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Realm of the Polar Bear

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8
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This tour is operated by
Realm of the Polar Bear - G Adventures
Realm of the Polar Bear - G Adventures
Average
3 reviews
Starts
Longyearbyen
+1 Destinations
Svalbard
Ends
Longyearbyen
Map

Highlights

Start and end in Longyearbyen! With the polar / arctic / antartica cruise tour Realm of the Polar Bear, you have a 8 day tour package taking you through Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Spitsbergen. Realm of the Polar Bear includes accommodation as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
Age range
12 to 70 year olds
Accommodation
Berth / Cabin
Max Group Size
134
Transportation
Coach / Bus, Boat

3 Reviews

Excellent
33%
Good
0%
Average
33%
Rather Poor
0%
Bad
33%
Write a review
  • Realm of the Polar Bear reviewer 1
    Written on September 16, 2016
    5.0 - Excellent

    After having been to stunning Antarctica with the G Expedition, I never expected the Arctic to be as beautiful and diverse as it was. BUT I have to admit this trip totally blew me away! Driving though the pack ice spotting a polar bear eating a seal, walking on a massive glacier, admiring the huge mountain ranges, exploring the arctic flora on lush fields covered with alpine flowers, lakes, looking for ancient fossils in a desert area still covered by snow, walking next to calm reindeers eating grass, driving next to gigantic rock formations covered with nesting birds, watching at a polar bear sunbathing and swimming, taking photographs of massive sleeping walruses on the beach or cruising around bizarre icebergs watching at calving glaciers with seals popping next to our zodiac boats. We were lucky to have such perfect weather conditions and the sun seemed to follow the ship every day. The G Expedition team was absolutely brilliant. Everyone was very passionate about their work and tried to give us the best possible experience. The team offered lots of interesting lectures on marine life, polar bears, birds, history etc. as many specialists and scientists on board. The atmosphere on board is very friendly and relaxed and people feel very welcomed. The food and service were absolutely outstanding so watch out, you might gain some weight (or you go to the gym on board). Don't forget to take your swimwear as those guys will let you even jump into the Arctic waters (a must activity in my opinion) and don't worry there is a sauna where you can relax after this! The size of this ship and it's knowledgable team are the perfect combination for people who want to get the real expedition feeling. An absolute unforgettable experience on board the G Expedition and I'm already looking forward to be back on the ship as soon as possible!
    Show detailed ratings

  • VT
    Written on July 11, 2015
    1.0 - Bad

    We were very disappointed with our Svalbard trip with G-Adventures. As per their marketing materials, the focus of the trip was supposed to be on nature and wildlife, whereas arctic history was supposed to be covered in lectures on board the ship. Instead, the expedition staff spent significant amount of time visiting historic sites. Because of the visits to historic sites, we lost valuable time and didn't end up seeing polar bears which are the main attraction of this trip and Svalbard. A few of us raised this issue with the expedition leader and asked her to head north to the drift ice to look for polar bears instead of visiting historic sites, but she didn't agree with us. Do not use G-Adventures for polar travel because they don't specialize in polar travel. All their expedition staff is contracted and most have very little experience. And their advertising is misleading since they don't run the same trips they advertise. There are much better companies for polar travel such as Quark Expeditions.
    G Adventures commented on this review
    Dear Vikrant, My name is Lyndon File, and I am the Manager of our Customer Experience team here with G Adventures. Firstly, I am sorry the experience was not what you - and I suspect all travellers onboard - had hopped. Obviously, anyone who signs up for a tour entitled ‘The Realm of the Polar Bear’ would have reasonable expectations that they would see a Polar Bear to two. This trip is also on my bucket list, so I can absolutely understand the sense of disappointment when no bears were sighted over the duration of this cruise. I am sorry for this, and I am sorry if this has tainted your view of our company. I have reports from the ship, and the Expedition Team that every effort was made to spot bears. This includes, but is not limited to, visiting spots where other sightings had recently occurred, constant radio contact with other boats about their spotting efforts, and having a watch in place whenever the vessel was in reasonable bear territory. Despite all of this, nature conspired against us all, and no bears were to be seen. If I understand the above correctly, it seems that the main issue is that the itinerary spent time looking at historical sites, rather than patrolling possible bear areas. The reason for this is two-fold: 1) There are other travellers onboard who have a diverse range of interests. These interests are not 100% focused on Polar Bears, and the Expedition team took advantage of local sites of interest to accommodate a range of interests onboard. 2) Polar Bears are everywhere in Svalbard. In fact, there were fresh bear tracks cited near one of the historical places visited. Unfortunately, nature did not co-operate with our timeline, and the bear was nowhere to be seen. I am sorry that there were no Polar Bears seen on this trip. Clearly, it must come as a disappointment to all onboard - including our staff. Despite this, I have every confidence the team onboard did everything in their power to provide a memorable experience for all onboard. It would seem nature just didn't co-operate on this occasion.
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  • SM
    Written on June 30, 2014
    3.0 - Average

