The Arctic

The farthest reaches of the far north. Join one of our Arctic cruises to the Land of the Midnight Sun, the northern lights, and the true sovereign of the north: the polar bear.

Cruises to the Arctic

Scoresby Sund - Aurora Borealis
Up to 800 USD discount

Scoresby Sund - Aurora Borealis


The East Greenland – Scoresby Sund cruise crosses the Arctic Circle into the home waters of multiple species of whale. The expedition will spot huge icebergs as it journeys into the largest and deepest fjord system in the world. Along the way the Northern Lights is guiding our way.

Cruise date:

18 Sep - 25 Sep, 2017


3900 USD 3100 USD 800 USD discount

Scoresby Sund - Aurora Borealis
Up to 1150 USD discount

Scoresby Sund - Aurora Borealis


The East Greenland – Scoresby Sund cruise crosses the Arctic Circle into the home waters of multiple species of whale. The expedition will spot huge icebergs as it journeys into the largest and deepest fjord system in the world. Along the way the Northern Lights is guiding our way.

Cruise date:

11 Sep - 18 Sep, 2017


5800 USD 4650 USD 1150 USD discount

Around Spitsbergen


Sail around Spitsbergen taking in the wildlife, whaling history, and stunning landscapes. Visit historic whaling stations and search for walruses and reindeer. Head to Hornsund to explore the glaciers and the hunting grounds of the Polar Bear.

Cruise date:

25 Jul - 9 Aug, 2017


6250 USD

Around Spitsbergen


Take a cruise around Spitsbergen and explore the icy waters of the North Atlantic. This special expedition offers you the chance to catch site of whales, reindeer, Arctic foxes, walruses, seals, and the star attraction, the polar bear.

Cruise date:

3 Aug - 12 Aug, 2017


4900 USD


Spitsbergen - Northeast Greenland


The Spitsbergen and Northeast Greenland cruise sails waters filled with breath-taking scenery. The expedition passes through areas that are home to seals, seabirds, whales, and polar bears.

Cruise date:

7 Aug - 24 Aug, 2017


on request

Arctic cruise video

Arctic story

Following the tracks of Viking Explorer Fridtjof Nansen

In late August of 2016, I went on a week-long tour of East Greenland on the Rembrandt Van Rijn. The ship was originally built in the 1920's but...

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Arctic blog

Remembrance of Expeditions Past

Today I sit in the sun, thinking back on the years I spent with my Oceanwide family since my retirement in 1997. My first trips were on a little...

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Arctic experiences

Arctic wildlife

See the impressive array of wildlife you may encounter::

More wildlife >>

Map of Arctic

Arctic cruise reviews

rating reviews

Overall rating based on 89 votes

Hansjürgen van de Loo
Kein "Polar Bear Special"
by Hansjürgen van de Loo on Arctic

Der Titel der Reise weckt Erwartungen, die mit dem Antreffen von 2 Bären an nur einem Tag von 7 für mich nicht erfüllt wurden. Es wurde mehr Wert auf den Besuch von Fjorden gelegt als nach mehr...

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Michael Fox
Very underwhelming
by Michael Fox on Arctic

Not a complete loss, but for a trip sold as a "polar bear special", we left feeling like we'd just been hoodwinked. A single bear at great distance is hardly special. Similarly, a single blue whale,...

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Mirko Daniele Comparetti
Good Morning my Dear Polar Explorers!
by Mirko Daniele Comparetti on Arctic

«Good Morning my Dear Polar Explorers!» was the wake up call we received every morning from our Expedition leader Michael. This kind of expedition was a first time for me and it met all my expectations:...

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Astrid Detzler
Eisbären Spezial
by Astrid Detzler on Arctic

Tolle Reise! Crew: Supernett und zuvorkommend Expeditionsteam: Kompetent und immer für uns da Kabine: Total in Ordnung Essen: Gut und abwechslungsreich LEIDER: Nur einen Eisbären gesehen...

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Terence O'Rourke
Great Time! A Must!
by Terence O'Rourke on Arctic

Had a fantastic time. Never been on a cruise, but the boat was great. Nice room, plenty of places to spend time, and always great views. Loved the food, and really good vegetarian options. Activities were fun,...

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Peter Tadin

We just got back from Norway and I just want to say how satisfied I was with Oceanwide Expeditions for a fantastic cruise of Spitzbergen on the s/v Rembrandt van Rijn sailing ship where we chartered the ship...

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Arctic FAQ

What should I take into account when travelling to the Arctic?

