Polar Bears 2024 - Bluewater Travel Norway Expedition - Bluewater Dive Travel

Norway Polar Expedition August 2024

A polar bear and cub stand on rocks
People observe a polar icy landscape from a boat
A polar bear lounges in the snow
Two people observe an animal laying on polar ice
A group of people walk along the edge of a still body of water with the sun in the background
Three walruses in water
A whale blows while just breaking the surface of the water
People observe a goat in its natural habitat
A group of people approach a glacier on foot
Two people observe a nearby huddle of walruses
A polar bear and her cub sniff moss-covered rocks
A landscape with sea, land, and sky
Two people kayak in the arctic
A group of people observe a marine mammal resting on a floating piece of ice


Norway Polar Expedition August 2024

Join Bluewater Travel for a unique and thrilling expedition exploring the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard. Get the chance to explore the exciting flora and fauna of the Arctic!

August 9 - 18, 2024

Aboard the MV Plancius

Trip Leader: Tim Yeo

Quadruple Porthole $5,400

Twin Porthole $7,700

Twin Window $8,300

Twin Deluxe $9,000

Superior $10,000


Optional Add-on:

Diving activity: $800 (minimum 30 cold water dives)

Kayaking activity:  $450 (need to be comfortable in a sit-in sea kayak with a spray skirt)

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Prices listed are per person

Why Join This Trip?

  • Explore the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard and its exciting flora and fauna
  • Visit exciting landmarks like the largest ice cap in Europe or Bell Sund, one of the largest fjord systems in Svalbard
  • Travel aboard the M/V Plancius, designed for exploring remote locations and navigating through ice
  • Aimed at Adventurers - to provide the best possible experience, this trip includes some elements that are best suited to adventure travelers. Contact Us for more details.


Trip Overview

Exploring the Svalbard Archipelago promises an unforgettable Arctic adventure, combining breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and a rich cultural heritage. Start your journey in Longyearbyen, the largest settlement, accessible by air from Oslo or by cruise from various Arctic destinations. The archipelago boasts diverse wildlife, including polar bears, reindeer, and Arctic foxes; as well as stunning landscapes such as glaciers and fjords. Svalbard's rich history, marked by exploration, mining, and scientific research, can be explored at historical sites. 

Svalbard offers an adventure like no other, but thorough planning ensures a safe and enriching experience in this remote Arctic paradise. Photography enthusiasts will find this trip ideal for capturing the Arctic landscapes, unique lighting conditions, and the interplay of light and shadows on the icy terrain. Birdwatchers can also indulge in their passion as Svalbard hosts seabird colonies along the cliffs and shores. 

See More: Norway Dive Travel Guide

Svalbard Group Trip 2024

Svalbard Group Trip 2024 Svalbard Group Trip 2024 Svalbard Group Trip 2024

Images by Zoutfotografie - Oceanwide Expeditions

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Marine Life To Photograph

When exploring the Svalbard Archipelago, you'll encounter a diverse range of marine life and topside life that contribute to the unique and captivating character of this Arctic wilderness. In the surrounding frigid waters, whale enthusiasts will delight in sightings of humpback whales, minke whales, beluga whales, and the awe-inspiring blue whales, showcasing the rich marine biodiversity. Additionally, seals, including harbor seals, bearded seals, and ringed seals, are commonly spotted basking on ice floes or gracefully navigating the Arctic seas. Walruses, with their distinctive tusks, are a charismatic highlight, often seen along the coasts or resting atop drifting icebergs. Beneath the surface, Arctic fish such as Arctic cod, Greenland halibut, and Arctic char thrive in the chilly depths.

Above the water's surface, Svalbard's terrestrial life offers its own set of wonders. The polar bear, an iconic symbol of the Arctic, can be spotted patrolling the ice floes or foraging along the coastlines, particularly during the summer months when they come ashore. The Svalbard reindeer, uniquely adapted to the harsh conditions, grazes on the tundra, adding to the archipelago's terrestrial charm. Arctic foxes, equally adapted to extreme cold, are a delightful sight as they traverse the stark landscape in search of food. During the brief summer, the tundra bursts to life with a riot of wildflowers, adding vibrant hues to the otherwise rugged terrain. Explorers can also delve into Svalbard's human history by visiting historical sites such as old mining towns and research stations, providing a glimpse into the region's past.

