The Arctic Tours

Why Visit? 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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The Arctic Featured Trips & Deals

POPULAR  From 8,096

Journey from Reykjavík, Iceland across the Denmark Strait. Explore the stunning Scoresby Sund fjord complex in Greenland.

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Visit our planet's fierce and delicate frontier on this exclusive Chimu voyage with artists Wendy Sharpe and Bernard Ollis. 

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Take advantage of these last minute and early bird offers to witness one of the most pristine wildernesses on the planet.

The Arctic Tours

9 NIGHTS From 8,445

For those short of time this is the perfect trip to witness the delights of the world’s largest fjord system of Scoresby Sund and possibly also get the chance to view the vivid displays of the Northern Lights. 

16 NIGHTS From 13,181

Discover the highlights of Iceland before embarking on our exclusive Chimu Charter Arctic Unveiled cruise.  

7 NIGHTS From 5,490

Sailing along the pack-ice of North Spitsbergen, will give us the best opportunities to spot the King of the Arctic.

9 NIGHTS From 9,150

This voyage will appeal to both lovers of wildlife and the dramatic history of early polar exploration. 

10 NIGHTS From 6,899

Scour the ice and tundra in search of the elusive polar bear and encounter even more icebergs, glaciers, and unique wildlife than you ever thought possible on this 11-day expedition. 

Articles On The Arctic

Patagonia Highlights – The Best Things to See and Do

Posted on Thu, 24 Jan 2019

The southernmost region of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile, is the prime destination for nature-lovers and active travellers who head to the continent at the end of the year. They know that during the Austral summer, between November and March, Patagonia is at her most resplendent. Her lakes shimmer in an abundance of sunlight, her mountain peaks appear …

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Meet The Wildlife of Svalbard

Posted on Wed, 23 Jan 2019

Known As the ‘Wildlife Capital of the Arctic’, the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is a magnificent place to visit if spotting polar bears, whales, walruses and other unique wildlife is on your bucket-list A magical world of ice, snow and unique wildlife – this is Svalbard in a nutshell. One of the northernmost inhabited places on earth, about halfway between …

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Where Can You See Polar Bears in the Arctic?

Posted on Tue, 22 Jan 2019

The poster child for environmental protection and the most revered Arctic wildlife of all – read on to discover the best places to see the majestic polar bear. Seeing polar bears in the wild is one of the most magnificent experiences any traveller could ever dream and inarguably one of the prime reasons so many head north to the Arctic …

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Where Can I See the Northern Lights?

Posted on Mon, 21 Jan 2019

A lot of factors can increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights in the Arctic. The most important? Be in the right place! The ethereal Northern Lights occur in the Arctic region and are most visible in a circular band known as the Aurora Borealis Oval Zone. Much like a wide oblong ring, the zone is centred on the …

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North Pole Controversy – Who WAS the first person to reach it?

Posted on Sun, 30 Dec 2018

The North Pole controversy boasts all the hallmarks of a Netflix documentary: we’ve got a wicked cast of dubious characters with dodgy pasts, outlandish claims and an ethereal setting that would just be awesome on a huge screen. Plus, the North Pole Saga is 100 years in the making so that alone ought to draw the crowds. It would be …

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Places We Go & Chimu Invite YOU On An Epic Arctic Adventure

Posted on Sat, 29 Dec 2018

On the 23rd of June, 2019, we’ll be hosting our very first charter trip to the Arctic, taking the crew of Places We Go on an amazing filming adventure to the mesmerizing Svalbard archipelago. And you can come along for the ride. Nothing can compare to the unique and unforgettable experience of cruising the Arctic seas around some of the …

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Why Visit Spitsbergen?

Posted on Fri, 28 Dec 2018

The vast snowy and rugged landscapes of Spitzbergen, part of the Svalbard archipelago in northern Norway, is the stuff of Arctic dreams. Most visitors head here to experience life at the northern extreme, soak up a magnificent visual feast and, of course, meet the unique wildlife that thrives this far north. Primarily, however, visitors head to Spitsbergen because it is …

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Meet the Andean Vicuña – From Ancient Gods to Near-Extinction

Posted on Thu, 27 Dec 2018

The South American vicuña is one of the most iconic wildlife you’ll see on the central Andes Mountain regions of the continent. They are nowadays revered for their fine and insulating fleece: vicuña wool is the most expensive fabric on earth, fetching between 1000 and 3000 USD per yard. The Vicuña, a relation of the llama and suspected wild ancestor …

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Meet the People of Longyearbyen

Posted on Sun, 23 Dec 2018

Join an exhilarating Arctic expedition cruise from Spitzbergen, in the mesmerizing archipelago of Svalbard, and the first place you’ll land is Longyearbyen: the northernmost city on earth. Even at the very height of the summer, in July, the last thing you’ll probably consider is that it should be much, much colder. But the people of Longyearbyen certainly wish it was. …

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South America Travel – A Journey Through Emotions

Posted on Sat, 22 Dec 2018

It all starts before you even take off. The butterflies in your stomach as you research places to visit (finally!) and that nervousness that comes right before you leave, so strong it even manages to wreak havoc on your sleep the last few nights at home. This is especially true if you’re touring South America for the first time and …

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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.