The Wonders of the Arctic
A journey to the Northernmost part of the Earth
Characterized by cold, dark winters and cool summers with extended periods of sunlight, rich in natural resources such as minerals, fresh water, fish, oil and gas, and containing some of the last and most extensive continuous wilderness areas in the world, the Arctic region is a privileged territory with unparalleled beauty and importance, both for exploration purposes and the history of our planet, but also for preserving biodiversity and genotypes, as well as understanding our planet’s ecosystem.
The Arctic region consist of the Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, parts of Alaska (United States), Northern Canada (Canada), Finland, Greenland (Kingdom of Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden.
Due to the harsh conditions of the Arctic region, access by travelers was historically difficult, especially those aiming to explore the actual Northernmost part of the Earth: The North Pole.
However, due to developing advancements in technologies and transportation, visiting the Arctic region and learning about the cultures of its inhabitants, its nature and spellbinding landscapes (and of course, its famously charming Polar Bears), is an accessible possibility for those passionate about traveling and learning about the world around them.
A unique area among Earth’s ecosystem, the Arctic is a wonderful place to explore, as it teaches us about the survival of the cultures residing there, as well as the species which through time have evolved to endure the challenging conditions of their environment. Covered by year-round ice caps, which generally extend far south during the Arctic winter and are made up of around 16 million square kilometers of ice, the North Polar Ocean is home to a variety of species, such as organisms living in the ice, zooplankton and phytoplankton, fish and marine mammals, birds, land animals, and plants. Polar bears, for example, live solely in the Arctic areas, preferring to hunt for marine life on the ice. A plethora of wildlife, including the prolific birdlife to be found in these polar regions, also provide rewarding wildlife observation.
But what about the cultures living there? It has been proven that in 2500 BC, the Arctic was already inhabited by Paleo-Eskimo cultures, including the Independence Cultures who lived in Northern Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, and the Dorset culture, which preceded the Inuit culture of the region. The Thule developed in Alaska and reached Greenland by the 13th century, replacing the extinct Dorset culture that had previously inhabited the area. There is no strong evidence that the Inuit and Dorset ever met.
Evidence supports the idea that the Thule and Viking people were in contact, and by the 18th century there was intensified contact with the Europeans. However, due to a period of cooling of the Northern Hemisphere from the 16th to the 19th century, contact became limited and populations shrunk, with the Thule people breaking apart, later becoming Eskimo and afterwards, Inuit communities spread throughout the Arctic.
Today, only about 4 million people live in the Arctic worldwide, and in most countries indigenous people make up a minority of the Arctic population.
Here at Albatros Expeditions, we pride ourselves of having native knowledge of the Arctic regions, and are glad to call Greenland one of our bases of operation. We also have partners in Iceland and Norway, and the members of our team in the Copenhagen Headquarters are all passionate travelers who marvel at the beauty of these regions and frequently travel as part of our expeditions. As a matter of fact, through Albatros Travel, we have been sending travelers to the Arctic for three decades, with the utmost respect for the untouched wilderness and sparse arctic wildlife. Our small ships allow easier access to remote areas while providing high standards of quality and comfort.
So, the question is, will you be joining us to this remote and magnificent corner of the world?
Feel incredibly small while standing on the Greenland Ice Sheet, the second-oldest ice mass in the world. Feel the magic of Iceland's dramatic lava landscapes. Spot a multitude of arctic wildlife in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Experience the magnificent beauty of the polar regions and see why we are so passionate about the wonders of the Arctic region.