Explore our expedition voyages to the Arctic region, all designed to engage your heart, mind, and spirit at every moment of the journey.
The Arctic polar region is located in the northernmost part of planet Earth and is bordered by the subarctic and temperate zones.
It is one of the most challenging and unique areas among Earth's ecosystems, but Indigenous people have successfully thrived in its cold and extreme conditions for millennia.
The word "Arctic" comes from the Greek word "arktikos" - near the bear, referring to the polar bear, King of the Arctic.
Area of The Arctic
Population of The Arctic
Facts about The Arctic
- At least 40 Indigenous languages are spoken in the Arctic, including the Inuit-Yupik-Unangax languages (between eastern Siberia and East Greenland), Sami languages in northern Scandinavia, Athabaskan languages in Canada and Alaska, and a variety of unrelated languages in northern Russia, including Nivkh and Evenk. The most widely spoken languages in the Arctic as whole are Russian, English, various Scandinavian languages and Finnish.
- Despite being viewed as a constant deep-freeze, Arctic temperatures vary hugely by location and season. The warmest summer areas are in Arctic Russia, while the coldest summers are atop the Greenland Ice Sheet. The warmest Arctic winters are in coastal areas of Scandinavia, but temperatures on the Greenland Ice Sheet have been known to drop to a terrifying -69.6°C!
- The Greenland Ice Sheet is the largest mass of ice outside Antarctica, and measures 1.71 million km². That's over three times the size of France!
- Despite its proximity to large human populations, the North Pole was only verifiably attained in 1926 - 14 years after the South Pole. Both records were set by legendary Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen.
Geography of the Arctic
The Arctic is the northernmost region of Earth and is dominated by the Arctic Ocean Basin. Most scientists describe the Arctic as the area within the Arctic Circle, a line of latitude about 66.5° north of the Equator - above which midnight sun and polar night occur. Others define the Arctic as the region in which July average temperatures are below 10°C - the limit for trees to grow. The Arctic is almost entirely covered by water, much of it frozen. Some features, such as glaciers and icebergs, are frozen freshwater, while the Arctic Ocean itself is covered by frozen seawater.
Because the Arctic ocean absorbs so much more solar radiation than the reflective Antarctic Ice Sheet, the Arctic is much warmer than the Antarctic. In fact, its geography and wildlife are highly diverse with some areas remaining practically ice-free all year round, while similar latitudes elsewhere are permanently ice-covered.
The Countries of the Arctic
Eight countries have territory north of the Arctic circle: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the USA (Alaska), Canada, Iceland and Greenland (a constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark).
Tromsø, Norway, is the largest city north of the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia, and has become popularly known as the Arctic's capital thanks to its size, rich history, and diversity. Inhabited since the end of the last Ice Age, Tromsø is home to 58,000 people of more than 100 different nationalities. The largest city in the Arctic is Murmansk in Russia (pop. ≈300,000), and the northernmost is Longyearbyen, Svalbard (pop. ≈1,800).
Our Arctic Expeditions
Albatros has been sending travellers to the Arctic season for three decades. Our expedition cruise ships have been carefully designed to provide the ultimate expedition experience in the polar regions.
There are few wilder, more magnificent and pristine places than the Arctic Islands of the North Atlantic! And no ships more suited than the Ocean Atlantic and Ocean Albatros for such a voyage.
Enjoy the immense beauty of Svalbard, where we cruise among whales, walruses, polar bears, and millions of sea birds.
Discover one of the world's most beautiful, wild, and pristine natural areas, and experience Inuit culture in magnificent Greenland.
Or experience an epic journey combining several locations, such as our Four Arctic Islands voyage to Svalbard, Jan Mayen, Greenland, and Iceland, showcases the uniqueness and splendor of Arctic nature.
Wherever you choose to explore in the Arctic, experience with us!
11 day expedition cruise
Next departure: Jun. 16, 2024
Experience the wild raw beauty of Arctic nature on this in-depth voyage around Svalbard. A combination of our two Polar Bear Express voyages, this in depth itinerary will explore two distinct regions...
Arctic - Norway - Svalbard
8 day expedition cruise
Next departure: Aug. 16, 2024
Join an epic adventure in Greenland and experience summer in the Arctic on our classic Disko Bay voyage. Marvel at gigantic icebergs, meet the locals and experience Inuit culture and witness the...
Arctic - Greenland
11 day expedition cruise
Next departure: Sep. 5, 2024
Join us on an expedition cruise from Kangerlussuaq to Reykjavík, following the same maritime course set by Norse settlers over a thousand years ago. Experience North, West, South and East Greenland,...
Arctic - Greenland