Svalbard Group Trip 2024 Svalbard Group Trip 2024

Images by Zoutfotografie - Oceanwide Expeditions

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  • 9-nights aboard M/V Plancius
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels, and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.



  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Transfers to / from the vessel outside Spitsbergen.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

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Trip Type

This trip is a group trip, not a photography workshop. It will be led by an experienced Bluewater trip leader who will manage the trip logistics and ensure your needs are met throughout. While this trip is designed to optimize your photography opportunities, it is not led by one of our photo instructors and so meaningful photography advice from your trip leader should not be expected.

  • What to expect from our Group Trips

    • Meet like-minded travelers - Our Group Trips are perfect for solo travelers who enjoy meeting other divers or photographers and enjoy the support of a pre-arranged itinerary. Your trip leader will arrange group activities such as meals or game nights to ensure everyone feels part of the Bluewater family.
    • Problems solved - Your trip leader will be on hand to assist with any issues you may have. From delayed or canceled flights, to lost room keys and dietary requirements. We have dealt with it all before and will ensure that your trip runs smoothly. 

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Sample Itinerary

  • Day 1: Largest town, biggest island
  • You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.
  • Day 2: Cruising Krossfjorden
  • Heading north along the west coast, you arrive by morning in Krossfjorden. Here you might board the Zodiacs for a cruise near the towering blue-white face of the Fourteenth of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, colorful flowers bloom while flocks of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nest on the cliffs. You have a good chance of spotting an Arctic fox scouting for fallen chicks, or a bearded seal paddling through the fjord.
  • In the afternoon you sail to Ny Ålesund, the northernmost settlement on Earth. Once a mining village served by the world’s most northerly railway – you can still see its tracks – Ny Ålesund is now a research center. Close to the community is a breeding ground for barnacle geese, pink-footed geese, and Arctic terns. And if you’re interested in the history of Arctic exploration, visit the anchoring mast used by polar explorers Amundsen and Nobile in their airships, Norge (1926) and Italia (1928).
  • Day 3: Stop at the Seven Islands
  • The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears and walrus inhabit this stark desolate landscape. Later in the day the ship may roam for several hours among the pack ice in search of wildlife.
  • Day 4: The great glacier front of Schweigaardbreen
  • Pushing east to Nordaustlandet, you reach the area where the Italian captain Sora tried to rescue the Nobile Expedition in 1928. The focus here is the great glacier front of Schweigaardbreen, though you may also land at Firkantbukta, getting the chance to gain some altitude and take a few higher-elevation photos. Alternately, you could make a Zodiac cruise near Storøya, where you might encounter walruses.
  • Day 5: Ice cap at Kvitøya
  • Today you try to reach the rarely visited Kvitøya, far to the east and close to Russian territory. The enormous ice cap covering this island leaves only a small area bare. You land at the western tip of Andréeneset, where the Swedish explorer S. A. Andrée and his companions perished in 1897. Another objective for the day is Kræmerpynten, where a sizable group of walruses reside.
  • Day 6: The longest glacier in Spitsbergen
  • South of Nordaustlandet you may land on Isisøya, formerly a Nunatak area surrounded by glaciers but now an island surrounded by the sea. You then may pass by Bråswellbreen, part of the largest ice cap in Europe and famed for its meltwater waterfalls.
  • Day 7: Barentsøya’s many bounties
  • The plan is to make landings in Freemansundet, though polar bears sometimes make this impossible. Potential stops on Barentsøya include Sundneset (for an old trapper’s hut), Kapp Waldburg (for its kittiwake colony), and Rindedalen (for a walk across the tundra). You might also cruise south to Diskobukta, though Kapp Lee is more likely your destination. On Kapp Lee is a walrus haul-out, Pomor ruins, and the chance for hikes along Edgeøya.
  • Day 8: Land of the pointed mountains
  • You start the day by cruising the side fjords of the Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, taking in the spire-like peaks: Hornsundtind rises 1,431 meters (4,695 feet), and Bautaen is a perfect illustration of why early Dutch explorers named this island Spitsbergen, meaning “pointed mountains.” There are 14 sizable glaciers in this area as well as opportunities for spotting seals, beluga whales, and polar bears. 
  • Day 9: Bell Sund’s flora, fauna, and haunting history
  • Today you find yourself in Bell Sund, one of the largest fjord systems in Svalbard. The ocean currents make this area slightly warmer than other areas in the archipelago, which shows in the relatively lush vegetation. Here there are excellent opportunities to enjoy both history and wildlife.
  • A possibility is Ahlstrandhalvøya, at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden, where piles of beluga skeletons can be found. These remains of 19th-century whale slaughter are a haunting reminder of the consequences of rampant exploitation. Fortunately, belugas were not hunted into extinction, and you have a good chance of coming across a pod.
  • Alternately, while cruising the side fjords of Bellsund, you can explore tundra where reindeer like to feed as well as rock slopes where little auks are breeding. 
  • Day 10: There and back again
  • Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.


