Arctic Cruises

Explore the majesty of the frozen north on a small ship luxury expedition cruise to the Arctic where polar bears outnumber humans, and the landscapes are untouched by time.

Introduction To Arctic Cruises

We carefully choose our Small Ship & Luxury Arctic Cruises with help from our team of experts who have been on these cruises themselves. Join a small group of naturalist guides on curated expeditions to explore the Arctic region in comfort and luxury.  

The Arctic circle region offers many regions for every explorer on a luxury expedition cruise. You have the option to go on a luxurious icebreaker to the Geographic North Pole.

You can also explore Svalbard, known for its glaciers and wildlife, including polar bears. Another choice is to visit Greenland to see its landscapes and villages. Alternatively, you can travel the Northwest Passage, following in the footsteps of pioneers.

Arctic expeditions now use small luxury ships with high comfort and service. Expert guides lead rich expedition experiences, with Zodiacs onboard for exploring.

Best Arctic Cruises

Prins Christian Sund Greenland Ponant
Explorers Club
Reykjavík, Iceland - Nome Alaska
12/08/2024 to the 05/09/2024
24 Nights

Price from per person

£37,130
Svalbard Ponant
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen
June 15 2025 - June 22 2025
7 Nights

Price from per person

£8,110
Svalbard cruises spitsbergen landscape
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen
June 29 2025 - July 06 2025
7 Nights

Price from per person

£7,700

Highlights Of An Arctic Expedition Cruise

Why Visit?

1

Encounter The Arctic’s Abundant Wildlife

In the Arctic, you can see Polar Bears hunting on ice, walruses on beaches, and birds on cliffs. You can also spot different whale species like Belugas and Narwhals. It's a great place for animal lovers to watch wildlife.

2

Explore The Untouched Polar Wilderness

Explore the stunning Arctic landscapes, glaciers, and scenery with a team of expert guides on a ship. Enjoy Zodiac excursions, wilderness hikes, and optional activities like kayaking.

3

Uncover The Arctic’s Unique History

Explore sites of historical significance from the remains of whaling stations, outposts of early explorers and ancient Inuit sites. Learn about the challenges of the early Arctic expeditions from onboard guides and historians.

4

Discover The Arctic Through Science

On select cruises, learn about the Arctic’s unique ecosystem through the expertise of onboard scientists, lectures and guest speakers who undertake research as part of the expedition.

5

Small Ship Luxury Expedition Experience

Travel on a small luxury expedition ship built for exploring the polar regions with all the creature comforts. Enjoy a luxury onboard experience, fine dining and sumptuous cabins combined with an authentic expedition experience led by polar experts.

What To See On An Arctic Cruise

Polar bears on sea ice in the Arctic

Polar Bears and Arctic Wildlife

With over 2,000 Polar Bears in the Svalbard region, migrating whales, walruses, an array of seal species, reindeer, Arctic foxes and a diverse bird species, including Guillemots, Puffins and Arctic Terns, there is lots of wildlife to see.

A zodiac approaching a colossal iceberg on an Arctic luxury cruise in Greenland

Glaciers and Colossal Icebergs

From Greenland’s colossal icebergs, the sea ice of the North Pole and the Northwest passage to over 2000 glaciers in Svalbard, an expedition cruise to The Arctic is a great way to encounter epic ice formations.

Inuit dog sledding in greenland

Remote Settlements & Inuit Culture

Explore isolated Inuit villages in Greenland and the Northwest Passage to the most Northerly town on Earth in Svalbard. The Arctic is home to some of the most remote communities on Earth.

Historical Sites

Discover an array of history across the Arctic, from Svalbard, where the first attempts to reach the North Pole by airship were made, Inuit and Viking sites in Greenland, and the final resting place of Franklin’s fateful expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage.

Getting To Your Arctic Cruise

As the Arctic mainly consists of remote wilderness where there is seldom infrastructure, towns or roads, a great way to explore it is on an expedition cruise. Modern expedition ships are equipped with a fleet of Zodiacs used for exploring and shore landings, meaning you can access beautiful, untouched places. 

The easiest way to get to the Arctic is to fly to the departure port for your expedition cruise. A flight to and from the departure port may also be included depending on your itinerary. If not, our Travel Experience Team can help you with this. 

