More about the Arctic
What is the best time to cruise to the Arctic?
Prime season for the Arctic is July and August, as the ice breaks up and you have the best chance to make far north landings. Even if you go earlier, prepare for long days; this is prime Midnight Sun territory and in the summer, it rarely sets.
Which cruise lines go to the Arctic?
Most cruises that visit the Arctic are expedition vessels, some of which have polar capabilities. Operators include Ponant, Silversea, Scenic, Quark, Lindblad, Hurtigruten and Viking. Princess is a mainstream line that often offers Greenland itineraries.
What are some things to do in the Arctic?
Wildlife viewing is key; be prepared for alerts of polar bear or whale spottings at any time. Zodiac trips to view glaciers, visit nesting bird cliffs or opportunties to walk on land take place daily. Onboard time usually features lectures from naturalists.
Do you need a passport to take a cruise to the Arctic?
Yes. Svalbard cruises usually begin with a charter flight to Longyearbyen from Oslo or Tromso. Greenland cruises can start in Reyjkavik, Iceland, or directly inIlulissat. Canadian Northwest Passage cruises usually begin or end in Nome, Alaska, but can start from various points; often a charter flight north from Toronto is involved.
What should I pack for a cruise to the Arctic?
Layers, layers, layers. Temperatures in the Arctic can remain relatively stable, but the wind and visibility can change quickly. Many expedition cruise lines will provide a parka for you to use, and sometimes rubber boots and waterproof pants as well.