Polar Expedition Manual

Polar Expedition Manual Polar Expedition Manual Polar Expedition Manual

Polar Expedition Manual Polar Expedition Manual Polar Expedition Manual 

Polar Expedition Manual Polar Expedition Manual



This Oceanwide Expeditions ice-strengthened vessel offers safety and comfort for adventure seekers traveling into Antarctica. With the highest ice-class notation, it is ideal for exploring remote locations and navigating through ice, while maintaining high standards of guest service and amenities.

MV Plancius MV Plancius

Dining/Lecture Room & Library

M/V "Plancius" accommodates 108 passengers in 52 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 11 twin porthole cabins, 25 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins (ca. 12,5 square meters), and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters). All cabins offer lower berths (one queen-size bed in the superior cabins and two single beds in the twin cabins), except for the 4 quadruple cabins (for 4 persons in 2x upper and lower beds), and 2 triple cabins (1 bunk bed plus 1 lower bed).

MV Plancius MV Plancius

Quadruple Porthole & Twin Window Cabins

MV Plancius MV Plancius

Twin Deluxe & Superior Cabins 

Read more about the M/V Plancius here.

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About The Trip Leader

Tim YeoTim grew up in tiny Singapore, where driving for more than an hour meant you would need a passport. Traveling was always his passion, but Tim became addicted to dive travel soon after he got scuba certified in Malaysia.

During Tim’s undergraduate studies at UCLA, he flew home to Singapore every summer to visit his parents for a couple of weeks. Then he would take off to a new dive destination in Southeast Asia (such as Thailand, Indonesia, or the Philippines) to satisfy his cravings for warm tropical diving.  As his diving addiction grew, Tim eventually became a staff instructor with PADI and an instructor trainer with SDI. After getting his instructor certification, Tim spent time teaching scuba in Malaysia and Vietnam. Tim has since traveled to over 40 countries and scuba dived off the shores of 7 continents.

Tim loves all types of diving: Wreck diving in the Red Sea and Truk Lagoon, big animal diving in Socorro and Galapagos, beach diving in Bonaire and Bali, muck diving in Anilao and Lembeh Straits, wall diving in Roatan and Sipadan, and reef diving in Palau and the Fiji. Read more about Tim here.


Contact Tim at tim@bluewaterdivetravel.com for more info about his trips. 

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Flight Information

Guests will have to fly into Longyearbyen, the administrative center of the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago called Spitsbergen. 

We highly recommend that you plan to arrive in Longyearbyen at least 1 day prior to embarkation on August 9th. It is not uncommon for baggage to be delayed on domestic flights in Norway, and the boat will not delay sailing for guests whose bags have not arrived. For suggestions on accommodation or activities if you plan to arrive early, please contact us.

A transfer from the airport to the boat will be provided for guests arriving on flight      SK4490 OSL - LYR 09:45 - 12:40 hrs on 09 AUG 24. Guests arriving early should make their own way to the boat  for embarkation between 4 and 5pm.

Please book your departure flight for 1pm or later on August 18th. While earlier flights are available, we cannot guarantee that the boat will be back in port in time for you to catch a flight before this.

On disembarkation day, transfer from the boat to the airport in Longyearbyen is provided in connection with the following flight(s): SK4499 LYR - OSL 07:35 - 10:30 hrs on 18 AUG 24 and SK4425 LYR - OSL14:35 - 18:55 hrs on 18 AUG 24

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Payment Schedule  

Deposit: 20% to confirm spot

Balance: Due April 15, 2024

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Call us today at +1-310-915-6677 or email us trips@bluewaterdivetravel.com

And let us book your dream vacation!

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Photo Gallery 

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Svalbard Group Trip 2024 Svalbard Group Trip 2024

Svalbard Group Trip 2024

Svalbard Group Trip 2024 Svalbard Group Trip 2024

Svalbard Group Trip 2024

Images by Zoutfotografie - Oceanwide Expeditions

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