Established in 1999, PolarQuest has long experience of arranging small ship expedition cruises in Svalbard and other polar destinations. Every expedition is unique and our aim is that each passenger will have the trip of a lifetime. Travelling with PolarQuest allows you to enjoy remote wildernesses without having to undertake a scientific expedition or become an explorer with a beard full of ice. All you need is a curious mind and a desire for wildlife adventures! Sustainability is at the heart of PolarQuest, we measure all our emissions and invest in projects that have positive effects on our nature.
Small groups - close encounters
Travelling with PolarQuest means travelling in small groups, a necessity to experience close and exclusive encounters with the wild. Small groups offer great flexibility when it comes to landings and making the most of opportunities that arise during an expedition. Travelling in small groups allows us to maximize the time spent ashore and the quality time for each guest “out in nature”. The Zodiacs are one of the secrets behind a successful expedition cruise. With these safe and sturdy rubber boats we navigate among icebergs, cruise along glaciers and go ashore to get unique nature experiences. Each day, our goal is to make several landings or cruises with our Zodiacs. Our Zodiac operation is fast and efficient and all guests can get ashore on short notice.
Our expedition cruises & ships
We travel in small groups and strive to have minimal impact on the environment. Our ships in Svalbard take 12 or 53 passengers and if you ask us, these small expedition ships are the most sustainable way to explore the wildlife and nature of Svalbard. Imagine, viewing a seal on an ice floe in a group of 10 - 50 passengers, or to do so in a group of 200 - 500 passengers! Travelling on a small expedition ship also offers a more relaxed atmosphere, greater focus on the destination and more time ashore, compared to travelling on board a larger ship. The exact route depends on weather, ice conditions and the wildlife we encounter. Flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!
Experienced guides & sales staff
We know that one of the other keys to a successful expedition is having knowledgeable and enthusiastic leaders. Travelling with PolarQuest, you will meet guides with solid polar experience and a genuine love for these regions. When calling our office, you will talk to personnel who are passionate about our expeditions and have personal experience from the Polar Regions.
PolarQuest is one of the eight companies that founded the Association of Arctic Expeditions Cruise Operators (AECO) in 2003, to regulate tourism in Svalbard and promote sustainable, environmentally friendly and safe tourism in the area. The organization strives to conduct expeditions with the utmost respect for nature and wildlife. One part is carefully developed guidelines that all members are to follow during cruises and landings. Today, AECO is a respected representative of the cruise industry and an invaluable support to operators who wish to conduct responsible tourism in the Arctic.
Our ReQuest-trips can be described as luxurious adventures in warmer climates. These destinations, offering a unique mix of mighty predators, colourful birds, historical places and exciting cultural meetings, are often difficult or impossible to reach as an individual traveller. Accommodation is carefully chosen and we try to stay away from the beaten track as much as possible.
PolarQuest places all revenue in a bond with the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency until the completion of your expedition.
Words from some previous travellers
We have been home a few days now, but are still ‘blown away’ by our holiday in Svalbard. We will remember our time in the Arctic forever. The hospitality and the food on the ship were excellent, and the guides were 5 star plus. This has proved to have been one of our best holidays ever, and one which we would hope to repeat.
David & Maureen Macleod
We had so many “Attenborough moments” which made this trip easily the best we have ever been on. The accommodation and food were excellent and the crew did everything they could to get close to such fascinating wildlife.
Richard & Christine Shorttie
We have just come back from Svalbard and have had the most wonderful time! It passed our wildest dreams. Thank you to everyone who helped us to organise it.The whole holiday from booking to going and being there has been excellent.
David & Jackie March
We have now been home a week and I should just like to thank you all at PolarQuest for a most marvelous adventure. We loved every minute – everything was perfect. In fact, I couldn’t fault the trip in any way! The ship was really splendid, the food delicious and the service excellent and our cabin very comfortable. All the guides were first-class, friendly, full of information, energy and enthusiasm and obviously loved what they were doing. Alex was worried for me that we would only see bears in the distance, but that wasn’t so at all – just amazing.
I want to thank you for the fabulous trip to Svalbard. It far exceeded my expectations of this polar region. We had wonderful sightings of polar bear, reindeer, walruses, an arctic fox, harp seals, bearded seals, humpback whales, many sea birds and arctic flowers.
Our trip was faultless, everything was so well organised, and every person so pleasant. We have travelled a lot, to over 80 countries in the world, with different companies, but yours “PolarQuest” certainly came out the top, yes you are our no. 1 company.
Janet & Eddie Brown
In my experience, a wonderful thing about your company, i.e. all the staff and crew, is that everyone tries their very best, and they are so well selected for the jobs they are doing. Intelligence, personality, experience… it made the trip a charmed cruise from planning to completion. The support I got from you in the office was excellent – everything went as planned and all details were correct!
Yvonne Higgs McHugh & Tony Brake