national geographic explorer luxury polar bear cruise

Land of the Ice Bears: An In-Depth Exploration of Arctic Svalbard

  • Overview

    Go deep into the experience of Arctic wildlife in its natural habitat––discovering and observing polar bears, and the other unique creatures of the Arctic ice. And, this itinerary is focused on delivering that experience in exceptional depth:

    • Polar bear and walrus sightings ensured by our skilled veteran spotters
    • Arctic wildlife & natural history
    • True expedition adventure––daily flexibility and spontaneity
    • Active exploration––using kayaks, Zodiacs, hiking & walking
    • Superlative photos ops & on-board photo assistance
    • National Geographic expedition team to illuminate it all
    Duration: 11 days
    Passengers: 148 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Oslo, Norway
    Disembarkation Point: Oslo, Norway
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Oslo, Norway/Thon Hotel Bristol

      Arrive in Oslo, the capital city where each year the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in the presence of the King of Norway. Our introduction to Oslo begins with a stroll among the famed Vigeland sculptures--hundreds of life-size human figures set in rolling parklands. Next we visit the Polar Ship Fram Museum, dedicated to Norwegian explorers Nansen and Amundsen. The evening is free to try one of the harbor restaurants or turn in early. Overnight at the Thon Hotel Bristol, or similar.

    • Day 2 - Oslo/Longyearbyen; Embarkation Ship

      Depart Oslo on our private charter flight over beautiful vistas to Longyearbyen. Embark our ship

    • Day 3/8 - Exploring Svalbard

      Our travel in the archipelago is truly exploratory by design, and our exact day-to-day movements will remain flexible, depending on local conditions.

      Our main focus is the search for Svalbard’s amazing wildlife: polar bear, reindeer and walrus. Observe seals and arctic foxes and search for the very symbol of the Arctic—majestic polar bears. Cruising in Svalbard’s fjords, venture to the foot of stunning tidewater glaciers. We take our Zodiacs and kayaks to cruise among beautiful icebergs, and experience the geology, wildlife and wildflowers that give color and vitality to the High Arctic.

    • Day 9 - Longyearbyen/Disembark/Oslo

      Disembark the National Geographic Explorer and explore Longyearbyen before we fly to Oslo. Overnight at the Radisson Blu Airport Hotel.

    • Day 10 - Oslo

      After breakfast, proceed to the airport for flights home, or continue on to other adventures.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your captain and expedition leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Adventure Activities

    Charter Flights

    The National Geographic Explorer operates with a mandatory charter flight package on this departure;

    Longyearbyen, Svalbard - Oslo, Norway

    USD$ 618 per person


    We pioneered kayaking in polar geographies, allowing our guests to have unprecedented personal experiences in the ice.

    Now, nearly all our ships carry types of kayaks designed to get guests of all experience and fitness levels out on the water comfortably and safely. And more than just a token few, we carry a veritable fleet to ensure everyone who wants to can.


    In search of Polar Bears

    To many people, the polar bear is the Arctic. The sight of such an impressive silky white bear wandering the frozen Arctic seas in search of seals symbolizes the cold, isolated nature of the Arctic so well. Polar bears are marine mammals because they spend so much of their lives away from land. In the high Arctic where there is always some sea ice to travel on, polar bears range over ice floes in the pack ice hunting seals all summer. In some areas (e.g. southern Hudson Bay, southern Svalbard) they are simply forced to come ashore. Polar bears rarely venture inland.

    In search of Polar Bears

    Svalbard is the Arctic North as you always dreamed it existed. This wondrous archipelago is a land of dramatic snow-drowned peaks and glaciers, of vast icefields and forbidding icebergs, an elemental place where the seemingly endless Arctic night and the perpetual sunlight of summer carry a deeper kind of magic. One of Europe's last great wildernesses, this is also the domain of more polar bears than people, a terrain rich in epic legends of polar exploration.

  • Inclusions

    Expedition Team

    Every expedition sails with a veteran expedition leader, an assistant expedition leader, and a team of eight naturalists, many of them polar veterans, of a variety of specialties: zoology, biology, ornithology, geology, polar history, and more. Other members of the 15-person team include an undersea specialist, a photographer, plus a certified photo instructor, a Global Perspectives guest speaker, a video chronicler, and a wellness specialist. Together they provide you with a greater understanding and appreciation for this extraordinary and diverse geography.

