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5 Best Places to See Polar Bears in Their Natural Habitat

As part of the Arctic ecosystem, polar bears are an endangered animal. Their home, the Arctic, is very vulnerable due to climate change over the years. Fortunately, we still have people and organizations concerned with Arctic animals and their natural habitat. For example, five countries whose territories cover polar bear’s range (Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia, and the US) signed the Circumpolar Action Plan. It is a 10-year global conservation strategy to save  polar bears and their future.

To see polar bears in their natural habitat is expensive and the adventure is quite difficult. If you spot one of them, you are very lucky. But if a trip to see polar bears is on your bucket list, then read more and you will know the best places to see them in the wild.

5. Wrangel Island – Russia

Wrangel Island is one of the world’s least-visited and most-restricted nature reserves. This land is the favorite place of hundreds of polar bears raising their cubs during winter. Expedition ship tours are offered by some operators, departing from the Russian port of Anadyr. By joining the tours, you will also get opportunities to view other Arctic animals including walrus, gray whales, reindeer, and more in their natural habitat. The cruises sail from early August until mid-September.

Operators: 56th Parallel (56thparallel.com), Heritage Expeditions (heritage-expeditions.com), Steppes Travel (steppestravel.co.uk), and World Expeditions (worldexpeditions.com)

4. Off The Coast of Greenland

Greenland’s polar bears live and breed in the northernmost of Greenland, and people rarely go on land to see them. But you can still see them along the coast from an expedition cruise. The cruises operate between July and September from Canada or Iceland to Svalbard, Norway travel up Greenland’s southwest or east coast. The cost for 10 to 14 days cruises starts from around €6000.

Operators: Aurora Expeditions (auroraexpeditions.com.au), Expedition Trips (expeditiontrips.com), Discover The World (discover-the-world.co.uk), and Quark Expeditions (quarkexpeditions.com)

3. Spitsbergen, Svalbard – Norway

Svalbard is located between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Svalbard isn’t famous only for its stunning glaciers, but also for the polar bears viewing tours. It’s home to several thousand polar bears. You can choose between the two tours: snowmobile tour or expedition cruise. The full-day snowmobile tours are in February to May, during the winter. The expedition cruises are in June to August, during the summer times. A snowmobile tour is cheaper than the expedition cruises. It is only €356 for a snowmobile tour. But for a seven-night cruise, you have to pay €2900.

Operators: Better Moments (bettermoments.no) , Intrepid (intrepidtravel.com), G Adventures (gadventures.com), Explore! (explore.co.uk), Natural World Safaris (naturalworldsafaris.com)

2. Kaktovik, Alaska – United States

Kaktovik is one of the best places to spot the polar bears. You can spot them hanging out on the island. To get there, visitors fly via small plane from Fairbanks. There are many operators offering you a viewing tour for 3-4 hours in small boats. One small boat can accommodate up to six guests. The tours run from mid-August until late September or early October. The costs of the tours vary and depend on the operator you use. Polar bear viewing tours aren’t the only activity you can do — some operators also offer multi-day photography driver tours and lodging in Kaktovik. The cheapest tour is $1,799 for a day trip, conducted by Northern Alaska Tour Company.

Operators: Northern Alaska Tour Company (northernalaska.com), Akook Arctic Adventures (akookarcticadventures.com)

1. Churchill, Manitoba – Canada

As the polar capital of the world, Churchill becomes the gathering spot of polar bears every autumn. Hundreds of polar bears wait for the sea ice to refreeze on the shores of Hudson Bay, which situated near the town of Churchill. They will return for seal hunting when the sea ice refreezes. Churchill is known as the world’s most accessible and cheapest for viewing the polar bears. If you want to go there, the tours run in October and November since it’s the peak viewing season. In March, there are some operators that offer packages to remote lodges to see mother bears emerge from their dens with their cubs. But if you don’t have time to travel at these months, you can still do it in July and August. The bear watching will be combined with beluga whale watching.The cost is around CAD$470 for a full-day tour.

Operators: Great White Bear Tours (greatwhitebeartours.com), Frontiers North (frontiersnorth.com), and Natural Habitat Adventures (nathab.com)



Source: lonely planet

Originally posted 2017-05-29 07:34:19.

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