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Arctic

ARCTIC CRUISE TOURS

The tranquil natural beauty and unique wildlife of the Arctic make it an irresistible draw for anyone looking to get close to nature and experience an adventure of a lifetime. The frigid land and ice covered seas are home to polar bear, caribou, musk oxen, arctic fox, whale and numerous species of bird and all set to the stunning backdrop of snow and ice, and there is always the chance to catch a glimpse of the hauntingly beautiful northern lights.

The northern polar region is a place of unparalleled beauty. Its ice-filled seas, glacier streaked mountains and vast polar deserts make it a truly memorable place to visit. A cruise in Canada's Northwest Passage is a popular option, and highlights include Prince Leopold Island, where spectacular sandstone cliffs are the nesting home to thousands of thick-billed murres, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes; the iceberg filled Bellot Strait; and Cambridge Bay, muskox capital of the world. A cruise around Norway's Svalbard Archipelago, Iceland and Greenland offers a great opportunity to view polar bear, walrus and caribou. Sightings of Arctic Terns, Arctic Skuas, Long- tailed Ducks, Kittiwakes and Glaucous Gulls are possible in and around the many glacier-fed fjords. For those seeking the ultimate adventure it is possible to reach the Noth Pole on board a specially designed ice-breaker ship, but spaces are very limited.

The best way to experience the wonderful variety of scenery and wildlife of the Arctic is on board one of the many specially converted expedition cruise boats, although land only option are possible. There are plenty of cruise ships to choose from and the lengths of itineraries vary depending on which area of the Arctic you are interested in visiting and, of course, your budget. The expedition vessels range in size from 50 to 130 passenger and levels of comfort vary accordingly. Typical embarkation ports include Resolute Bay in Canada, Juneau in Alaska and Spitsbergen in Norway.

Our suggested Arctic holiday itineraries are a good starting point and will give you an idea of what's available. They are based on specific cruise ships which we prefer to use, however if you have a preferred ship, we can normally provide a quote including all air and ground arrangements pre and post cruise. It is also possible to include some extra time either before or after your cruise, to explore your country of embarkation, just ask us about this when you make your enquiry.

TOP Arctic TRAVEL DEALS & UPCOMING TOURS

Tour Name Tour Type Days Start Date Price

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is it safe to visit the Arctic?

Yes, it is safe to visit the Arctic, but you can also expect unpredictable weather and rough seas.

What is the official currency of the Arctic?

There is no Arctic currency, but US dollars will be accepted on most cruises.

When is the best time of the year to visit the Arctic?

The best time to see the ice and snow is from June to mid-July, as the sun has not melted the snow yet, and polar bears and walruses will be out hunting. From mid-July to mid-August, the ice is less likely to block the channels in Spitsbergen, and the Tundra flowers are blooming.

What should you wear in the Arctic?

As the temperatures in the Arctic can be freezing, you should wear a thermal layer, a waterproof jacket, rubber boots and two sets of gloves.

What are the fitness/health requirements for a cruise in the Arctic?

You do not need to be in excellent fitness, but you do need to be in good overall health. The cruise will be visiting remote areas, and you will not have easy access to modern medical facilities. The cruise or tour does not need to be physically demanding, and you can always opt out of onshore activities.

TOUR REVIEWS

I liked the fact we were met at the airport and helped thru customs and getting a visa and then upon leaving taken to where we needed to go. Its always tough to figure out where everything is in a foreign airport when you do not travel much
Everything was great. Our guide was very knowledgeable and liked that we were interested in what he was telling us. We were lucky to be in a group with like minded people who also wanted to stay in places longer of which our guide accommodated. Only negative thing was the sitting train. Best to just take the flying option. Train was not bad but has no services, no alcohol, and breakfast was all carbs and an egg. Egypt really seems to like their breads and pastries....

When a single women in her 50's, traveling from the US to Egypt, stumbles across a website offering a tour, and then they make her feel totaling comfortable about every step of the process, you know you've hit a homerun!

Amazing tour. Any issues we had were addressed in a timely fashion and the resolutions were satisfactory. My only complaint is the driver picking us up was late and none of the cell numbers worked when we tried to call and figure out what to do.

Encounters Travel did an excellent job in all aspects of our trip! Egypt was amazing and the trip was made especially enjoyable as a result of the quality of the guides. I highly recommend Encounters Travel!
Worth every penny! Go to Egypt with Encounters Travel!

