High Arctic Overview
Why the High Arctic: Voyages to the High Arctic offer the classic Arctic experience. Explore dramatic landscapes of high mountains, huge fjords, massive glaciers and soaring sea cliffs covered in nesting birds. The wildlife is exceptional with the chance to see large mammals like polar bear, walrus and many species of whale.
Climate: The Arctic is warmer than Antarctica due to most of the surrounding area being ocean rather than land. Temperatures vary depending on altitude and the amount of ice around (by late summer, much of the ice has retreated). Sunny summer days can be surprisingly warm but you should also be prepared for cold windy days and snow squalls. Spitsbergen is warmer on the west coast due to the warm Gulf Stream, whereas a cold current cools the east coast.
Combine With: Journeys to the Canadian High Arctic depart from Canada and can easily be combined with a holiday on the mainland. See grizzly bears or cruise Alaska’s famous Inside Passage (see our Canada & Alaska program for details). Voyages to Greenland and Spitsbergen depart from European cities.
Getting There: Many itineraries start and/or end in a major city such as Oslo or Toronto, and involve a group charter flight to an Arctic port for embarkation. Some voyages start at an Arctic port such as Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen.