Home » SVALBARD Summer Polar bear Expedition

SVALBARD Summer Polar bear Expedition

Introduction

Svalbard is the Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole. It was discovered by Willem Barentsz in 1596 and is approximately 600 miles (965 kilometres) from the North Pole and 400 miles (644 kilometres) north of Norway. With a land area of 24,721 mi² or 39,784 km² and with 60% of the land covered in ice, Svalbard is considered the largest wilderness area in Europe. Spread across four settlements (Longyearbyen being the largest), it has a population of 2,600.

Expedition mode begins as soon as we depart Longyearbyen – your Expedition Leader and Captain will determine the route based on wildlife, weather, and ice conditions.Our Private Ship is an excellent platform for photographing the stunning scenery as we sail towards the pack ice in search of seabirds, seals, whales, and, of course, the King of the Arctic… the polar bear.

Join your Expedition Guides on Zodiac cruises and on shore landings to explore, view wildlife and visit historic sites. With a maximum group size of 12 guests, we can mobilize quickly and easily take advantage of any wildlife-viewing opportunities that present themselves ashore or in the Zodiacs. This enables us to easily maximize your Svalbard experience!

About Our Ship

It was built built-to-order in 19th century the Coastal Administration. Prior to February 2019, her mission was to service lighthouses and buoys along the rough Norwegian coast. Rugged yet luxurious, it is the perfect blend of a working vessel and expedition platform. All guest accommodations are being completely redesigned in 2020 with expedition operations and comfort in mind – the spacious cabins are equipped with multiple 230V electrical sockets for all photography and videography recharging needs. Whether it’s an expedition with private clients or a film contract, It is a very flexible ship. We look forward to exceeding your expectations.
Itinerary

Explore the archipelago of Svalbard where we will have time to wait for the wildlife. A trip of a lifetime that will bring you memories and wildlife meetings not many people get to experience. Our expedition ship is the perfect platform to enjoy a vacation that will be on the go in an environment that might be the most relaxing of them all.

Day 1

LONGYEARBYEN

Meet your dedicated expedition team and crew at the dock in Longyearbyen at 16:00, where you will embark your cruise and make yourself at home. After you are settled in your cabin, we will conduct the mandatory safety briefing before we sail out from Adventfjorden into Isfjorden. Enjoy the open decks before a group welcome dinner is served in the dining room. Your adventure has just begun!

Day 2-10

EXPLORE THE ARCHIPELAGO

We will be in full expedition mode, exploring the archipelago and taking advantage of all that Svalbard has to offer. Weather and ice conditions will determine the route and your Expedition Leader will keep you updated on the plan throughout your days onboard. On the final day we return to Longyearbyen to celebrate our shared adventures and dock for the night.

Below is an example of what an expedition can look like

Adventfjorden: As we leave Longyearbyen we will travel through Isfjorden and explore a side fjord before sailing north during the night.

Northwest Corner: Sail through the northwest corner of Spitsbergen, named after its sharp mountain peaks, and explore with Zodiacs and landings. 

Seven Islands: The northern most land mass in Svalbard which is an exciting group of islands that never disappoints. Close to the pack ice, they serve as a gateway for wildlife living in the ice.

Explore the Pack Ice: Sail towards the North Pole pack ice and search for wildlife. Depending on the ice we will explore into it or follow the ice edge and find that perfect spot for a polar plunge!

White Island: The most easterly island on Svalbard is White island. An ice cap covers most of the island and the few exposed places are home to polar bears and walrus. We hope to Zodiac cruise this amazing island that became the last resting place of the Swedish explorer Salomon August Andrée who tried to cross the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon. 

Bråsvellbreen & Hinlopen Strait: Sail along the ice wall of the third largest ice cap in the world hoping to get close to the famous Bråsvellbreen with its majestic waterfalls. We continue into Hinlopen Strait that separates the west island from the North Austland. Hinlopen offers beautiful hiking and Zodiac cruising affording you endless opportunities.

Liefdefjorden: We will explore deep into the fjord of love and might reach the mighty Monaco glacier. The side fjords and small groups of islands offers a perfect stop for a hike or a Zodiac cruise that will impress even the most experienced adventurer.

Raudfjorden & Magdalenafjorden: On our way west the stunning Raudfjorden might be a good place for an outing. Beaches and glaciers make up for a perfect scenary in our continuous search for wildlife. One of the most scenic fjords is Magdalenafjorden, where walrus often inhabit in the small bays.

