If you felt a call deep within telling you to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and you listen more closely, you just may find that you are hearing the unmistakable tug of going on the grandest of holidays: an Artic Cruise!
It’s not for the faint-hearted though. Artic Cruises offer plenty of opportunities to combine the best of wildlife viewing and water sports with camping under the stars kind of romantic experiences that make ordinary men feel like pioneers forging ahead in their quest for living on the edge and making regular women feel they are literally on the top of the world. Polar bear tracking and enjoying a barbeque against the snow-white backdrop of the land of the midnight sun where rare seabird colonies offer a glimpse of community living of summer Tundra are activities that make Artic cruises so popular with a wide range of world travellers, including those with a love for history. Legends of Vikings and European explorers rule supreme in the lecture halls on board Artic cruising vessels, casting a spell on passengers that love learning about myths and tales of the ancient Northern cultures.
June to September is ideal for taking an Artic cruise, since this is the northern summer time and booking a trip with a seasoned operator like Quark Expeditions, who have organized personal polar adventures for over 20 years is a smart way of ensuring sightings of polar bears and walruses in the middle of a winter hunt, just before the ice melts.
However, taking an Artic cruise during peak summer time offers sightings of Arctic wildflowers, nesting bird colonies by the thousands, land-dwelling animal interaction with musk ox and caribou, and if you are particularly lucky, even a glimpse of the amazing white beluga, or the mystifying one-horned narwhal.
Most Artic cruises range from 7 day trips to 15 days exploring the inner deeps of the Three Arctic Islands and travel enthusiasts keen on making this trip of a lifetime are advised to prepare and pack sensibly for -10 to +10° C temperatures experienced during typical Arctic summers (much like a mild North American winter’s day).
Finally, remember that Artic cruises that ensure minimal environmental impact and are part of the AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators) are best holidays options combining eco-tourism and learning adventures, since expedition leaders and shipmates are aware of sticking to guidelines of this all-important committee, which has formulated visitor and activity programs that take care of protecting this amazing land for future generations.