Arctic

Embark on a supreme northbound adventure

Get the ultimate northbound adventure on an Arctic cruise

Join us on an expedition cruise to the Arctic and experience a wilderness that is truly the stuff of legends.

Our Arctic cruises give you not only the chance to see some of Earth’s most exotic areas and animals but also engage in exhilarating polar activities that fully immerse you in the fascinating far-north world.

These activities include kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing, ski mountaineering, and other outdoor adventures that will ensure your Arctic cruise gives you the maximum possible contact with the surreal polar environment.

Also available on select Hondius cruises are special activities focusing on science-based topics that illuminate the wonders of the Arctic ecosystem.

Arctic expedition: what to expect?

A cruise to the Arctic means many things…

It means encountering the aurora-lit fjords of northeastern Greenland, exploring the glacial coastlines and sprawling tundra of Svalbard, and perhaps even hiking the most remote regions of Iceland.

An Arctic cruise may introduce you to polar bears, seabirds, walruses, whales, and scores of other animals – not to mention natural phenomena like the midnight sun, northern lights, and near limitless ice formations.

In summary, the Arctic offers an unforgettable experience. So join us on an Arctic cruise, 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

Around Spitsbergen, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice
Up to $6150 OFF

Around Spitsbergen, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

HDS06-24 Take a cruise around Spitsbergen and explore the icy waters of the North Atlantic. This special expedition offers you the chance to catch sight of whales, reindeer, Arctic foxes, walruses, seals, and the star attraction, the polar bear.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

3 Jul - 12 Jul, 2024

Berths start from:

5400 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 a visit to Scoresby Sund, Earth's largest fjord, along with exhilarating...

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

14 Aug - 5 Sep, 2025

Berths start from:

10480 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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the Arctic

Arctic cruise photos

Arctic cruise reviews

by Joanne Puckett
We recently spent 8 days/7 nights cruising Svalbard with Oceanwide Expeditions. We had an amazing time. The ship was extremely comfortable - rooms were a good size, lounge area well set up, dining room very efficient. We managed to leave the ship several times and participated in some landings as well as zodiac cruises. We felt completely safe at all times leaving and refining the ship as well as inland where the “threat” of polar bears is ever present. The staff did an amazing job at keeping watch , allowing us to explore with the guides on some foreign but stunning landscapes. We saw a quite a bit of wildlife and managed to see every animal we had hoped to - even if the polar bears were safely at a distance. The food produced by the kitchen was great. Drinks were very reasonably priced. We met some wonderful fellow passengers onboard and we all became quite social. Would highly recommend this company, the crew and this ship.
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by Kathrin Wittchen
The trip was fantastic in every aspect. Enjoyed every second of it and can’t wait to return. Read full review
by Heike Oelmann
Great Tour with lots of activities, Great crew, nice ship, delicious food. All in all a great tour Read full review
by M. Hansen
Fantastic landscapes and wildlife viewing, great crew - all of them - including hospitality staff, guides, people on the bridge etc. Very friendly and attentive. Good food.
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by Alexandre Elshobokshy
Everything was PERFECT on this ship, if you ever get the chance to get on board, PLEASE, do so!!!!
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by Laskmit Yamaui
Beautifull landscapes, excellent people, We were very lucky looking at the wild life (polar bears a lot). Read full review

FAQ's about Arctic cruises

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. 

About Arctic cruises

From Arctic exploration to Arctic cruises

The first explorers who set foot in the Arctic must have thought they had wandered onto a different planet. But though they were certainly astonished by the dramatic scenery and rich wildlife, their main concern was finding a northern trade route to the Indies.

Instead, they discovered Svalbard, then called Spitsbergen by Dutch captain Willem Barentsz, who named the island in 1596. But unlike the early Arctic explorers, our motivation on Arctic cruises is purely for the experience.

We lead cruises to the Arctic so that 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 jagged glaciers, snowy peaks reflected up from water clear as glass, and exotic seabirds streaking the bright blue sky.

And let’s not forget one of the most awe-inspiring sights you might encounter on an Arctic cruise: the polar bear.

We make our expedition cruises to the Arctic during the summer, taking advantage of the milder temperatures and long hours of daylight – yet still this ruggedly beautiful landscape recalls to our minds those first brave voyages so many centuries ago.

Things to know before your Arctic cruise

  • The Arctic is a region that extends 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 refers to one or both of two constellations in the northern sky: Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.
  • The Arctic Ocean is about 8,690,450 square km, larger than Europe.
  • Until recently, it was unknown whether the Arctic’s massive ice sheet was on 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 (-90°F) in Siberia.
  • About 7% of the world’s fresh water is contained in Arctic glaciers.

Why take a cruise to the Arctic?

Despite having some of the wildest conditions on Earth, the Arctic offers many of the planet’s once-in-a-lifetime sights. An Arctic cruise takes you to the lands of the midnight sun, polar bear, northern lights, and so much more.

On your cruise to the Arctic, you can enjoy hiking, bird watching, whale spotting, snow shoeing, and firsthand contact with awe-inspiring wildlife and history.

Depending on which Arctic trip you take, you may be able to enjoy numerous outdoors activities in some of the most iconic locations to be found. And if you’d prefer an Arctic cruise on a smaller vessel, check out our Rembrandt van Rijn voyages.

Whatever your choice, joining one of our expedition cruises to the Arctic gives you the chance to experience one of the last true wildernesses on the planet. If you have any questions about our Arctic expedition, please feel free to contact us.

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