Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. It’s often called “The land of the midnight sun.” It’s also known as “The Wildlife Capital of the Arctic.” Spitsbergen, about 1,300 kilometers from the North Pole, is dark four months of the year, but when the sun returns in April, the days lengthen until sometime in June when the sun never sets—all the better for viewing the wildlife that has made Spitsbergen so popular with travelers on a quest to observe polar bears and other wildlife, such as walruses, reindeers, arctic foxes, beluga whales, seals and seabirds.




Up until the 1920s, the Svalbard archipelago (the combined population is 2,667) was essentially a no man’s land until it was officially recognized as belonging to Norway by the Spitsbergen Treaty. Longyearbyen, the administrative center of the archipelago situated on Spitsbergen, began as a coal mining town. Today the focus is on wildlife, glaciers and fjords.


Polar bears tend to roam the northern part of the island – but they can be spotted anywhere. They typically eat seal but reindeer, muskoxen, walruses, crustaceans, caribou, birds, bird eggs and whale carcasses are also fair game. The polar bear is the largest of the bear species. Females typically weigh between 150 and 350 kg while males generally weigh in between 300 and 700 kg.


Best Time to See Polar Bears

May to August. The ice melts sufficiently during this period for ships to navigate the still icy waters. Polar bear sightings are common as the majestic creatures follow the pack ice on the hunt for food. The round-the-clock natural lighting is ideal for photography.


Why Visit?

- To witness the iconic Arctic resident - Polar Bear


- To see the remarkable array of creatures including whales, walruses, Svalbard reindeer, puffin and other seabirds by the thousands


- Explore the vast tundra, appreciate the natural beauty of the surprisingly colorful Arctic wilderness by hiking and zodiac cruises


- Some of the earth’s most stunning glaciers and ice sheet

When to go?

May - Aug is the warmer season and polar bears are actively looking for food

Places You May Visit