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Greenland Far North - Albatros expeditions

Epic West Greenland And Baffin Island

Among the Inuit and the great explorers to the northernmost inhabited polar regions aboard the Ocean Albatros

Length

14 Days

Ship category

Premium

Ship type

Large Ship

Capacity

189 Passengers

Epic West Greenland And Baffin Island

2 Reviews

Trip highlights

Wildlife watching in the icy Nares Strait

Greenland’s west coast

Ilulisat, the Iceberg Capital of Greenland

Visiting Qaanaaq, home of the Polar Inuit

The Polartours experience

Best price guaranteed

Learn from Polar experts

Landing on Hans Island

Digital Visual Journal

Join Albatros Expeditions for a unique expedition voyage exploring the wild west coast of Greenland, and the vast wilderness of Baffin Island, Canada. Albatros Expeditions is thrilled to present a new and exciting voyage for Summer 2024 – an expedition voyage onboard Ocean Albatros exploring west Greenland and Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. This thrilling itinerary offers guests the opportunity to see the vibrant capital cities of Greenland and Nunavut, meet the friendly locals in picturesque towns and villages, as well as exploring breathtaking Arctic nature including glaciers and icebergs, plunging fjords and precipitous mountain ranges.

The voyage begins in Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland, before sailing to to Nuuk, Greenland’s bustling capital. From Nuuk, we will visit Kangaamiut, a small welcoming settlement rich in tradition and culture. From here we will visit the spectacular glaciers of Evighedsfjord, before setting out across the Davis Strait to Iqaluit, the capital and largest city of Nunavut. Meet the locals and soak up the vibrant Inuit culture of the city before visiting Lower Savage, Monumental and Lady Franklin Islands, all hotspots for Arctic wildlife. We will then venture onwards to Pangnirtung, one of Nunavut’s best known communities, situated in spectacular natural surroundings.

After Pangnirtung, we will return to Greenland, arriving in the second largest city of Sisimiut, after which we will proceed northwards to the eternally icy Disko Bay region, visiting the sweeping mountains of Qeqertarsuaq, and the spectacular UNESCO world heritage site of Ilulissat Icefjord. We return to Kangerlussuaq via the small village of Itilleq, where visitors can experience life in a traditional Greenlandic settlement. Visiting two spectacular Arctic nations, this voyage offers the chance to experience Inuit culture on both sides of the Davis Strait, witness the majesty of Arctic wildlife, and explore the breathtaking wilderness of the North.

Your ship: Ocean Albatros

Ocean Albatros Exterior
Ocean Albatross Deck Plan
Ocean Albatros Exterior

Welcome aboard the brand new Ocean Albatros. This stunning, purpose-built polar cruise ship will be deployed to a large selection of expedition cruise destinations, Antarctica, the Arctic, and a variety of exciting new destinations in between.

Ocean Albatros offers a total of 95 comfortable staterooms and suites, all with unobstructed sea view, and most with their own balcony. Like her sistership, the Ocean Victory, her amenities include two restaurants, a wellness area, the “Albatros Nordic Bar”, an open deck dining facility, a modern lecture lounge, and other state-of-the-art amenitie … Read more about Ocean Albatros

Cabins

triple porthole cabin/ albatros/ victory
Category F - Triple Porthole Stateroom

Type:

Triple

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

french balcony suite/ albatros/ victory
Category E - French Balcony Stateroom

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Ocean Victory/Albatros Junior Suite
Category A - Junior Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

single porthole cabin albatros/victory
Category G - Single Porthole Stateroom

Type:

Single

Max. occupancy:

1

More about this cabin

Ocean Victory/Albatros Junior Suite
Premium Suite (Freydis Suite)

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

Premium suite albatros/victory
Two Bedroom Suite (Brynhilde Suite)

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

Cat B Balcony Suite Albatros/Victory
Category B - Balcony Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Balcony C albatros/victory
Category C - Balcony Stateroom

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

Cat D/ Porthole Stateroom/ Albatros Victory
Category D - Porthole Stateroom

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Map

Itinerary

Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.

