• Settings:
Call us 01273 691642Contact us

Svalbard Safari Holidays

In the remote northern reaches, between Norway and the North Pole, lies one of the world’s northernmost inhabited places, comprising a vast area of icebergs, ice-fields, fjords and unspoilt Arctic wilderness. Literally meaning ‘Cold Coast’, Svalbard is home to the magnificent ‘King of the Arctic’ - the mighty polar bear. Journey through the fjords, each inlet revealing historical mining settlements, magnificent glaciers and a wealth of wildlife inhabiting the tundra; including walrus, seals, seabirds and whales. Marvel at the white-capped mountains fronted by desolate tundra, glittering glaciers under a constant midnight sun and brilliant blue skies in the summer months. As the ice begins to melt, the wildlife of the archipelago is joined by wildflowers, flora and fauna.

Exclusive small ship charters navigate even further north into the polar bear kingdom as you travel along the coastline, scouting for wildlife, walking ashore or surveying the area on a zodiac-boat cruise. The size of these expedition ships allows further access to some of the more pristine and wilderness regions of the frozen Arctic. Observe colonies of walrus hauling themselves up onto the shore or basking in the midnight sun, sail past towering cliffs populated by colossal seabird colonies. Home to more polar bears than people, Svalbard is the ultimate in polar exploration.

Why Natural World Safaris for your Svalbard holiday?

As specialists in travel to this area, we have been operating our small ship expeditions in Svalbard for many years and are members of AECO. We firmly believe that our clients benefit hugely from smaller group travel on specialist expedition ships, led by experts. It is through small, intimate and like-minded groups that knowledge is better transferred, which results in a much more enjoyable and informative experience for all involved. Being on smaller ships enables us to squeeze through tight spaces, navigate shallower waters, and explore wilder and more secluded areas, often allowing us to discover some of the favourite hideouts of the bears themselves.

Focused on putting you in the right place at the right time to maximise your wildlife opportunities, our expert expedition leaders have extensive experience working in the Polar regions. Some of the most coveted trips we offer are our specialist departures, working with the world’s most renowned photographers who lead their own trip, sharing their knowledge and helping you to hone your photography skills. Our expert team is on hand throughout to make sure you get the best out of your time in the land of the polar bears.

How Much Does a Svalbard Safari Cost?

Our ultimate small ship departures, with a maxiumum of 12 guests, start from £8095 per person on a shared twin cabin basis, including all food and drink onboard and excluding international flights. Our specialist-led photography expeditions start from £9445 per person. Expeditions on larger vessels start from £5330 per person for a 9 day expedition, whilst a land-based safari starts at just £2900 per person for 5 days.

Cl Svalbard Polar Bear Caron Steele

Talk to a Svalbard Specialist Today

The Svalbard Safari Experience

During your safari you can expect to visit iceberg-filled fjords framed by breathtaking mountains; see gigantic glaciers crashing into the icy seas as you search for the King of the Arctic. Watch walrus lounging on ice floes and hopefully catch a glimpse of white Arctic foxes as they hunt along the shores. Your exact safari itinerary will depend upon the weather conditions and the density of the pack ice in the north. If conditions permit, you will have the opportunity to circumnavigate Spitsbergen Island.

  • Wildlife - Witness the King of the Arctic in the wild, prowling his territory for a seal. Arctic foxes, countless seals and piles of blubbery walruses; there is an extensive amount of wildlife to be encountered on your frozen adventure. Spot different types of whales such as humpbacks, minke, beluga and orcas, breaching from the water. Listen to the bewildering amount of nesting birds twittering from the cliffs and flying in clouds of shifting patterns; the atlantic puffin, arctic terns and guillemots.
  • Dramatic Landscapes - Sail past icebergs and watch as huge chunks of ice calve off the face of mighty glaciers.Waterfalls bursting through ice walls, glaciers glittering under the midnight sun, mountains capped with white snow.
  • Midnight Sun - The constant sun never dips below the horizon during the summer, casting a stunning constant light over the archipelago.
  • Still Silence - Experience the eerie, unique and undisturbed silence of the Arctic pack ice, far from any civilisation.

