The Arctic Tours

Travelling to the Arctic from Australia can be achieved in different ways and depends on what area within the Arctic Circle you would like to explore. 
 
The most popular tours are Greenland, the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic, the Russian Arctic and the North Pole.
 
The Arctic can be reached from the following countries: Norway, Iceland, Canada and Russia. 
 
The easiest and most popular option for Australians to travel to the Arctic is either from Norway or from Canada. 
 
Where: For Norway cruises, Longyearbyen, the largest settlement of the island of Spitsbergen, is the major thoroughfare for Arctic cruises visiting the “Spitzbergen” area. It is also departure point for most cruises to the North Pole. 
 
Departure city for Canada cruises is Ottawa from where guests will board a charter flight to Iqaluit to board their cruise. From here you can explore the Canadian Arctic and Greenland.    
 
Iceland and Russia can also be used as departure points for cruises exploring the remote East, West and South of Greenland or the Russian Far East. 
 
While an Arctic cruise is definitely an adventure in its own right, it’s also a great add-on to a Europe or a US and Canada holiday. It is also a great complement to our Antarctica cruises.
 
Getting there: For Norway (Spitsbergen) cruises, you would need to fly via Oslo or Tromso to Longyearbyen. There are a variety of major airlines flying from Australia to major hubs in Europe.
 
For cruises that start or end in Iceland there are direct flights to Reykjavik from London as well as other European capitals including low cost carriers.
 
Most cruises that include Greenland will usually start or end in either Longyearbyen or Reykjavik so the flights mentioned above would usually be used. Charter flights can also be included in the package, so best consult with your destination expert for the best advice.
 
For Canada, the easiest and most popular way for Australians to get to Ottawa is via Vancouver with Air Canada or via Los Angeles with American Airlines or United.
 
The Arctic is one of the world’s most extraordinary regions famous for its dramatic landscapes, uninhabited valleys and fascinating wildlife. 
 
What is it like: While Spitsbergen is famed the “wildlife capital of the Arctic”, all other regions of the Arctic are also perfect for whale, seal and polar bear watching. Nature lovers will love Greenland, the least densely populated country in the world, and home to the largest national park in the northeast.  
 
If you travel in September you will even be able to witness the vivid displays of the Northern Lights. 
 
The Canadian Arctic with its Northwest passage and its exploration continues to be a popular choice for many.
 
More information: to help you decide where you want to visit, click on the trips below and start dreaming about your Arctic cruise. 
 
Still wondering? Contact us and we will walk you through the whole process, answer all your questions and find the very best package, including flights, cruise and extra sightseeing to suit your needs. 

The Arctic expedition was spectacular for many reasons including the spectacular itinerary and wildlife, friendly and professional expedition staff and the blessing of good weather and timing. 

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You’ll get all the best of Spitsbergen, by exploring the western edge of the island and venturing to some northern outlying areas home to polar bears and Walrus.

The Arctic Tours

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a laundry on board the ship?

Yes, there is a laundry service at a reasonable cost on every ship. 

What is the food like on the ships that go to the Arctic ?

Food on board our cruise ships is excellent. Breakfasts and lunches tend to be buffet style, with dinners generally served to your table and usually featuring 3 courses. The range of food is diverse with professional chefs preparing a wide selection of gourmet dishes. 

What do I need to pack for the Arctic?

The Arctic can be an extreme environment and although Arctic cruises depart during the spring and summer months, the weather can change dramatically, with no warning and so you need to be prepared for conditions in this potentially harsh region. When packing, avoid weighing yourself down with too many clothes or too much gear. Select informal, practical attire for your trip that can be worn in layers, including: • Parka jacket - lightweight, wind and weather-resistant shell • Warm trousers - ski pants or sturdy trousers • Waterproof trousers - Gore-Tex or similar waterproof and "breathable" fabrics are recommended • Long thermal underwear - silk or polypropylene is highly recommended • Sweaters - wool sweaters or a polar fleece jacket • Turtlenecks • Mittens and gloves - thin polypropylene gloves underneath warm mittens • Woollen cap and a scarf or balaclava • Warm socks - sturdy, long wool socks and thin pairs of silk, polypropylene or cotton/wool socks • A sturdy, lightweight and waterproof daypack for landings or Zodiac excursions • Sunglasses with U.V. filter • Protective sunscreen for lips, hands and face • Swimsuit for hotels, aboard some ships and (maybe) for a polar plunge • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards • Extra pair of prescription glasses • Prescription medicines and other remedies such as seasickness medication • Binoculars • Zip lock plastic bags or dry sacks for carrying camera, batteries, etc. • T-shirts or other casual warm weather clothes • Clothes for gateway cities 

What is there to do while on the ship?

Whilst some of our Arctic cruise ships boast a gym, sauna and small pools, generally the majority just have a lecture theatre, library, bar and restaurant, as well as the main deck. All ships offer a series of lectures focusing on the geology, history and wildlife of the Arctic and the Arctic Ocean, to help you prepare for what lies ahead. You can interact with the crew and expedition team as well as your fellow passengers in the common areas. You can stand on deck taking in the spectacular scenery and wildlife-watching, scanning the horizon for whales, seals and seabirds, or do so from the comfort of the lounges and observation decks. 

Can we go on shore in the Arctic?

Zodiac excursions and shore landings are a feature of our Arctic cruises and are planned wherever possible, weather conditions permitting. Many itineraries include visits to Inuit communities and National Parks such as Auyuittuq National Park on Canada’s Baffin Island.

What is there to do on shore?

Shore landings are not only for wildlife viewing but also to visit Inuit communities and to explore National Parks. Certain cruises provide opportunities for activities such as snowshoeing, hiking and ski mountaineering. 

How many people will be on the ship?

The number of people on board varies depending on the ship but the majority of our ships carry between 50 and 150 passengers. A few of the mega-yachts and purpose-built cruise ships carry around 250 passengers.

Why should I travel to the Arctic with Chimu Adventures?

Chimu Adventures offer a large range of vessels, an experienced, expert team of travel enthusiasts, and comprehensive, flexible itineraries, tailoring each cruise to your wishes and making your Arctic Cruise unique and unforgettable. 

Will I get sea sick?

Our vessels are built for maximum stability and comfort to ensure that even in rough conditions, sea and motion sickness are kept to a minimum at all times. There are a range of services and facilities available on board should symptoms arise. 

There are so many different trips and itineraries – how do I pick the right one for me?

We pride ourselves on our customisable range of Arctic tours that allow you to tailor the perfect Arctic experience for your own goals and wishes. We also offer a wide range of tours to suit a diverse array of budgets, from 8 day cruises to 28 day expeditions. Speak to one of our consultants who can help you plan your perfect Arctic cruise, which includes all the elements you are looking for in your trip.

I want to see the Arctic but not give up my creature comforts – is this even possible ?

The remoteness of the Arctic can sometimes deter even those with an adventurous heart, but unlike the famous explorers of the past, you can leave the ration packs at home as Chimu can provide all the modern comforts and luxuries you need after a day of adventure, in a safe and comfortable environment. Quiet, relaxing cabins, beautiful food and wine, and spacious common areas allow you to soak up the stunning scenery at your own pace. When it’s time to venture off the vessel, our range of itineraries include activities to suit all abilities and fitness levels.