Sea-Kayaking-What-To-Wear-In-Antarctica

0 Days

5.0

(1)

Sea Kayaking

Embark on an exhilarating sea kayaking adventure in some of the world's most magnificent and biodiverse wilderness areas, including Antarctica and the Arctic. Take in the breathtaking scenery as you navigate through ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes. In Antarctica, spend unforgettable moments with penguins, seals and whales, and keep an eye out for the occasional encounter with leopard seals or killer whales. In the Arctic, paddle through bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around huge icebergs. Led by experienced guides, you will join a small group of like-minded adventurers to explore the picturesque coastlines of these wild and remote destinations. Paddling offers an intimate and unique way to experience the beauty of these regions and make the most of your time there. Important: This activity is subject to weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Quark Expeditions_ Essential Greenland Arctic
Quark Expeditions_ Essential Greenland Arctic
Quark Expeditions_ Essential Greenland Arctic

In the afternoon, we board our chartered flight in Reykjavik, Iceland, bound for Kangerlussuaq in Greenland.

Upon arrival to Kangerlussuaq (Søndre Strømfjord), we will be driven to the small port located west of the airport, where Ocean Albatros will be anchored offshore. Zodiacs will transfer us the short distance to the ship, where your stateroom awaits after check-in. After the mandatory safety drill, dine in comfort with spectacular views as we set sail through the 160-kilometer Kangerlussuaq Fjord.

Sisimiut Albatros Expeditions
Colorful Houses
Ocean Albatros Greenland

Nuuk

A mixture of skyscrapers and traditional wooden houses, the quaint and the cosmopolitan, Nuuk is a city of contrasts. The vibrant bustling capital of Greenland, Nuuk feels much larger than it’s 19,000 inhabitants, and offers a wealth of experiences to visitors. The calm fjords around Nuuk have been inhabited by Paleo-Inuit cultures since at least 2200BCE, and archaeological evidnece indicates waves of migration through the area as ancient hunters followed migrating prey. Around the year 100CE, Norse colonist from Iceland etablished the Western Settlement in the green meadows of Nuuk Fjord; these settlers mysteriously disappeared several hundred years later, and the next Scandinavian to visit the area was Hans Egede, the Danish missionary who 'rediscovered' Greenland, founding Nuuk as Godthåb ("Good Hope") in 1728. Danish initiatives to modernise Greenland in the 1950s left a significant mark on Nuuk. While they brought significant improvements to the city's infrastructure, the many large apartment blocks in the city attest to rapid (and sometimes haphazard) urbanisation; as Greenland's capital, the city's population continues to rapidly grow, with new suburbs being constructed beneath Ukkusissat, the mountain which looms to the east of the city.

Ocean Albatros
Albatros Expeditions
Ocean Albatros Exterior

Tasiilaq & Kulusak

Kangilinnguit

Narsarsuaq & Qaqortoq

Narsarmijit & Tasermiut Fjord

Prince Christian Sound

Skjoldungen

Sermiligaaq

Uunartoq

Nuuk

Qassimiut

On the first full day of our expedition, we will arrive at the small village of Kangaamiut, an incredibly picturesque settlement in Greenland’s central Qeqqata region. Surrounded by cold rich waters and a vast back country brimming with game, life in Kangaamiut moves at a slower pace, and locals still live a largely traditional lifestyle, surviving by hunting and fishing. Hike to the heliport atop the hill for stunning views over the town and the surrounding fjordlands, or meet the friendly local people during a display of traditional clothing, foods, and seal-flensing. The artists of Kangaamiut are well-known throughout Greenland, and some of the locals' most splendid work can be viewed in the town's small museum.