Common routes to get to the Arctic are to fly from Europe or the USA to Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Nuuk and Kangulusaq in Greenland, or Reykjavik in Iceland to embark on your expedition cruise. Northwest Passage and Trans Arctic cruises often arrive or depart from Nome in Alaska with onward flights included. 

Please see our guide below for all the different ways to get to the Arctic.

When To Go A Cruise to The Arcti

Most Arctic cruises occur during the summer between May and September when the conditions are milder, the wildlife is the most active, and the sea ice less restricts the seas. 

Doing an Arctic Cruise outside the summer months is possible. The luxury icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot has unique features. These features enable it to explore Greenland’s thick sea ice in spring. It can also navigate the frozen Saint Lawrence River in winter. This allows for new and exciting trips to be offered.

The best time to explore the Arctic on a luxury cruise depends on your preferences. Choose early-season voyages to encounter the High Arctic at its most extreme with thick sea ice and frozen landscapes, the summer for wildlife watching and the Midnight Sun and September for the best chance to see the Northern Lights.

Please see our detailed guide below to learn more about what the Arctic offers on an expedition cruise each month.

Choose Your Year

Arctic Cruises 2024

Arctic Cruises 2025

Arctic Cruises 2026

Types Of Arctic Luxury Cruises

Arctic Small Ships Cruises

For those looking to get close to nature, wildlife watchers, photographers and explorers looking to see more, choose from our selection of small ship cruises to the Arctic on modern expedition ships with premium comfort.
Prins Christian Sound in Greenland Le Commandant Charcot Icebreaker PONANT

Epic Arctic Luxury Cruises

For the true pioneers, choose from a selection of groundbreaking Arctic cruises, including a Trans Arctic expedition via the North Pole by icebreaker or undertaking a complete traverse of the Northwest Passage.

Arctic Icebreaker Cruises

For the explorer in you, choose a luxury Arctic Icebreaker cruise to explore previously inaccessible places such as East Greenland in the spring, The Geographic North Pole or Disko Bay in West Greenland when it is accessible to regular expedition ships.

Arctic in Ultra Luxury

For the connoisseurs, choose from a selection of ultra-luxury Arctic cruises on 5 and 6-star ships, complete with butler service, luxury amenities and the finest dining in the Arctic.

Places To Explore On An Arctic Cruise

North Pole Cruises

Reach the most northerly point on the planet on a luxury icebreaker cruise. Choose from new itineraries, including Scoresby Sund in East Greenland or a Trans Arctic expedition across the top of the world.

Northwest Passage Cruises

Explore the fabled sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through myriad frozen inlets. New itineraries include a complete traverse of the Northwest Passage on a luxury expedition ship.

Svalbard Cruises

Encounter polar bears, calving glaciers and the largest icecap in Europe on a luxury expedition cruise around the Svalbard archipelago with voyages that start and end in Svalbard or include Greenland.

Greenland Cruises

Explore the never-ending majestic scenery of Greenland with colossal icebergs in every direction. Choose between voyages to the remote East Coast for wilderness, the West Coast for towns and villages or the far North to experience wildlife and unchartered waters.
where is the northwest passage?

Canadian Arctic Cruises

Visit remote communities on Baffin Island and watch for wildlife at the entrance to Lancaster Sound, including narwhals. Choose from a range of luxury cruises from Iceland, Canada and Greenland.
Reykjavik in Iceland in the winter

Iceland Cruises

The land of fire and ice is a regular embarkation point for luxury Arctic cruises heading to Greenland or the Northwest Passage. To see Iceland, choose a voyage that makes shore landings in remote areas such as the Westfjords.

Best Small & Luxury Arctic Cruise Ships

Le Commandant Charcot

245 Guests
Icebreaker PC2 Ice-Class
150 Metres
A 5* luxury icebreaker which excels at breaking new ground (or should we say ice!) Le Commandant Charcot offers the most exhilarating itineraries with her icebreaking hull, allowing it to go where others can't. It's the only ship capable of reaching the Geographic North Pole and penetrating Antarctica and East Greenland's sea ice early in the season. Onboard guests can enjoy gourmet dining options, spacious staterooms and luxury suites, a large outdoor heated lagoon and an indoor relaxation area with a pool and spectacular views.

