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

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

I went on this trip in June 2013. It was the most amazing experience. I cannot recommend this trip highly enough. The crew were very knowledgeable and I saw 5 polar bears. The captain navigated the ship so close that the ice surrounded us and two bears came right up to the ship. Totally amazing. Left me wanting more!

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

We went on the 20th July 2013 and had the most amazing experience ever we were lucky to see 11 polar bears in a variety of settings on the shore some looking sad and thin as they had missed the ice to huge healthy ones up close one swam round the ship a couple of times to check us out. The crew were amazing and Susan expedition leader made sure we saw lots if other wildlife including arctic fox cubs and nothing was to much trouble I can strongly recommend to do the kayaking you have to book this prior to the trip due to insurance it may seem expensive but we got the opportunity to go out most days even up close to ice caving Ian our Kayak leader was fantastic a truly amazing experience

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

We went on the 20th July 2013 and had the most amazing experience ever we were lucky to see 11 polar bears in a variety of settings on the shore some looking sad and thin as they had missed the ice to huge healthy ones up close one swam round the ship a couple of times to check us out. The crew were amazing and Susan expedition leader made sure we saw lots if other wildlife including arctic fox cubs and nothing was to much trouble I can strongly recommend to do the kayaking you have to book this prior to the trip due to insurance it may seem expensive but we got the opportunity to go out most days even up close to ice caving Ian our Kayak leader was fantastic a truly amazing experience

Haifa, Israel
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24. Re: Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

G Adventures cruise – Realm of the polar bear in deapth

My wife and I took this cruise last July.

We took this particular cruise because we thought the Polar Bear would be in the focus of this tour and that 11 days cruise will provide a better opportunity to realize our dream, watching polar bears in their natural environment, on the ice cap.

In practice we found that we could not be more wrong. The tour was coincidental collection of sailing along glaciers, observations of marine mammals and one bird colony.

We practiced 4-5 hours close to the ice cap watching polar bears. Then we abandoned the area because of the ridiculous grounds of the necessity to keep the itinerary, for more stupid tour at a glacier that we had seen like it, before and after.

From the perspective of cost effective, this tour is catastrophic. In daily tours or cruises, that cost about 100$ each, in Canada, Alaska, New Zeeland or even in Norway, we had seen before more marine mammals, sea birds or glaciers than in this very expensive cruise. If what you're looking for are lectures and reasonable food on a cruise ship, go to the Bahamas, where, at least, you will not feel cheated

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

Hi Fairy G,

I am also planning on doing this trip! How did you find it? Would you also recommend it? Any other companies that you think would be better? I got a quote from polarcruise.com which was quite reasonable. Do you by any chance know about it?

Thanks!

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

How did your trip to the Arctic go?? I'm looking at booking with them for next year so I'd love to know what you thought. I too have been to Africa on overland trips so I appreciate it is hit and miss but overall I'd love to hear your thoughts on the trip.

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

How did your trip to the Arctic go?? I'm looking at booking with them for next year so I'd love to know what you thought. I too have been to Africa on overland trips so I appreciate it is hit and miss but overall I'd love to hear your thoughts on the trip.

Oslo, Norway
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28. Re: Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

Hi Simone,

and welcome to the forum.

Being a newcomer to the forums please note that it is not always wise to post a question added to another person’s thread. If you post a question to the OP (Original Poster) check when his\hers thread was active – there is no use in asking a question to a person who started the thread a long time ago. Most likely the OP doesn’t follow the thread anymore.

For a personal question every person registered on TA has a personal page where a pm option is available.

You can search the reviews on top of the forum for eventual reviews written for tours like this, but your best option for a reply is to start a thread on your own using the "Ask a question" option in the Spitsbergen forum.

Edited: 22 October 2015, 10:19
London, United...
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29. Re: Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

@Simone

I'm not sure who you were aiming your questions at but I've now been twice to the Artic on the Expedition - trip reports are here - tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g503713-i11699-k… and here - tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g503713-i11699-k… - and I'd continue to recommend the Expedition as an excellent choice

Oslo, Norway
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30. Re: Bad---Do not go on The Realm of the Polar bears!

Thanks fairy g,

It is still adviced that Simone start a new thread on her own for her personal questions and specifications. It makes it so much easier for the contributors to follow.

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