Kongsfjorden: Known as the Kings fjord, any visitor will soon know why. At the end the mighty Kings glacier stands, next to is the mountain peaks known as the tree crowns (Svea, Nora and Dana) considered by many as some of the most beautiful of mountain peaks. Kongs fjord offer beautiful hiking in lush terrain where we might come across reindeer, ptarmigan or the arctic fox. 

Isfjorden: Explore some of Isfjordens many side fjords. A fjord delta that despite it’s the closest to human civilization in Svalbard it is home to great wildlife. The warm waters of the Gulf stream make the vegetation lush and we will spend the day Zodiac cruising the glacier fronts, hike the hills that are old ocean floors known to be one of the most dense dinosaur fossil ground in the world.

Day 11

LONGYEARBYEN

Enjoy a final breakfast together as we arrive to Longyearbyen, our final destination where we bid you farewell for disembarkation.

All guests are required to carry a valid passport, and some nationalities require a visa in advance. Please check visa and immigration requirements for the countries you will be visiting.

 

We recommend you to carry personal travel insurance. Due to the remote areas we travel to, it is important that adequate emergency evacuation coverage is included.

 

We can help who want First class, Business Class, VIP travel, whole film crews, special requests, dietary requirements, private air charter airport assistance… and lots more.

Our two Zodiacs, equipped with new eco-friendly outboard engines with low-noise and low-emissions standards, serve as the perfect platform to get close to wildlife. Expedition guides and crew will assist you getting in and out of them. Don’t worry if this is new for you… it will all be covered in the mandatory safety briefing before departure! All guests are required to wear waterproof outer gear and knee-high waterproof boots in our Zodiac,s as you will be required to step into a few inches of water on landings. Some sea spray can be expected in the Zodiac during cruises and on landings, depending on weather and sea conditions.

ANSERIFORMES: Anatidae

 

Bar-headed Goose

Anser indicus

Graylag Goose

Anser anser

Greater White-fronted Goose

Anser albifrons

Pink-footed Goose

Anser brachyrhynchus

Brant

Branta bernicla

Barnacle Goose

Branta leucopsis

Canada Goose

Branta canadensis

Tundra Swan

Cygnus columbianus

Whooper Swan

Cygnus cygnus

Ruddy Shelduck

Tadorna ferruginea

Common Shelduck

Tadorna tadorna

Garganey

Spatula querquedula

Blue-winged Teal

Spatula discors

Northern Shoveler

Spatula clypeata

Gadwall

Mareca strepera

Eurasian Wigeon

Mareca penelope

Mallard

Anas platyrhynchos

Northern Pintail

Anas acuta

Green-winged Teal

Anas crecca

Tufted Duck

Aythya fuligula

Greater Scaup

Aythya marila

Steller's Eider

Polysticta stelleri

Spectacled Eider

Somateria fischeri

King Eider

Somateria spectabilis

Common Eider

Somateria mollissima

Harlequin Duck

Histrionicus histrionicus

Velvet Scoter

Melanitta fusca

Common Scoter

Melanitta nigra

Long-tailed Duck

Clangula hyemalis

Common Goldeneye

Bucephala clangula

Barrow's Goldeneye

Bucephala islandica

Common Merganser

Mergus merganser

Red-breasted Merganser

Mergus serrator

GALLIFORMES: Phasianidae

 

Willow Ptarmigan

Lagopus lagopus

Rock Ptarmigan

Lagopus muta

PODICIPEDIFORMES: Podicipedidae

 

Horned Grebe

Podiceps auritus

Red-necked Grebe

Podiceps grisegena

COLUMBIFORMES: Columbidae

 

Common Wood-Pigeon

Columba palumbus

European Turtle-Dove

Streptopelia turtur

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

CUCULIFORMES: Cuculidae

 

Common Cuckoo

Cuculus canorus

CAPRIMULGIFORMES: Apodidae

 

White-throated Needletail

Hirundapus caudacutus

Alpine Swift

Apus melba

Common Swift

Apus apus

Pallid Swift

Apus pallidus

GRUIFORMES: Rallidae

 

Water Rail

Rallus aquaticus

Eurasian Moorhen

Gallinula chloropus

Eurasian Coot

Fulica atra

GRUIFORMES: Gruidae

 

Common Crane

Grus grus

CHARADRIIFORMES: Burhinidae

 

Eurasian Thick-knee

Burhinus oedicnemus

CHARADRIIFORMES: Haematopodidae

 

Eurasian Oystercatcher

Haematopus ostralegus

CHARADRIIFORMES: Charadriidae

 

