The search for the polar bear is bound to excite and intrigue any dedicated wildlife adventurer, but you don’t have to sacrifice your creature comforts to spy this elusive bear. There are now a number of luxury expeditions which will take you on top-notch arctic safaris in search of the adorable killer.
Churchill, Manitoba in Canada is often hailed as the polar bear capital of the world, and here there are a multitude of arctic options to choose from.
Great White Bear Tours do day trips that allow discerning travellers the flexibility to create their own adventure. Travel with expert guides in their luxurious custom-made Polar Rovers, where you’ll see a plethora of wildlife including fox, caribou, snowy owls and of course the magnificent polar bear. A one-day tour is CA$472.50.
Churchill Wild is the only company in the world that owns and operates fly-in polar bear eco-lodges in the Canadian Arctic. Their Great Ice Bear Adventure is a seven-day arctic safari that includes an aerial tour, tundra trekking, gourmet meals and endless opportunities to spot polar bears, moose, caribou, seals and whales. You’ll also have the chance to witness the spectacular Northern Lights displays in the area. Prices start at CA$8,795 per person.
Arctic Northern Lights tour
Epic Road do an exclusive arctic expedition departing from Montreal which includes a helicopter tour plus nine nights accommodation and all meals. Five nights are spent in an upscale arctic safari-style camp, meaning travellers will have ample time to spot bears. Their Arctic Northern Lights tour starts at CA$25,000 per person.
Northern Alaska Tour Company operates a high-end one-day tour that flies you over the expansive Yukon River Valley and across the Arctic Circle before landing in the Inupiat Eskimo village of Kaktovic. From there you’ll travel by sea as your captain takes you to the best Alaskan areas for viewing the giants of the north. Prices start at $1,399 per person.
Norway, Greenland and Iceland
For a European adventure, Abercrombie & Kent do a high-end arctic cruise package taking in the sights of Norway, Greenland and Iceland. The expert-led expedition allows guests to polar bear-spot from the comfort of a luxury all-balcony ship, passing some of the world’s most remote and magical arctic islands on the way. You’ll spend three days in the Svalbard archipelago, where it’s claimed polar bears are as abundant as ice and snowy peaks. Prices range from US$14,495 to US$27,995 for 15 days.