Embark on a supreme northbound adventure

Embark on an Oceanwide expedition cruise to the Arctic and experience a wilderness that is truly the stuff of legends, serving as an arena for adventure since the early days of world discovery. Oceanwide’s Arctic expedition cruises give you not only the chance to see some of Earth’s most exotic areas and animals, but also to engage in exhilarating polar activities that fully immerse you in the fascinating Arctic world.

During your expedition cruise, you can explore the Arctic by kayak, set out on shoreline snowshoeing treks, make invigorating inland hikes, or even partake in ski mountaineering outings for a perfect combination of the scenic and the exciting.

Also available only aboard Oceanwide’s new vessel Hondius are special activities focusing on science-based topics that illuminate the incredible Arctic ecosystem.

The Arctic is many things…

It is the deep Nordic forests and aurora-lit islands of Northern Norway. The glacial coastlines and mountainous fjords of eastern Greenland. The rugged tundra, berg-filled bays, and blazing white pack ice of the Svalbard archipelago.

The Arctic is polar bears, seabirds, walruses, whales, and scores of other animals. But most of all, the Arctic is an unforgettable expedition cruise experience.

Join Oceanwide on a voyage into the Arctic, where adventure is just part of the territory.

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Cruises to the Arctic

16 Days Extended North & East Spitsbergen & Bear Island
Up to $6240 OFF

16 Days Extended North & East Spitsbergen & Bear Island

OTL04d24 Why take just one polar voyage when you can combine two into an activity-filled, wildlife-focused adventure? We’ve joined our East Spitsbergen cruise (emphasizing polar bears and pack ice) with our North Spitsbergen Basecamp cruise (multiple free activities)...

m/v Ortelius

m/v Ortelius

Cruise date:

25 Jun - 10 Jul, 2024

Berths start from:

5160 USD

23 Days Extensive Spitsbergen - Northeast Greenland - Aurora Borealis
Up to $5970 OFF

23 Days Extensive Spitsbergen - Northeast Greenland - Aurora Borealis

HDS10c25 A full circumnavigation of Spitsbergen combined with a voyage into northeast Greenland, this expansive expedition cruise explores some of the best spots in the high Arctic - including visits to Kvitøya and Scoresby Sund, Earth's largest fjord, along...

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

14 Aug - 5 Sep, 2025

Berths start from:

10480 USD

15 Days Extended North & East Spitsbergen - Summer Solstice
Up to $5480 OFF

15 Days Extended North & East Spitsbergen - Summer Solstice

PLA03d24 We’ve linked two of our most exploratory Spitsbergen trips, one of which cruises the island’s northern shores for pack ice and polar bears, and the other that ventures into the scenic eastern shorelines during the summer solstice. The result is this...

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

13 Jun - 27 Jun, 2024

Berths start from:

4800 USD

23 Days Extended Around Spitsbergen & Northeast Greenland - Aurora Borealis
Up to $4540 OFF

23 Days Extended Around Spitsbergen & Northeast Greenland - Aurora Borealis

PLA10d24 When you join two outstanding Arctic cruises into one, you get powerhouse polar adventures like this. After edging the pack ice of the planet’s most stunning polar bear habitat, you head to scenically surreal northeast Greenland for views of the magical...

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

9 Aug - 31 Aug, 2024

Berths start from:

9920 USD

18 days Extended East and Around Spitsbergen
Up to $3660 OFF

18 days Extended East and Around Spitsbergen

OTL05c24 This fantastic combination cruise lets you enjoy not only a circumnavigation of Spitsbergen but also an extended voyage into Svalbard's scenically stunning eastern shores - including Bear Island, where colonies of exotic Arctic birds nest above dazzling...

m/v Ortelius

m/v Ortelius

Cruise date:

2 Jul - 19 Jul, 2024

Berths start from:

8000 USD

Arctic cruise video

Latest blog and customer story

Arctic blog

Svalbard vs. the Canadian Arctic

Svalbard and the Canadian Arctic vary in terms of what they offer expedition travelers. They offer similar scenery, but their remoteness and populations are exceedingly unique.

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Arctic story

Around Spitsbergen, in the Realm of the Polar Bear & Ice

There are journeys and there are journeys. This trip is one that falls in the latter category. I look back on a fantastic experience, during which the awareness of human behavior on this vulnerable planet (and especially the Arctic) became very clear to me.

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Arctic cruise reviews

by Laskmit Yamaui
Beautifull landscapes, excellent people, We were very lucky looking at the wild life (polar bears a lot). Read full review
by Sigrid Dr. Reinhardt,
A wonderfull journey with guides, who had a lot to tell in a very good atmosphere Read full review
by Chiara Mellina
I want to leave again
Read full review
by lynne parsons
Fantastic trip aboard the Hondius, made so special by the knowledgeable guides who were at our beck and call to answer all our questions, look out for our safety and with a great sense of humour.. i enjoyed the custom of them spreading around to eat at different tables and chat more informally with us. They were first rate. The hospitality staff were the best I have ever encountered. They were so helpful always with a happy smile on their face. I was astonished how quickly they knew our names and made each and everyone of us feel so special . The standard has been set so high I doubt it can be bettered. Read full review
by Juliette Chabrol
It was my first polar trip and it was amazing. I come from France. The ship team and the expedition trip were perfect. The organization of this trip was perfect. Everyone was very approachable and professional. The boat is amazing. We were very lucky with incredible weather conditions, allowing for fascinating outings every day. The bears and the northern lights were here. I hope to have the chance to go back in polar areas with Oceanwide. Thanks again for this trip. Read full review
by Brigitta Wegmann
Landscape, wildlife, guides, board service, food, ship and everything I haven't listed - I was totally thrilled. Maybe this trip was my childhood dream and now it has become a lifelong dream come true. My greatest wish came true, I saw polar bears in their natural environment. The landscape impressed me and was beautiful. The small, the delicate flowers, and the large, the icebergs and colorful mountains. I would like to thank everyone again for the great trip: the captain for the good journey, the guides Frigga, Michelle, Melodie, Chloé, Irene, Pierre, Ross and the expedition leader Rinie with their noticeable enthusiasm for nature and its exciting and highly interesting lectures. Not to forget the ship's doctor Veronique. Not needed by me, but knowing that she is there to look after me. All I can say is that I want to come back and always wish you a safe journey and always a hand's breadth of water under your keel! Kind regards Brigitta
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Arctic FAQ

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 they are resulting in a change of the animals' behaviour. Be aware that Rabies does occur on Spitsbergen, particularly in Arctic Foxes. Be careful when moving in areas where birds are nesting. If birds are disturbed and leave their nests, the uncovered eggs cool quickly and are easy prey for gulls and foxes. Avoid herding or alarming geese and ducks. On several locations on the islands, cultural monuments and items such as burial sites, blubber ovens, crosses, hunting tools, etc. are regularly encountered. Such cultural monuments are generally protected by law. It is unlawful to destroy or remove such monuments and items from the place where they are found. Do not take souvenirs, including whale or seal bones, live or dead animals, rocks, fossils, plants, or other organic material.
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 plan to bring is clean and free of soil and seeds. This includes walking sticks, ski poles and tripods for cameras.

All of our motor vessels and our sailing vessel make Arctic trips.

Our Arctic trips take place during the Northern Hemisphere summer.

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, Greenland and Russia.

The Arctic is inhabited by different groups of people with mostly an European background. People from the surrounding countries live at the North Pole. 


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 hikingbird watchingwhale 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 Greenlanddive 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 our sailing ship s/v Rembrandt van Rijn.

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.