Arctic

Unique among the Earth's ecosystems, the Arctic comprises the Arctic Ocean as well as parts of Alaska, Canada, Russia, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Its endless expanses of ice-covered sea, landscapes of jagged mountains, immense glaciers and windswept tundra are otherworldly. Here you will see wild animals feed amongst the floe and experience firsthand the indigenous cultures of the region which have adapted to its cold and extreme conditions.

When to Visit

The Arctic summer coincides with the European and Canadian summers and although the temperatures are still quite low, this is the best time to travel as the seas are open for navigation. Cruises to the Arctic start around April, when the polar night starts transforming into the polar day, and end around September.

Highlights

ICELAND Iceland is the perfect destination for those looking for the unexpected. The creativity and adventurous spirit of the people combine with rugged and beautiful scenery to create a unique country.

GREENLAND An exciting destination, Greenland is the place to go dog sledding, watch the northern lights, spot whales, see the polar ice cap and icebergs, and meet a pioneering people who thrive in the extreme conditions.

SPITSBERGEN The remarkably mild climate on the west coast of Spitsbergen sustains a vibrant Arctic ecosystem with unique flora and bird life. Six national parks protect the fragile environment that is home to polar bears and reindeer.

WHITEHORSE Whitehorse is a fantastic place for visitors to view the magical Northern Lights and is situated under the Aurora Oval, consistently one of the best places to view the awe-inspiring curtains of white, blue and green colours.

ALASKA RANGE Here you can choose to spend a peaceful night in a rustic cabin amongst quiet tundra and tranquil lakes, canoe along the Maclaren River or trek over the tundra covered hills to sight grazing caribous.

INUVIK This remote frontier town is one of the best places to experience the lifestyle and cultures of the Dene, Metis and Inuvialuit peoples. The quiet and intriguing town is a truly unique place to visit.

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Useful Information

Visa's

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). This is a guide only. Speak to your local travel agent for the most up to date information.

Customs

See applicable country for information.

Health

Please consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure, contact The Travel Doctor on (+64) 9 373 3531. New Zealanders travelling through the Arctic should also ensure that they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay.

Electricity

See applicable country for information.

Communications

See applicable country for information. Communications while on board expedition ships may be limited.

Shopping

There aren't really any shopping options while cruising the Arctic. See specific country information in regards to when you are on land.

Tipping

Although not apart of customs in the Arctic, tipping is an expression of satisfaction. Tips are not required but are used to reward guides for a job well done.

Getting around

Cruising on expedition vessels are the best way to travel around the European Arctic. Travelling around the Arctic regions in Canada is best via a private journey, escorted trip or self-drive.

Language

Staff on board the expedition vessels are multilingual.

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