In the afternoon, we will sail inland into Evighedsfjorden/Kangerlussuatsiaq, one of the many deep fjords carved between the steep mountains of this region. The Danish name 'Evighedsfjorden' means 'The Eternity Fjord', referring to the vast size of the inlet, while the Greenlandic name 'Kangerlussuatsiaq' translates as 'The Rather Large Fjord' - something of an understatement! Evighedsfjorden stretches around 100km into the glacier-clad mountains, bisecting the large ice cap which overlies much of the land between Nuuk and Sisimiut - Greenland's two largest cities. We will aim to explore on a Zodiac cruise in front of the Evigheds Glacier, which flows into the fjord from the Maniitsoq Ice Cap above. Watch for calvings from the glacier, and guillemots and kittiwakes on the nearby bird cliffs.

Ocean Albatros Iceberg
Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay

Uummannaq

Sissiut and Itilleq

Ilulissat & Disko Bay

Kangerlussuaq

Eqi Glacier

Separating southwestern Greenland from eastern Nunavut, the Davis Strait was named for John Davis, one of the many European explorers who ventureed into this region in search of the Northwest Passage. The area was formerly a hotspot for European whalers, who came to harvest the vast numbers of northern right whales which once frequented the area. The coasts of the Davis Strait are sparsely inhabited, with Nuuk and Iqaluit being by far the largest. Extreme tidal ranges and heavy winter ice once made access to the region a serious challenge, although modern expedition vessels such as the Ocean Albatros can now navigate such waters with ease.

Days at sea are never dull. We will arrange a variety of activities onboard for our guests to enjoy to engage the mind, body and soul. Join your knowledgeable Expedition Team lecturers in the Theatre to hear specially-crafted lectures on local history, wildlife, geology, culture and more, unwind with a massage in the Albatros Polar Spa, or simply watch the seabirds gliding along the ship from our hot tubs as the Ocean Albatros flies across the Davis Strait.

Ocean Albatros
Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay

Iqaluit/ᐃᖃᓗᐃᑦ (meaning 'Many Fish' in Inuktitut) is the bustling capital city of Nunavut. While situated at a similar latitude to Nuuk, the city couldn’t be more different. The western side of the Davis Strait is significantly colder than the east, and the landscape around Iqaluit is subsequently much more stark than comparatively warm Greenland. Nonetheless, this wild region has a rugged beauty all its own. Much like Nuuk, the area was used as a rich fishing ground by nomadic Inuit groups for thousands of years (hence it's Inuktitut name) prior to the arrival of the first Europeans, who passed through during their search for the fabled Northwest Passage. The settlement of Iqaluit itself was founded as Frobisher Bay by the Hudson's Bay Company, and expanded during the Second World War, as the USA built the Frobisher Bay Air Base - a vital stopover for transatlantic aircraft. The provision of services and population in the area expanded as the USA invested in the area as part of the Distant Early Warning Line radar system, and many Inuit moved to the area as the Canadian Government invested in permanent services in the town, which was renamed Iqaluit in 1987.

Iqaluit is the largest city in Nunavut, home to roughly 8,000 people. As the administrative, educational and transport hub of Nunavut, the city is rich in history and culture. Watch out in particular for the old Hudsons Bay Company buildings near the shore in nearby Apex/Niaqunngut, which date back to the city’s foundation, the igloo-shaped Arctic Cathedral, the space age Iqaluit high school (built to withstand the brutal winter conditions in the city), and the various breathtaking sculptures, murals and other works by Inuit artists around town. With a unique blend of Canadian and Inuit culture, Iqaluit is a fascinating city to explore – poutine is served alongside fresh Arctic char, politicians sit on sealskin chairs in the territory's legislature, and narwhal tusks form the cross in the city's igloo-shaped cathedral. Highlights for visitors include the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum and the Unikkaarvik Visitors Centre, which detail the fascinating history and culture of the region, and the nearby Sylvia Grinnell National Park offers a peaceful riverside refrane from the busy city.

