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Review: MS Expedition 'Realm of The Polar Bear'

Cruise - Ocean Cruise

An Expedition Into The Unknown

  • By SilverTraveller Northern-Lass

    4 reviews

  • Jul 2011
  • Husband
  • Regular holiday
  • Outside

122 people found this review helpful

I'm 62 and my husband is 70. This was our first organised holiday for a long time and very much a first cruise. Not the luxury super-liner for us, MS Expedition takes only 120+ passengers, we were only 86. She's a comfortable ship and our cabin was roomy and well serviced. Not that we were in it much!! The intention of the cruise is to crcumnavigate Svalbard in search of wildlife (mainly Polar Bear), this depends on the melting of the pack-ice and thus flexibility is the name of the game. The experience leader (and the ships captain) did everything to ensure we saw polar bears, walrus, reindeer, arctic fox, seal, whales, seabirds (including puffin at their northernmost). There were one or two trips out in Zodiac boats daily, visits to glaciers, research stations, walks on tundra, the most northern settlement, a trip in the ship to the ice edge of the Arctic ocean and wildlife viewing wherever and whenever. Daily recaps and lectures by the highly qualified staff of botanists, naturalists, geologist, historian filled the day. There was time to eat! The meals were excellent with a wide choice at each mealtime. We even had a barbecue on deck lit by the midnight sun. My husband has permanent back pain and we were not sure how much of the activity he would cope with. No worry, he just didn't do any of the longer walks but still did the Zodiac trips, took his walking stick along and enjoyed every minute. All in all, a great trip full of activity and interest.


122 people found this review helpful

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Other Members' Thoughts - 1 Comment(s)

  • The-lone-traveller
    over 8 years ago
    I have done this cruise on the old Explorer with GAP, I had a great time and saw over 40 polar bears in 10 days, the experience and knowledge of the guides was outstanding. I would certainly recommend this tour if you are physically active to get into zodiacs. Have a keen interest in wild life, and have a good sense of humour. As it is needed. Not only did I visit Svalbard but on another occasion I visited East Greenland, very similar but different being stuck in pack ice for 48 hours!