Top 10 Polar Exploration Vacations in the Arctic Circle
Vast and spectacular, the Arctic reaches from Russia’s Far East to Spitsbergen in Arctic Norway and Europe to Canada and Alaska. Witness the diverse scenery, unusual wildlife and interesting peoples the Arctic has to offer from the decks of huge icebreakers, over the bow of your kayak or actually under the water. There’s northern lights flights, hiking, wildlife watching and cycling to be done.
- Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Take a helicopter flight, a high speed catamaran or a local guide for trekking to explore the magnificent glaciers and wildlife of Glacier Bay. Whales, sea otters, sea lions and bald eagles compete for attention.
- Spitsbergen, Svalbard Norway
Spitsbergen is the largest of Norway’s Arctic islands in the Svalbard archipelago and is still virtually unspoiled at less than 621 miles from the North Pole. Dramatic mountains, tundra laced with flowers, ice caps and shaped glaciers are home to abundant wildlife and seabird colonies.
- Hiking, skiing and snow shoeing, Denali National Park, Alaska
There are abundant places to explore in this national park with few established trails so route finding or trail breaking is up to you. Take a day hike to explore the stunning alpine meadows and glacial wonders, go skiing or snowshoeing wherever your interest and ability takes you and keep an eye out for the Northern Lights.
- Kamchatka, Siberia
This remote moon-like peninsula of Siberian Russia has 29 active volcanic craters sitting along its shores. It also hosts a diverse number of flora, fauna and bird species such as brown bear, sea eagles and king salmon. The native cultures such as the Ewenkans and Koryaks are nomadic fishing and reindeer herding communities.
- Faroe Islands, Denmark
These 18 islands lie halfway between Iceland and Norway and were the exclusive domain of intrepid explorers until recently. The islands have quaint fishing villages enriched by Norse heritage and beautiful, rugged coastlines. Bird life is abundant and pilot whales, grey seals and killer whales are common in the waters.
- New Siberian Islands, Siberia
Mount a wildlife watch for the rare Leptev walrus in the pack ice of the East Siberia Sea. Hike the tundra and explore the old hunting camps and see the northernmost point of the continent.
- Aurora Borealis flight, Norway
Take a flight from Tromso into the Arctic Blue to see beautiful scenery, high mountains and a spectacular view of the area including the Northern Lights.
- Cycling, Queen Charlotte Islands, Canada
Cycle these beautiful islands in the remote area of British Colombia stopping to beach comb, view wildlife and camp.
- Alexander Archipelago, Alaska
This archipelago of 1100 islands is inaccessible by any means other than specially outfitted private vessels or cruise ships. This means it’s well off the beaten path and little explored. It’s also somewhat of a Galapagos of the North with millions of seabirds, one of the largest healthy Stellar sea lion rookeries in the world, numerous marine mammals including the sea otter, humpback whale, orca, the Alexander Archipelago wolf and massive black and grizzly bear.
- Hiking in Fjallabak, Iceland
This region contains some of the pearls of Iceland and one of it’s most popular treks known as the "laugavegurinn" or Hot Spring Route. The 33 mile route takes about four days to hike stopping at huts overnight and there’s a great variety of landscape to see – mountains, glaciers, roaring hot springs, big rivers and lakes.