1 independent reviews for Spitsbergen wildlife cruises

These full and frank independent reviews are from travelers who have booked directly through Responsible Travel. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travelers below.


review 2 Aug 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing a mother polar bear and her two cubs walking on the ice floes walking along them then diving in and swimming to the next one. The cubs following on behind her. Fabulous!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be warm but also have some smart casual clothes to wear in the evening. When inside of the boat you can be relatively warm - have those layers for going out on deck where it can be cooler but you can watch the midnight sun or enjoy the on deck BBQ. If you want good photographs make sure you have a camera with long range focus as you are often at a distance from the wildlife so as not to disturb them. Take your swimming gear as you do get the opportunity to swim in arctic waters - everyone that did did survive! Mobile phone signal is lost once you come out of the fjord and into the sea - there is a possibility to set up an email system with reception but this can be costly. Remember that this is an extreme part of the world where nature rules and that anything can happen and sometimes it does.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. We shopped in Longyearbyen and had snacks there some people stayed in the hotels there too. We were advised that we could not remove anything from the island by way of stones, bones, or remove any plants to take home. We were asked to bring biodegradable products to use. We always kept at a distance from the wildlife in order to not stress them and allow them to go about their daily life as usual.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent. The team leaders are very knowledgeable and the trips out were well organised and we were well guarded by perimeter sentries in case a polar bear should arrive. We were very well fed and with lots of choices - be prepared to put on weight! The cabins were spacious and our cabin crew were great at tidying us up and keeping our cabin shipshape. There were safety boxes freely available at reception. I didn't use one and didn't feel the need too which was very nice. Fellow passengers were really good fun and added to the whole experience - it gets you talking more travel.

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Unedited reviews from other travelers

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
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