Where to Find Polar Bears
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
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
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