If the chaos of life in the 21st century is making you want to run away to distant lands, you’re in luck. Why? Because we offer a range of enticing Arctic expeditions that are so away-from-it-all you’re guaranteed the life reset you deserve. The only question is, which Arctic region should you choose?
With five stunning regions, there’s a lot in the Arctic to remind you of what’s really important in life. From awe-inspiring landscapes to rare and unusual wildlife and birdlife to its utter remoteness, exploring the Arctic offers enrichment, thrills, and true recalibration. It’s a peek at life far removed from our own.
Discover which Arctic region is right for you
Ah, Iceland, the land of fire and ice. This Arctic region is a place where stark beauty and dramatic landscapes capture the imagination and lift the soul. A destination where Mother Nature gifts and withdraws in equal measure. Where hot springs, calving glaciers, lava-strewn fields, and craggy volcanoes create unrivalled experiences for every kind of traveller.
Our five Iceland expeditions tap into the scenery, culture, history, and natural wonders of this once-forgotten country. For an immersive exploration, the 11-day Icelandic Circumnavigation expedition gets you beyond the standard stops. Visits include the spectacular Goðafoss waterfall and the glaciers at Vatnajökull National Park. You’ll also get to see the quaint homes on the Westman Islands, rebuilt from the destruction of the 1973 Eldfell volcanic eruption. We journey to the Hornstrandir peninsula, one of Iceland’s remotest and most pristine regions. You’ll want to keep your eyes peeled in Skjálfandi Bay around Húsavik, where 24 kinds of whales have been spotted, including blue, orca, fin and pilot whales.
Alternatively, our easy-level Land of Fire and Ice Trek expedition connects you to the best of Iceland’s natural wonders. Tour highlights include the hot springs at Deildartunguhver and hiking to the summit of the postcard-perfect Snæfellsnesjökull glacier.
Jan Mayen is a tiny volcanic island governed by Norway, between Norway and Greenland. For years this remote and underexplored island was off-limits to visitors, but no more! To accompany our popular Iceland, Jan Mayan, and Svalbard sailing, we launched our exciting new Northern Lights Explorer itinerary this year. Both expeditions include the opportunity to get close to the world’s northernmost active volcano, the huge 2,277-metre or 7,470-foot Beerenberg volcano.
Alongside gawping in awe at Beerenberg’s beauty, we’ll also embark at Kvalrossbukta. This is the landing spot for Olonkinbyen, Jan Mayen’s weather station. It’s here that the island’s only residents live (18 of them), stationed for six months at a time. If you fancy yourself as a daring Arctic explorer, the 3-hour guided cross-island hike will appeal to you.
Equally thrilling (though less daring), time spent exploring the waters around Jan Mayen can be rewarding. Abundant in marine life, watch for bowhead, fin, minke, and bottlenose whales amid the glaciers. Harp seals can also be seen breeding on sea ice around Jan Mayen.
This could just be our favourite Arctic region. A destination of a lifetime, our expeditions to Svalbard connect you to the majesty of this Arctic wilderness, where dramatic fjords, rugged mountain ranges, and Svalbard’s fossil-rich polar desert await. Overhead puffins, guillemots, and other native Svalbard avians circle, commanding your attention, while the scree slopes house the island’s largest little auk colony. Witness sea walruses puncturing the ice, beluga whales breaching, and the elusive polar bear if you’re lucky. All leave a lasting impression.
Explore the world’s northernmost inhabited area on foot as we walk Svalbard’s wildflower-dappled tundra, learning the history of explorers and the locals (population 2,500) en-route. Eye spy Svalbard-style includes watching for reindeer and Arctic fox while traversing this protected land. On the water, our Zodiac boats allow closer encounters with the rich marine life as we navigate the frigid ice-capped waters.
Svalbard is so rich in experiences that it’s best explored over multiple days. Our 12-day Svalbard Odyssey and 15-day Svalbard in Depth itineraries afford a deep dive into everything unique about this High Arctic archipelago.
For the adventurous traveller wanting to explore this Arctic region, Greenland is a remarkable destination that leaves its imprint in ways that are not entirely explainable. Whether exploring East, West, or South Greenland, out-of-this-world experiences reveal the beauty of the world’s largest island.
In West Greenland, witness whales coasting through the UNESCO World Heritage icebergs of the Ilulissat Icefjord. In Nuuk, discover the country’s culture and history at Greenland’s National Museum. Afterwards, wander the paths between the town’s brightly painted homes. You can also hike the trails on Qeqertarsuaq, go bird-watching in Disko Bay and discover the diversity of Greenland’s flora and fauna. The adventure opportunities feel endless.
The lesser explored East Greenland opens up a different bag of goodies, including landscapes so vast in size that it’s challenging for the mind to soak it all in. Towering mountains score the skyline while Arctic hare, fox, reindeer, and musk oxen pepper the tundra; all best experienced on foot. Opt to kayak or Zodiac cruise through Scoresbysund, the world’s largest, longest, and deepest fjords. The wildlife in North Scoresbysund is as impressive as the landscape. Another East Greenland highlight includes meeting the Inuit locals at Ittoqqortoomiit.
Canada’s High Arctic offers a fascinating escape through ancient landscapes and a labyrinth of waterways leading into the Beaufort Sea. Millions travel to Canada to experience its natural beauty, but few journey through the Northwest Passage where life is anything but ordinary. Travel in the footsteps of daring explorers, get acquainted with this Arctic region’s wildlife and connect with the Indigenous locals whose ancestors have hunted and fished for thousands of years.
So many facets of a trip through the Canadian Arctic are independently worth the trip. The stunning landscape alone is reason enough to want to explore this region. However, add in its expedition history, rich culture, the plethora of wildlife, plus adventure activities and the appeal is undeniable!
Like a safari in Africa, the Northwest Passage offers bucket-list-worthy wildlife. Consider the elusive narwhal, polar bear, musk oxen, beluga whale and walrus the Arctic’s ‘Big 5’. Then there’s the impressive 20 million seabirds that call soar, swoop and nest in Arctic Canada.
Alongside fauna spotting, activities to enjoy on our Northwest Passage or Complete Northwest Passage sailings include hiking the polar desert on Devon Island, the world’s largest uninhabited island. We also visit historic Beechey Island and our Zodiac cruises journey through spectacular fjord landscapes. During our Autumn sailings, the potential for a dazzling Northern Lights display only adds to the sense of adventure.