Spitsbergen Photography: In Search of Polar Bears
See polar bears on this 2-week expedition cruise aboard the Ultramarine Arctic and Antarctic Cruises
From: USD 10,459
Spitsbergen Photography: In Search of Polar Bears
A 14-day expedition cruise
The Trip Highlights
Experience amazing wildlife
Explore Spitsbergen like few travelers do
Spot the polar bears
Photograph magnificient Arctic seabirds
Your Polartours 'Plus' Experience
Hike up a sparkling glacier
Experience the chill of a polar plunge
Your trip is 100% carbon offset
Polar experts to answer all your questions
Retrace the steps of thousands of past explorers over fourteen days on this expedition cruise along the coast of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. The Arctic will enchant you with its breathtaking scenery, snow-capped peaks and towering icebergs. Climb a sparkling glacier, experience the cold of a polar plunge and make the most of your trip aboard your Zodiac to photograph the most beautiful polar wildlife.
Your ship: Ultramarine
Welcome aboard the Ultramarine! One of the newest cruise ships in the Polar fleet, Ultramarine was designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration - to discover new places and immerse you in the best of the region. Equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, it offers robust adventure activities. It features the category’s most spacious suites, breathtaking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships of its size. It also features a best-in-class operational range and an innovative mix of sustainability features that exceed all industry standards. … Read more about Ultramarine
Food & Drinks
*Ultramarine” two dining options. “Balena” is the main restaurant located on Deck 5. “Bistro 487” gives guests an alternative dining option on Deck 7. Both offer a great choice of high-quality international dishes and healthy options. While mealtimes may change due to landings and wildlife encounters, you’ll always be served three meals a day.
In addition, an “early riser’s” breakfast will be offered in Bistro 487, as well as afternoon tea and late-night snacks. There’s also a permanent selection of light snacks available here at all times.
The dress code on the ship is casual, as befits a polar exploration vessel, though some may choose to dress up a little for the Captain’s Welcome Reception.
The well-stocked bar on the ship is open to enjoy with your fellow shipmates in the late morning, afternoon, and evening. Soft drinks, juices, and water are available at no cost, and beer and wine are offered with dinner. A selection of liquors, spirits, and premium beer, wine, and champagne is available and can be charged to your shipboard account.
No dates selected
Adventure Options during your cruise
Day 1 • Arrive in Oslo, Norway, and start your adventure!
Your Arctic voyage begins in Oslo, Norway’s vibrant capital city. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and green spaces to keep you busy before retiring at your included airport hotel.
Day 2 • Fly to Longyearbyen, and embark you new home
Day 3-5 • Explore the North of Spitsbergen
A trip along the northwestern coast of Svalbard is always worth with the wildlife, the scenery, and the history. As far back as the 1600s his part of Svalbard was a huge center for whaling, including "Blubber Town" - with the main target being the oil-rich bowhead whale, the Arctic's only full-time resident baleen whale species.
The "town" of New Ålesund is on the shore of King's Bay ("Kongsfjorden") and well worth a visit. With a summer population of 120 and a hardy winter population of about 35, this is the most northerly permanent civilian settlement in the world. Originally the coal mining town of King's Bay, it played a key role in the history of arctic exploitation and exploration, especially flight.
Today it is at the center of Arctic and atmospheric research, and is one of the most northerly communities in the World. Don't miss the chance to send a postcard from the world's most northerly Post Office.
Day 6-8 • Sail to the North East
If you can venture this far north and east, you're very much in the high arctic. Closed to exploration for parts of the season due to the density of the pack ice, that often lingers here, the northern and north east areas of the Svalbard archipelago are some of the least visited.
Here the terrain gives way to the so-called "polar desert" - permanent ice caps cover much of the land, and where it does melt, very little vegetation grows on a landscape that has been hewn by ice over millions of years.
Despite the lack of cover, this part of Svalbard is well-worth exploring if you can, as there is plenty of remarkable wildlife. Arctic ducks and geese nest here, and some of the biggest concentrations of walrus in the arctic gather on the shores. Polar bears and ringed seals are also common sights, as are minke and beluga whales.
The group of islands known as Sjuøyane are the most northerly in Svalbard and always a good location for Polar Bears.
Later in the season ships often head up to the pack ice edge from the north coast of Spitsbergen.
Day 9-10 • Sail south and explore the South East
The southeastern part of the Svalbard archipelago is "warmed" by the gulf stream. Although this doesn't make much difference to the air temperature, it does mean that the area is free of sea ice for much of the season. This region is made up of the south-east coast of Spitsbergen and the islands of Barentsøya ("Barents Island") and Edgeøya ("Edge Island").
A key highlight of this part of the Spitsbergen coast is the astonishing Negribreen Glacier. This has the longest glacial front of any other on Svalbard with over 10 miles (16km) of ice meeting the sea. It's a stunning sight from the water.
Barentsøya and Edgeøya form part of the Søraust-Svalbard Nature Reserve. Popular with polar bears, innumerable bird species, and grazing reindeer, these islands provide some of the wildlife highlights of your visit to Svalbard. Although now uninhabited, the islands have some fascinating sites of human history, including the remains of huts used by Norwegian polar bear hunters, and sites used by some of the ancient peoples who made visits here.
The SW side of Edgeøya has some very good tundra with numerous pools and lakes that attracts various birds.
Day 11-13 • Explore the South West of Spitsbergen before heading back towards Longyearbyen
Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard Peninsula, and the only one to have a permanent population.
The southwestern part of Spitsbergen benefits from facing the warmer waters that the Gulf Stream carries into this part of the Greenland Sea. This means that the shores and waters here remain ice-free for much of the year except the coldest winter months. The one area that tends to retain 'fast ice' the longest (sea ice attached to the land) happens to be the most southerly fjord, Hornsund.
As well as a warmer arctic climate than many other places on the same latitude, Spitsbergen benefits from long months of the arctic "midnight sun", when the sun doesn't set at all between the 20th of April and the 22nd of August.
The combination of long daylight hours and a warmer climate means that Spitsbergen is a haven for birdlife with the chance to sail into the heart of this part of the island surrounded by glaciers, offering stunning and rugged vistas, with some amazing geology. There is tendency to try for landings in Bellsund, and combine landings and ship cruising and Zodiac cruises in Hornsund, with some impressive glacial fronts.