Where to Find Polar Bears

Tuesday, 25th September 2018

Destination Specialist

spitsbergen polar Roy Mangersnes

Discover the kingdom of the ice bear with our guide on where to travel to see the Arctic’s most impressive creature. We reveal the when and where to travel for your chance to find polar bears…

Spitsbergen & Svalbard

The Svalbard archipelago lies halfway between mainland Norway’s northern coast and the North Pole. The largest island is Spitsbergen, and its landscape is a mixture of craggy mountains, glaciers and icecaps, open tundra studded with wildflowers and colourful moss and lichen. Its coastline is cut with beautiful fjords, its cobalt-blue waters studded with icebergs and drift ice. This wild and unspoilt destination is the place to head on a small ship expedition cruise to see polar bears in their natural habitat – far from human habitation – along with plentiful marine wildlife and over 100 species of birds.

Most like to see polar bears… on ice floes and in the water in June, on beaches in August. Read Polar Travel Specialist Jo’s blog.
Best time to visit: Jun-Aug

Suggested itinerary

See all Spitsbergen cruises

Churchill, Manitoba

The ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World’ is undoubtedly Churchill, Manitoba. The town is located close to Hudson Bay and you’re all but guaranteed sightings of polar bears on the surrounding tundra during October and November when the bears wait for the ice to form on Hudson Bay. Excursions into the protected Churchill Wildlife Management Area in specially designed Polar Rovers, with expert guides, are the best way to see these incredible animals.

Most like to see polar bears… investigating your Polar Rover vehicle out on the tundra.
Best time to visit: Oct-Nov

Suggested itinerary:

arctic polar bear7

Arctic Canada

The Canadian Arctic covers a vast area of wilderness – but if you want to see polar bears, you have the best chance in Nunavik in northern Québec, Baffin Island and Somerset Island. Polar bears are counted as one of the ‘Big 3’ species of wildlife to see in Nunavik – along with musk ox and caribou – and whether you opt for an expedition cruise through the Northwest Passage or an Arctic safari, you might be lucky enough to spy polar bears on the ice or tundra.

Most like to see polar bears… in the distance patrolling the ice.
Best time to visit: Jul-Sep

Find out more about the Canadian Arctic

Start planning your adventure

For help and advice on planning your perfect polar bear adventure, contact our team of Travel Specialists today.

Browse all bear watching holidays

Speak to a specialist

Popular blog posts

How to choose your perfect winter hideaway in the Nordics

With so many exceptional properties across Iceland, Sweden, Finland and Norway, it can be tricky to choose between them. We've compiled this guide to help you select your ideal bolthole for winter.
  • Where to Stay

Monday, 6th September 2021

Pam Forrest

The Coolest Things to Do in the Nordics in Winter

Witnessing the northern lights tops the wish list of many who plan a visit to the Nordics in the winter, and rightly so, but there's so much more to an Arctic experience than aurora hunting!
  • Inspire Me

Tuesday, 28th September 2021

Pam Forrest

Where will you spend Easter 2022?

In 2022 the Easter weekend is 15-18 April making it not only a great time to experience the transition from season to season, but its close proximity to the May Day bank holiday means you can effectively double your time off.
  • Inspire Me

Thursday, 1st April 2021

Pam Forrest

Other blogs you may like

In Search of Polar Bears in Spitsbergen

Polar specialist, Gary, sailed around Spitsbergen aboard the M/V Plancius in search of polar bears.
  • Travel Stories
  • Wildlife

Tuesday, 24th October 2017

Destination Specialist

Bear Essentials with William Gray

Award-winning travel writer and photographer, William Gray heads to Canada's Churchill to catch a glimpse of the mighty polar bear.
  • Wildlife

Monday, 2nd November 2015

Will Gray

Photographing Polar Bears in Canada

Vanessa and Roger Draper travelled with us on our Polar Bear Photo Safari in November, staying at the remote Seal River Heritage Lodge. Despite having limited photographic experience, with the help of an expert guide they captured some truly stunning wildlife shots, as shown below! Here they recount their adventures in the Canadian Arctic...
  • Wildlife

Friday, 24th February 2017

Destination Specialist

In Search of Polar Bears in Churchill

Churchill, on the edge of Hudson Bay in northern Canada is known as the 'Polar Bear Capital of the World' - Pam discovers if it lives up to its impressive name.
  • Travel Stories
  • Wildlife

Wednesday, 20th January 2016

Pam Forrest