    Realm of the Polar Bears with G Adventure - they were so unorganized before getting us onboard. On the FlyBuss Voucher (a transportation voucher from Longyearbyen Airport to Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen), it's written "Please present this voucher to the G Adventure Representative on arrival". Well, no G Adventure Representative ever showed up!?!?! We were not the only two that were waiting for this representative. A group of over 20 American tourists, one couple, a lady tourist were also waiting. When everyone else at this small airport picked up their luggages & boarded the only bus to town, we all had no choice but hopped on. Instead of giving the voucher to a G adventure Representative, we gave it to the bus driver. Upon arrival to Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen, we presented our hotel voucher to the receptionist. Then we were told we were not booked to stay at this hotel but at another hotel up the hill, 20 mins walk from the town centre (but the voucher clearly stated Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen!). We tried to locate the G Adventure Representative but we were told that she was on the Expedition Ship & couldn't be reached. After so many hours of travelling (from Hong Kong to Longyearbyen, more than 20 hours!!!), we were so stressed by this terrible situation. The receptionist suggested that we took a taxi because it would be too hard to walk up the hill with heavy luggages. And again we had no choice but to get into the taxi, it costed us 89 Nor for a 5 mins taxi ride. At almost 10pm that evening, we received a letter from G Adventure notifying us about the change of hotel due to occupancy availability at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel. In short, they bumped us off and notified us 8 hours later without a word of apology!!!! Only if there was a representative at the airport (as arranged), picking us up and letting us know the change of hotel, everything would be fine and no stress for us. Although they reimbursed the two way taxi fares to us, this was a big hiccup before the trip. We went through a Hong Kong travel agent called Country Holidays Limited ( www.countryholidays.com.hk ) to book this trip and of course we held them responsible too. Luckily, everything went smoothly once we were on board the ship. The Expedition Leaders were very pleasant & professional and so were the rest of the staff onboard. Lectures & presentations were well planned & informative
    G Adventures commented on this review
    My name is Lyndon File, and I am the Manager of our Customer Experience team here with G Adventures. It concerns me greatly that these difficulties occurred at the beginning of a trip of a lifetime. On behalf of over one thousand people who work so hard to make this company great every day, I apologize. The difficulties encountered should never have occurred - however they did. We have used the Flybus service for some time in Spitsbergen without incident. However this episode has shone a light on the fact that the wording on our voucher is indeed lacking in this area. Subsequent to this event, we have included several sentences on the documentation that clearly explains the service and how to use the voucher. In regard to the hotel change, I can see in our reservation system we did communicate the hotel change on the 3rd of April to the travel agent. I can only assume this e-mail did not make it to your attention and resulted in the disappointment and frustration experienced here. We refunded the cost of the taxi between the two hotels onboard. In the interests of doing the right thing here, I have processed a refund for the first nights accommodation. I was thrilled that you enjoyed their time onboard the MS Expedition, and these initial hiccups.
    Show detailed ratings

Itinerary

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  • Introduction
  • Expand all
  • Day 1 Longyearbyen/Spitsbergen (1D)
  • Days 2-7 Spitsbergen
  • Day 8 Spitsbergen/Longyearbyen (1B)

What's included

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  • Accommodation

    Rated Average by past passengers
  • Guide

    Rated Good by past passengers
  • Meals

    Rated Average by past passengers
  • Transport

    Rated Average by past passengers
  • Additional Services

  • Flights

  • Insurance

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Questions & Answers

Here we have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions about this tour.

  • October 1, 2016

    What is the Cabin type that comes together with the basic tour rate?

    The price shown in our website is for the lowest cabin category - Category A1 (Quad share)

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    What are people saying about TourRadar?

    • Andrew, 27 years old4th May 2017
      Your booking agents were very helpful, they were prompt to reply and were happy to help in any way they could. They provided great information and were very friendly.

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    About the countries

    Useful things to know before you go

    Currencies

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    Svalbard and Norway

    Plugs & Adapters

    Svalbard and Norway

    Visa

    Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.

    Vaccinations

    These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
    Tick-borne encephalitis
    Recommended for Norway. Ideally 6 months before travel.

    Policies

    Location
    Start and end in Longyearbyen.
    Hold my space
    TourRadar can request G Adventures to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
    Deposit
    TourRadar only requires a deposit of $250 to confirm this G Adventures booking. The remaining balance is then payable 65 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 22 December 2017 the full payment of $4,299 is necessary.
    Cancellation policy
    No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 65 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $4299 for Realm of the Polar Bear, but the deposit of $250 is non-refundable. But, the deposit is fully transferable to future bookings with G Adventures.
    Credit Cards
    The following cards are accepted for G Adventures tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express

    Destinations

    Covering a total distance of approx 86 km.
    • Longyearbyen (Svalbard)
    • 43 km
    • Spitsbergen (Norway)
    • 43 km
    • Longyearbyen (Svalbard)

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