Ocean Albatros Arctic and Antarctic Cruises
Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay

The Lower Savage Islands are a group of rugged low-lying islands at the mouth of Frobisher Bay, the vast inlet leading to Iqaluit. Eons of time, and the passage of ice, wind and sea have carved two deep channels into these islands, which almost seem made for exploring by Zodiac. While the landscape is barren and stark, the southern Baffin region experiences some of the largest tidal variations on Earth, and these strong currents keep the waters in and around the islands fresh and rich in nutrients. Thus, these waters are a hotspot for Arctic wildlife, which we hope to see during a day spent Zodiac cruising in the area.

Ocean Albatros Arctic and Antarctic Cruises
Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay

Two barren and isolated rocks pierce the sea off the southeast coast of Baffin Island – these are Monumental and Lady Franklin Islands, two of the most wildlife-rich areas in Nunavut.

Monumental Island was named in English in honour of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition - however the Inuktitut name ᐅᒥᐊᙳᐊᖅ/Umiannguaq references the island's shape, translating as 'The Little Boat'. Lady Franklin Island was named in honour of Franklin's wife, who sponsored seven expeditions in search of her missing husband - a sadly fruitless endeavour.

Situated well offshore, well away from the nearest human settlements and icebound for most of the year, these undistrubed islands are a haven for polar bears and walrus, which are commonly seen in the area along with the vast flocks of seabirds which nest on these remote islands. Although wildlife sightings are never guaranteed, these are two of the best sites in Nunavut to see Arctic wildlife; keep binoculars and cameras at the ready!

Ocean Albatros
Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay

Thule & Qannaq

Situated in the calm waters of the vast Kuugarjuaq fjord off Cumberland Sound, Pangnirtung surely occupies one of the most scenic locations in the Arctic. A small town nestled amid sweeping glacier-capped mountains and miles of pristine tundra, Pangnirtung represents what most people think of when considering Inuit hamlets in Canada. Even the place names here drip with description; Kuugarjuaq roughly means 'Becoming a Large River', while Pangniqtuq, the Inuktitut name of the town means 'The Place of Bull Caribou' - although the town is often known throughout Canada simply as 'Pang'.

The local Inuit in the region have only had contact with Europeans in the last 100 years; the settlement was established as a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, around which the modern town grew as government services were established in the area. Today home to around 1,500 people. The town is today known both for its outstanding natural beauty which have earned it the epithet 'the Switzerland of the Arctic', and the enterprise of the local residents. Government initiatives have promoted the growth of Inuit Art in Pangnirtung, and artworks from the town such as carvings, prints and woven goods are sought after worldwide - expecially the famous Pang Hat, the closely knitted iconic headware of Nunavut.

Ocean Albatros
Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay

As Ocean Abatros returns across the Davis Strait to Greenland, enjoy the superlative amentities onboard your expedition vessel. We will arrange a variety of activities onboard for our guests to enjoy, engaging the mind, body and soul. Join your knowledgeable Expedition Team lecturers in the Theatre to hear specially-crafted lectures on local history, wildlife, geology, culture and more, unwind with a massage in the Albatros Polar Spa, or simply watch the seabirds gliding along the ship from our hot tubs.

Ocean Albatros
Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay

Sisimiut

After breakfast, Ocean Abatros will arrive in the colourful city of Sisimiut. With around 5,400 inhabitants, it is Greenland’s second largest city, and one of the most interesting to explore. People have lived around Sisimiut on and off since 2,500 BC, arriving in waves of migration from Arctic Canada. Remnants from this time such as the remains of turf huts and tent camps can be found thorughout the vast back country which surrounds Sisimiut, including on Tele Island, a short pleasant walk from the harbour.

In 1756, Count Johan Ludvig Holstein established a colony here and called it “Holsteinsborg”. The oldest part of Sisimiut features town houses from this era, and the oldest dates back to 1756. One of the most culturally significant buildings is the Blue Church, built in 1775, now a landmark in the city’s historical museum district, arguably the best preserved in Greenland, and the perfect place to discover the Greenland of old.

Nowadays, Sisimiut is an important hub of education and industry, and local factories process the bulk of fish caught in the country (Greenland’s largest export). The fish processing plant in the harbour is one of the largest in Greenland, and among the most modern in the world. Just beyond the harbour sits the headquarters of KNI, the government-operated company which resupplies the many small settlements throughout Greenland - a vital service in a country with so many remote communties.

