Arctic Cruises – Cold And Lonely Or Refreshing And Magical?

When most people hear the word “cruise”, they think of pool parties.  They think of lounging under a blazing hot sun.  What they don’t usually think of is being wrapped in a jacket or a parka while exploring mystical ancient passages that still closely resemble those that the very first arctic travelers were treated to.

Contrary to popular belief, the arctic is anything but a vast frozen wasteland.  Depending on the time of year you go and what you want to see, you can see more majestic beauty than you ever thought possible when cruising through the arctic, be it through Alaska, Russia, Scandinavia, or anywhere else.  Below are some tips to help you plan your arctic cruise so that you’ll be sure to get the most out of your cruise.

When To Go On An Arctic Cruise

The most popular time of year for anyone to set sail on a cruise is in July, and this includes arctic cruises.  The only downfall to leaving in this month is that, while this is when it’s the warmest up north, the mosquitoes are also the most active.  So either load up on the mosquito spray, or strongly consider traveling in late May or early June, or late August and September.   Both times of year have different benefits:

Late May & Early June:  This time of year is going to be your best bet for seeing polar bears (though this depends on where your cruise is going), catching a glimpse of grizzlies stretching and venturing out from their dens, and caribou on their ancient migratory path.

Late August & September:  You’ll have a better chance of viewing a more diverse selection of wildlife during this time, such as humpback whales, walruses, seals, Arctic foxes and muskoxen.  If you’re lucky, starting in August, you may be able to catch a peak of the breathtaking aurora borealis starting at dusk. If you need any help deciding when to go, read this article from Adventure Life.

Different Animals In Different Places

As there are numerous arctic cruises that you can take from several different continents, you can expect to see different animals on different cruises.

Polar Bears:  Given how rare polar bears are, you’ll be hard pressed to see these unique creatures on your cruise.  However, the spring and summer months are the best time to possibly get a look at them, and you can see them on cruises that take you through Alaska, Grise Fjord (Canada), WrangleIsland (Russia), and Svallbard/Spitbergen

Grizzly Bears:  Most arctic cruises taken during the summer time in Alaska and Northwest Canada will treat you to views of grizzly bears lumbering out and about, stationing lakeside and catching their lunch from the river.  You may be able to see a few of them on cruises that take you through Scandinavia and Russia as well.

Humpback Whales:  During the late August and September months, make sure you keep your eyes on the waters that surround your cruise ship for humpback whales as you travel through Alaska, Iceland, the Bering Sea or southern Greenland.

If you’re looking for a cruise company, it can hard to know where to go to as there are so many nowadays. For British readers, you should start off looking at Cruise Kings, and make sure you have a look at their cruise deals page to see if an artic cruise pops up.

All that be said now is good luck and bon voyage. I hope you have a blast.