Where to Stay in Svalbard?

Flying into the northernmost permanent settlement on earth, your adventure begins in the town of Longyearbyen where you will spend your first night in the archipelago. From the port of Longyearbyen, embark on an expedition ship to start your safari into the Arctic wilderness. Our ships provide ultimate comfort and private facilities and due to their smaller size, are able to enter untouched and inaccessible areas of Svalbard. Land-based safari options include Isfjord Radio, a former satellite communication station converted into a unique boutique hotel. Read more about where to stay.

When to go to Svalbard?

In the winter months, thick ice and snow carpets the archipelago, so for wildlife the time to go is between late April/early May to August, when the ice encompassing the archipelago allows enough access for us to navigate the icy waters and explore the frozen north. At this time, the midnight sun reigns over the dramatic landscapes, casting an ever-glowing, ambient light. Read more about when to go to Svalbard.

IMG WA0014

Abbie Hicks

Polar Operations Assistant

Abbie Hicks

Polar Operations Assistant

It was really a once in a lifetime trip, the landscapes are just so out of this world, I loved being able to see this environment/wildlife that are under climate threat! Kinfish in particular was such a warm & friendly atmosphere, I felt super comfortable and safe as a solo female traveller, even in LYR by myself! The whole trip was just incredible, gives a a different sense of reality, you feel so small in comparison. Guides had an amazing depth of knowledge, made the experience special for everyone despite different interests/previous travels. Highlights were definitely the polar plunge and setting foot on the sea ice, but loved all of the excursions.

Client Reviews

Rated 4.7/5 based on 7 customer reviews

Svalbard Safari Holidays FAQs

How do I get to Svalbard?

To get to Svalbard you will need a flight to Oslo in Norway, from there you can get a connecting flight to Longyearbyen, either direct or via Tromsø. Direct from Oslo takes approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes, the journey from Tromsø to Longyearbyen is about an hour and 40 minutes. Longyearbyen is the capital city of Svalbard and contains the archipelago’s largest airport.

What to do in svalbard?

Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago, offers a range of activities for those seeking to experience its unique environment. Wildlife enthusiasts can observe polar bears, reindeer, and Arctic foxes in their natural habitats, while glacier exploration includes guided hikes and ice climbing. The Northern Lights provide a stunning light display during the winter months. Adventurers can explore various trials, abandoned mining towns and learn about the region's past. Svalbard also serves as a hub for Arctic research, with scientific stations and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault playing essential roles in advancing our understanding of the Arctic ecosystem and biodiversity conservation.

Is Svalbard good for tourists?

Svalbard is a destination that offers unique experiences for tourists. The archipelago's rugged Arctic landscapes, diverse wildlife, and intriguing history make it an attractive location for those seeking adventure and natural beauty. Activities such as wildlife viewing, glacier exploration, hiking, dog sledding, and witnessing the Northern Lights make Svalbard a magnet for travellers interested in the outdoors and the Arctic environment. It's important to note that due to its remote location and challenging conditions, visiting Svalbard requires careful planning and adherence to safety guidelines. However, for those prepared for the environment and looking to explore a truly exceptional corner of the world, Svalbard offers a one-of-a-kind experience.

How many days should you spend in Svalbard?

Our recommended duration for a visit to Svalbard depends on the depth of exploration you seek: a short 2-4 day trip offers a glimpse of key attractions like wildlife tours and Northern Lights viewing; a moderate 5-7 day stay allows for a more comprehensive experience with additional activities such as hikes and boat tours; while an extended 8+ day visit affords the chance to fully immerse yourself in Svalbard's diverse offerings, including more remote expeditions and specialised adventures, ensuring a richer understanding of this unique Arctic destination.

What country does Svalbard belong to?

Svalbard forms part of Norway and is the considered the northern most tip of Europe.