Almost 24 hours of sunlight during the summer months means that wildlife is kicked into action, making the most of the more favourable conditions. Watch playful Gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins, fur seals basking in the sun and numerous species of whales’ frolic in the water. It’s also a bird- lover’s paradise with soaring albatrosses and petrels skimming the waves.
There are plenty of ways to get more active on our range of expedition cruises. Choose to camp under canvas and watch the stars shine brightly or hop into a kayak to carve your own watery path through icebergs. Those with a head for heights can try mountaineering, or on selected cruises can fly high above the landscape in a helicopter.
Also known as Spitsbergen, the name of the archipelago's largest island. Svalbard Is located within the Arctic Ocean, midway between Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard is an incredible place with beautiful landscapes and a myriad of mesmerising wildlife. As you explore the archipelago you will glide through iceberg-strewn seas to the Arctic coast where you’ll find large flat plains, mossy tundra dusted with snow and sharp mountains jutting from the earth like icy blades. The landscapes are a delight to behold and a photographer’s dream, with awe- inspiring frozen lands littered with towering icebergs over 10 storeys high. Wildlife in the Arctic is hugely diverse and perfectly adapted to the cold. Polar bears are undoubtedly the stars of the show, but accompanied by walruses, seals and whales at every turn, you’ll have a hard time picking out a highlight.
Earth’s largest island, Greenland is a marvel to behold, encrusted in a thick ice sheet with monstrous glaciers flowing into the sea. The rugged landscape has been carved by one million years of glaciation and the results are spectacular. Scoresby Sound is the largest and longest fjord system in the world, stretching over an area of 14,700 sq. mi, its longest fjords extend more than 200 miles inland.
The human history of Greenland is just as interesting, the hardy souls who make their livelihoods here tell a lot about the capacity of human endurance and ingenuity. The Inuit and Thule cultures before them lived their lives in this frozen wilderness; you will also see the remnants of Viking settlements.
The land of ‘ice and fire’ straddles the North Atlantic ridge and marks the meeting point of the North American and Eurasian continents. Its diverse geology, intriguing culture, geothermal hot springs and volcanos have turned it into the hottest destination. Situated within the Aurora zone and just South of the Arctic Circle this beautiful rugged country has a lot to offer. The majority of this island is barren of vegetation, but features mountains, lava fields and glaciers. A cruise around its rugged coast showcases the story of this remarkable land.
The Geographic North Pole, only a few are lucky enough to stand here in their lifetimes. It’s the point on the Earth’s surface around which the planet rotates. and in whichever direction you face is South. It’s a place surrounded in mystery and which has beguiled explorers for centuries. The voyage is aboard the 50 Years of Victory, the most powerful nuclear icebreaker in the world, it will take you through the thick multi-year ice to the Pole. When you arrive, you’ll be able to quaff a celebratory glass of champagne and conditions permitting, board a static line hot air balloon and enjoy the astounding views across the ice. There is the possibility of stopping at Franz Josef Land where you will be able to see the incredible fauna and flora of the Arctic and stand in the footsteps of some of history’s greatest explorers.
The Norwegian Coast is perhaps the most beautiful coastline in the world. Towns and cities such as Alesund, Trondheim, Tromso¸ and Kirkenes provide a beautiful backdrop and offer the chance to encounter the famously friendly locals.
Plus, experience the Norwegian Coastal Kitchen with local delicacies and seasonal treats, such as ‘the most delicious prawns in the world’, and all manner of tasty seafood freshly pulled from the Norwegian Sea among other things.
As you dock in small ports along the coast, the first thing you’ll notice is the natural beauty all around you. The landscapes here are breathtakingly beautiful: Chiselled, high-sided fjords, fast-flowing waterfalls and picturesque archipelagos are all to be explored, and the chance to cross the Arctic Circle is an experience you will never forget.
The Canadian Arctic Archipelago is a group of more than 36,000 islands north of mainland Canada. The North American landmass seems to break-up and merge into the waters of the Arctic, this beautiful wilderness is characterised by its deep fjords and vast islands the three largest Baffin, Ellesmere and Victoria are among the 10 largest islands in the world, Baffin being more than twice the area of Great Britain.
These vast areas have sparse human inhabitation, with the majority being in small settlements throughout the Archipelago, like the town of resolute. The Inuit communities who call the Arctic their home can be visited, and you can purchase some of their traditional crafts should you wish. The wildlife of the Canadian Arctic is diverse including arctic fox, caribou, musk-ox, polar bear, seal and whales.
The least explored of our planet's great wildernesses, the Russian Far East is a region of rich diversity, with lush islands and beautiful snowscapes. You will follow in the footsteps of Vitus Bering across the strait that bears his name. The Kuril chain is the main highlight of the voyage, made up of 32 unique volcanic islands each rich in its own way. Your voyage will give you the chance to see everything from killer whales to sea otters, bears and foxes.
The North West Passage was a voyage that fascinated sailors for centuries, a theoretical sea route that could cut thousands of miles off the journey between Europe and Asia. The passage is located 500 miles north of the Arctic circle and prove an insurmountable challenge for some of history’s greatest explorers including Jacques Cartier, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Martin Frobisher, and Capt. James Cook, but the search for the passage is perhaps most readily associated with Sir John Franklin whose 1848 expedition vanished without a trace.
To this day the waters of the Northwest passage are rugged in their beauty, The landscape in the high arctic is a marvel to behold, but the real highlight is in the wildlife, which includes arctic fox, caribou, musk-ox, polar bear, seal and whales.
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