The Arctic is vast, diverse and spectacular. For the very best experiences timing is everything with the seasons changing quickly and the wildlife concentrations moving just as fast. From voyages in search of polar bears on the ice of the Arctic Ocean to the welcoming Inuit communities, or the spectacular fall colours of autumn in the Arctic, there is something for everyone.
There are three main gateways for Arctic expeditions with access very much controlled by the summer ice-free periods. The summer voyages begin in Svalbard in early May as ice strengthened expedition vessels sail northwards into the ice to witness polar bears in their natural environment. Additionally, you will find many bird species at the height of their breeding season and a truly polar landscape of glaciers and fjords. In mid-July as the pack ice clears, ships are able to venture further afield circumnavigating Svalbard and also exploring the shores of Greenland and Canada. Finally in August the historical waters of the Northwest Passage become safe for navigation. Here you travel through the Canadian Archipelago in the footsteps of the early explorers exploring subtly beautiful landscapes and visiting isolated Inuit communities to learn about survival in an Arctic environment, as well as appreciate their renowned artistic talents. At the same time the waters of the Bering Strait clear, allowing access to the remote refuge of Wrangel Island with its abundant polar bears and walrus.