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The startlingly beautiful Arctic remains one of the world’s least visited and inaccessible regions. For many years, only frequented by the Arctic explorers (men of the calibre of Roald Amundsen and Sir Ranulph Fiennes), the extraordinary beauty of the region can now be visited by travellers, whether by land or via specially-built ships.
From the Canadan Arctic to Svalbard and Spitsbergen, Greenland to Northern Scandinavia and Iceland, experience the extraordinary variety of wildlife both on land and in the Arctic Ocean. One of the smallest and shallowest of the Earth’s oceans, the pristine water teems with animals and life. Passengers can glide through fields of sea ice dominated by huge icebergs, and search for polar bears, walruses, seals and whales.
Expect spectacular natural landscapes– from thrillingly large icebergs to windswept fjords, from rugged coastline to windswept mountains; all lit up by the unforgettable northern lights. In summer, resilient flowers turn tundra to coloured carpets, trod by foxes, wolves, bear and deer.
Alternatively, visit one of the isolated settlements that stand as a testament to human endeavour, surviving against all odds in one of the harshest environments on Earth.
The Canadian High Arctic is an immense fractured wilderness of mountains, tundra and fjords. Explore the vast Nunavut territory, which covers most of the Canadian Arctic archipelago, or visit Baffin and Ellesmere islands. Sail along the rugged coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador or across the vast Hudson Bay. Marvel at sheer cliff walls that rise to dizzying heights and spot sea birds, seals and whales. Stop at remote Inuit communities to learn about their culture and art or follow in the footsteps of polar explorers and traverse the legendary Northwest Passage, one of the world’s most elusive sea routes.
The region is best visited in summer, when it comes alive with wildlife: caribou, roaming black bears, muskox and abundant migratory bird species. Explore the waterways and remote communities by expedition cruise or fly into a remote lodge to take part in an array of outdoor activities and discover the region in the company of expert guides.
Svalbard & Spitsbergen
The remote Svalbard archipelago, halfway between the north pole and mainland Norway, features spectacular scenery. Jagged snow-covered mountains, icy tundra, rugged cliffs and blue glaciers jostle for attention. The largest island is Spitsbergen and the archipelago is dotted with fascinating small settlements, including former whaling stations and research centres. Wildlife is abundant. There is a great chance of spotting polar bears, walruses, colonies of sea birds, foxes, reindeer, seals and whales. Voyages around the whole archipelago are possible in the summer months when the pack ice breaks up.
Greenland is a vast and breathtaking pristine wilderness. More than 80% of its territory is covered by ice and its magnificent and wild coastline consists of ice-choked bays, fjords and inlets. Awe-inspiring glaciers reach the sea, calving enormous icebergs, while the windswept tundra and mountain valleys are home to musk oxen, arctic foxes and birds such as eider ducks. One of the most sparsely populated islands, the inhabitants have a unique mix of Inuit and Danish blood while the blend of traditional and modern day beliefs and practices provides a rich cultural heritage. Visit local communities, some so remote they are only accessible by boat, and discover the remains of ancient Viking settlements.
Northern Scandinavia and Iceland
Venture inside the Arctic Circle in the far north of Norway, Sweden or Finland, or explore Iceland, land of fire and ice. Hike in the Arctic tundra or snowy forests, enjoy a reindeer tour, or take a ride in a husky-sled or on a snow mobile. Learn about Sami culture in Lapland, visit the home of Santa Claus in Rovaniemi or witness the amazing spectacle of the northern lights.