Silver Endeavour

192 Guests
PC6 Ice-Class
164 Metres
A new small luxury expedition ship built for polar exploration, Silver Endeavour offers guests a first-class expedition experience with unseen levels of luxury. From its sumptuous selection of suites with verandas offering spectacular views, carefully thought-out interiors with large windows throughout, stylish lounges and fine dining options, Silver Endeavour is perfect for the luxury connoisseur seeking a genuine expedition experience.

Plan Your Luxury Arctic Cruise

Plan ahead and book early for Arctic expedition cruises. Spots fill up fast, especially for trips to the North Pole and Northwest Passage. To secure your cabin, book your cruise well in advance.

Choose Your Itinerary: There are a variety of luxury ships, itineraries, and activities to choose from. Choose an Arctic voyage that aligns with your interests, whether it's wildlife viewing or specific activities such as kayaking. Our Travel Experience Team advises and recommends different options for you based on your preferences.

Reserve Your Cabin With North Pole Cruises: We will ensure you receive the best price from the operator when booking. Our knowledgeable Travel Experience Team will help you choose your Arctic trip and answer any questions. Before the voyage, we will provide lots of helpful information, including packing lists, and support you during your journey if you have any issues. We offer peace of mind with our 100% financial protection with every booking.

Travel Insurance: When booking, purchase comprehensive travel insurance for your Arctic Circle cruise that covers trip cancellations, medical emergencies, and evacuation from remote locations. Ensure that your policy explicitly covers polar travel.

Visiting the Arctic on an expedition cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and we are here to help you plan and prepare for your extraordinary voyage to one of the world's most remote and untouched destinations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Arctic cruise prices vary depending on a wide range of factors, including the ship size, the level of luxury, the destination, the number of guests, the time of year, and the length of your chosen itinerary. As a rule of thumb, prices per person start from £1,000 per person per night. 

A luxury cruise to the Arctic Circle starts from £8,684 (€10,030, $10,992) per person for a ten-night expedition on SH Diana from Tromso in Norway to explore Svalbard in the high Arctic with accommodation in an oceanview stateroom and up to £19,325 (€ 22,324, $24,466) per person for a premium suite.

For an epic 20-day night Trans Arctic expedition from Nome in Alaska to Svalbard via the North Pole on the luxury icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot, prices start from £36,390 ($46,078, €42,049) per person in a Prestige Stateroom and rise to £126,850 ($160,621, €146,579) per person for the Owners Suite.

Our Travel Experience Team can assist you in planning your Arctic Circle expedition. We can suggest the best ship and cabin options for you. We can also assist you in getting the best price when booking.

Yes, we offer no single supplement on selected Arctic cruises. Our Travel Experience Team has access to the best offers for solo travellers. We recommend you contact us with your requirements, and we can help you find the best no-single supplement Antarctica cruise for you.

Arctic cruises in Svalbard offer the best chances for seeing polar bears as there is a high population in a small area. For the best chances of seeing polar bears, we recommend a more extended, in-depth expedition around Svalbard to maximise sighting opportunities. 

Polar Bears are also frequently sighted on Northwest Passage and North Pole cruises. Polar Bears can also be seen less often in East Greenland and the far Northwest of Greenland in the Qanaq region. 

Polar Bears are also frequently sighted on Northwest Passage and North Pole cruises. Polar Bears can also be seen less often in East Greenland and the far Northwest of Greenland in the Qanaq region.

The best Arctic cruises to experience Inuit culture are Greenland, The Northwest Passage and the Canadian Arctic, home to numerous remote indigenous settlements where it is possible to glimpse the local way of life.

The weather on an Arctic cruise can vary significantly depending on the specific region, time of year, and prevailing weather patterns. Generally, the Arctic experiences a polar climate characterised by cold temperatures, ice, and variable conditions, although it is much milder in the summer months than most people imagine. 

Summer Cruises

During the summer, temperatures in the Arctic can range from just above freezing to around 10°C (50°F). This is when many Arctic cruises occur, as the ice is more navigable. Daylight can be continuous in some areas, providing a unique midnight sun experience.

Spring and Autumn (Fall) Cruises – May and September

These transitional months may see colder temperatures than summer, with a higher likelihood of encountering ice. However, wildlife activity can be increased, and the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) may be visible during the fall.

