Arctic Cruises & Luxury Expeditions

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

Introduction To Arctic Cruises

Our Luxury Arctic Cruises are carefully selected by our in-house team of expedition cruise experts with first-hand experience. These curated expeditions allow you to explore the Arctic region in a small group with a team of naturalist guides in unparalleled comfort and luxury.  

The Arctic offers many regions for every explorer on a luxury expedition cruise. Choose from a quest to reach the Geographic North Pole on a luxury icebreaker, explore Svalbard with its countless glaciers and abundance of wildlife, including great chances of seeing polar bears, Greenland for its majestic landscapes, colossal icebergs and remote villages or follow in the footsteps of pioneers and traverse the entire length of the fabled Northwest Passage.

These expeditions take place on a new generation of small luxury expedition ships that offer previously unseen levels of comfort and service whilst also offering a rich expedition experience led by expert guides, with a fleet of onboard Zodiacs for exploring.

Arctic Cruises

svalbard explorer small ship expedition cruise
Small Ship
Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen
Jul 10 - Jul 19 2025
9 Nights

Price from per person

£7,145
polar bear on an icebreaker cruise
Explorers Club Special
Reykjavík, Iceland - Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
25/06/2024 to the 11/07/2024
16 Nights

Price from per person

£25,440
Polar bear spotting and wildlife watching in Svalbard
Small Ship
Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen
May 22 - Jun 1 2025
9 Nights

Price from per person

£6,470

Highlights Of An Arctic Luxury Cruise

Why Visit?

1

Encounter The Arctic’s Abundant Wildlife

From Polar Bears hunting on the sea ice, walruses resting on remote beaches, and bird cliffs only accessible by Zodiac to a number of whale species, including Belugas and elusive Narwhal, for animal lovers, the Arctic offers an icy paradise for wildlife watching.

2

Explore The Untouched Polar Wilderness

Encounter the Arctic’s majestic landscapes, glaciers, and captivating scenery on the ship with a team of expert Arctic guides through Zodiac excursions, wilderness hikes, and optional activities such as 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 On An Arctic Cruise

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. 

It is possible to do a luxury cruise outside the summer months. With its unique capabilities, the luxury icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot offers new and exciting itineraries to explore the thick sea ice of Greenland during the spring and the frozen Saint Lawrence River during the winter months.

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.
Navigating-the-sea-ice-on-the-way-to-the-North-Pole-Icebreaker-Charcot

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 Arctic Luxury 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

Book Well in Advance: Arctic luxury cruises, especially expeditions to the North Pole and Northwest Passage, have limited availability and fill up quickly. 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 a 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 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 cruise that covers trip cancellations, medical emergencies, and evacuation from remote locations. Ensure that your policy explicitly covers polar travel.

Visiting the Arctic on a luxury 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

The price of a luxury Arctic cruise varies 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 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 is here to help you plan your expedition, offer our advice about which ship fits your preferences, recommend different accommodation options to suit you and obtain the best price at the time of 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.

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 itinerary 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. Optional Kayaking, snowshoeing, dog sledging, ice fishing, and polar treks are offered on selected Arctic cruises. 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 proper voyage. 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 wildlife watching, we 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. Often, a 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.

Do you need help planning your expedition?

Our friendly and knowledgeable Travel Experience Team is ready to assist you.

North Pole Cruises – a brand by the Expedition Collective Limited

© 2024 The Expedition Collective

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