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Arctic

ARCTIC TOURS & CRUISES

An Arctic tour with Encounters Travel is guaranteed to show off the country's natural beauty and unique wildlife – making it an irresistible draw for anyone looking to get close to nature and experience an adventure of a lifetime.

An Arctic tour introduces you to the frigid land and ice-covered seas that are home to the polar bear, caribou, musk oxen, arctic fox, whale and numerous species of bird and all set to the stunning backdrop of snow and ice – the perfect opportunity to experience Arctic wildlife.

Arctic tours are an experience of a lifetime

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 perfect for an Arctic expedition - its 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, the Musk ox 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.

If you’re keen on an Arctic tour and seeking the ultimate adventure to the North Pole, it is very possible on board a specially designed ice-breaker ship however, spaces are very limited to the North Pole.

The best way to experience the wonderful variety of scenery and wildlife of the Arctic is onboard one of the many specially converted expedition cruise boats, although the land-only option is 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 – an almost complete Arctic circle.

Our suggested Arctic tour itineraries are a good starting point and will give you an idea of what's available.

Book an Arctic tour today

At Encounters Travel, our Arctic tours are based on specific cruise ships which we prefer to use, however, if you have a preferred shipper, 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 – simply contact us for any additional information.

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Duration


Group Departure Dates

4 Tours | From $2399 p/p

Duration:

12 Days

Country(ies):

Antarctic

Tour Type:

Small Group

Group size:

Min: 1 | Max: 60

Meals:

B- 11, L - 10, D - 11

Highlights:

Amazing Antarctic wildlife, Zodiak boat trips, shore excursions, kayaking, camping (in Antarctica only), snowshoe/hiking, (ski)mountaineerin...


   From

$5999(p/p)

Duration:

19 Days

Country(ies):

Antarctic

Tour Type:

Small Group

Group size:

Min: 1 | Max: 12

Meals:

B- 18, L - 17, D - 18

Highlights:

Remote Atlantic islands, amazing Antarctic wildlife, Zodiak boat trips, shore excursions, pristine wilderness landscapes


   From

$13235(p/p)

Duration:

8 Days

Country(ies):

Arctic

Tour Type:

Small Group

Group size:

Min: 8 | Max: 20

Meals:

B- 8, L - 6, D - 7

Highlights:

Unique Arctic wildlife, pristine wilderness landscapes, Zodiac boat trips, chance to see polar bear, chance to see the Northern Lights spect...


   From

$2399(p/p)

Duration:

8 Days

Country(ies):

Arctic

Tour Type:

Small Group

Group size:

Min: 1 | Max: 60

Meals:

B- 7, L - 6, D - 7

Highlights:

Unique Arctic wildlife, pristine wilderness landscapes, Zodiac boat trips, chance to see polar bear, spectacular fjord & glaciers


   From

$3099(p/p)

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 have dealt with Anthony Horrobin on a number of occasions and it is like talking to an old friend on the phone. Anthony is super-efficient and will always go the extra mile to create the perfect trip.

Encounters Travel did such a superb job in organizing this tour. I had never heard of them before going on the Maldives Magic tour, however now I will recommend them to friends/family and use them for my future planned trips.
Our tour is what made the trip that much more memorable. Rather than being plopped at a westernized resort, we were able to get a taste of how the locals live, eat and entertain themselves. We stayed in quaint guesthouses on the islands amongst the locals, ate authentic Maldivian cuisine (one day even with a Maldivian family who made us breakfast), and viewed a traditional dance/singing performance which was absolutely delightful. This was a trip of a lifetime that I will never forget.

Anthony has been amazing throughout my planning of my tour. He has been very quick in replying to my emails and always answering with everything I wanted to know. I look forward to hopefully planning my next trip through him next year!

Took care of every single detail from prior to our arrival in Cario until we we're dropped of at the airport a week later. Our hotels, tours, meals, and tour group we're all wonderful. Our tour guide was wonderful!
The price was great and the people wonderful!

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.

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.

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