Cruises to Arctic/Antarctic
Cruise the Polar Regions
- Arctic Cruises: A 20-day cruise in the North Pole allows more time for a true arctic adventure. Most cruise ships have arctic expeditions in the summer, when the land of the Midnight Sun’s pack ice is easier to move through. But if you want to see the otherworldly Northern Lights, you’ll have to endure colder conditions during the winter. Shore excursions to the Svalbard Archipelago provide a good chance to see arctic wildlife and the true Kings of the North: polar bears!
- Antarctic Cruises: Adventure cruises to areas surrounding the Arctic Circle are easier come by and usually shorter (11 to 14-day cruises) than their northern counterparts. Those that want elegance with their ice may enjoy Azamara luxury cruises. Most cruise ships leave South America from ports like Argentina or Chile. The usual stops include the Falkland Islands and the uninhabited Elephant Islands. In the absence of other humans, you’ll get to know Antarctic regulars like elephant seals and penguins making it their home.
What should I pack for an Arctic or Antarctic cruise?
- Comfortable clothing: Yes, you’ll be traveling to the remotest regions the world, but you won’t be constantly exposed to the elements aboard your ship.
- Base layers: Most cruise lines provide you with a parka, as chances are your own won’t be warm enough. Wool base layers and socks wick away moisture and retain heat.
- Sun protection: Most expeditions occur in the summer, and all that sunshine reflected off the ice makes high SPF sunscreen and sunglasses essential.
- Waterproof gear: Insulated waterproof pants, gloves, and boots are a must. Small ship expeditions in Zodiacs will usually get you a little wet, and there is all that ice and snow to think about.
- Odds and ends: If you are prone to seasickness, consider some medication to alleviate it—especially if your itinerary includes a trip through the famously choppy Drake Passage, which is just south of the Shetland Islands. Also, pack some reading material and swimsuit. You can actually swim in some areas of the Antarctic!
*Prices are cruise only, per person, double occupancy. Taxes, fees and port expenses not included. Rates are valid for US and Canadian residents only. Fuel supplement may apply. Savings advertised and Expedia Extras are based on specific cabin types and sailing dates, and may not be available for all cabin types/sailings.