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Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

In cooperation with: Visit Norway
Washington DC...
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Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

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.

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London, United...
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11. Re: Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

What dates were you there? Is there more chance of fog at a particular point in the season or is it fairly hit and miss across all months?

Also, where did you get your boots from? I've got a proper pair of knee high hiking boots but they're not even vaguely waterproof above the ankles so am thinking I'll need something more sensible for getting in and out of zodiacs

I can tell I'm going to spend until July 12th frantically googling information and in a mild state of hysteria!

Salisbury, United...
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12. Re: Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

We hired our boots from Hurtigruten on the ship. They were very good, warm heavy duty boots. You really do need long boots for getting on and off the small boats. Sea conditions change and you can get very wet, also waterproof trousers. Some people took wellies but they had very cold feet and they weren't long enough as they were more fashion boots. It's a good idea to have something that is comfortable to walk in. I do know you can get some good boots in riding shops such as Scats.

Lincs, England
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13. Re: Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

Hi fairy g

I am going on the same boat as the OP but in August. From what I've read, you do not need to take boots for the landings with you as they will be provided. One less thing to try and squeeze in your suitcase!

Edited: 4:56 am, April 21, 2012
Sydney
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14. Re: Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

Hi tar56......im going in August aswell on G Adventures. I did read the same about not needing to take boots as they will provide them.

Lincs, England
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15. Re: Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

hi barina80

Which departure are you on in August? I go on the 10th - can't wait!

Sydney
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16. Re: Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

Hi, oh I'm on the 3rd august!! What a shame! I will look forward in hearing your views on the cruise though :)

Nottingham...
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17. Re: Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

Hi There,

Im going on the 3rd of August and I cant wait!

London, United...
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18. Re: Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

Hey guys,

Just back from this trip and will post a full report later today but wanted to add here that if you have small feet (EUR 38 or below) take your own boots with - I'm not sure if we had a particularly full boat with little footed people but they ran out of these sizes really quickly.

Kirkby in Furness...
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19. Re: Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

Hi little worried reading mixed reviews. We have just booked on the ms expedition to go 11 days in July and main dream is to see the polar bears

Cork, Ireland
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20. Re: Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

I visited svalbard on the june 29 -july 6 realm of the bear cruise in 2012.

I would agree that we stayed away from the south eastern section of svalbard.

Ice was given as the reason we couldn't travel to this area.

re the guaranteed bear sightings , we had three, all from distances requiring binoculars or long range lenses.

I certainly felt that once we had our first bear sighting , the pressure was off the crew to continue looking for further sightings and that the rest of the cruise could be conducted by travelling around the nw of svalbard.

However , this was still the holiday of a lifetime. As a solo traveller , The absence of a single supplement , meant I and other companions on board were able to travel to this beautiful region.

The scenery , the ship , the arctic bar , the fellow travellers , more than made up for the limited bear sightings..

I travelled , only wanting to see bears but came home realising that there is a lot more to this region.

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