Arctic & Antarctica exploration cruises

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Escape the crowds on an exploration cruise to the Arctic or Antarctic and discover parts of the world that aren’t often visited or all that accessible by other means.

There are few more remote and inhospitable spots than the poles. Unless you’re a polar bear or a penguin, spending time in the regions is nigh on impossible, which is why an exploration cruise to the Arctic or Antarctic is such an attractive and thrilling adventure 

Exploration cruises to the Arctic use ships with strengthened hulls to explore Spitsbergen and the other islands of the Svalbard archipelago. The cruising season is short with ships only visiting the Arctic typically between June and August as it’s too dangerous to navigate the ice during the rest of the year.

Excursions include naturalist-led hikes and trips to watch wildlife in this starkly beautiful world; look out for arctic foxes, caribou and walrus. 

At the other end of the world, exploration cruises to the Antarctic offer a similar but contrasting experience. Exploration cruise lines often reverse their schedules and send their ships south when the weather is hospitable enough – the season is similarly short, running from November to February. 

With no indigenous population this extraordinary landmass is largely unspoiled. Set foot on the ice to contrast the empty, desolate wilderness with the quantity of wildlife found on the coast. Look out for whales, seals, penguins and a wealth of birds.