The busy city centre of Sisimiut offers a glimpse of what daily life is like in 21st-century Greenland, where seal hunts and smartphones collide. Take a refreshing stroll around Spedjesø and take in an exhibition at the city's cultural centre, explore the region's fascinating heritage at the city museum, or visit the Artists Workshop, where savvy shoppers can purchase traditional artworks direct from the artist. As evening falls, we will leave Sisimiut and set a course for the iceberg studded waters of Disko Bay (Qeqertarsuup Tunua) as Ocean Albatros sails for Qeqertarsuaq.

Ocean Albatros Uummannaq
Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay

Uummannaq

Nestled below Disko Island’s 1,000-metre mountains, we pull into port in a beautifully sheltered natural harbour. The place was aptly named Godhavn (“Good Harbour”) in Danish, while its Greenlandic name “Qeqertarsuaq” simply means “The Big Island”.

For most of Greenland’s modern history, Godhavn was the political and economic capital of North Greenland (while Godthåb, now Nuuk, served this role in South Greenland). Its importance was due to the vast economic activity generated by whaling in Disko Bay, the preeminent Arctic industry since the 16th Century. As the whaling industry collapsed in the early 1900s, Godhavn lost its political status as all government functions moved south to Godthåb/Nuuk, and the town was forced to reinvent itself, changing its name to Qeqertarsuaq in 1979 . Today, hunting and fishing are the main industries in Qeqertarsuaq, while tourism is becoming increasingly important. Ferries arrive in the town daily in summer from around Disko Bay, while in winter, access is only by helicopter.

Qeqertarsuaq’s sweeping red-and-black basalt mountains are radically different to the rolling granite hills which characterize much of Greenland, and provide a much richer soil. Despite being situated well above the Arctic Circle, this rich volcanic soil and the area’s mild microclimate make it much more green and lush compared to the rest of the country. Locals from all over Disko Bay come to the island in summer to hunt and collect angelica, herbs and mushrooms, and the stunning rock formations and black sand beaches attract visitors from all over the world. The town itself is typically Greenlandic, with quaint multicoloured homes, a splendid museum, and the unique octagonal church (built in the Norwegian stave style). With excellent hiking opportunities, friendly locals, and a fascinating place in regional history, Qeqertarsuaq has a lot to offer. From here, we set sail towards Ilulissat, the largest city in Disko Bay and the Iceberg Capital of the World.

Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
Disko Bay
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay

Ilulissat & Disko Bay

Ilulissat is one of the most scenic located towns in Greenland. The name simply means ‘icebergs’ in Greenlandic, and the town’s nickname is rightly ‘the Iceberg Capital of the World’.

Just south of town, Ilulissat Icefjord expels gigantic icebergs into the cold waters of Disko Bay. These impressive frozen structures are born some 30km deeper into the fjord by the enormous Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier. This 10km wide glacier is the most productive outside of Antarctica. Whereas most glaciers only calve at a rate of approximately a metre/three feet a day, the Ilulissat glacier moves forward at a rate of 25 metres per day, producing more than 10% of all icebergs in Greenland. These facts, together with the fjord’s unforgettable scenery, have secured the Ice fjord a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

During the more than 250 years that have passed since the establishment of Ilulissat, the town has steadily flourished. Today, Ilulissat is Greenland’s third largest town, with more than 4,500 inhabitants. The legendary Arctic explorer, Knud Rasmussen was born in Ilulissat.

During the visit, if the weather allows, you will have the opportunity to join a boat trip to the Ice fjord (optional excursion). The journey takes about two and a half hours in total, and offers a great opportunity to take a closer look at the amazing ice-sculpted scenery.

If a hike or a trip by boat does not present enough excitement, there is also an opportunity to arrange a flight excursion in a fixed wing aircraft over the Ice fjord (optional excursion).

