Polar Bears & Arctic Wildlife with Stephen Mills

In 2017 naturalist and wildlife researcher Stephen Mills led an expedition to the Arctic on board a small 53 cabin 1A icebreaker providing close up views of polar bears and walking on the ice.

‘My own unforgettable sightings have all been amongst the ice-floes around Svalbard.  This is the best place in the world to see them. More remote and romantic and less commercial than Churchill, the region still supports a strong population of several thousand individuals.’ Guest naturalist Stephen Mills

Svalbard is land of the King of Arctic and definitely the best place to view these magnificent creatures in the wild. To see a polar bear striding far out across a wilderness of Arctic ice is one of the most moving experiences nature can offer.  Polar bears have a special attraction – because of their size and strength, the loneliness of their lives and the peculiar, unpredictable fragility of the beautiful landscape they inhabit.

Svalbard (Norwegian) is also known as Spitsbergen. It is one of the last remaining virtually unspoilt wilderness areas in the world.  It is located inside the Arctic Circle and is barely 500 miles from the North Pole. It has surprisingly diverse scenery including tundra, glaciers, fjords and mountains (2,000m). Almost everywhere the subsoil is permanently frozen from 80cm to 400m.  In summer the topsoil thaws and becomes boggy, and the warming effects of the Gulf Stream enable an amazing variety of flora to flourish. The sun remains above the horizon for 3 months of the year in May, June & July.  24 hours daylight is a unique experience in itself. Several thousand Polar bears inhabit this remote archipelago and can be observed on wildlife cruises from mid June – early September. the best of year is in June.

This was a truly spectacular wilderness experience.

To learn more about polar bears and where to see them click here