Black-bellied Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

European Golden-Plover

Pluvialis apricaria

American Golden-Plover

Pluvialis dominica

Pacific Golden-Plover

Pluvialis fulva

Northern Lapwing

Vanellus vanellus

Lesser Sand-Plover

Charadrius mongolus

Common Ringed Plover

Charadrius hiaticula

Eurasian Dotterel

Charadrius morinellus

CHARADRIIFORMES: Scolopacidae

 

Whimbrel

Numenius phaeopus

Eurasian Curlew

Numenius arquata

Bar-tailed Godwit

Limosa lapponica

Black-tailed Godwit

Limosa limosa

Ruddy Turnstone

Arenaria interpres

Red Knot

Calidris canutus

Ruff

Calidris pugnax

Broad-billed Sandpiper

Calidris falcinellus

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Calidris acuminata

Stilt Sandpiper

Calidris himantopus

Curlew Sandpiper

Calidris ferruginea

Temminck's Stint

Calidris temminckii

Long-toed Stint

Calidris subminuta

Sanderling

Calidris alba

Dunlin

Calidris alpina

Purple Sandpiper

Calidris maritima

Little Stint

Calidris minuta

White-rumped Sandpiper

Calidris fuscicollis

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Calidris subruficollis

Pectoral Sandpiper

Calidris melanotos

Long-billed Dowitcher

Limnodromus scolopaceus

Jack Snipe

Lymnocryptes minimus

Eurasian Woodcock

Scolopax rusticola

Great Snipe

Gallinago media

Common Snipe

Gallinago gallinago

Red-necked Phalarope

Phalaropus lobatus

Red Phalarope

Phalaropus fulicarius

Spotted Sandpiper

Actitis macularius

Green Sandpiper

Tringa ochropus

Solitary Sandpiper

Tringa solitaria

Spotted Redshank

Tringa erythropus

Lesser Yellowlegs

Tringa flavipes

Common Redshank

Tringa totanus

CHARADRIIFORMES: Stercorariidae

 

Great Skua

Stercorarius skua

Pomarine Jaeger

Stercorarius pomarinus

Parasitic Jaeger

Stercorarius parasiticus

Long-tailed Jaeger

Stercorarius longicaudus

CHARADRIIFORMES: Alcidae

 

Dovekie

Alle alle

Common Murre

Uria aalge

Thick-billed Murre

Uria lomvia

Razorbill

Alca torda

Black Guillemot

Cepphus grylle

Atlantic Puffin

Fratercula arctica

Tufted Puffin

Fratercula cirrhata

CHARADRIIFORMES: Laridae

 

Black-legged Kittiwake

Rissa tridactyla

Ivory Gull

Pagophila eburnea

Sabine's Gull

Xema sabini

Bonaparte's Gull

Chroicocephalus philadelphia

Black-headed Gull

Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Little Gull

Hydrocoloeus minutus

Ross's Gull

Rhodostethia rosea

Laughing Gull

Leucophaeus atricilla

Franklin's Gull

Leucophaeus pipixcan

Mew Gull

Larus canus

Ring-billed Gull

Larus delawarensis

Herring Gull

Larus argentatus

Iceland Gull

Larus glaucoides

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Larus fuscus

Glaucous Gull

Larus hyperboreus

Great Black-backed Gull

Larus marinus

Common Tern

Sterna hirundo

Arctic Tern

Sterna paradisaea

Sandwich Tern

Thalasseus sandvicensis

GAVIIFORMES: Gaviidae

 

Red-throated Loon

Gavia stellata

Arctic Loon

Gavia arctica

Pacific Loon

Gavia pacifica

Common Loon

Gavia immer

Yellow-billed Loon

Gavia adamsii

PROCELLARIIFORMES: Diomedeidae

 

Black-browed Albatross

Thalassarche melanophris

PROCELLARIIFORMES: Oceanitidae

 

Wilson's Storm-Petrel

Oceanites oceanicus

PROCELLARIIFORMES: Hydrobatidae

 

European Storm-Petrel

Hydrobates pelagicus

PROCELLARIIFORMES: Procellariidae

 

Northern Fulmar

Fulmarus glacialis

Sooty Shearwater

Ardenna grisea

SULIFORMES: Sulidae

 

Northern Gannet

Morus bassanus

PELECANIFORMES: Ardeidae

 

Gray Heron

Ardea cinerea

Great Egret

Ardea alba

Cattle Egret

Bubulcus ibis

Squacco Heron

Ardeola ralloides

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Nycticorax nycticorax

ACCIPITRIFORMES: Accipitridae

 

