Arctic Circle Cruises 2015

Encounters at the Ends of the Earth

Every cruise to the Arctic yields a unique experience drawn from diverse and unforgettable encounters with the incredible wildlife and remarkable people that call this region home.

When you're exploring the most remote corners of the world, you want to make sure you travel in comfort and with experts. Below you can browse through travel information about the Arctic, as well as the cruise and expedition ships that explore this remote region in 2013.

How Much Time is Suggested to Explore the Arctic region?

Cruises range from 11 to 16 days in length. Land tours are available from as little as 6 nights to 15 nights.

When is the best time to travel to the Arctic?

Cruises to the Arctic are only available June through September. If you visit from early June to mid-July, it’s a great time to spot polar bears and walrus. The midnight sun has not yet melted a lot of the ice, and they tend to hunt around these areas near the shore. Birds also come back to the region to breed. If you want to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, known as the wildlife capital of the Arctic, the best time is from the middle of July to the middle of August. There is plenty of wildlife including polar bears, walrus, musk ox, reindeer and beluga whales, and tundra flowers are in full bloom. By the end of August and September the days are shorter and birds migrate south.

What is the Weather Like?

Baby it’s cold outside! Temperatures range from 10 to 50 °F. Some expeditions include warm parkas as a gift, which comes in handy during your expedition.

What activities can I participate in?

Some people feel very comfortable staying onboard the ship and looking out for wildlife, however most go out on zodiacs to get a closer look. For the more adventurous, you can take kayaking adventures, camp on a glacier under the midnight sun or hiking.

Expeditions Versus Cruises

All cruises are NOT the same…much depends on the ship’s size and amenities, prices and itineraries and so much more. But do you know that the “cruise” ship and the “expedition” ship are similar only in that they provided accommodations and transportation on a body of water?

Cruises


The cruise is for experiencing luxury in travel…the shipboard experience of wonderful meals served with panache in beautifully decorated dining rooms; Broadway-style musical extravagancies, midnight dances, casinos and (usually) short port calls rather exotic locations. And you expect your stateroom, depending upon the price you pay, to be rather roomy and equipped with modern hotel-like amenities.

Your cruise experience is in the sailing itself, getting there is a major part of the fun.

Expeditions


The destination is the entire purpose of the expedition…the ship itself may be the lesser part of the experience. The ship is, of necessity, small and compact and the accommodations may be Spartan. Some expedition ships are refurbished ice-breakers, with some “softening”; others are new ships made especially for the area to be visited. A ship sailing through the Galapagos does not need the strengthened hull of an Antarctica vessel, but it too will be small and compact.

You'll Need to Pick

It’s your choice: luxury and pampering, spas and deck games or fascinating vistas and nature in its grandiose beauty up close and personal.

EXPEDITIONS

National Geographic Arctic Expeditions

National Geographic Explorer

Inaugural Year: 2008

Tonnage: 6471

Passenger Capacity: 148

17 Day Norway’s Fjords and Arctic Svalbard

Round-trip from Oslo, Norway (after a flight from the US) sailing on May 24th, 2014

(The Ports of Call listing is a sample of places attended to be visited, weather permitting and may not have every possible port)

Ports of Call: Oslo, Norway; Longyearbyen, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; Rasvag, Norway; Bergen, Norway; Nordfjord, Norway; Tysfjorden, Norway; Tromso, Norway; Bear Island, Norway.

11 Day Land of the Ice Bears: An In-Depth Exploration of Arctic Svalbard

Round-trip from Oslo, Norway (after a flight from the US) sailing on dates in June 2013: 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th

(The Ports of Call listing is a sample of places attended to be visited, weather permitting and may not have every possible port)

Ports of Call: Oslo, Norway; Longyearbyen, Norway; Spitsbergen, Norway; Nordaustlandet, Norway; Edgeoya, Norway.

17 Day Arctic Quest: Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic

Round-trip from Ottawa, Canada (after a flight from the US) sailing on July 27, 2013 and August 10, 2013 (in reverse)

(The Ports of Call listing is a sample of places attended to be visited, weather permitting and may not have every possible port)

Ports of Call: Ottawa, Canada; Numerous locations on Baffin Island, Canada; Kangerlussuaq, Greenland; Sisimiut, Greenland; Ilulissat, Greenland; Uummannaq, Greenland; Devon Island Canada.

Silversea Arctic Expeditions

Silver Explorer

Inaugural Year: 1989

Tonnage: 6,072

Passenger Capacity: 132

12 Night Norway Cruise

Embarking from Bergen, Norway on June 6th, 2013

Ports of Call: Bergen, Norway; Geiranger, Norway; Alesund, Norway; Isle of Runde, Norway; Trondheim, Norway; Leknes, Norway; Tromso, Norway; Bear Island, Norway; Svalbard, Norway; Longyearbyen, Norway.

10 Night Svalbard Islands Cruise

Embarking from Longyearbyen, Norway on June 16th, 2013 and July 6th, 2013 with reverse itinerary cruises on June 26th, 2013 and July 16th, 2013

Ports of Call: Longyearbyen, Norway; Svalbard, Norway; Bear Island, Norway; Tromso, Norway.

