There’s not much in the way of sunlight or open sailing passages during November, December, January and February, so Arctic cruises are not recommended, especially if you’re hoping to see any wildlife.
Anyone intending to experience the Northern Lights, however, is going to be met with much more success although there are limited alternative activities to accompany winter cruises in the Arctic.
The return of the sun in mid-February and early March sees the advent of spring when caribou start to migrate northwards and polar bears begin to emerge in the wilds of Canada.
April is one of the best times to go on an Arctic cruise for nature photographers as not only are there some incredible newly formed icebergs but there’s every chance of also seeing humpback whales appearing beyond untouched landscapes covered in snow and ice.
The majority of the most impressive icebergs tend to last through May and into June and it’s as they’re melting that you’ll find the best time to see narwhals, sea birds and the caribou migration in full force.
July hails the opening of the Northwest Passage which is usually accessible until the end of August, and if you’re looking to find polar bears coming closer to the shoreline as well as sea birds and Beluga whales in Hudson Bay then this is the best time to go on Arctic cruise vacations.
Sailing around Spitsbergen is also a summer activity but as soon as September turns to October the northern shores will have iced over again and the lack of daylight and colder temperatures make Arctic cruises much less pleasurable.