Egyptian Vulture

Neophron percnopterus

Hen Harrier

Circus cyaneus

White-tailed Eagle

Haliaeetus albicilla

Rough-legged Hawk

Buteo lagopus

STRIGIFORMES: Tytonidae

 

Barn Owl

Tyto alba

STRIGIFORMES: Strigidae

 

Snowy Owl

Bubo scandiacus

Long-eared Owl

Asio otus

Short-eared Owl

Asio flammeus

BUCEROTIFORMES: Upupidae

 

Eurasian Hoopoe

Upupa epops

CORACIIFORMES: Coraciidae

 

European Roller

Coracias garrulus

FALCONIFORMES: Falconidae

 

Lesser Kestrel

Falco naumanni

Eurasian Kestrel

Falco tinnunculus

Merlin

Falco columbarius

Gyrfalcon

Falco rusticolus

Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus

PASSERIFORMES: Laniidae

 

Great Gray Shrike

Lanius excubitor

Woodchat Shrike

Lanius senator

PASSERIFORMES: Corvidae

 

Carrion Crow

Corvus corone

Hooded Crow

Corvus cornix

Common Raven

Corvus corax

PASSERIFORMES: Paridae

 

Great Tit

Parus major

PASSERIFORMES: Alaudidae

 

Horned Lark

Eremophila alpestris

Eurasian Skylark

Alauda arvensis

PASSERIFORMES: Acrocephalidae

 

Booted Warbler

Iduna caligata

Aquatic Warbler

Acrocephalus paludicola

Sedge Warbler

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Paddyfield Warbler

Acrocephalus agricola

PASSERIFORMES: Locustellidae

 

Pallas's Grasshopper-Warbler

Locustella certhiola

Lanceolated Warbler

Locustella lanceolata

River Warbler

Locustella fluviatilis

PASSERIFORMES: Hirundinidae

 

Bank Swallow

Riparia riparia

Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

Common House-Martin

Delichon urbicum

PASSERIFORMES: Phylloscopidae

 

Hume's Warbler

Phylloscopus humei

Radde's Warbler

Phylloscopus schwarzi

Dusky Warbler

Phylloscopus fuscatus

Common Chiffchaff

Phylloscopus collybita

PASSERIFORMES: Sylviidae

 

Eurasian Blackcap

Sylvia atricapilla

Garden Warbler

Sylvia borin

Greater Whitethroat

Sylvia communis

PASSERIFORMES: Sturnidae

 

European Starling

Sturnus vulgaris

PASSERIFORMES: Turdidae

 

Song Thrush

Turdus philomelos

Redwing

Turdus iliacus

Eurasian Blackbird

Turdus merula

Eyebrowed Thrush

Turdus obscurus

Fieldfare

Turdus pilaris

Ring Ouzel

Turdus torquatus

PASSERIFORMES: Muscicapidae

 

Spotted Flycatcher

Muscicapa striata

European Robin

Erithacus rubecula

Bluethroat

Luscinia svecica

Red-flanked Bluetail

Tarsiger cyanurus

Red-breasted Flycatcher

Ficedula parva

European Pied Flycatcher

Ficedula hypoleuca

Common Redstart

Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Whinchat

Saxicola rubetra

Northern Wheatear

Oenanthe oenanthe

Desert Wheatear

Oenanthe deserti

Pied Wheatear

Oenanthe pleschanka

PASSERIFORMES: Bombycillidae

 

Bohemian Waxwing

Bombycilla garrulus

PASSERIFORMES: Prunellidae

 

Siberian Accentor

Prunella montanella

Dunnock

Prunella modularis

PASSERIFORMES: Motacillidae

 

Western Yellow Wagtail

Motacilla flava

White Wagtail

Motacilla alba

Blyth's Pipit

Anthus godlewskii

Meadow Pipit

Anthus pratensis

Tree Pipit

Anthus trivialis

Olive-backed Pipit

Anthus hodgsoni

Rock Pipit

Anthus petrosus

American Pipit

Anthus rubescens

PASSERIFORMES: Fringillidae

 

Brambling

Fringilla montifringilla

Hawfinch

Coccothraustes coccothraustes

Twite

Linaria flavirostris

Common Redpoll

Acanthis flammea

Lesser Redpoll

Acanthis cabaret

Hoary Redpoll

Acanthis hornemanni

Red Crossbill

Loxia curvirostra

PASSERIFORMES: Calcariidae

 

Lapland Longspur

Calcarius lapponicus

Snow Bunting

Plectrophenax nivalis

PASSERIFORMES: Emberizidae

 

Yellowhammer

Emberiza citrinella

Pine Bunting

Emberiza leucocephalos

Rustic Bunting

Emberiza rustica

 

Equipment & Gear

Proper gear is essential for an enjoyable expedition.

