Glide through the alien landscapes of the planet’s most extreme wildernesses, where the scenery glistens with breathtaking snow and ice formations.
Experience a vacation unlike others on a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic. These two areas of the world are poles apart and wildly different, but share the same promise of a wilderness largely untouched by humans. These aren’t the kind of places where shore excursions take you to shopping or beaches. Here, step into untamed nature where glaciers, icebergs and mountains form landscapes of unearthly beauty.
When picking a liner for your Antarctica cruise, remember that bigger is not necessarily better. Vessels with over 500 people are not allowed to land, so if you want an on-the-ground experience, choose a smaller craft with 200 or fewer passengers. The Arctic, which isn’t a continent and includes several different countries, has no such regulations so you can experience it in ships of many sizes.
Shape your own unique Antarctica or Arctic cruises. Where you land in Antarctica could vary according to the weather of that day. Most Antarctica cruises leave from the southern tip of Argentina, with some visiting the South Georgia Islands on the way. Once you are on the continent, observe penguins, climb the volcano on Deception Island or kayak through the icebergs of Lemaire Channel, nicknamed Kodak Gap.
The Arctic is a broad term describing everything north of the Arctic Circle. Your Arctic cruise could drift through the melts around Norway, Greenland or Canada. Gaze up in awe at the northern lights, a spectacular nocturnal display that is the highlight of most Arctic cruise vacations. Places such as Wrangel Island in Russia and Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Norway are great ports for spotting polar bears. With so many fascinating sights, you cannot hope to see them all with just one cruise to the Arctic.
Summer is the season for both Arctic and Antarctica cruise vacations, although the appropriate months come at opposite times of year in the two hemispheres. Itineraries in these far-flung parts of the world can come with rough seas, longer journeys and skin-puckering temperatures. When you arrive on your Arctic or Antarctica cruise, enjoy unrivaled natural beauty as a fantastic reward for your efforts.