Things to do on an Arctic Cruise

Star in your own wildlife documentary

Step into the set of the BBC's Frozen Planet during an Arctic wildlife cruise. You won’t be sure if you’re the hunter or the hunted, as whales bob beneath your ship, surprisingly large walruses wield their tusks beside your kayak – and the threat of a polar bear encounter looms around every icy corner. Onboard experts can help you spot – and photograph – the whitest of foxes against the whitest of backgrounds, and you’ll learn about Arctic ecosystems in the world’s largest classroom.
Top sights include polar bear cubs reaching the edge of the ice with their mothers; walruses hauling themselves onto the ice with their tusks; and shaggy musk oxen, like a creature from a strange fairytale, grazing their way across the tundra.

Disembark

Kayaking, snowshoeing and dog sledding are some of the optional daily activities; disembarking from your cruise ship each day reveals a side to the Arctic that is out of bounds to the boats. Visit polar research stations and meet scientists, chat to the inhabitants of the islands and inlets, and watch foxes hunting and fledglings leaving their nests. For a different perspective again you can scale an Arctic mountain, revealing one of the most surreal and lovely views of the roof of the world.
It may be an Arctic cruise - but don't think you'll be kicking back on deck with a cocktail. The boats are simply there to take you up close to the edge of the land.

Meet local communities – past and present

The Inuit have lived in some of the earth's most stunning locations and wild conditions for centuries. Yet not only do they manage to survive out here between ice and Arctic water, they have a warm, rich culture, with ancient folklore and a thriving art scene. Soapstone sculptures have today replaced the traditional bone and ivory, but the hand carving technique remains the same. Cruise to Canada's Baffin Island and the shores and islands of Greenland to meet the Inuit, see their finely woven textiles and hear their eerie throat singing. Be prepared for evidence of hunting, though – this is a subsistence culture and every part of the animal will be used. Nearby visitors' centers reveal more about the history of the Arctic peoples, and showcase their clothing and crafts.

Historically, the Thule people lived around the shores of Greenland and Arctic Canada – the remains of some of their settlements give fascinating insights into their lost culture. Eastern Siberia’s Wrangel Island reveals older culture still – with a 3,400 year old Paleo Eskimo camp.

Our top Arctic cruising Vacation

Chukotka and Wrangel Island wildlife cruises, Russia

Chukotka and Wrangel Island wildlife cruises, Russia

Explore Russian Arctic - home to Polar Bears, walrus & more

From US $11000 15 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2019: 22 Jul, 5 Aug
2020: 6 Jul, 20 Jul, 3 Aug, 17 Aug
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Arctic cruising or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Lecture programme

When you sign up for an outdoor adventure in a wild landscape, lecture programmes may sound rather dull. But the ships’ biologists, geographers, photographers, historians and geologists share fascinating insights about the land and creatures around you. You’ll learn to identify species, the best angle to photograph a polar bear and a little knowledge means you’ll be even more amazed by the world around you.
Life onboard is an ongoing learning experience. Every time the wild landscapes throw up a new question - you'll have some of the world's top experts at hand to answer it.
Written by Vicki Brown
Photo credits: [Page banner: steve estvanik] [Wildlife documentaries: Polar Cruises] [Local communities: Arian Zwegers] [Lecture programme: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center]
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