A typical packing list of gear for a Svalbard landing would include:

THERMAL WEAR

  • One full set of thermal or silk long underwear
  • Three or four pairs of tall thick socks (wool) for wearing with rubber boots. Bring several pairs in case your feet get wet.
  • T-shirts, polo shirts, jeans/pants and other casual clothes for layering and onboard the ship.
  • Two or three warm, long-sleeved shirts for casual wear and layering (turtlenecks are a good option).
  • Two or three wool or polar fleece sweaters in a combination of light and heavy (fleece is lighter and dries faster than wool).
  • Two pairs of warm, comfortable pants (heavy cotton, wool or synthetic hiking style) to wear under your waterproof pants.
  • A bathing suit (for a polar plunge!)

 

FOOTWEAR

  • One pair of fully waterproof rubber boots with sturdy, high-traction soles. Bogs Zodiac Classic High Boots are a good choice, as they provide warmth, comfort and good traction. We stress the importance of completely waterproof knee-high boots for zodiac landings. Boots should have good traction as you are likely to encounter slick footing on ice and rough terrain. Comfort is important; if your boots are too heavy or bulky, your footing will be awkward.
  • If you intend to do hiking, you may wish to bring a pair of waterproof hiking boots. Leather or Gore-Tex are good choices.

 

OUTERWEAR

  • One waterproof parka/shell jacket for rainy or windy weather. You will be wearing this on all landings, so do not skimp on quality! 
  • One pair of waterproof (Gore-Tex or similar), breathable pants that are loose enough to wear over a regular pair of trousers. You will need these for all landings. 
  • One or two pairs of waterproof mittens or gloves. Bring an extra pair in case one gets wet. Please consider bringing a pair of thin, polypropylene gloves that fit underneath to wear when using a camera. 
  • One or two warm hats and a scarf or neck gaiter (wool, fleece, or wind-stopper fabric). 
  • One or two pairs of sturdy sunglasses with good UV and wind protection. The brightness of the sun reflected off the ice can be dangerous to under-protected eyes. We recommend bringing a spare pair in case one breaks or is lost. Those who wear contacts may wish to wear glasses while in the zodiacs due to wind and salt spray.

 

EQUIPMENT

  • Camera, lenses and plenty of memory cards. 
  • Extra camera batteries or battery charger. 
  • A good pair of binoculars (see guidelines below). 
  • A lightweight, collapsible, walking staff (trekking pole). Single staffs provide a sense of security, increased balance and confidence when walking on ice, snow and rugged terrain. Some prefer to walk with a pole in each hand for more stability. 
  • Water-resistant backpack or similar for carrying cameras and equipment during landings. Alternatively, a waterproof liner or plastic bag inside a traditional backpack can be used. 
  • Sun block, lotion, and lip balm

 

BINOCULARS

  • Quality binoculars are essential for viewing distant wildlife and birds. 
  • Binoculars are described by two numbers, 10 x 50, for example. The first number is the magnification and the second is the diameter of the front lens in millimeters. A front lens diameter of 50mm is common, but the binoculars will be bulky. Lens diameters under 50mm are considered compact. A magnification of 10 or 12 can be handheld without shaking and is generally most useful. More powerful magnification will require a tripod. 8 x 40 or 10 x 40 are popular choices with our guests. 
  • Image-stabilized binoculars are available, but are expensive and sometimes heavy. These have an electronic method of eliminating shake and reducing curvature of field.
Tour Package

Per Person

US$7999 Onwards

11 Days / 10 Nights

Expected Tour Dates
Availability Of Seats
01-Aug-2022 to 10-Aug-2022
12

Cost Includes

  • Expedition activities (Zodiac cruises, shore landings, hikes)
  • Professional guides with lectures and hands-on, in-field tutorials
  • Special Photography one to one guidance by Rahul And Khushboo throughout the cruise .
  • Each day image reviewing and post processing sessions .
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner (welcome day is dinner only; final day is breakfast only)
  • Welcome cocktail; wine with the farewell dinner
  • Laundry facilities
  • Daily cabin housekeeping and turn-down service

Cost Exclusions

  • Travel to and from starting point in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
  • Taxes, levies, insurance, VISA fee, immigration duties or other travel services (where applicable)
  • Personal items such as expedition clothing
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Crew gratuities

Please Note:

Pre-customisation of the tours are available, Contact team Incredible Birding.