We just paid a lot of money to see polar bears and guess what....we only saw 9 and from quite a distance (more than 500 meters). We went on the Expedition with Gap Adventures. Little did we know that a ship of theirs sunk in Antarctica, thus they sail away from ice where bears tend to be. All other operators circumvented and passed through the SE side of Svalbard where 90% of the polar bears are and we didn't!!! When we got back to LYR we heard all the other ships talking about how they got close to polar bears eating a dead whale, polar bears fighting, polar bears eating/hunting seals, swimming etc. We saw mainly lichens, rocks, and very few mammals from a long distance. My advice would pay a little extra money to go with a small ship and it will be well worth it. If you don't care about seeing polar bears then m/s expedition would be a good ship to just relax and get away from work etc.