Cruises to the Arctic
Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation with a visit to Kvitøya
PLA14-18. This cruise around Spitsbergen gives you a great chance to see whales, foxes, reindeer, seals, and polar bears. The expedition will make a landing on the island of Kvitøya, a site of historical significance, and home of a large walrus population.
20 Aug - 29 Aug, 2018
Witness the Northern Lights at Scoresby Sund
RVR27-18. The Scoresby Sund cruise travels into the largest fjord system in the world. The expedition visits historic Inuit sites, sails through sensational scenery and tops it all off with a night-time sky filled with the Northern Lights.
s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn
25 Aug - 5 Sep, 2018
The best opportunity to spot the King of the Arctic
PLA15-18. Start your North Spitsbergen cruise with a trek around historic Longyearben, then join our expedition to the north of the island to take in the fantastically beautiful landscapes, the thousands of seabirds, and of course the star of the show, the polar bear.
29 Aug - 5 Sep, 2018
Pack ice experience
NOO23-18. The North Spitsbergen cruise sails to some of the remotest locations of northern Europe. The expedition gives you the opportunity to spot historic whaling remains, glaciers, a variety of Arctic birds including the Little Auk, and polar bears.
29 Aug - 9 Sep, 2018
A classic three island voyage : Ice , Inuit and Remoteness
PLA16-18. The Spitsbergen and Northeast Greenland cruise sails waters filled with breath-taking scenery. The expedition passes through areas that are home to seals, seabirds, whales, and polar bears, topped off with nighttime viewing of the Northern Lights.
5 Sep - 18 Sep, 2018
Arctic cruise video
Having returned to a rather hot Oxford after 12 days of exploring Arctic islands on a century-old historic schooner, I decided to pen a few thoughts.
Map of Arctic
Arctic cruise reviews
Overall rating based on 144 votes
What should I take into account when travelling to the Arctic?
Avoid unnecessary damage to the ground surface and vegetarian cover, as regeneration rates are extremely slow. Do not take specimens from plants. Do not pick flowers. Avoid disturbing or feeding the wildlife. Be aware of your activities and whether...Read more >>
What checks should I undertake before going to the Arctic?
Ensure that the footwear you intend to take has been scrubbed clean and all soil and seeds removed. Check all of your clothing for soil, seeds and insects, especially cuffs, pockets, hoods and all Velcro. Check that any equipment and luggage you...Read more >>
Which ships travels to the Arctic?
Plancius, Ortelius, Noorderlicht and Rembrandt van Rijn.Read more >>
When does Oceanwide Expeditions travel to the Arctic?
Oceanwide Expeditions travels to the Arctic during the European summer months.Read more >>
Where is the Arctic?
The north Pole is the top point of earth. At the North Pole, night and day occurs continuously half the year. This depends on whether the pole is facing the sun or not.The North Pole is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean and is surrounded by Alaska, Canada,...Read more >>
Who lives in the Arctic?
The Arctic is inhabited by different groups of people with mostly an European background. People from the surrounding countries live at the North Pole.Read more >>
Arctic Expedition Cruises
The first explorers who set foot in the Arctic must have almost thought they’d wandered onto a different planet. But though they were certainly astonished by the dramatic scenery and rich wildlife, their main concern was surviving until they could find a northern trade route to the Indies.
Instead they discovered Spitsbergen, or “New Land of the Pointed Mountains.” Dutch captain Willem Barentsz named the island in 1596, and over four centuries later it still bears his handle. But though the Dutch didn’t succeed in finding their route, they did manage to return to Amsterdam a year later still wearing the fur clothes and white fox hats gotten in their expeditions ― but without their captain, who died during the journey.
Unlike the explorers, our motivation is purely for experience. We lead cruises to the Arctic and North Atlantic islands so our passengers can enjoy one of the last truly wild places on Earth. Remote and occasionally hostile, these areas are home to countless eye-popping sights: fiery sunsets glowing over the jagged glaciers, peaks and snowdrifts reflected up from water clear as glass, and white-winged birds streaking the bright blue sky. But nothing can prepare polar travelers for their first sight of the undisputed sovereign of the Arctic: the polar bear.
Today we visit these locations during the summer season, taking advantage of the long hours of daylight when temperatures are not so severe. Yet still this harsh and beautiful landscape echoes the history of those first brave voyages of discovery that happened so many centuries ago.
Facts About The Arctic
- Unlike Antarctica, the Arctic is not a continent but a region ― extending into Canada, the US, Russia, Finland, Greenland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland
- Almost 4,000,000 people live in the Arctic despite its severe conditions
- The name “Arctic” comes from the Greek word ἀρκτικός (pronounced “arktikos”), which means “near the bear.” This name refers to one or both of two constellations in the northern sky: Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. Ursa Minor contains the star Polaris, also known as the North Star
- The Arctic Ocean is about 8,690,450 km2, larger than the surface area of Europe
- Until recently it was unknown whether the Arctic’s massive sheet of ice was on top of land or water. The answer was revealed in 1958 when the submarine USS Nautilus navigated under the ice, proving it was indeed over water
- The coldest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic was around -68°C in Siberia
- The Arctic glacier holds about 7% of the world’s fresh water
Travel to the Arctic
Oceanwide Expedition’s Arctic cruises take you on a voyage through a region of the Earth that, despite one of the harshest environments, offers many of the planet’s once-in-a-lifetime sights. The lands of the midnight sun and polar night both fall within the Arctic’s borders.
Join us aboard our ice strengthened cruise ships m/v Plancius and m/v Ortelius and explore the northern territories of the polar regions. There you’ll enjoy hiking, bird watching, whale spotting, snow shoeing, and firsthand contact with awe-inspiring wildlife and history. Depending on which trip you take, you may also be able to zip up next to a whale in a Zodiac, take a hike around Greenland, dive under the Arctic waters, or if your love of the Arctic runs even deeper than that, help us clean up the shores of Spitsbergen.
But if you’d prefer to take a cruise on a ship that’s a little smaller ― though definitely not small in terms of adventure ― take a look at the Arctic voyages offered aboard out sailing ships s/v Rembrandt van Rijn and s/v Noorderlicht.
Whatever your choice, climbing aboard one of Oceanwide’s Arctic cruises gives you the chance to investigate one of the last surviving wildernesses on the planet.