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Arctic Adventure Cruises

Personal expeditions and off-the-beaten-track voyages do still exist. And many can be found in the frozen regions of northern Europe – within the Arctic Circle.

Here, in the land of the Midnight Sun, a handful of specialist cruise lines feature some intriguing options to places that are not so much off the usual travel map as from a completely different planet.

From the rugged coast of Norway, northwards to the North Cape and on to the near-mystical outposts of Bear Island and Svalbard – or Spitsbergen, the island archipelago and northernmost point of Europe – this is a realm of astonishing contrasts and bewildering complexity.

The wildlife positively teems in the short summer season (June-August), with polar bears, reindeer, foxes, whales, seals and walruses all common sightings amid the rugged terrain and icy seas. The rugged terrain features untouched glaciers and craggy mountains, while vast stretches of the seemingly inhospitable tundra also burst into flower.

Principal town Longyearbyen is one of the most fascinating Norwegian settlements and houses the most northerly church in the world, while the Soviet-era settlement of Barentsburg is another major curiosity, along with the research station of Ny Alesund.

Many other captivating islands also make up the Svalbard route, including Moffen Island and Sjuoyane, where glistening glaciers and stunning fjords are seemingly everywhere you look, seabirds fill the air and your ship navigates in and out of channels that see only a handful of visitors every year.

Some cruises also continue on across the Arctic Ocean via Jan Mayen island to mighty Greenland, another wilderness playground full of endemic wildlife and outrageous scenery, as well as the fascination of the original Inuit inhabitants, with impossible-to-pronounce town names like Qaqortoq, Uummannaq and Kangerlussuaq. Another highlight is unique Disko Bay, with a bizarre beauty that will take your breath away.

Much of the jagged coastline can be explored only by ship, with your accompanying lecturers able to regale you with tales of outlandish geology and local cultures that date back more than 1,000 years.

And it all comes wrapped up in the endless backdrop of white-capped-waves – and the glistening, snow-covered, ice-dotted terrain of the near-North Pole.

Best time to travel to the Arctic: June-August
Weather: Cool, with some drizzle; average temps 10°C to -4°C
Flight times: 2 hours London to Bergen; 3.5 hours to Tromso
Recommended Arctic Tours: Enjoy a pre/post hotel stay in Oslo, the Norwegian capital, and enjoy dog sledding or history walks. Other tailor-made options are available on request.

Other tailor-made pre and post cruise hotel stays and land tours are available on request.

Recommended Arctic specialists:

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises: Offering a combination of romanticism, sophistication and comfort, Hapag-Lloyd are the ultimate when I comes to luxury adventure cruises in the Arctic. Take it all in whilst cruising on the MS Hanseatic, one of the most chic and luxurious ships in the business. More about Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Prince Albert II (Silversea Cruises): Having pioneered the small, luxury cruise style throughout the past 20 years, there’s no better line to experience an Arctic adventure cruise with than Silversea Cruises. Travelling on their expedition vessel, Prince Albert II, you are guaranteed to love the combination of 6 star luxuries and a region ripe for exploration. More about Prince Albert II

If you would like more information on adventure cruises in the Arctic, please call one of our Cruise Experts on 0800 008 6677.


Sorry, we do not have a cruise on our website that matches your specific requirements, however, our team of Cruise Experts would be delighted to assist you in finding a suitable alternative. For further information, please call 0800 852 7318.

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