Conscientious in early communication; knowledgeable, humorous and caring tour guides; an exemplary itinerary that was well organized yet flexible; an overall extraordinary experience. I'd recommend them enthusiastically.

ratings

Arctic Country Guide

Arctic Country Guide Flag

Factfile


Time: GMT-4
Dial Code: The area code for the three Territories of Canada in the Arctic far north is +867.
Area: 13,985,000 km²
Elevation: The lowest point in the Arctic is the Litke Deep in the Eurasian Basin, at 5,450m (17,880 ft.) | The highest point in the Arctic is the Gunnbjørn Fjeld, Sermersooq, Island of Greenland, Greenland summit at 3694m (12,119 ft.)
Population: About 4 million people live in the Arctic
Capital: Tromsø
Governemnt: The eight Arctic nations make up the Arctic Council
Language: Inuktitut

The Arctic is a polar region situated at the northernmost part of the Earth. The Arctic encompasses the Arctic Ocean, nearby seas and parts of Alaska (United States), Northern Canada, Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Russia.

The landscape of the Arctic is characterised by seasonally varying snow and ice cover, as well as treeless permafrost (permanently frozen underground ice) containing tundra. Depending on the season, parts of the Arctic seas feature blocks of ice. The Arctic land is bordered by the subarctic.

The climate in the Arctic consists of cold winters and cool summers. The precipitation is usually in the form of snow. The coastal climate is influenced by the ocean with warmer temperatures and heavier rainfalls. Global warming is currently affecting the Arctic, resulting in sea ice shrinkage and diminished ice in the Greenland ice sheet.

The indigenous people of the Arctic and the cultures in the region have adapted to the cold conditions over the years. Herbivores living in the tundra include the caribou, the lemming, the Arctic hare and the muskox. There is also a vast collection of birds and marine species that reside in the colder regions.

The Arctic has sizeable natural resources, such as gas, minerals, fish and fresh water. The region encompasses some of the last continuous wilderness areas in the world. The Arctic holds one-fifth of the Earth's water supply. The Arctic's tourism industry is on the rise.

Highlights

  • Svalbard Museum – an edifice that displays the history of Svalbard, including its hunting, wildlife and explorers.
  • Trygghamna – a bay in Oscar II Land at Spitsbergen with beautiful landscape and popular hiking trails.
  • Bellsund – a lengthy sound in the Svalbard archipelago, with snow-capped peaks, tundra and wildlife.
  • Barentsburg Pomor Museum – a small Russian museum in Barentsburg, displaying 300 different rocks from the archipelago.
  • Recherche Fjord – a small fjord on the side of Bellsund with jagged mountains and a large cliff.
  • Ahlstrandhalvøya – a peninsula situated in central Spitsbergen, with cultural remains from the island’s whaling period.
  • Recherchebreen – a glacier in Wedel Jarlsberg Land at Spitsbergen, Svalbard, located in a valley.
  • Barentsburg – the second-largest settlement on Svalbard, with about 500 inhabitants, mainly Russians and Ukrainians.

Tips

  • Keeping dry is the key to keeping warm, so waterproof clothing is very important.
  • Bring good quality sunglasses, goggles and sun cream, as the sun can be very strong.
  • Pack an eye mask for the spring and summer to block out the midnight sun.
  • Make sure that you have batteries, chargers and plenty of memory cards for your camera.
  • Be a responsible tourist, and do not disturb or approach birds and animals.
  • Do not stray from your group and always follow the advice of your leader.
  • Seasickness is a possibility; bring remedies with you for crossing passages.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid coffee and alcohol to prevent dehydration.

Small Group Arctic TOURS

TAILOR-MADE Arctic TOURS

Map

Our tailor-made tours seek to create a personalised experience – one that is completely exclusive to you. By taking all your interests and requests into consideration, we design an itinerary that ticks off your specific boxes. If you are after adventurous exploration, cultural immersion, a relaxing escape or a balanced blend of everything, we can make it happen.

A highlight of our tailor-made tours is that the itinerary is flexible and incorporates plenty of free time – so you can do some exploring on your own. Our local, friendly guides, experts in their country’s history and culture, will be happy to adjust the activities or your schedule as you travel.

If you are a group of friends, a large family or a company, our tailor-made tours are an ideal, stress-free option. You can even select your own hotels or make use of our recommended accommodation. We have a varied selection of sample holiday itineraries to choose from, either as they stand or as a base for inspiration.

VIDEO FEATURE

Our video features aim to bring our adventure tours to life in a way that no photo can, giving you a great taste of the destination.

POSTS FROM OUR BLOG

Need some travel inspiration or looking for some handy travel tips? Our blog provides excellent insight into our travel destinations - from tour updates to country guides, packing lists to little known things to do, you'll find it all in our travel blog.

https://ucarecdn.com/371e1b76-4214-44ca-88bf-9aa5616277ec/ By: Martin Hosie 2016-02-17 21:00:00

Guide to Longyearbyen

In Norway

Longyearbyen is the gateway to the Arctic and starting point for many cruise based expeditions operating in the chilly polar waters.

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https://ucarecdn.com/371e1b76-4214-44ca-88bf-9aa5616277ec/ By: Martin Hosie 2016-02-17 21:00:00

Wildlife of the Arctic

In Arctic

Overview of the diverse and unique wildlife of the Arctic from polar bears to humpback whale, to walrus and arctic fox.

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