#ArcticDiaries: 10 Reasons to Go on a Polar Expedition

Our travel bucket lists are endless. We’ve ticked off a few, but there are so many places still to see. If you’re truly someone whose heart beats faster at the thought of exploring unknown territory, here’s a treat for you. The Arctic is no longer an unreachable, mythical place, booking an expedition is easy as it gets. All you need is an adventurous mind and a lots of warm clothes!

  1. Summer Is Coming: Longer summer season due to climate change, which doesn’t mean you’ll be sweating it out (I mean, it’s still a “polar” expedition), it will mean ships will be able to pass through key areas which are often frozen for much of the year.
  2. Baby, Let’s cruise: One of the best ways to experience the Arctic is to cruise along the Northern Passages. The Arctic covers land areas in parts of Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and the United States (Alaska) as well as Sweden and Finland, all connected by the Arctic ocean. Voyages start from 13 days and go up to 75 to cater to the tourist and the wanna-be eskimo.
  3. The Northern Lights: If you want to experience magic, wait till you see the Northern Lights. The autumn and winter skies above Greenland’s eastern coast are renowned for putting on some of the best Aurora displays in the world. Aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere and can be viewed from the northern and southern hemispheres. How special is that!
  4. Polar Bears: If you’ve seen one in a zoo and loved it, imagine what it would be like to see them in their natural habitat. The Greenlandic and Canadian Arctic sites give a great opportunity to see these beautiful beasts along with other iconic Arctic wildlife like whales, walrus and arctic fox.
  5. Cool Camping: You want to take your usual camping trip up a notch? Camp in the arctic! The Barneo Ice Camp in Russia is reconstructed every year for a small time period – which means it’s super exclusive. The tents are well insulated and heated, but step outside to get a real feel of the Arctic.
  6. Santa’s Home: If you’ve been waiting for St. Nick to show up all these years and he hasn’t, it might be time to pay him a visit!
  7. Untouched Beauty: No small shacks selling tea, no over-the-top souvenier shops. If you want to experience pristine, natural scenic beauty, immerse yourself in the whiteness of the Arctic.
  8. The Inuit: Similar to the Eskimos, the inuit are the indigenous people who live in the Arctic. A polar expedition will give you an insight into the warm (pun intended) people of this ancient culture and how they live in the harsh cold of the North Pole.
  9. Once-in-a-lifetime experience: Agreed we’re not living in the 1500s when a journey to the Arctic was almost impossible. Technology has made life easier, but going on an Arctic expedition requires a desire to explore. Needless to say, this is a rare experience. Only 250 people each year to stand on top of the world – you could be one of them.
  10. On top of the world, literally: This phrase will never be the same again. You can book a helicopter ride or a hot air balloon ride (the keyword here being ‘hot’) that gives you an aerial view of the North Pole. Sounds exhilirating, doesn’t it?