As you sail through the glassy turquoise expanse of ice fjords, past calving glaciers and sculptural icebergs jutting out from the glittering ocean, you’ll find you have reached the tangible epitome of tranquility.
It is one thing to experience the dumbfounding awe of the Arctic up close, upon its rugged and frozen landscapes. Yet it is an entirely incomparable experience to glide through its waters as a silent observer, with the distance needed to appreciate the entirety of the natural spectacle before you.
However, with an Arctic cruise you need not choose, for you will be sure to experience both the passive and the active, the calm and the exhilarating. The humbling and inspiring.
Browse our range of cruising locations below for an insight into what is on offer.
Greenland is the perfect country to explore both by sea and on land and a true highlight on any Greenlandic arctic cruise is the Prince Christian Sound, also known as the Prins Christian Sund, which connects the Denmark Strait with Davis Strait. The Prince Christian Sound offers one of South Greenland’s most dramatic natural landscapes, contrasting to the tranquility of the calm waters below and the mesmerising flow of waterfalls on either side of you as you sail through.
As well as dramatic landscapes, Greenland is also full of colourful villages dotting the vast and unspoiled landscape, such as the small settlement of Aapilattoq. This small settlement offers insight into the traditional lives of modern Greenlandic Inuit. Hvalsey is another settlement worth exploring once on land, yet this is a settlement much left in the past: specifically the era of the vikings. Found at the end of a majestic fjord, Hvalsey is undoubtedly the best of South Greenland’s several Norse ruins scattering the land. Yet no journey to Greenland is complete without a stop in Nuuk, the country’s capital, known for its huge fjord system where you’ll see an array of waterfalls, humpback whales and icebergs.
An arctic cruise demands a stop in the world’s most northerly capital, Reykjavik, found in Iceland. With a colourful old quarter, quaint wooden houses and streets all cradled by snow-capped mountains and volcanic surrounds, Reykjavik is a vibrant gateway city to the abundant arctic adventures this country has to offer. Reykjavik also usually marks the start of the Golden Circle; a handful of must-see attractions in the South West of the country, such as the country’s most active geyser Strokkur, Gullfoss waterfall and the idyllic Lake Thingvallavatn.
For more Icelandic natural wonders, many arctic cruises sail past the Hornbjarg Cliffs which rise to 537 metres in the northernmost part of Iceland’s Westfjords, and make up part of the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve where Atlantic Puffins, among several other incredible bird species, can be spotted. Dynjandi Waterfalls also provides another spectacular sight in the Westfjords region. This iconic waterfall, is undoubtedly Iceland’s most majestic waterfall due to its overwhelming sheer force and size. Its cascading water over 100 feet wide tumbles over 300 feet into the fjord, and is bound to take your breath away.
Svalbard is an unmissable staple of any arctic cruise; a Norwegian archipelago and land of the sublime where, in the summer months, the sun dances pirouettes around the bright white sky, producing 24 hours of continuous daylight. It is also home to the northernmost inhabited town in the world: Longyearbyen, also the largest settlement in Svalbard. Here you’ll find the airport, the Svalbard Museum, and intriguing remnants of the former mining activity that used to run this town. Svalbard is filled with treasures both north and south, and found in the former is the beautiful and spellbinding Monaco Glacier and Seliger Glacier as well as many walrus haul-outs and areas known as the Arctic desert.
In contrast, the south is considerably less icy, due to the warm Atlantic ocean current known as the Gulf Stream. In the south you’ll find the archipelago’s largest island of Spitsbergen where you can explore the remains of both historic huts and mines. The landscape changes dramatically according to the season and at different times in the year, glaciers in the south can be visited both on foot or by sea. Many cruises sailing from Tromsø to the south of Svalbard, stop at Bear Island to explore the impressive nature reserve known for its greenery and steep cliffs. Here you can relax in the milder environment, for despite the island’s concerning name, it is only known to be visited by a variety of harmless seabirds.
Our top Arctic cruise example trips
Our favourite expedition ships
Silver Cloud Expedition - ArcticThe Silver Cloud Expedition cruises the oceans of the world as a luxurious expedition vessel, with an unmatched crew to passenger ratio. Suites vary in size from a comfortable 22m2 to a sprawling 122m2, and each features butler service to help you unpack and plan your daily adventures. Four out five suites boast a veranda, allowing you to watch a lob tailing whale among the sheets of ice and monumental icebergs gliding past. On board you’ll find five dining options, from fine dining at Champagne, to pasta in Le Terrazza, the friendly atmosphere found in the Main Restaurant, or eating out under stars at the Hot Rocks grill to private dining in your cabin. Also on board is a library and spa while broad expensive decks with various open spaces and a swimming pool complete this distinguished expedition vessel.
MS SjøveienThe Sjoveien is a beautiful yet indomitable ship, providing you with the perfect sanctuary from the harsh wilderness beyond its sturdy walls, and the perfect platform from which to absorb the awe of the arctic as it passes you by. Translating to ‘Sea way’ in English, the Sjoveien was built in 1964 in Bergen, originally for the Norwegian government, and has taken on many roles since. After being used as a training ship for mariners from 1979 to 1995, the ship was then used for the Norwegian Coast Guard before becoming a hotel ship. After a few years as a hotel ship, it was refurbished in 2017 as a cruise ship. Its colourful history certainly provides guests with more character – such as the spacious vintage wooden decks – while still providing the best comforts and style found in any modern ship. The ship can accommodate a maximum of 28 passengers in an array of different private cabins, such as outside-facing private cabins, lower deck twin cabins with portholes, larger twin cabins on the main deck and one superior cabin with a double bed. All cabins have private facilities and windows from which to admire the endless scenery. A stay on the Sjoveien is all inclusive and you’ll dine on the main deck dining area or lounge area where you can relax with warm and enjoy educational talks by the guides. You can also enjoy access to the viewing deck found on the ships bridge, which is the perfect place for spotting arctic marine life swim by, as well as offering wonderful views of the magical Svalbard landscape. Or for a truly unparalleled arctic experience, sail past icebergs as you relax in the wood-fired hot tub out on deck.