Amazing activities and add-ons to enhace your Polar Cruise
None of our expedition cruises to the Polar Regions are passive sail-bys. You’ll be an explorer not a tourist, boarding small boats, touring iceberg-filled bays and going ashore where-ever possible to see the wildlife from close up.
Your expedition will come with a full program of included and optional activities designed to immerse you in the many wonders the frozen continent has to offer. No matter your activity level or interests, there will be something that suits you. Here are some of the activities you can enjoy on your expedition cruise with us.
Whenever weather and sea conditions allow, we’ll attempt landings via small explorer boat. Sites might include a scenic harbour, ruins from the whaling era, or wildlife sightings of all sorts. Once ashore, the Expedition Team will guide you on where to go and what to see. You are free to walk around on your own, keeping a safe distance from any wildlife you encounter.
Small Boat Cruising
Even though your expedition ship is specially designed for sailing in Antarctica, there are limits to where it can go. This is where our small explorer boats come in. Enjoy gliding through the water as you take in views of the surrounding white landscape and floating icebergs. These sturdy, maneuverable Zodiacs are also fantastic for getting really close to wildlife! Learn more about Zodiac cruises.
The day is not over when the sun set! After dinner, your expedition staff will be giving briefings, to give you an update on the weather conditions, what is planned for the next day, and how you can prepare for it. After these briefings, typically, lectures will be held, where topics can reach from wildlife, to new scientific discoveries to the fascinating history of our polar regions.
Beyond these activities, which are always included in a Cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic, our expedition cruises offer a variety of additional activities to make your trip to Antarctica even more unforgettable. Here's a round-up of the most exciting things you can do on an polar expedition cruise!
The outings are always led by certified and highly experienced expedition leaders and mountain guides, some of which have led excursions for over a decade. Ski excursions involve both easy mountaineering and off-piste skiing. Since the expedition is ship-based, guides have the flexibility and freedom to reach the best snow, optimal weather, and a variety of unique Arctic destinations.
Picture yourself setting foot in an area that can only be safely reached by helicopter. Now, THAT’s what we call remote! Traveling in small groups, you’ll board a helicopter and soar off to an unshared polar site where no ships can navigate. You’ll have the best seat in the house as you take in the wonders of the Antarctic peninsula.
Embark on an active adventure high up in the Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll join a small group of adventurers to board a helicopter for a hiking excursion in an area only accessible by air. The flight alone will be impressive in itself, but on land, you’ll be rewarded with equally beautiful scenery as you hike or snowshoe trek. Expect remote ridgelines, glaciers, and snow-topped peaks.
Some basic knowledge of paddling is enough to sign up for this adventure activity, and it’s easily one of the passenger favorites, up there with camping. There’s something about the serenity of gliding along in the sparkly calm waters of the Antarctic Peninsula that makes the rest of the world seem to melt away.
Enjoy being out on Polar waters on a two-person inflatable kayak, which enables you to enjoy a more intimate sailing experience in an unforgettable location. The kayaks are stable and comfortable, the perfect vehicle to see the Polar regions from a different perspective.
Greenland Mountain Biking
Calling all active travelers! With the help of local partners, ride in some of the world’s best mountain biking routes through the stunning topography of Southern Greenland. Take a helicopter flight into amazing terrain to start your epic adventure, and get picked up at the end of your ride.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Combine surfing and kayaking into one fun and unique Antarctic experience. Stand-up paddle boarding is conducted in small adventurous groups, accompanied by a safety Zodiac boat. You’ll paddle around in calm bays and harbors, in good weather conditions only.
Our polar dive voyages are not for beginners. They are meant only for experienced divers who are familiar with cold-water, dry-suit diving. You will explore the underbellies of icebergs, exotic marine life and more! In both Antarctica and the Arctic, we may observe sea squirts, squat lobsters, spider crabs, soft corals, anemones, peacock worms, dogfish, sea snails, crabs, sea butterflies, shrubby horsetails, jellyfish, sea hedgehogs, kelp walls, and several species of starfish.
Paddling in a kayak is one of the most special ways travelers can connect with the Polar seas. Your senses are heightened as you feel the air and water close to you. And if you’re lucky, a minke whale or a leopard seal might pop up and say hello. Form a strong bond with your small group of fellow kayakers as you explore fjords, glaciers, and sea ice.
Witness active wildlife and scenery unlike any other place on earth. Through crystal clear waters you’ll awe at the amazing speed and grace of penguins entering and exiting from the ice, marvel at beautiful sculpted icebergs below the water and swim through marine life such as crustaceans, isopods, starfish and nudibranchs!
Most expedition voyages offer an incredible opportunity for all photographers and videographers of any skill level. An expert photographer is onboard to provide unique lectures and presentations, as well as useful tips and tricks to help you improve your skills behind the lens and to help you to capture your experience like a true pro.
Snowshoeing makes walking up gentle slopes and across Antarctica’s soft, powdery snow easy and fun, allowing you to visit places others struggle to reach in boots alone. You’ll have your very own set of snowshoes and ski poles, and the expert guides will provide you with all the instruction you need. Snowshoeing is an excellent way to summit to some of Antarctica’s best viewpoints, stretch the legs and take in the most spectacular scenery on the planet.
Camping in Antarctica
Take your expedition voyage to the next level with a once-in-a-lifetime overnight camping adventure in Antarctica! This is one of the very best ways to experience Antarctica, hopefully under a sky full of stars. Camping is available on many early-season Antarctic voyages. This is one of the most popular activities.
One important piece of kit you’ll need for any one of our trips is...
… awareness. Awareness that it’s the elements, the weather that dictates what activities we are able to offer you on your cruise and when. Every expedition is unique. Changeable weather and shifting conditions may mean we need to tweak our planned program of activities. But rest assured, whatever activities you are able to do, you’ll be in for an adventure of a lifetime.
A tip from Benno, the founder of Polartours
If you're not afraid of cold water (or especially, if you are!), here is my recommendation: Most ships offer a "Polar Plunge". It sounds as grueling as it is: The water is close to its freezing point and jumping into the icy cold costs quite an effort, but what an experience! Few people can say of themselves that they have already swum in Polar Waters. Do you dare?