Our trip was organized by the Indianapolis Zoo and used Frontiers North as the tour operator (as I understand it). We had two full days out in the buggies and saw plenty of bears, 4-5 were within twenty feet of the buggy. Our guide Richard has been coming up here for thirteen years & was a wealth of knowledge, especially on the fine points of photography ( how to get whitish bears against snow to show up well). The buggies are well-heated with a propane stove, but it gets cold pretty quick when the bears show up as everyone's windows come down to get good pictures - dress warm - use layers. Between bear encounters it does warm back up. The bathroom is a chemical toilet I believe and the buggies bounce around pretty vigorously when in motion (splash hazard - enough said), so plan your "pit stops" for when the buggy is stopped for pictures or lunch.
For us, this was the trip of a lifetime in this sort of environment. Hopefully, the sea ice will remain so the bears don't vanish. Unfortunately, every year the ice leaves earlier and forms later.
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