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Average Rating: Red-stars

Total number of reviews: 2,720

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Reviews for Realm of the Polar Bear in Depth - Expedition 5 out of 5 based on 5 ratings.

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Realm of the Polar Bear in Depth - Expedition tour available at present.

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5 C. Bourne, 28/07/15

Please review your overall experience and what your highlights were

Just back from the "Realm of the Polar Bear in Depth" tour in Svalbard in the arctic circle. Travelled in July 2015 where we had great weather, sunshine for the majority of our days and temperatures ranging from 3 degrees to 14 degrees which was really surprising. In the summer season, there is 24hrs of daylight but the curtains do block out the light enabling you to sleep. We only had to wear our arctic layers (base layers and ski pants) when we were 80 degrees north from the north pole or 640 miles which is the distance from London to Scotland! The trip was absolutely amazing, we saw bearded seals, walruses, a variety of birds and the king of the arctic, the polar bear. We saw a female bear with her cub on day 1 of our cruise on a small ship (the M/S Expedition which holds around 145 passengers only) but they were both lying down as the cub was feeding, therefore, not the best sighting as we couldn't see their faces. We then saw 2 adult bears a few days later who were feeding off a whale. It was a truly awesome sight which I will never forget. They didn't seem to mind us provided that we kept our distance. In order to leave the ship each day, you will travel in zodiac boats which was an experience in itself! This was small ship cruising which is very different to the large cruise liners, as due to our group size, we were able to go ashore every day in zodiac boats in smaller areas which aren't possible for the larger cruise liners. We had a marine biologist, geologist, naturalist, historian, ex Royal Marine in charge of security, musician, professional photographer and expedition leader on board who were all excellent. Because of the polar bears, the staff were all armed with rifles and would only allow us to go ashore once they had carried out a recce. The food was excellent and offered enough choice for all including vegetarians. If you decide to go to the Arctic, choose the in depth tour and not the 7 day tour as you need to maximise your chances of seeing the polar bears. Even though there are 3,000 polar bears on Svalbard, they can be elusive and you will be hugely disappointed to return home having not seen them.

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5 Elizabeth, 31/08/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

A polar bear coming right up to the ship when we were amongst the pack ice. Maybe he or she could smell the steak we were to have for lunch?

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5 , 15/08/13



Tour Name

In the realm of the polar bear in depth

Tour Code


What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

Arriving at the sea ice and seeing 8 polar bears....3 of which came very close up to the vessel to see who we were. Absolutely amazing and due to the midnight sun we spent hours on deck late evening watching them...watching us....

Tour Leader Name


How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

...John the Exoedition leader was Amazing he knew the Spitsburgen area very well...took account of weather conditions...chased the pack ice for bears right up to 499 nautical miles south of the North Pole to see bears in their natural summer environment and had the best interests of the group and health and safety at mind.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Don't take too many clothes! You need a good quality wind and waterproof jacket...thickness is not the key but layering underneath is. Take a couple of thermal tops and leggings you wear them most of the time! Polar fleeces and jackets and warm gloves....most people complained about cold hands...fingerless convertable gloves good for taking photos! You definitely also need a good pair of waterproof trousers for pulling over your normal trousers. Don't be worried about sharing a 4 person cabin...the rooms are actually more roomy than I thought.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

Food is amazing on the ship....crew are fantastic too....truly a trip of a lifetime :-)

5 Tracy, 13/09/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

There were so many highlights it's hard to decide - every day was my favourite for different reasons! I loved going up to the pack ice, the curious walrus are definitely in with a shout, the humpback whale breaching 5 times just in front of the boat, the polar bear hunting seals and the comedy moment when one escaped from him, as well as the beautiful scenery and fantastic team on the ship! Oh and it was pretty cool travelling into unchartered waters too!

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5 I Cleave, 23/07/12

After a day of  travelling and a very comfortable night at Hotel Spitsbergen we joined the M/S Expedition. The staff welcomed us aboard and we were shown to our cabins . We had a category 3 cabin which had plenty of room, window instead of porthole and en-suite bathroom . After all the necessary drills we set sail and this is where the fun started .


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