Please note the boat and flight excursions to the Ice fjord are not included in the general tour price. Refer to Price Information for more details.

In the evening, we should cruise southward, leaving lovely Disko Bay behind us as we part.

Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
Ocean Albatros
Ocean Albatros Exterior

Sissiut and Itilleq

Situated just north of the Arctic Circle, Itilleq is one of the many tiny villages dotting the coast of Greenland. The settlement is situated in the heart of the Aassivisuit-Nipisat UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was inscribed due to its ancient Inuit hunting heritage, documenting the entire habitation history of Greenland. While the turf houses and hide tents have been replaced by colourful modern houses, the lifestyle here has changes little since the Inuit first arrived in Greenland. The local highways are the water and the ice, and the sea continues to nourish the locals, as it has for thousands of years.

Despite this ancient heritage, locals in Itilleq are still firmly in the modern world, with smartphones, speedy wifi and satellite TV. Depending on how many residents are in town during our visit (many are frequently away on extended hunting trips), we hope to be able to play a game of football with the locals. Although we may outnumber them, they will be playing on home turf. Good luck!

Albatros Expedition wake of Eric the red
Ocean Albatross

During the night, we will sail up the 160-kilometer/100 mile Kangerlussuaq Fjord. After breakfast aboard the ship, we will bid farewell to the ship's crew shuttling ashore by Zodiac.

Due to Kangerlussuaq’s military history and present-day role as an important air travel hub, Kangerlussuaq remains fairly isolated from Greenland’s rich cultural traditions, in comparison to other regions. While you still find cultural experiences when visiting Kangerlussuaq, the most impressive attraction is the surrounding nature, which is just beckoning to be explored. The town itself was largely constructed by the American military in the 1950s, and this small airport town has retained something of its Cold War atmosphere. Your Arctic adventure and time in Greenland concludes as we board the flight from Kangerlussuaq back to Reykjavik, Iceland.

Dates & Prices

From

Until

Info

Availability

Price

23

Aug

2024

5

Sep

2024

- Deutschsprachige Guides an Bord

Full

From

USD 10,490

23

Aug

2024

5

Sep

2024

Deutschsprachige Guides an Bord

Full

From

USD 10,490

Preferred date unavailable? Contact us

Info

Single Cabin Supplement

When booking online, you can choose the option to "Upgrade to single occupancy". This will guarantee you the whole cabin to yourself, for an additional fee. If you don't select this option, then another traveler of the same sex might be placed into the same cabin with you.

What's included

Charter flight Copenhagen/Reykjavik to Kangerlussuaq, and Kangerlussuaq to Reykjavik/Copenhagen

Transfer to/from the port of Kangerlussuaq

14-day/13-night cruiseonboard Ocean Albatros in a shared double stateroom with private bathroom in the chosen category

English-speaking expedition team

Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises per itinerary

In-port town and settlement walks with the Expedition Team

Information briefings and lectures by Expedition Team

Full board onboard Ocean Albatros

Free coffee, tea and afternoon snacks onboard

Welcome and farewell cocktails

Taxes, tariffs and AECO fees

Special photo workshops

Digital visual journal link after the voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more!

What's not included

Hotel accommodations pre- and post-cruise

Travel insurance

Cancellation insurance

Extra/optional excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary

Single room supplement

Meals not on board the ship

Beverages (other than coffee and tea)

Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day)

Personal expenses

Anything not mentioned under 'Inclusions'.

Reviews

client

Genesis Alberto Guerrero Martinez

Ocean Albatros Arctic and Antarctic cruises

Premium

June 2024

From start to finish, their organization was impeccable, ensuring every moment aboard our sturdy ship, with its exceptional hotel team, was filled with excitement and wonder. My favorite moment was witnessing polar bears and walruses against the backdrop of breathtaking landscapes. I have to highlight, the expedition team's deep insights into the region's history and culture enriched our journey profoundly. Their passion for adventure, respect for wildlife, and commitment to climate awareness made the experience unforgettable. I can't wait to embark on another adventure with them. Highly recommended for anyone craving an enriching Arctic experience aboard a ship that felt like home.

