luggage storage room. They can provide general information about the town or your embarkation process. All passengers will be transferred to the ship as a group for embarkation at 4pm. Please ensure that for embarkation you have your passport accessible - not in your luggage which is being transferred separately to the ship.
Ending Point
Town
Longyearbyen
Time
00:00
Information
General disembarkation from the vessel is at approximately 8:00am. You will be transferred to either the airport or the Radisson Blu Polar hotel, depending on the time of your flight. Those transferred to the hotel will have an opportunity to explore the town centre on their own and then be transferred to the airport later in the day, as per flight schedules. Transfer times will be confirmed and communicated on board prior to departure. Luggage storage at the Radisson Blu Polar hotel will be available until your time of departure. Due to restrictive airline schedules for flights departing from Longyearbyen, we are pleased to offer an early morning disembarkation and transfer to the airport for those passengers with flights departing Longyearbyen around 2:30am, dependent on airline schedules.
If you have booked and pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Thursday 21 June 2018 - Thursday 28 June 2018
This departure is guaranteed
ACS_2018
From £2649
Single room option
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Longyearbyen
Time and place
00:00 at
Information
Please make sure you drop your checked luggage off at the meeting point between 9am - 12pm. A local representative will be in the luggage storage room. They can provide general information about the town or your embarkation process. All passengers will be transferred to the ship as a group for embarkation at 4pm. Please ensure that for embarkation you have your passport accessible - not in your luggage which is being transferred separately to the ship.
Ending Point
Town
Longyearbyen
Time
00:00
Information
General disembarkation from the vessel is at approximately 8:00am. You will be transferred to either the airport or the Radisson Blu Polar hotel, depending on the time of your flight. Those transferred to the hotel will have an opportunity to explore the town centre on their own and then be transferred to the airport later in the day, as per flight schedules. Transfer times will be confirmed and communicated on board prior to departure. Luggage storage at the Radisson Blu Polar hotel will be available until your time of departure. Due to restrictive airline schedules for flights departing from Longyearbyen, we are pleased to offer an early morning disembarkation and transfer to the airport for those passengers with flights departing Longyearbyen around 2:30am, dependent on airline schedules.
If you have booked and pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Sunday 8 July 2018 - Sunday 15 July 2018
This departure is guaranteed
ACS_2018
From £2649
Single room option
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Longyearbyen
Time and place
00:00 at
Information
Please make sure you drop your checked luggage off at the meeting point between 9am - 12pm. A local representative will be in the luggage storage room. They can provide general information about the town or your embarkation process. All passengers will be transferred to the ship as a group for embarkation at 4pm. Please ensure that for embarkation you have your passport accessible - not in your luggage which is being transferred separately to the ship.
Ending Point
Town
Longyearbyen
Time
00:00
Information
General disembarkation from the vessel is at approximately 8:00am. You will be transferred to either the airport or the Radisson Blu Polar hotel, depending on the time of your flight. Those transferred to the hotel will have an opportunity to explore the town centre on their own and then be transferred to the airport later in the day, as per flight schedules. Transfer times will be confirmed and communicated on board prior to departure. Luggage storage at the Radisson Blu Polar hotel will be available until your time of departure. Due to restrictive airline schedules for flights departing from Longyearbyen, we are pleased to offer an early morning disembarkation and transfer to the airport for those passengers with flights departing Longyearbyen around 2:30am, dependent on airline schedules.
If you have booked and pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Wednesday 25 July 2018 - Wednesday 1 August 2018
This departure is guaranteed
ACS_2018
From £2749
Single room option
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Longyearbyen
Time and place
00:00 at
Information
Please make sure you drop your checked luggage off at the meeting point between 9am - 12pm. A local representative will be in the luggage storage room. They can provide general information about the town or your embarkation process. All passengers will be transferred to the ship as a group for embarkation at 4pm. Please ensure that for embarkation you have your passport accessible - not in your luggage which is being transferred separately to the ship.
Ending Point
Town
Longyearbyen
Time
00:00
Information
General disembarkation from the vessel is at approximately 8:00am. You will be transferred to either the airport or the Radisson Blu Polar hotel, depending on the time of your flight. Those transferred to the hotel will have an opportunity to explore the town centre on their own and then be transferred to the airport later in the day, as per flight schedules. Transfer times will be confirmed and communicated on board prior to departure. Luggage storage at the Radisson Blu Polar hotel will be available until your time of departure. Due to restrictive airline schedules for flights departing from Longyearbyen, we are pleased to offer an early morning disembarkation and transfer to the airport for those passengers with flights departing Longyearbyen around 2:30am, dependent on airline schedules.
If you have booked and pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Got it!