The High Arctic

Introduction

The High Arctic circles the top of the globe from Russia’s Far East to Svalbard. Covered in sea-ice for most of the year, it is only during the short summer months (June to September) that it is possible to witness the stunning scenery, incredible and diverse wildlife and interesting indigenous communities the Arctic has to offer.

 

We have first-hand experience of the Arctic and can look after all aspects of your holiday; flights, pre and post voyage arrangements and of course your voyage, including the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Svalbard (Spitsbergen) and the North Pole.

 

The High Arctic is best explored from June to September, as the pack ice recedes and the temperatures rise and the race is on for all living creatures (flora & fauna) to make the most of the short summer. There’s a lot to see; Polar bears, walrus, seals, Arctic foxes haunt the ice edge, millions of seabirds, remote villages, icebergs and magnificent scenery and historic sites all make for an unforgettable holiday.

Arctic Map

Svalbard (Spitsbergen)

If wildlife is your major interest then Spitsbergen should be on your list. Spitsbergen’s wildlife is protected and has been for many years, as a result you have the chance to view the animals in their natural state and often in great abundance and usually reasonably close. Spitsbergen, a Dutch word for ‘pointed peaks’, is one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the world.

 

Birdlife is varied and includes guillemots, razorbills, puffins, terns, gulls, geese, ducks, phalaropes, curlew, sandpipers, owls and falcons. Other wildlife includes: three species of seal, four species of whale, Arctic fox, walrus, for the very fortunate Narwhal, and the stars of the show Polar bears.

Canadian High Arctic

The Canadian High Arctic is north of the Arctic Circle and most of Alaska. The variety of scenery and wildlife as well as the remoteness of the area is the main drawcard for visitors.

 

One of the gateways into this region is the remote community of Resolute. There is a saying ‘Resolute is not the end of the world, but you can see it from here’ which gives you an idea of location.

 

Baffin Island and Devon Island offer incredible scenery; mountain, fjords, glaciers and pack ice that make up this wilderness area and provide homes for rare and interesting wildlife including: muskox, walrus, beluga whales and the polar bear.

 

The Canadian High Arctic offers a wealth of history and the opportunity to follow in the wake of some of the most amazing and daring explorer’s. There are traditional Inuit communities dotted along the coastline which you can visit and listen to their enchanting stories and learn more about their culture and way of life in these harsh conditions.

 

The Northwest Passage is a sea passage through the Arctic that connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The search for this Passage claimed the lives of many, it is now a journey you can enjoy whilst your expedition’s historian will help you understand the courage, misery and the incredible endurance of some of history’s greatest explorers (Franklyn in particular).

Greenland & Iceland

Greenland hiking
Greenland:

Everything about Greenland is big: it’s the largest and oldest Island on our planet. With most of the Island covered in an enormous Ice cap it’s the coast where the maritime influences combine with incredible glacial scenery to offer ‘big’ experiences. Even the names follow the ‘big’ theme, Qeqertarsuaq translates literally as ‘large island’ in the local inuit language. After the main landmass of Greenland, this is the territory’s second largest island and one of the ten largest islands on earth. In addition to enormous fjords, glaciers and icebergs Greenland also has great historic and geological interest. Eric the Red, the 9th century Norse Viking, is believed to have visited here using the location as a base for hunting, fishing and exploration. Keeping with the theme and one of the wonders of the world the Jacobshavn Icefjord – a UNESCO World Heritage site – spews gigantic tabular icebergs out into Disko Bay. The glacier that creates these enormous bergs advances at over 40 meters per day, creating something in the order of 50 cubic kilometers of ice each year.

Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland
Iceland:

Often referred to as ‘The Land of Fire and Ice’ Iceland offers vast contrasts. Active volcanoes provide geothermal energy and incredible landscapes whilst some of Europe’s biggest glaciers co-exist on the same island. Geysers give a spectacular display to visitors and huge waterfalls splash up at admirers. During the winter months the skies remain dark all day and night with the only relief the spectacular light show of the Aurora Borealis. Conversely during summer the sun does not set.

Iceland boasts interesting and delicious cuisine. Some menus you may find, whale, sheep’s head, fermented shark, horse steak and smoked puffin. They also offer exquisite dishes with more commonly used ingredients such as lamb and seafood.

North Pole

North Pole

Currently there’s only one vessel operating cruise to the North Pole, the Le Commandant Charcot.

 

On your cruise to the North Pole, watch (and feel, as the ship forces it way over and through sea ice) in amazement from high above the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean surface as Le Commandant Charcot powers her way through Arctic sea ice up to three meters thick. This is a one–of-a-kind trip with the single-minded goal of reaching 90 degrees North. There will be opportunities to view wildlife, including the polar bear.

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.
We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.