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The Polar Regions

Antarctica

Experiencing Antarctica is nothing short of surreal and awe-inspiring. The vast, icy expanse stretches endlessly, a pristine wilderness where time seems to stand still. The air is crisp and pure, biting at your skin with a reminder of nature’s raw power. Amidst this stark beauty, you’ll encounter an astonishing array of wildlife: penguins waddling gracefully, seals basking on ice floes, and whales breaching the surface of the frigid waters. The silence is profound, broken only by the occasional creaking of shifting ice or the distant call of a bird. The landscape, with its towering glaciers and jagged peaks, is a testament to Earth’s ancient history and geological wonders. Standing there, on the southernmost continent, you can’t help but feel humbled by the sheer magnitude of nature and the resilience of life in such extreme conditions.

What you’ll love most about Antarctica

  • Embark on an expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula, where you can witness breathtaking landscapes of towering icebergs, glaciers, and snow-covered mountains. Participate in shore landings to explore the unique wildlife, including penguins, seals, and seabirds
  • Visit South Georgia, known for its incredible wildlife and historical significance. See vast colonies of king penguins, elephant seals, and fur seals, and visit the historic whaling station of Grytviken, where explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried
  • Experience the serene beauty of Antarctica by kayaking among towering icebergs and along pristine coastlines. Paddle quietly through icy waters, getting up close to marine life such as seals and penguins, and enjoy the peaceful, otherworldly ambiance of the polar environment
  • Explore the remote Ross Sea Region, home to historic sites from early Antarctic exploration. Visit the preserved huts of explorers like Scott and Shackleton, and see massive ice shelves, diverse marine life, and the occasional sighting of emperor penguins
  • For the ultimate polar adventure, take a flight to the South Pole, the southernmost point on Earth. Experience the unique environment of the polar plateau, visit the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, and stand at the point where all lines of longitude converge
  • Visit one of the few places in Antarctica where you can see emperor penguins, the largest and most iconic of the penguin species. Join a guided tour to a remote colony and capture stunning photographs of these majestic birds in their natural habitat, amidst the stark beauty of the Antarctic ice

 

The Arctic

The Arctic, a polar counterpart to its southern sibling, offers an entirely distinct yet equally captivating experience. Here, amidst the Arctic Circle, the landscape is a blend of icy tundras, rugged mountains, and crystalline fjords that create an enchanting, otherworldly panorama. Experiencing the Arctic is like stepping into a realm of perpetual twilight, where the sun barely dips below the horizon during summer, casting a surreal, golden glow over the vast expanses of snow and ice. In this ethereal silence, one encounters resilient species like polar bears, Arctic foxes, and reindeer, each adapted perfectly to the harsh Arctic conditions. The crackling of glaciers and the occasional howl of a distant wolf punctuate the stillness, creating a symphony of nature’s own composition. Sailing through Arctic waters, with the possibility of witnessing the mesmerising dance of the Northern Lights overhead, is an experience that defies description, leaving you in awe of the Earth’s polar extremes and the mysteries they hold.

What you’ll love most about the Arctic

  • Discover the remote archipelago of Svalbard, where you can experience stunning Arctic landscapes, glaciers, and abundant wildlife including polar bears, Arctic foxes, and Svalbard reindeer. Take guided tours to explore ice caves, snowmobile across frozen terrains, and visit the northernmost settlements in the world
  • Embark on an expedition cruise through the Northwest Passage, navigating the historic and icy waters that connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Witness spectacular icebergs, visit Inuit communities, and spot diverse wildlife such as whales, seals, and seabirds in this remote and pristine environment
  • Head to Tromsø, known as the Gateway to the Arctic, to witness the mesmerising Northern Lights. Participate in winter activities like dog sledding, reindeer sledding, and snowshoeing, and learn about Sami culture through engaging cultural experiences and traditional cuisine
  • Visit Greenland’s Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its stunning icebergs calving from the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier. Take boat tours to navigate among towering icebergs, hike along the Icefjord, and learn about the local Inuit culture in the town of Ilulissat
  • Explore the remote wilderness of Baffin Island, where dramatic fjords, towering mountains, and a rich Inuit cultural heritage await. Engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and wildlife spotting, and experience the vibrant art and traditions of the local Inuit communities
  • Journey to the Russian Arctic National Park, located on the Franz Josef Land archipelago, to witness untouched Arctic wilderness and diverse wildlife. Participate in guided expeditions to explore glaciers, icebergs, and historic sites, and observe polar bears, walruses, and Arctic bird colonies in their natural habitat

Where to Book

  • Polar bear in the ice of Svalbard

  • Humpback whales in the waters of Ilulissat

  • Walrus on the floating ice of Svalbard

  • Glaciers at Fjord Disco Bay, West Greenland

  • Cambridge Bay, Nunavut in the springtime

  • Houses of Kulusuk village, Greenland

  • Beeremberg Volcano on Jan Mayen Island

  • Aurora lights over Hamnoy, Lofoten

Average temperature

Information below is based on average highest temperature for each month.

  • 4℃
  • 4℃
  • 4℃
  • 1℃
  • 0℃
  • -2℃
  • -3℃
  • -3℃
  • -1℃
  • 1℃
  • 2℃
  • 3℃
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 11
  • 12
  • 10

Information above is based on the average number of days which experience some form of rainfall for each month.

Rainfall

When to Visit

Below gives you information and a rating of the best time of year to visit.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Our Ratings

  • Most Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Highly Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Where to book


Explore is a global adventure travel company with 40 years’ experience in providing exciting and authentic travel experiences. With over 350 trips in around 100 countries, Explore’s expertly crafted itineraries combined with award-winning tour leaders, small group sizes and a commitment to responsible travel ensure unforgettable travel experiences in extraordinary destinations.

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