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.

UP TO 30% OFF  From 4,991

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

Press release: Affordable Antarctica

Posted on Thu, 07 Feb 2019

Antarctica for just over $7000. Chimu make cruises to Antarctica affordable without compromising on quality and sustainability. Sydney, Thursday 7th February 2019 Latin America and Polar specialists, Chimu Adventures, have made cruises to Antarctica more affordable at a price of just over AU$7000 so that the continent can be accessed by a wider demographic of travellers. This comes at a …

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How to Dodge the Crowds in Patagonia

Posted on Wed, 06 Feb 2019

Want Patagonia to Yourself? Do THIS! Revered for being wild, remote, unpredictable and utterly astounding, Patagonia appears – at least on paper – to be an unlikely candidate for tourist overcrowding. Yet the fact remains: when roads are few, highlights world-famous, tourist season short and nature resplendent, you’ll be amazed at just how crowded some of its biggest highlights – …

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Affordable Antarctica? You bet!

Posted on Tue, 05 Feb 2019

An affordable expedition to Antarctica is usually considered an oxymoron in many ways. Is this not the most expensive place in the world to visit, after all? Well, not if we get our way! Travel to Antarctica on our chartered MS Ocean Endeavour expeditions 2020, 2021, 2022 Cruising Seasons Prices starting from AU$7,090 The way we see it, whilst travelling …

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10 Super Cool Facts About Greenland You Need to Know

Posted on Mon, 04 Feb 2019

Enigmatic, hard-to-reach and impossible to explore by road – discover why Greenland is the most fascinating Arctic destination of all. Greenland is one of the most captivating places you could ever visit – the least touristy in the Arctic in summer and certainly the one people know the least about. If you’ve ever glanced at a world map, you’d certainly …

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Long Service Leave Coming Up? Why South America Beckons

Posted on Mon, 04 Feb 2019

Deciding where to take your long-service leave is inarguably one of the toughest choices you’ll ever have to make, travel-wise of course. One works long and hard to accumulate a substantial amount of paid leave and the pressure to do something meaningful and rewarding with the free time is not without its merits. You could stay home, of course, and …

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Iceland VS Greenland – Which is Better on Arctic Expeditions?

Posted on Mon, 04 Feb 2019

An icy Arctic conundrum to be solved – Iceland VS Greenland – which one should you visit? It’s certainly a question we get often enough – which destination is better for Arctic expeditions: Iceland or Greenland? Although differences between the two abound, there is a lot they have in common: both are exceptionally picturesque (for different reasons) and both offer …

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Why Australian Travellers Should Travel to Antarctica in 2019

Posted on Thu, 31 Jan 2019

Expedition cruises to Antarctica are tipped to be the hottest travel trend for 2019 and it’s really not very surprising. ‘Hottest’ being a more poignant term than we’d ever wish to use in this context. It’s no secret that ice melt in the southernmost region of our planet is increasing at an alarming rate and this means there’s never been …

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When is the Best Time to See the Northern Lights?

Posted on Thu, 31 Jan 2019

Want to chase the dancing Aurora Borealis of the Arctic? Read on to find out when you should be planning your voyage to the northernmost region of our planet. The Northern Lights are one of our planet’s most astonishing natural phenomena and, as such, are about as predictable as the weather. Which is to say, not very predictable at all. …

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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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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.