The Arctic

Embark on a supreme northbound adventure

Embark on an Oceanwide expedition cruise to the Arctic and experience a wilderness that is truly the stuff of legends, serving as an arena for adventure since the early days of world discovery. Oceanwide’s Arctic expedition cruises give you not only the chance to see some of Earth’s most exotic areas and animals, but also to engage in exhilarating polar activities that fully immerse you in the fascinating Arctic world.

During your expedition cruise, you can explore the Arctic by kayak, set out on shoreline snowshoeing treks, make invigorating inland hikes, or even partake in ski mountaineering outings for a perfect combination of the scenic and the exciting.

Also available only aboard Oceanwide’s new vessel Hondius are special activities focusing on science-based topics that illuminate the incredible Arctic ecosystem.

The Arctic is many things…

It is the deep Nordic forests and aurora-lit islands of Northern Norway. The glacial coastlines and mountainous fjords of eastern Greenland. The rugged tundra, berg-filled bays, and blazing white pack ice of the Svalbard archipelago.

The Arctic is polar bears, seabirds, walruses, whales, and scores of other animals. But most of all, the Arctic is an unforgettable expedition cruise experience.

Join Oceanwide on a voyage into the Arctic, where adventure is just part of the territory.

Read more…

Cruises to the Arctic

Chevron
Scoresby Sund, Aurora Borealis
Up to 900 USD discount

Scoresby Sund, Aurora Borealis

Witness the Northern Lights at Scoresby Sund

HDS15-19. 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.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

17 Sep - 25 Sep, 2019

Price:

on request

Around Spitsbergen

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

HDS09-19. 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.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

23 Jul - 1 Aug, 2019

Price:

5000 USD

Around Spitsbergen

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

NOO26-19. 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.

s/v Noorderlicht

s/v Noorderlicht

Cruise date:

23 Jul - 7 Aug, 2019

Price:

6400 USD

North Spitsbergen, Arctic Summer

Watch for wildlife in iconic Arctic terrain

RVR27-19. The North Spitsbergen cruise sails to some of the remotest locations of northern Europe. The expedition gives you the opportunity to spot historic whaling remains, glaciers, a variety of Arctic birds including the Little Auk, and polar bears.

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

Cruise date:

27 Jul - 6 Aug, 2019

Price:

4450 USD

Chevron

Spitsbergen - Northeast Greenland

A classic three island voyage : Ice , Inuit and Remoteness

RVR28-19. 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.

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn

Cruise date:

6 Aug - 24 Aug, 2019

Price:

6950 USD

Arctic cruise video

Arctic story

An Incredible Adventure on a Tall Ship

Ever since discovering Svalbard on the map a little over a year ago, I had felt a desperate need to explore this Arctic archipelago for myself....

Read more >> Share a story >>

Arctic blog

A Day on m/v Plancius

Stepping aboard Oceanwide’s longest-running expedition vessel, it’s easy to forget she’s been making voyages to the polar regions since “Afternoon...

Read more >> All blog posts >>

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 222 votes

Ruth Zantvoort

Our 9-night expedition was a series of high points, from polar bears (single males, mothers with cubs) to blue whale, tundra and arctic fox. The expedition team and ship's crew did their utmost to provide...

Read full review >>
Wolf-Dietrich Langhof

Wir waren 10 Tage Anfang Juli unterwegs und haben zwar "nur" den Plan D erfahren, aber wir waren begeistert von der Reise mit sehr freundlichen und erfahrenen Crewmitgliedern, auch die Mannschaft der...

Read full review >>
Tullio Bonicelli

The trip on the Hondius met all my expectations.. the ship, brand new, was perfect..common areas were ample and the cabin was beyond my expectations... staff was great and the guides very knowledgeable....the...

  • phpStwF2W
Read full review >>
Petra Schmidt
Face to face to a polar bear
by Petra Schmidt on Arctic

We enjoyed very much all the trip. The ship and the staff were great. The cabins were beyond our expectations. The quality of the lectures was amazing. The third officer Mr. Igor Nazarov was always ready to explain...

Read full review >>
Teresa Rivas

We loved our week aboard the Hondius: The ship, which had been sailing for less than a month when we boarded, was clean, well appointed, and very stable/smooth sailing. The food was varied and delicious, there...

Read full review >>
Chris Lewis
Polar Bears and Pack Ice
by Chris Lewis on Arctic

Really knowledgeable Guides made for a fantastic trip. Seeing Polar Bears, Whales, Walrus in the flesh all great. Beautiful scenery. Lectures used flexibly and really informative Hinduism was a really well turned...

Read full review >>

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...

Read more >>

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...

Read more >>

Which ships travels to the Arctic?

Plancius, Ortelius, Hondius, Noorderlicht and Rembrandt van Rijn. 

Read more >>

When does Oceanwide Expeditions travel to the Arctic?

Oceanwide Expeditions travels to the Arctic during the European summer months.

Read more >>

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,...

Read more >>

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. 

Read more >>

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.