Land of the Ice Bears: An In-Depth Exploration of Arctic Svalbard
Scout for Polar Bears, Seals, Walrus, Reindeer & More on an Arctic Wildlife Extravaganza
A High Arctic archipelago lying north of Norway between the Barents and Greenland seas, Svalbard is just 600 miles from the North Pole. This rugged realm of deep fjords, jagged mountains and massive glaciers is warmed by the midnight sun during the endless days of the northern summer. Svalbard is one of the best places on Earth to see polar bears on the sea ice, their natural habitat. We may observe frolicking cubs and adults hunting for seals on ice floes—all on display from the proximity and safety of our ship’s deck rail, and from our fleet of Zodiacs for closer discovery. Our onboard naturalists are ace spotters, and while we regularly see more than a hundred polar bears in a season, it's not the number of sightings that count as much as the quality—we frequently spy them at thrilling close range, along with a host of other Arctic wildlife.
Encounter Arctic polar bears from the safety of our expedition ship—ice-cloaked Svalbard is one of the best places in the world to see them in their natural habitat
Look for reindeer, Arctic fox, walrus, seals and a multitude of seabirds, approaching lively rookeries up close on Zodiac excursions and by kayak
Learn about Arctic wildlife, geology, polar exploration and the contemporary challenges of climate change from our ship's complement of polar experts and naturalist guides
Sail with the World Leader in Conservation-Focused Small-Ship Cruising
We’re proud to offer a worldwide slate of Adventure Cruises through our partner Lindblad Expeditions. Nat Hab joined forces with Lindblad in 2016 to expand our mutual collection of nature adventures. Founded in 1958 by Lars-Eric Lindblad, the company pioneered eco-conscious expeditions for “citizen explorers" and today is the world leader in conservation-focused small-ship cruises.
Small Ships Assure Closer Nature Encounters
Lindblad's expedition ships offer an exhilarating, up-close experience of the High Arctic and polar wildlife in a personalized setting. The relatively small size of the National Geographic Explorer—accommodating 148 guests—makes it nimble enough to access narrow fjords and protected bays that bigger ships can’t reach, while full stabilization and state-of-the-art technology provide exceptionally safe passage. Guests can also count on personal access to naturalists, guides and crew.
Benefit from More than a Half-Century of Expertise
Our Svalbard cruise is a genuine expedition-style experience with a seasoned polar adventure team. As pioneers in commercial polar cruising, Lindblad draws upon more than 50 years of experience navigating polar seas, assuring safe passage and an immersive adventure in one of the planet’s wildest landscapes. You'll sail on a state-of-the-art expedition ship with a veteran Expedition Leader, assistant Expedition Leader and a team of naturalists with diverse specialties. Lindblad's expert mariners have produced their own soundings and maps of areas that otherwise are not well charted, allowing its seasoned bridge officers to take you to lesser-known places in the Arctic that most travelers don't see. A National Geographic-certified photo instructor will help you capture outstanding photos of scenery and wildlife. In addition, Explorer travelers are accompanied by a Global Perspectives guest speaker for added advice and insight.
A Host of Amenities & Activities Makes Every Day Exciting
Choose from a suite of adventures that immerse you in the raw beauty and wildlife of the Arctic wilderness, led by expert naturalists. Sturdy motorized Zodiacs grant access to cliffside bird rookeries and shore landings, while the Explorer's large fleet of tandem kayaks offers closeup exploration of icebergs and marine life. Kayaks are chosen for their stability in polar waters, and since they’re virtually untippable, no prior kayaking experience is necessary. A custom-designed floating platform allows kayaks to be deployed from most any location.
A Flexible Itinerary Enhances Your Adventure
The expeditionary nature of this journey allows for daily flexibility and spontaneity that are the cornerstone for genuine adventure. Our itinerary is focused on delivering an Arctic experience in exceptional depth, with plenty of leeway built in to permit that. The Expedition team has the freedom to follow wildlife, linger longer in places of lively animal activity, or change directions in search of better weather and wildlife-viewing conditions. Whether it’s polar bear and walrus sightings from Zodiacs, a foray in search of Arctic fox and caribou, or watching for whales under the midnight sun, every day will expand your knowledge and appreciation for Arctic wildlife, natural history and native cultures.
Observe the Arctic World Beneath the Waves
An undersea diving specialist travels aboard every voyage. Outfitted for polar waters and carrying nearly 200 pounds of gear, this special member of the expedition team shoots high-definition footage of a deep, frigid sea teeming with life, which is then shared on plasma screens in the ship's lounge—it's a whole new way to appreciate the marine environment! Plus, the ship’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives up to 1,000 feet to view areas below the surface that are as unexplored as the moon. By sharing videos of potentially new species with scientists, such as a large worm our specialist captured imagery of in Antarctica's Weddell Sea, Lindblad voyages actively contribute to scientific research.
Custom Tools Maximize Your Perspective
A video microscope helps naturalists show and explain a multitude of elements in the Arctic environment, including tiny organisms in the marine ecosystem’s building blocks—like a krill’s body, at 80x magnification. High atop the ship’s mast, a crow’s nest camera provides a continual view on your surroundings that you can watch on your cabin TV. And underwater microphones are deployed to listen in on the Arctic’s marine mammals, offering real-time sounds of nearby whales and other life below the sea.
Sail with Experts Who Specialize in Svalbard and the Arctic
Explore Svalbard with a passionate team of experts whose knowledge will enhance your adventure and your comprehension of the polar landscape. Travel with an Expedition Leader, a team of veteran naturalists, a National Geographic photographer, an undersea specialist, knowledgeable guest speakers, a video chronicler and a wellness specialist. Your first-rate team of naturalist guides specializes in the Arctic, from wildlife biologists to ornithologists, marine scientists and polar historians.
We’re Committed to the Planet
Natural Habitat Adventure is a standard-setter in eco-conscious travel. We were the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company. And we continue to break innovative ground in adopting practices that help to protect our global environment. Because of our concern for the environment, we are pleased to partner with Lindblad Expeditions for our Adventure Cruises, a company that shares our values and commitment to the planet.
Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
Because of our environmental commitment and the outstanding quality of our adventures, World Wildlife Fund has chosen Natural Habitat Adventures as its worldwide travel partner, a designation we’re very proud of! When you book your Lindblad Expeditions cruise with us, a portion of your trip fee supports WWF.