Over the years most people travel here in September, when the waters are free of ice making it easier to navigate around the islands. Over the last few years the pack ice surrounding Svalbard has been opening up earlier and earlier each year. This means that it is now possible to navigate Svalbard as early as April, yet also have lots of pack ice available to visit. The reason for requiring pack ice is that it is the home of the polar bear and there is nothing more beautiful than seeing a polar bear walking and jumping on floating ice in the Arctic ocean.
April is the start of spring in the Arctic, with all the migrant birds returning to the shores to start courtship. The Polar Regions have a very productive and short breeding season and our expedition is planned to coincide with the start of this breeding season. Coupled with the large ice packs that surround Svalbard it offers you the best of both worlds in terms of finding polar bears on pack ice and also experiencing one of the wonders of nature, Spring in the high Arctic.
The king of the landscape is the polar bear and nowhere else can polar bears be found more reliably in their natural habitat- the sea ice. Photographing these magnificent animals in this austere environment is for most photographers, a “once in-a-lifetime” experience.
Going by boat allows you to move around freely and it allows you to spend as much time at any specific location as needed... in essence it allows for great photographic opportunities. Voyages in spring are best as this ensures that the sun is lower in the sky this time of year and for photographers this means the quality of the light is softer and gentler. The quality of the light is simply quite amazing at this time of year.
C4 Photo Safaris arranges annual or bi-annual charter expeditions of small ice class vessels into the Svalbard Archipelago. These expeditions are as true to being in true wilderness as you can possibly be and the best way to appreciate, and find, polar bears in their true ice wilderness habitat.