Polar Latitudes Antarctica

Kaustav M.

Ocean Albatros Arctic and Antarctic cruises

Premium

I reached out to Polartours while researching options for an expedition cruise to Antarctica. I was impressed with their prompt and attentive follow-up! Natalya scheduled a video call immediately and while on the call took the time to carefully listen to my family's requirements and constraints. She then came back as promised within two days with a host of options for our consideration. Her follow through was terrific with relevant added details as needed and, of course, gentle reminders on looming deadlines. If the entire Polartours team is like her, you can do a lot worse than reaching out to them to plan out a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

Aurora Expeditions Greg Mortimer Antarctic Explorer

Elsa

Ocean Albatros Arctic and Antarctic cruises

Premium

Great holiday (Copied from Swoop Antarctica)

FAQ

When it comes to traveling to Antarctica, one of the first questions that often arises is, "Can I fly to Antarctica?". The answer is: Yes, you can. Most trips start in Patagonia (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas) and cross the Drake Passage by ship, but there are also trips that use planes to cross that infamous sea passage. Here are the Pros and Cons for each method:

Flying to Antarctica:

  • Pros: Flying to Antarctica is the quickest way to reach the continent. It offers convenience and is often the choice for those with very limited time.

  • Cons: There are limited commercial flights to Antarctica, and these are primarily reserved for research and expedition purposes. Tourist accessibility is limited, and it can be costly. Also, as not many trips include flights, you'll be limiting your choice a lot if you decide to only look for such trips.

Crossing the Drake Passage by ship:

  • Pros: If you choose to cross the Drake Passage by ship, you embark on an incredible adventure. This journey is not just a means of transportation; it's an expedition in itself. The crossing takes 1.5 - 2 days, which are filled with scientific lectures that prepare you for the experience. You'll witness diverse wildlife, including penguins and whales, as your anticipation starts building up. To us, the crossing is a quintessential experience of a true Antarctic explorer.

  • Cons: Crossing the Drake Passage takes some time, and the seas can be rough. It's not the quickest way to reach the continent, and you need to allocate more time for your expedition.

In conclusion, when it comes to traveling to Antarctica, you have these two choices. Flying offers efficiency and direct access, perfect for specific purposes. Crossing the Drake Passage by ship provides an unmatched adventure and connection with Antarctica's unique environment. Consider what truly matters to you, and you'll find the Antarctic transportation choice that suits your goals and spirit of exploration.

All cruises in the polar regions operate to itineraries that are more-or-less fixed. We say "more or less", because wildlife (breeding, seasonality) and weather always play an important role in routing. Most cruises will offer a range of land-based and water-based activities that you will enjoy at various points in your cruise, including:

  • Land excursions (including hiking trails, visitor centers, time relaxing on beaches, observing animals, etc.)
  • Bird Watching
  • Snorkeling (from ship or beaches)
  • Dinghy rides
  • Kayaking
  • Diving (on ships with diving itineraries)
  • Naturalist presentations. These usually take place every evening - on board the bigger ships also with help of projectors, microscopes etc.

All boats carry English speaking, scientifically trained guides. They will lead you on your excursions, allowing you to learn as much as possible about the unique wildlife and habitats of the Polar Regions.

Choosing the right ship for a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Our fleet is over 30 vessels, we are sure that there is the perfect one for you. Please, follow these simple steps, and you will be able to find your ideal ship:

  • Determine your budget and desired level of comfort: Are you looking for luxury or more budget-friendly options? On our website you can set the price range.
  • Consider ship size: Large ships offer more amenities and facilities, but they can also feel crowded and impersonal. Smaller ships offer a more personal experience, but may not have as many amenities.
  • Look at the cabins: Although you probably won’t spend much time in your cabin, look at the photos and read the descriptions to make sure you're happy with the one you choose.
  • Consider the activities on board: Are you interested in kayaking, camping, diving or a photography workshop? Or maybe you want to take part in a Citizen Science Program? These activities can enhance your overall experience. See what our ships have to offer.
  • Read customer reviews: Learn about other travelers' experiences by reading reviews.
  • Ask your Polar Specialist: Feel free to contact your Polar Specialist. They are happy to share their knowledge and are always ready to help.

