Whether you are trying to decide which region to visit first, or you aren’t quite sure what exactly the differences are between Arctic and Antarctic cruises - we’ve put together some of the most important things you should know about each. 

The Arctic

Floating along glistening icebergs, humpback whales peeking through the frozen waters, experiencing the magic of the Arctic tundra is a dream for many. Only a short flight from the UK, the Arctic is surprisingly accessible. Focusing on the Arctic Circle, our cruises visit the countries of Iceland, Greenland, and Norway. Ships vary by expedition type, but you can view our ships and see what options are available.

Wildlife

One of the biggest reasons to visit the Arctic is undoubtedly the wildlife. The polar bear is the main attraction, and spotting one of these beautiful creatures is a highlight of any cruise holiday. Whales, walruses, and seals are also in abundance. Depending on whether you take a Classic Arctic voyage or focus on the Norwegian Coast, you may also catch a glimpse of puffins, the Arctic fox or even reindeer.

Best Time to Go

Most people choose to visit the Arctic in summer due to higher temperatures, and almost constant day-light. July and August offer the best opportunities to view wildlife, Arctic flora, and explore further North as the ice melts away.

More and more people are choosing to book their Arctic cruise in the winter, despite the colder temperatures and shorter days, for the chance at experiencing one of our planet’s most incredible weather phenomena - the Northern Lights. If the Aurora Borealis is on your bucket list, you may want to take a look at our Northern Lights Special cruise.

Antarctica

The untouched continent. A land where no people live, no countries rule, and magical unspoilt landscapes await. Covering 10% of the world’s surface, most cruises to the region barely scratch the surface of this vast, uninhabitable, spectacular destination. Our cruises will take you as far as the Antarctic Peninsula, including the Falkland Islands, South Shetland Islands, and South Georgia. A cruise to Antarctica is the ultimate adventure.

Wildlife

It comes as a surprise to many visitors to Antarctica, but polar bears only live in the Arctic - so don’t expect any sightings. What you will find, unlike in the Arctic, are penguins - and lots of them. Colonies can include tens of thousands of birds, an incredible sight to see. In addition to penguins aplenty, over nine types of whales call Antarctica home - and seals are often spotted as well.

Best Time to Go

It is only possible to visit Antarctica during the summer months (November to March) when winter ice has begun to melt away making it possible to access. This period offers sunlight for almost 24 hours a day, the chance to see penguin chicks and seal pups arrive, and temperatures are at their most comfortable - albeit still cold. This is also a great time to head further South and explore more of the Antarctic continent. Our Crossing the Antarctic Circle cruise takes you to areas that most visitors to the region never venture.

Both Arctic and Antarctic cruises offer experiences that can only be described as a trip-of-a-lifetime. Get in touch with our specialists and we can begin planning your holiday to the poles straight away.

Special Offer: Book by 31 January and save up to £4,000 per person on Antarctic Cruises in 2017 and 2018. Offer details

Enquire About Holidays with Polar Routes

When Do You Want To Go?

Antarctic Cruises


Almost 24 hours of sunlight during the summer months means that Antarctica is wildlife is kicked into action. An Expedition Cruise is the best way to see this incredible display.

 
VIEW MORE

Arctic Cruises


The landscapes of the Arctic are a delight to behold and a photographer’s dream, with awe- inspiring frozen lands littered with towering icebergs over 10 storeys high. 

 
VIEW MORE

Crossing the Polar Circle


Emma shares her story about her journey to cross the Antarctic Circle. From the people she met, the places she visited and the wildlife she photographed. Read on to find out what to expect on your own Polar Expedition Cruise.

 
VIEW MORE
Enquire About Holidays with Polar Routes
About Us
  • We can compare a huge selection of expedition ships, cruises and operators to find your perfect cruise.

  • Never pay more! Our prices are amongst the best in the business, with full package protection as standard.

  • We are the expedition cruise specialists and know the destinations, ships and operators inside out

  • As supporters of the Marine Conservation Society, booking with us helps support the protection of our oceans.

  • Our holidays are protected by ATOL and ABTOT, for your complete peace of mind.

ATOL Logo No credit card feeds

More About Us >


Why book with Polar Routes?

CHOICE
  • We can compare a huge selection of expedition ships, cruises and operators.
  • From former Russian research vessels to larger and luxurious ships - there is an expedition cruise to suit you. 
  • Our Travel Specialists will help you choose the perfect expedition cruise for your requirements.
SPECIALISTS
  • We are the expedition cruise specialists and know all the polar destinations inside out.
  • Our expert team of Travel Specialists have extensive knowledge of all the expedition ships & operators.
  • All of our Travel Specialists have first-hand experience of expedition cruising to the polar regions.
VALUE
  • Never pay more! Our prices are the amongst the best in the business, with full package protection as standard.
  • Our holidays are protected by ATOL and ABTOT, for your complete peace of mind.
  • As supporters of the Marine Conservation Society, booking with us helps support the protection of our oceans.