The Arctic is one of the last great wilderness areas in the world, where fascinating wildlife inhabits ruggedly-beautiful landscapes. To enjoy the thrill of discovering this untamed region, book one of the Arctic expeditions offered by Explore Worldwide.
All of our tours give you the chance to see some of the Arctic's most amazing wildlife close up, as well as the dramatic landscapes that characterise the region.
What does an Arctic expedition involve?
As much of the Arctic is made up of pack ice, the best way to see the region is by boat. During the summer, vast areas of ice break away from the coast and form amazing ice floes.
The main focus of our Arctic holidays is the flora and fauna of the area, so you can expect to do plenty of wildlife spotting while onboard one of our boats. Among the creatures to look out for are seals and walruses on the ice itself, as well as polar bears that hunt on this floating mass of frozen water.
On land, you'll find equally captivating animals, including Arctic foxes and the subspecies of reindeer that is only found in Norway's Svalbard.
Depending on the route your Arctic cruise takes, you may also have the opportunity to spot some large marine mammals, such as dolphins, porpoises and even killer whales as you sail.
Our expeditions don't just involve staying in the boat though, as there will be opportunities to get out and about on foot to explore the stunning mountains and cliffs. Experienced guides will accompany you and will be equipped with rifles, as you will be walking in regions where polar bears are found.
When should I go?
All of the Arctic expeditions run by Explore Worldwide take place in the summer months – between May and September. However, as the region changes so much during this period, you can have quite a different experience depending on when you travel.
For example, at the start of the season you will encounter a lot more ice, while in late July and early August, the ice will be more broken up, giving you a better chance of circumnavigating Spitsbergen – the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago.
Travelling in July and August will also mean you see the greatest variety of birdlife, with auks, kittiwakes, guillemots and glaucous gulls among the winged creatures you can observe on the cliffs and soaring above the water.
Choose Explore Worldwide for your Arctic adventure
At Explore Worldwide, we offer a selection of Arctic itineraries, some of which focus more on exploring the striking landscapes of Spitsbergen on foot and others which are centred around cruising the waters in search of a variety of marine life.
Whichever Arctic expedition you pick, you can rest assured that the boat you travel on is designed to deal with the unique challenges presented by sailing in this region. We offer tours on ships featuring stabilisers for a smooth ride, as well as on vessels that have a high ice-class rating, which enables them to navigate the waters even in difficult conditions.
In addition to introducing you to the wonders of the Arctic wildlife, we'll also take you to meet some of the fascinating communities that inhabit this northerly area, where you can learn about the fishing techniques that have allowed these communities to survive in this hostile environment for hundreds of years.