We had been looking for an Arctic or Antarctic holiday for a while, so when this Exodus deal came up, we jumped at the chance. Our hope was to see polar bears and arctic foxes, but we know that the animals are wild and unpredictable, so tried to set our expectations realistically. The trip was well planned and organised; we had time on arrival at the Helsinki airport hotel on Day 1 to get the train into the city for a half-day exploration. The next day we flew to Spitsbergen and then onto the boat. We were very pleasantly surprised by our cabin – much bigger than we had expected. The staff on board were excellent – both the Expedition team and the crew, the catering was wonderful and it was perfect having soft drinks available all day, with wine & beer served with dinner. Our wildlife expectations were more than met, sighting 2 different whale species on our first evening sailing from Longyearbyen! The highlights continued via the daily Zodiac trips and hiking onshore : reindeer, arctic foxes, walrus, whales, many seabirds and flowers – and of course, we saw polar bears. We know how lucky we were, but we saw 6 bears in 3 different locations, The Expedition team were all very knowledgeable about both flora and fauna and were happy to share information. But we should also stress that they were very safety-conscious and ensured all the guests were able to do the activities safely. We had such a good time, that we didn’t want to leave the ship to come home!