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Polar Bear on Ice, Spitsbergen, Arctic

Spitsbergen Polar Bear Photographic Voyage

Start date End date Days
Prices from
Single Supplement Tour Expert Group Size Status
16/06/23 25/06/23 10 days £6,795 ex. flights £1,995 Paul Goldstein 50 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Paul Goldstein, Sea-Polar-Bear, shadow, Spitsbergen 1

Polar Bears

Photograph polar bears on sea ice in the northern reaches of Svalbard.

Polar Pioneer Sea Ice 2

Polar Pioneer

Small, robust and manoeuvrable with a history of expeditionary voyages in Spitsbergen.

Paul Goldstein iceberg clients Spitsbergen 3

Flexible itinerary

An expeditionary style of travel allows for the sea, ice and polar bears to dictate the schedule.

Paul Goldstein 4

Expert crew

Paul Goldstein and the Polar Pioneer crew are reunited in search of polar bears!

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1


  • Day 2

    Hornsund and Edgeoya

  • Day 3-4


  • Day 5-6

    Hinlopen Strait

  • Day 7-8

    Seven Islands and Monaco Glacier

  • Day 9

    Isfjorden and Alkehornet

  • Day 10


Day 1


Set sail in the afternoon from Longyearbyen.

Day 2

Hornsund and Edgeoya

Visit the captivating fjord complex of Hornsund before heading to Edgeoya.

Day 3-4


Search the ice pans around Edgeoya for bears.

Day 5-6

Hinlopen Strait

Head north between the two islands into the wildlife rich water of the Hinlopen Strait.

Day 7-8

Seven Islands and Monaco Glacier

Sail north east towards the Seven Islands and then round to Monaco Glacier for views of the prolific birdlife.

Day 9

Isfjorden and Alkehornet

Sail South through isfjorden and land at Alkehornet for great walking.

Day 10


Disembark in the morning at Longyearbyen.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

Paul-Goldstein bird-cliff Spitsbergen

Flexibility is key

While most voyages have a prescribed itinerary, this voyage is not of them, eschewing routines in exchange for a more fluid and spontaneous approach, which allows the wildlife, weather and ice to dictate the schedule. In Paul’s words:

“This is not a journey gauged by two sittings at dinner, shopping and rigid timetables…but, if you want a voyage dedicated to bears, particularly those on ice and glaciers, this is for you.”

Polar Pioneer Sea Ice

Polar Pioneer

The Polar Pioneer has an impressive history of research and exploration of the High Arctic. Her small size gives her manoeuvrability like few other ships, which means she can access the polar parts that other ships cannot reach. Crucially, she also has a very strong hull which is vital for being able to negotiate the ice, which in June should still be prolific. Ice is a key ingredient of this trip as Paul’s mantra explains: ‘a bear seen on ice is worth many seen on land’.

Paul Goldstein, burgy-bit, zodiac, Spitsbergen

Expertise and experience

The perfect vessel deserves only the best personnel on board and so we’ve gone to great lengths to bring together some of the best in the business. Paul Goldstein has been compared to Gordon Ramsay but ‘with cameras, not pots and pans’ but underlying his passion and gusto, is a deep-seated knowledge and respect for polar bears and their fragile environment. This understanding and his knack for getting his clients in the right place at the right time means you will return home with images to be rightly proud of. The expedition leader on the voyage will be David Berg, an Arctic guide who has worked with Paul and the skipper of Polar Pioneer on many ocassions.

Paul Goldstein Iceberg cliff Spitsbergen

Offset with World Land Trust

Steppes Travel will pay an offset of £50 per person on your behalf to the World Land Trust’s carbon-balanced projects, working on afforestation and reforestation initiatives in Latin America and South East Asia.

We have come to this figure in the following way:

  • Flights to Longyearbyen with an overnight hotel stay in Oslo generate approx. 965 kg CO²e
  • Polar Pioneer will confirm the cruise carbon footprint shortly but we estimate it to be in the region of 900 – 1,100 kg CO²e per person – based on figures we have for similar cruises.
  • A total figure of 2,065 CO²e per person requires an offset of £31 to allow for any inaccuracies, Steppes Travel will pay an offset of £50 per person to World Land Trust.
Paul Goldstein, Sea, Polar Bear, snow Spitsbergen

Want to know what it's like to cruise around Svalbard?

From polar bears and glaciers to walruses and icebergs, Svalbard is an otherworldly destination that teems with eye-popping landscapes and unique wildlife. Watch the video to get a sense of life on board a vessel in this enchanting region.

Includes / Excludes

Important Information

Activity Level
Single Supplement

Travelling on your own? Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places provides security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour expert.


To allow flexibility, our group tours do not include international flights as standard. We can arrange international flights on your behalf, please get in touch with our travel experts for a quote. All international flights from the UK are ATOL protected.


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Polar Pioneer £££££

  • Spitsbergen

Robust, manoeuvrable, and limited to only 50 passengers on board, Polar Pioneer is the perfect vessel for an expeditionary cruise in the polar regions. Built in Finland in the early eighties, she was one of a fleet of ten ice-strengthened research vessels built for scientific research along Russia’s northern coast. Today, only two of these vessels are used for polar expeditions, so it is not surprising she is in such demand.

View Boat

Why a Steppes expert-led group tour

1.Experience matters

We have been running insightful and groundbreaking group tours since our inception in 1989. We have worked with institutions such as the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum and run wildlife tours in conjunction with conservation agencies such as Fauna & Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society, the Orangutan Foundation, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute.

2.Like-minded travellers

Steppes Travellers are like-minded people; interesting, interested and curious. Our group tours, usually consisting of eight to ten travellers, aim to create an easy and informal atmosphere – we have a lot of fun on our tours and many friendships have been formed.

Nicaragua's Caribbean coast
Lake Van, Turkey

4.Peace of mind

When you travel on one of our group tours, you will be looked after by our local agents and your tour expert with the back-up of our 24-hour emergency number and duty manager. All our holidays are fully bonded and protected – our ATOL number is ATOL 6495.

3.It’s about who you know

We have developed an enviable pool of expertise from which to choose our tour experts, who we carefully select based on their knowledge, companionship and personality. Often, these experts can use their influence to facilitate private access to sites not typically open to the public.

Our future tour dates

For further information about any of these tours please call 01285 880 980

Start date End date Days
Prices from
Single Supplement Tour Expert Group Size Status
16/06/23 25/06/23 10 days £6,795 ex. flights £1,995 Paul Goldstein 50 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Reserve your place on this group tour

Our travel experts have a wealth of first-hand knowledge, so if you have any questions about this expert-led group tour, please get in touch. They would love to help. We hope you can join us on this tour.

01285 880 980

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Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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