    Excellent food

    Our chefs use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, including sustainably caught fish, and other local and indigenous products. Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style; dinner is served. There are fish or meat choices at every meal, and our chef will happily accommodate vegan or other special diet requests.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Massage services
    - Gratuities
    - Internet and Wifi expenses
    - Airfares unless stated in the itinerary
    - Bar expenses
    - Laundry expenses
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Passport and Visa expenses
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 06 28 at 1.53.34 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel


    Inaugurated in 2008, National Geographic Explorer is the world’s ultimate expedition ship. The embodiment of the National Geographic alliance, her design and equipment is the result of almost 200 years of collective expedition experience. Originally built for service along Norway’s coast as part of the famed Hurtigruten, or Coastal Express, her excellent maneuverability and just-right size made her a natural choice for addition to our fleet. Drawing on our nearly 50 years of pioneering expedition history and expertise, we completely redesigned and rebuilt her. Explorer is uniquely equipped with an ice-strengthened hull and advanced navigation equipment for polar expeditions; a roster of tools for exploration; and a well-appointed interior with vast expanses of glass for an unprecedented connection to the regions we explore. She provides a peerless expedition experience. Explorer accommodates 148 guests in 81 cabins, including 13 cabins with private balconies, six spacious suites and 14 cabins specifically designed for solo travelers. At 367 feet with six decks, she is spacious and modern, with a variety of public rooms that offer startling views of the passing landscape. Friendly and informal, Explorer instantly fosters a welcoming environment where enthused and curious passengers share in exceptional experiences and enrichment.

    Features & Facilities
    • Luxury expedition vessel
    • Affiliated with National Geographic
    • Dining room & Bistro
    • Large observation decks
    • Open Bridge
    • Library
    • Observation lounge
    • 24 hour beverage station
    • Wellness Centre
    • Gym
    • laundry
    • Spa
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 5
    Guests #: 148
    Crew #: 70
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 18
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 112m
    Width: 16
    Tonnage: 6471
    Registry: Bahamas
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates
Ready to book your expedition?

We understand that the trip of a lifetime takes planning, so we make the financial commitments easy to manage.

  • Confirm your booking today with just USD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.
national geographic explorer category 1 cabin

1 - Twin Cabin with Porthole

03 Jun 2019 - 13 Jun 2019
Twin cabin, with private facilities with plenty of luxury finishings.
USD$ 9,132pp
USD$ 9,132pp
national geographic explorer category 2 cabin

2 - Twin Cabin with Window

03 Jun 2019 - 13 Jun 2019
Twin or double cabin, with private facilities with plenty of luxury finishings.
USD$ 9,758pp
USD$ 9,758pp
national geographic explorer category 3 cabin

3 - Twin Cabin with Window

03 Jun 2019 - 13 Jun 2019
Twin or double cabin, with private facilities with plenty of luxury finishings.
USD$ 10,186pp
USD$ 10,186pp
national geographic explorer category 4 cabin

4 - Superior cabin with Window

03 Jun 2019 - 13 Jun 2019
Twin or double cabin, with private facilities with plenty of luxury finishings.
USD$ 10,791pp
USD$ 10,791pp
national geographic explorer category SA Single cabin

SA - Single cabin with Porthole

03 Jun 2019 - 13 Jun 2019
Single cabin, perfect for the decerning solo traveller.
USD$ 12,199pp
USD$ 12,199pp
national geographic explorer category SB Single cabin

SB - Single cabin with Window

03 Jun 2019 - 13 Jun 2019
Single cabin, perfect for the decerning solo traveller.
USD$ 12,729pp
USD$ 12,729pp
national geographic explorer category 5 cabin

5 - Superior cabin with Balcony

03 Jun 2019 - 13 Jun 2019
Superior cabins with Balcony and luxury finishings.
USD$ 13,688pp
USD$ 13,688pp
national geographic explorer category 6 cabin

6 - Suite with Balcony

03 Jun 2019 - 13 Jun 2019
Suite cabin with Balcony and luxury finishings.
USD$ 14,960pp
USD$ 14,960pp
national geographic explorer category 7 cabin

7 - Suite with Balcony

03 Jun 2019 - 13 Jun 2019
The largest suites with Balcony and luxury finishings.
USD$ 17,088pp
USD$ 17,088pp