Explore the unspoiled beauty of the Antarctic landscape, see the incredible Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), and spot unique wildlife that thrive in the harshest conditions like penguins, polar bears and orcas. The frosty lands of both the North and South Poles offer the most unique cruising experiences across the globe.
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Cruises in the Polar Regions
Who goes there?
A variety of cruise operators host trips to both the North and South Poles, covering different experiences such as luxury, expedition and big ship adventures. These include:
- Luxury: Azamara, Compagnie Du Ponant, Seabourn, Silverseas, Crystal Cruises
- Expedition: G Adventures, Orion, Hurtigruten, Lindblad Expeditions, Quark, Aurora, Oceanwide
- Big Ship: Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises (Note the big ships that visit Antarctica only do scenic cruising through the area, and offer no landings)
- Luxury: Seabourn, Oceania, Silverseas, Compagnie Du Ponant
- Expedition: Hurtigruten, G Adventures, Quark, Lindblad Expeditions
- Big Ship: Cunard, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Costa, Holland America Line
Best time to go?
The best time to visit either the North or South Pole is during their respective summer months – November through March for the Antarctic and May through September for the Arctic. While these Polar Regions are always on the icy side, summer brings extended daylight hours and lures the wildlife out of hibernation.
Things to See and Do
Given that the North and South Poles are two of the most visually spectacular places on earth, you are bound to take home many lasting memories from your cruise. A few of highlights might include:
- Deception Island, located in the South Shetland Islands off the Antarctic Peninsula, and one of the only places where you can sail straight into the centre of an active volcano.
- The Falkland Islands, lying west of Argentina. This archipelago is home to a variety of rare and fascinating bird species and could make an incredible inclusion on your Antarctic Cruise.
- Wrangel Island sitting off the coast of Siberia in the Arctic Ocean. It’s one of the world's least-visited wildlife reserves, home to walruses, polar bears and arctic foxes.
- Aurora Borealis, perhaps better known as the Northern Lights. This natural phenomenon occurs in the Arctic between the months of September and March, setting the sky alight with neon green, faint red, and swirling purples, blues and pinks.