The raw, untamed landscapes of the Arctic were carved out over millennia by immense icecaps and glaciers, leaving jagged coastlines, plunging fjords and enormous wind-eroded icebergs. The elemental power of nature is clear to see, sometimes wonderfully beautiful but also savage and awe-inspiring.
Arctic expeditions run during the short Arctic summer, when for up to 24 hours a day the sun’s rays thaw the land for an all too brief moment of abundance: rare flowering plants, mosses and lichens spring into life and an array of wildlife makes the most of the season for spawning and preparing to survive the coming winter. Polar bears can be seen roaming the shoreline, and walruses and seals take to the waters, while Arctic foxes raid nests for eggs and vast flocks of seabirds feed on an ocean teeming with fish.
Unlike Antarctica, the Arctic is home to small groups of hardy people who live in this harsh environment with their centuries-old traditions of hunting and fishing. You may have the chance to meet these communities and understand how they survive in such hostile conditions.
When to go
The Arctic is a special place to visit throughout its season, which is May to September. However, if you have special interests, this guide may help you decide:
- 24-hour daylight is experienced from April to August, meaning you can make the most of every minute on-board
- If you travel early in the season, or at the end, you’re likely to see more ice – a stunning frozen wilderness
- Travelling late July or early August gives you the best chance of circumnavigating Spitsbergen as the ice breaks up
See all Arctic Voyages