In addition: We work with responsible partners who provide a great experience for their passengers. All of our providers are committed to sustainability and to preserving the beauty of the polar regions. You don’t need to worry about the impact of your cruise, because we’ve already taken care of it.

We love to help people find their dream vacation to the Arctic and Antarctic. Whether you give us a call, contact us via email, or use our website inquiry form, one of our Polar travel experts will be more than happy to answer any questions, recommend ships and itineraries, and walk you through the whole process!

Step 1: Find your perfect trip. If you have already started looking for Polar Cruises, you will have quickly noticed that the sheer amount of options can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate the countless departures and itineraries that our fleet offers, we have put together a great filter page for Antarctic and Arctic Expedition Cruises. Use this page to filter all trips by price, date, ship category, and even destinations you wish to visit. We update all dates, prices, and availabilities daily, and are proud to host what is doubtlessly the world's most complete collection of information.

Step 2: Found something you love? We'll hold your spaces, free of charge! If you find a cruise you like, you can either inquire directly with us or make an unbinding booking online. We will then reach out to the shipowners to put a hold on your spaces for a limited time, free of charge. Once we have confirmed your block with the ship, we will send you a written confirmation of your reservation and include full payment details in an invoice. Typically, we are able to hold unpaid reservations for up to 1 week*. This gives us time to clarify all your remaining questions, and also ensures that no other passengers can book your spaces, while we continue our conversation.

Step 3: Confirm your booking. In order to confirm your booking, we ask for a deposit payment. You can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Keep in mind, that we can only hold your spaces for a limited amount of time. If we don't receive your payment after this time, we can no longer guarantee that the places will be available or that the price won't increase. To prevent disappointment, we will automatically cancel your reservation if we don't receive your deposit by the due date stated on your booking reservation.

Step 4: Booking confirmation & Payment. As soon as we have received your deposit and a completed passenger information form, we will be pleased to send your booking confirmation and updated invoice, along with your trip itinerary, important information, and other great tips for your cruise.

Step 5: Final payment. In your initial invoice, we will define a final payment date by when you need to pay us the remaining amount of your trip. Once we have received your final payment we'll send you your cruise documents and voucher. As your trip approaches, we make sure to pass along all necessary information, so you feel super prepared and stress-free.

*For last-minute bookings, we might not be able to hold your spaces for so long. We will also require the full payment of your cruise upon booking.

An expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic is a big deal! Most people plan for this type of trip at least 8 months in advance. This means the earlier you book, the better chance you'll have to reserve your prefered cabins. Early bird discounts are also popular and a great way to get 10-30% off your cruise.

Most expedition cruises offer optional activities like camping and kayaking, but the spaces are limited. A cruise with 120 passengers can have only 10-15 spaces for kayaking. These are reserved on a first come first served basis. The earlier you book, the higher your chance of grabbing a spot.

Even though last minute deals do occur, keep in mind that the airline prices will be much higher if you purchase them last minute. You may save a few hundred on your cruise, but you may end up paying the most for airfare.

If you are prone to motion sickness then here are a few hints to help you.

Firstly, book a cabin in the middle of the ship. The middle of the ship will move less, both in roll and in pitch. Secondly, chose a larger ship. Bigger vessels typically are more stable, and some of them are even equipped with "stabilizers", fins under water that remove the rolling in the swells. Thirdly, take medical advice on anti-seasickness medication. Some traditional remedies are said to be very effective, such as taking ginger or using commercially-available acupressure wristbands.

Watch this informative video about life onboard an expedition ship and seasickness from our expert guide and Polartours Brand Ambassador, Kevin.

Life Onboard & Seasickness
Epic West Greenland And Baffin Island

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