Unspoilt and completely unique
The Arctic is the northernmost part of the planet and offers an amazing array of activities and experiences.
Here you can experience something completely different – dog sledding, polar bear viewing, ice fishing, a stay in the world famous Snow Hotel and, perhaps, a meeting with Father Christmas. Greenland, Lapland and the northern part of Scandinavia are all great starting points for an Arctic adventure both in the Winter and in the Summer.
The Arctic Circle spans the northernmost tip of a medley of countries including Alaska, Canada, Greeland, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Russia as well as islands in the Arctic Ocean such as Svalbard and the Lofoten Islands. In the High Arctic (above the the Arctic circle), destinations receive 24 hours of daylight on Midsummer Day (21st June) and 24 hours without daylight on Midwinter Day (21st December). It is a fascinating and challenging environment, largely unspoilt and completely unique.
An environment every bit as extreme as Antarctica, this is a marine environment which is ever changing both seasonally and as a result of global warming. The ocean is packed with marine and bird life despite its northerly location. Millions of birds and fish, four kinds of whale, six species of seal, the walrus and the polar bear all make their home in this ice-bound environment. If you like wildlife and an unspoilt environment and you don’t mind the cold climate, this is the place for you.
Much of the icebound territory that is the Arctic can only be reached by ship. Hapag-Lloyd, Hurtigruten, Fred Olsen Cruises, Aurora Expeditions, Crystal Cruises and One Ocean Expeditions all offer cruises across a range of locations. Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise line also operate return Alaska cruises departing from Vancouver in Canada. Ask us for more information about where they go and what you could see when travelling with one of them.
The Arctic also has a huge expanse of land and for hundreds of years, only indigenous settlers lived there. It is remote and bleak but yet very beautiful. Explore the pine forests and open country of Alaska, Canada and Russia. Take a cruise around the ice caps and waters of Spitsbergen and Greenland – Hurtigruten are particularly good at this.
Several operators also offer guided summer hiking holidays in Iceland which technically is just south of the Arctic Circle. And land-based Winter Arctic holidays offer a variety of winter activities in Finland, Sweden and Norway, Russia, Greenland and Canada’s Baffin and Ellesmere Islands, some more challenging than others. And then there are always the ephemeral Northern Lights which are magical and beautiful to behold and best viewed in the Winter months.
Despite its wild and challenging environment, the Arctic offers a plethora of holiday options from cruises where you can sit back and watch the spectacular scenery go by to Summer and Winter activity holidays. Like Antarctica, a holiday here could be a journey of a lifetime that you will never forget. Ask us for for more information – we can help you plan your next trip.