Winter Cruises (October to April) 

Winter cruises are less common due to harsher conditions, extensive ice coverage, and limited daylight. Temperatures can drop significantly, often reaching well below freezing. However, this time offers a chance to witness the Northern Lights and experience the Arctic in winter solitude.

Variable Conditions

 Weather conditions in the Arctic can change rapidly. Fog, snow, and wind are common; sea ice conditions can impact travel routes. It’s essential to be prepared for a wide range of weather scenarios.

Packing appropriate clothing, including insulated and waterproof layers, is essential to stay warm and dry in cold and potentially wet conditions. We will supply you with a complete packing list and what is included during your reservation.

Each Antarctica Cruise includes accommodation in well-appointed cabins, meals, expert guides, guest lecturers outlined in the itinerary, Zodiac cruises and excursions, and specified charter flights.

Please check the tour page of your chosen itinerary to see a complete list of inclusions.

Financial security is paramount for our clients, so all bookings made through North Pole Cruises include 100% financial protection. We also include supplier failure insurance free of charge for extra peace of mind. This ensures you have the very best protection on your booking. 

When reserving your chosen itinerary, the payment options will be quoted.

Typical payment terms are a 25% deposit when booking to reserve your cabin and the final balance payable 90 days before departure. 

 

We accept payment via credit card or bank transfer.

Each Arctic cruise and ship offers different activities to help you get closer to nature. On expedition cruises, Zodiac rides and shore landings are all included as part of the experience. A selection of cruises offer Arctic tours like kayaking, snowshoeing, dog sledding, ice fishing, and polar treks. Activities are subject to availability and weather conditions. 

During the reservation process, please specify which activities you are interested in, and we will assist you in finding the best voyage from our range of Arctic adventure cruises. Depending on the ship, some activities are included in the cost, and others are extra.

The best cruises for wildlife watching in the Arctic are expeditions around Svalbard and through the Northwest Passage. Whilst wildlife is seen in Greenland, it is spotted less frequently due to the sheer size and distance of the land. 

For Arctic wildlife cruises, we highly recommend a small ship experience. This will ensure you spend more time out exploring nature.

All expedition cruises in the Arctic have outstanding guide teams with wildlife spotters who keep watch for animals. The ship will alter its course if wildlife is spotted so the guests can get a closer look.

Whilst icebergs are common throughout the Arctic, Greenland is undoubtedly the best place to encounter colossal icebergs, some up to 1km high!

Due to its icecap that feeds glaciers all over the coast of Greenland, icebergs are a frequent sight throughout Greenland. Choose a cruise exploring Disko Bay in West Greenland to encounter the most gigantic icebergs.

Luxury expedition cruises to the Arctic vary between 7 days for a luxury cruise around Svalbard on Silver Endeavour and up to 30 days for an extensive exploration and traverse of the Northwest Passage.

We recommend a more extended cruise for those looking to see more wildlife and places.

We recommend reserving your Arctic luxury cruise 12 – 18 months in advance to guarantee your preferred ship and cabin option. That said, we always have last-minute availability on select departures.

Please contact our Travel Experience Team to find out about last-minute availability.

The first step to booking your Antarctica luxury cruise is to contact our Travel Experience Team, who will be happy to help you with your itinerary and provide details about availability and pricing for your selected voyage.

We work with operators that have advanced sustainability and a proven track record leading environmentally responsible expeditions.. We recommend operators that have invested heavily in their own sustainability from creating a new generation of environmentally friendly small ships designed for the polar regions to enhanced onboard operations to ensure minimal environmental impact.

All operators for our Arctic cruises are members of AECO. You can find out more about the stringent guidelines that are followed here.

Do you need help planning your expedition cruise?

Why Reserve With Us?

Join Us

Subscribe to be the first to know about new voyages, exclusive offers and insider travel tips.

North Pole Cruises – a brand by the Expedition Collective Limited

© 2024 The Expedition Collective

Ask A Question

Do you have a question for our knowledgeable Travel Experience Team? We’re all ears! Just fill out this form, and we will be in touch shortly to answer your question.

Call Us

UK | EU
USA & Canada

Your Guide To Exploring The Polar Regions

Subscribe to be the first to know about new voyages, exclusive offers and insider travel tips.