Avoid unnecessary damage to the ground surface and vegetarian cover, as regeneration rates are extremely slow. Do not take specimens from plants. Do not pick flowers. Avoid disturbing or feeding the wildlife. Be aware of your activities and whether...


What checks should I undertake before going to the Arctic?

Ensure that the footwear you intend to take has been scrubbed clean and all soil and seeds removed. Check all of your clothing for soil, seeds and insects, especially cuffs, pockets , hoods and all Velcro. Check that any equipment and luggage you...


Where is the Arctic?

The north Pole is the top point of earth. At the North Pole, night and day occurs continuously half the year. This depends on whether the pole is facing the sun or not.The North Pole is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean and is surrounded by Alaska, Canada,...


Who lives in the Arctic?

The Arctic is inhabited by different groups of people with mostly an European background. People from the surrounding countries live at the North Pole. 


What is the time in the Arctic?

The time zone in the Arctic is GMT +1.0 hour.on Svalbard trips is CET. East Greenland trips switch time zones mid-trip to fit Iceland time (GMT), West Greenland trips stays at GMT -2.


What would be the longest delay for medical attention during a trip to the Arctic?

In Svalbard and West Greenland we are generally within helicopter reach and a medevac is usually not more than some hours away if we have a serious problem. In East Greenland there are only limited aerial medevac possibilities and an evacuation via a...


About Arctic

Arctic Expedition Cruises

The first explorers who set foot in the Arctic must have almost thought they’d wandered onto a different planet. But though they were certainly astonished by the dramatic scenery and rich wildlife, their main concern was surviving until they could find a northern trade route to the Indies.

Instead they discovered Spitsbergen, or “New Land of the Pointed Mountains.” Dutch captain Willem Barentsz named the island in 1596, and over four centuries later it still bears his handle. But though the Dutch didn’t succeed in finding their route, they did manage to return to Amsterdam a year later still wearing the fur clothes and white fox hats gotten in their expeditions ― but without their captain, who died during the journey.

Unlike the explorers, our motivation is purely for experience. We lead cruises to the Arctic and North Atlantic islands so our passengers can enjoy one of the last truly wild places on Earth. Remote and occasionally hostile, these areas are home to countless eye-popping sights: fiery sunsets glowing over the jagged glaciers, peaks and snowdrifts reflected up from water clear as glass, and white-winged birds streaking the bright blue sky. But nothing can prepare polar travelers for their first sight of the undisputed sovereign of the Arctic: the polar bear.

Today we visit these locations during the summer season, taking advantage of the long hours of daylight when temperatures are not so severe. Yet still this harsh and beautiful landscape echoes the history of those first brave voyages of discovery that happened so many centuries ago.

Facts About The Arctic

  • Unlike Antarctica, the Arctic is not a continent but a region ― extending into Canada, the US, Russia, Finland, Greenland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland
  • Almost 4,000,000 people live in the Arctic despite its severe conditions
  • The name “Arctic” comes from the Greek word ἀρκτικός (pronounced “arktikos”), which means “near the bear.” This name refers to one or both of two constellations in the northern sky: Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. Ursa Minor contains the star Polaris, also known as the North Star
  • The Arctic Ocean is about 8,690,450 km2, larger than the surface area of Europe
  • Until recently it was unknown whether the Arctic’s massive sheet of ice was on top of land or water. The answer was revealed in 1958 when the submarine USS Nautilus navigated under the ice, proving it was indeed over water
  • The coldest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic was around -68°C in Siberia
  • The Arctic glacier holds about 7% of the world’s fresh water


Travel to the Arctic

Oceanwide Expedition’s Arctic cruises take you on a voyage through a region of the Earth that, despite one of the harshest environments, offers many of the planet’s once-in-a-lifetime sights. The lands of the midnight sun and polar night both fall within the Arctic’s borders.

Join us aboard our ice strengthened cruise ships m/v Plancius and m/v Ortelius and explore the northern territories of the polar regions. There you’ll enjoy hikingbird watchingwhale spotting, snow shoeing, and firsthand contact with awe-inspiring wildlife and history. Depending on which trip you take, you may also be able to zip up next to a whale in a Zodiac, take a hike around Greenlanddive under the Arctic waters, or if your love of the Arctic runs even deeper than that, help us clean up the shores of Spitsbergen.

But if you’d prefer to take a cruise on a ship that’s a little smaller ― though definitely not small in terms of adventure ― take a look at the Arctic voyages offered aboard out sailing ships s/v Rembrandt van Rijn and s/v Noorderlicht

Whatever your choice, climbing aboard one of Oceanwide’s Arctic cruises gives you the chance to investigate one of the last surviving wildernesses on the planet.