2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 20162017 | 2018

Frozen Facts - May 2017

Adventure Expedition Visits Polar Bears in the Wild

Natural Habitat Adventures (NHA) has teamed with its conservation partner, the World Wildlife Fund, to offer week-long excursions to the Arctic to see and photograph polar bears in the wild. Accompanied by a polar bear expert, guests will also visit the only research and teaching museum in Alaska, and venture onto a large animal research station to learn more about other big animals of the Arctic.

The expeditions are limited to eight guests, and Wendy Redal, editorial director of NHA, explains why: “Intimate, close-up encounters with wildlife can only happen in a context of relatively few visitors. A small group ensures a quiet, low-impact presence. Guests are also assured of personalized contact with our expedition leader, with plenty of opportunities for getting tips and guidance on their photography.”

The excursions include private chartered roundtrip air travel from Fairbanks, Alaska, to the Inupiat village of Kaktovik, with a spectacular flyover of the Brooks Range; six private, three-hour boat tours to photograph the polar bears and other Arctic wildlife; and visits to Alaska’s Museum of the North and the University of Alaska’s 134-acre Large Animal Research Station. The museum features 1.4 million artifacts and specimens from the Circumpolar North, as well as an ever-changing sound and light installation driven by the real-time positions of the sun and moon, seismic activity, and the aurora borealis.

But of course, the highlight of the expeditions are the boat excursions to encounter and photograph the polar bears. “Each boat accommodates six passengers, but we take just four per boat, ensuring comfort, plenty of room for photography equipment, and space to angle for the shots passengers want,” explains Redal. She adds that while professional photographers are welcome, guests need not be skilled photographers, and the expedition leader will provide plenty of photography tips.

Hotel and motel accommodations and all meals and transfers are included in the expedition’s per-person rate of $10,895 when booked as a two-person reservation. It is strongly suggested that all guests be at least 15 years of age.