Polar Bears in Svalbard (Copy)


Svalbard, Norway — Special Permit to enter No-Tourism Zone




2021 April 3 – 10 April 10 – 17 2022 April 9 – 16    


8 Days


Snow mobilesSleds


Photographing polar bear feeding and nursing


Day 23 – 77°F (-5 – 25°C)
Night -4 – -40°F (-20 – -40°C)

Expedition Summary

We go to Svalbard later in the year for two reasons. First, it increases the likelihood and frequency that we’ll encounter the polar bears, and second, it gives us more daylight and shooting time.

Having learned from past experiences, We’ve also added a new upgrade to our expedition this year. We’re going to have two local guides. One of the guides will stay with our group, and the other guide will track the polar bears at night while we’re sleeping. This will ensure that when we’re ready to go in the morning, we’ll know where to find the bears.

As an added bonus, we will have the tundra all to ourselves, since we have the only permit available for the weeks we’re visiting — to protect the bears and their cubs, a permit is required to visit the section that’s closed to the public, and is available only to certified teams of researchers and qualified media.

This journey will try your patience, test your endurance, and show you a world of unmatched beauty and frozen splendor that you couldn’t possibly be prepared to understand. Join BigAnimals at the top of the world to walk in the footsteps of polar bears and discover a place more spectacular than anything even in your wildest dreams.


2020 $30,100

Trip costs, and dates are subject to change without prior notice until deposits are completed.

Weather, surface and water temperatures, and animal behavior are all subject to change. Our information is correct as of the last season.

Question? Contact Us

What's Included

  • 8 days of travel
  • 6 days on the ice
  • All accommodations including 2 nights at 5 star hotel in Longyearbyen, double occupancy (first and last day)
  • Charging station (camera and computer)
  • Driving equipment (each person issued a private snow mobile)
  • All extreme weather clothing, protective overall outer shell, boots, helmet, driving goggles, gloves, extra camera cases and padding
  • All meals
  • Expedition leader and expert guide

What's Excluded

  • International and domestic flights
  • Alcohol and soft drinks (soda)
  • Overweight luggage fees
  • Single occupancy
  • Unused part of the itinerary
  • Personal charges such as laundry, or telecommunication charges
  • Gratuities


Getting There


Day 1

Fly into Longyearbyen, Svalbard and check in to to designated hotel

Day 2

Early morning move to “staging area.” Check all our cold weather gear. Take a fast course in snowmobile driving; pack our personal, cameras and team gear, fuel, and food on sleds. There are two main areas for shadowing and filming polar Bear. Both areas are strictly controlled, and permit required. The selection of which area will be prime for photography to be decided at the time of our arrival. Based on the selected zone of operation our accommodation will be at Russian hotel style, equal to half star (heated, no water and limited food).

Days 3–6

We shall go for 10 to 14 hours daily, in search and shadowing female with her one or two cubs. We stop on the way for quick camping style meals and hot tea, while we continue searching. We will do it few times a day till we have our moment.

Day 7

We start making our way back to Longyearbyen and return our borrowed clothing gear and snowmobile. After a good shower in hot water, we meet for farewell dinner

Day 8

Transfer according to your flight to airport for you next destination.

Expedition Leader

Trip Details

Amos has known and worked closely with this particular outfitter in Svalbard for the last twenty years. They are the absolute best at what they do. They will make sure you are fully geared to handle just about anything the Arctic environment could throw at you including providing each guest with a personal snowmobile, helmet, gloves, goggles, boots, water and wind-proof survival suit, and even survival training.

These guides have an unprecedented level of expertise and are highly sought after for high stakes shooting assignments and costly productions.
There is no better way to observe polar bears hunting in their natural environment of frozen snow and ice than with this Big Animals expedition to our polar north.

There is only space for three guests and we like to keep it this way for a variety of reasons. Overcrowding is a chronic problem for photographers looking to capture natural animal behaviors and unique images. Our small expedition size ensures that will never be an issue. It also means that each guest will have a uniquely personal experience and the absolute best chances possible to capture rare images and footage of polar bears hunting.

Most importantly, a small group is far less likely to disturb the bears in comparison to a large one. This is critical for the sustainability of the activity. Because we must not alter their environment or change their behavior in any way, we will remain a minimum of 200 feet away from the bears at all times.

Accommodations are not for the faint of heart and can be rather rustic at times. Since we will be traveling across a gigantic frozen fjord, our lodging each night will depend on where the bears are and how far we followed them. In northern Svalbard, we will be staying in a deserted Russian coal-mining town in an austere cement building with minimal running water and simple beds. In the south, we will overnight in spartan “hunter’s huts” that are small, chilly, a bit smelly, and require a warm sleeping bag.

We spend 8-14 hours a day out on the ice and carry with us absolutely everything we could possibly need such as food, drinks, communication, first aid supplies, and more. The late afternoon and early evening light is the most beautiful and is typically when the bears are out hunting because it’s cooler and the sun is lower. These “golden hours” are flawless for photography and produce the most spectacular images imaginable.
In this incredibly harsh yet surprisingly fragile northern polar region of our planet, be prepared to partake in an adventure that will forever change your perspective on travel. This journey will try your patience, test your endurance, and show you a world of unmatched beauty and frozen splendor that you couldn’t possibly be prepared to understand.

Expedition Gallery

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A deposit of 33% of the total trip price is required to secure space on the trip.

You may book now by paying through our online booking system or by by mailing a check to the address below

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BigAnimals Expeditions
189 Evans Avenue, Suite A
Pacific Grove, CA 93950 USA

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Payment policy and deposit

When we receive your deposit, we will send you a comprehensive and detailed trip preparation document about the experience and the destination. All trip costs are subject to change without prior notice until your reservation is confirmed. All trips require you carry trip, health, and dive (if applicable) insurance. This information as well as your passport photo will be requested after you place your deposit.

Full payment is due no later than 90 days before departure. We reserve the right to sell any space that is not paid in full by 60 days before departure.


Cancellation policy


  • Must be made in writing.
  • More than 90 days before trip: Amount paid will be refunded less unrecoverable costs from promotional sales, administration costs, and processing fees.
  • 90 days or less before trip: No refund will be made unless space is sold, less unrecoverable costs from promotional sales, administration costs, and processing fees.
  • No refund is made for unused parts of the itinerary.


Join this expedition by paying the deposit.

Your deposit reserves your place on the trip. However, the full amount is due 90 days or more before the expedition date begins.

You will receive a confirmation email when your application is received. When your deposit is complete, you will receive trip confirmation. Complete trip details will be sent upon final payment.

View the Expedition Page for Total Trip Price and Cancellation Policies