Saturday, October 15, 2011

How to Choose an Arctic Cruise Holiday

For those travellers who want to experience something totally different, Arctic holidays and cruises can open up a whole new world. The landscapes are just as beautiful as those around the Mediterranean, and the Arctic Circle is home to an array of unique animals that cannot be seen anywhere else.

The excursions on this type of cruise are unique as well; many take place on locally hired boats with experienced guides who are able to get up close to ice shelves and their inhabitants such as polar bears, if you are really lucky. Svalbard in Norway is one of the nearest locations to see polar bears in their natural habitat – on the ice sheets. So if you are keen to catch a glimpse of them, choose a Norwegian cruise which takes in Svalbard.

This region is also home to three species of whale: the bowhead, the beluga and the mysterious narwhal. Blue, fin, minke and humpback whales are regularly sighted around the Svalbard Archipelago during the summer season.

The two other regions for Arctic cruising are Greenland and the Canadian coast.

When to go? July is high season for the Arctic, but as the weather is warm gnats and mosquitoes can be a pest, so go well armed with insect repellent.

Late spring is a good time to spot polar bears, grizzly bears (in Canada) coming out of hibernation, and caribou heading for summer pastures; in late August in Norway or Greenland you may just see the start of the Northern Lights.

Browse the cruise company options and excursions carefully – you will be sure to find the Arctic cruise for you.

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