12 Night Arctic Circle Cruise

Embarking from Longyearbyen, Norway on July 26th, 2013

Ports of Call: Longyearbyen, Norway; Svalbard, Norway; Grundarfjordur, Iceland; Reykjavik, Iceland.

Source

18 Night Greenland and Canada Cruise

Embarking from Reykjavik, Iceland on August 7th, 2013

Ports of Call: Reykjavik, Iceland; Skjoldungen Island, Greenland; Prince Christian Sound, Greenland; Nanortalik, Greenland; Uunartoq, Greenland; Hvalsey, Greenland; Brattahlid, Greenland; Itilleq, Greenland; Iqaluit, Canada; Lower Savage Islands, Canada; Nanook Harbour, Canada; Akpatok Island, Canada; Diana Island, Canada; Opingivik, Canada; Douglas Harbour, Canada; Cape Dorset, Canada; Bencas Island, Canada; Walrus Island, Canada; Churchill, Canada.

14 Night Canada and Greenland Cruise

Embarking from Churchill, Canada on August 25th, 2013

Ports of Call: Churchill, Canada; Walrus Island, Canada; Ivujivik, Canada; Cape Wolstenholme, Canda; Cape Dorset, Canada; Douglas Harbour, Canada; Akpatok, Island, Canada; Lower Savage Islands, Canada; Hauntsch Island, Canada; Baffin Island, Canada; Nuuk, Greenland; Manitsoq, Greenland; Sisimuit, Greenland; Kangerlussuaq Fjord, Greenland.

17 Night Greenland and Canada Cruise

Embarking from Kangerlussuaq Fjord, Greenland on September 8th, 2013

Ports of Call: Kangerlussuaq Fjord, Greenland; Sisimuit, Greenland; Saqqaq, Greenland; Ilulisat, Greenland; Nuuk, Greenland; Brattahlid, Greenland; Itilleq, Greenland; Qaqortoq, Greenland; St. Anthony, Canada; L’Anse Aux Meadow, Canada; Gros Morne National Park, Canada; Havre-Saint-Pierre, Canada; Bonaventure Island, Canada; Iles de la Madeleine, Canada; Louisbourg, Canada; Halifax, Canada.

CRUISES

ms Prinsendam

Inaugural Year: 2002

Tonnage: 37,848

Passenger Capacity: 740

21 Day North Cape Explorer

Round-trip from Amsterdam, The Netherlands on July 15th, 2013 (Longer Itinerary Versions available)

Ports of Call: Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Bergen, Norway; Alesund, Norway; Longyearbyen, Norway; Ny Alesund, Norway; Akureyri, Iceland; Isafjordur, Iceland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Torshavn, Faroe Islands; Rosyth, Scotland.


ms Veendam

Inaugural Year: 1996

Tonnage: 55,758

Passenger Capacity: 1,258

17 Day Voyage of the Vikings

Embarking from Boston, US on July 13th, 2013

Ports of Call: Boston, USA; Bonne Bay, Canada; Red Bay, Canada; Qaqortoq, Greenland; Prince Christian Sound, Greenland; Isafjordur, Iceland; Akureyri, Iceland; Seydisfjordur, Iceland; Torshavn, Faroe Islands; Bergen, Norway; Stavanger, Norway; Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

18 Day Voyage of the Vikings

Embarking from Amsterdam, TheNetherlands on July 30th, 2013

Ports of Call: Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Dunmore East, Ireland; Dublin, Ireland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Djupivogur, Iceland; Heimaey, Iceland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Nanortalik, Greenland; St. Anthony, Canada; St. John’s, Canada; Bar Harbor, USA; Boston, USA.

Nautica

Inaugural Year: 2008 Tonnage: 30,277 Passenger Capacity: 684

18 Day Voyage of the Midnight Sun

Embarking from London, England sailing on July 4th, 2013

Ports of Call: London, UK; Oslo, Norway; Stavanger, Norway; Hellesylt, Norway; Geiranger, Norway; North Cape, Norway; Murmansk, Russia; Hammerfest, Norway; Longyearbyen, Norway; Harstad, Norway; Bergen, Norway; Kristiansand, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark.

Vision of the Seas

Year Built: 1998

Tonnage: 78,340

Passengers: 2,435

11 Night Arctic Circle Cruise

Round trip from Copenhagen, Denmark sailing on June 8th, 2013

Ports of call: Copenhagen, Denmark; Alesund, Norway; Honningsvag, Norway; Tromso, Norway; Geiranger, Norway; Olden, Norway; Bergen, Norway;

Celebrity Constellation

Inaugural Year: 2002

Tonnage: 91,000

Passenger Capacity: 2,038

12 Night Arctic Circle Cruise

Round-trip from Amsterdam, Netherlands sailing on June 13th, 2013

Ports of Call: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Leknes, Norway; Longyearbyen, Norway; Honningsvag, Norway; Molde, Norway; Bergen, Norway.

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Comments 2 comments

Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

This looks amazing! What a fascinating trip this would be. Maybe when we're retired....


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Amazing trips. Have always wanted to see the polar bears. Would love to take the National Geographic Expedition. Love the photos. Thanks for sharing. Voting up, A,I,B.

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