Snowy owl

  • Among the largest owls in the Arctic, 1.75 - 2 feet in length, with a wingspan of 4.5 - 5.5 feet.
  • Snowy Owls feed on small rodents including voles and rabbits.
  • Typically found in the northern circumpolar region. 

Snow bunting

  • Small isolated populations on a few high mountain tops south of the Arctic region.
  • It builds its bulky nest in rock crevices.
  • Eggs hatch in 12–13 days, and the young are ready to fly after 12–14 days.

Snow goose

  • Breeds north of the timberline in Greenland, Canada, Alaska, and Siberia.
  • Snow Geese winter in warm parts of North America.
  • They are visitors to the British Isles. 


Arctic Fox (also known as the white fox, polar fox, or snow fox)

  • A small fox of about 85.3 cm (33.6 in) in body length.
  • Is common throughout the Arctic tundra biome.
  • The foxes deep thick fur is brown in summer and white in winter. 

Arctic hare (also known as the polar rabbit)

  • The arctic hare can run up to 60 kilometres per hour (40 mph).
  • It has a keen sense of smell and may dig for willow twigs under the snow.
  • Female hares can have up to eight baby hares called leverets. 

Polar bear

  • An adult male is called a boar and weighs around 350–700 kg (770–1,540 lb)
  • An adult female is called a sow and is about half that size
  • Polar bears skin is actually black their hair is colourless! 


  • Caribou are called reindeer in Europe.
  • Caribou are the only deer in which male and females both have antlers.
  • Caribou trek north in the summer in one of the largest animal migrations on Earth. 


  • In winter, they use their hooves to dig through snow to graze on plants.
  • During the summer, they supplement their diet with Arctic flowers and grasses.
  • Groups of two or three dozen animals are sometimes led by a single female.


  • Wolverines are opportunistic feeders and eat a variety of foods depending on availability.
  • Wolverines do not hibernate.
  • They are well adapted to the snow, with dense fur and large snowshoe-like paws.

Arctic wolf (also known as a snow wolf or white wolf)

  • They can survive in sub-zero temperatures for years, absolute darkness for five months per year.
  • Arctic wolves can go without food for weeks.
  • Like all wolves, they hunt in packs, preying mainly on caribou and muskoxen.


  • Lynx have a short tail and characteristic tufts of black hair on the tips of their ears.
  • The lynx is usually solitary, although a small group of lynx may travel and hunt together.
  • Canada lynx eat mice, squirrels, and birds, but prefer the snowshoe hare.

Ribbon seal

  • Distinguished by its striking fur colours, it has two wide white strips and two circles.
  • Diet consists of fish, squid and octopus.
  • Is a solitary animal and forms no herds.

Bearded seal

  • The bearded seal gets its name from its long white whiskers.
  • The females are bigger than the males.
  • Within only a week of birth, the pups are capable of diving up to of 200 feet.

Ringed seal

  • Ringed seals are the smallest of the arctic seals.
  • They have small heads, short cat-like snouts, and plump bodies.
  • Usually have a silvery to dark grey colour on the underside and darker back with small markings.

Spotted seal

  • Spotted Seals usually breed in isolated pairs not large groups.
  • They do congregate in breeding areas but each pair like to keep their distance.
  • Spotted Seals mainly feed upon fish and crustaceans. 

Harp seal

  • They have pure black eyes, with a black harp or wishbone-shaped mark on its back.
  • They may dive to nearly 1,000 feet (300m), and can remain submerged for up to 15 minutes.
  • The young seals are famous for their snowy white coats. 

Hooded seal

  • A striking nasal appendage adorns the head of sexually mature males.
  • Pups are called "blue-backs" because their coats are blue-grey on the back with whitish bellies.
  • Their diets are composed primarily of various crustaceans.


  • Walruses are one of the largest flippered marine mammals.
  • A group of walruses is called either a herd or a pod.
  • Walruses can recognized by their tusks, which both male and females walruses have.

Baleen whale

  • Have a filtering system which is made up of baleen plates that hang from their upper jaw.
  • The filters are used to catch tiny animals, plants and krill from the ocean water.
  • Baleen Whales are generally larger than toothed whales, and females are bigger than males. 

Narwhal (or narwhale)

  • The narwhal is a medium-sized toothed whale and the animal with the largest canines.
  • Narwhals are also known as the unicorn of the sea.
  • During the winter, they feed on benthic prey at depths of up to 1500 metres under dense pack ice.

Killer whales (also known as a killer whale, orca whale or orca)

  • Worldwide population estimates are uncertain, but thought to be at least 50,000.
  • Normal behavior generally consists of foraging, travelling, resting and socializing.
  • Killer whales have the second heaviest brains among marine mammals


  • Calves are born gray or brown and fade to white at around five years of age
  • White whales are smallish, ranging from 13 to 20 feet (4 to 6.1 meters) in length.
  • They have rounded foreheads and no dorsal fin.


It is a common mistake to think penguins live in the Arctic and Polar bears live in the Antarctic. They do not.  In the 1930s, attempts were made to introduce new animal species to regions where they were not naturally represented. Reindeer were shipped from Norway to South Georgia, and penguins were imported to Norway.

Magnetic North Pole


Typically for most areas in the Arctic Circle, Svalbard is an archipelago. Svalbard lies 74º and 81º north latitude. Svalbard totals an area of 31,022km² (23,561 sq mi). Around 60% of Svalbard is made up of glaciers.

Approximately 65% of the total land area constitutes preserved natural area, with much of the territorial sea being protected by law as well.. Just as well, really, as Svalbard is a major breeding ground for many seafaring birds, which aids the growth of flora thanks to their nutrient-rich guano.

The largest settlement, Longyearbyen, has the northernmost gourmet restaurant in the world: Huset. It serves some traditional dishes featuring reindeer, grouse, barnacle goose, and seal and has a wine cellar with over 20,000 bottles.



Ice caps

Spitsbergen is Svalbard's largest island and the only island with any major human settlement, save for a few meteorological outposts in Hopen and Bjørnøya. Spitsbergen also has several mountains and ice caps (sometimes referred to as ‘glaciers’ as well). The names of some of Spitsbergen's mountains are:

  • Newtontoppen 1,713 m (5,620 ft)
  • Perriertoppen 1,712 m (5,617 ft)
  • Ceresfjellet 1,675 m (5,495 ft)
  • Chadwickryggen 1,640 m (5,380 ft)
  • Galileotoppen 1,637 m (5,371 ft)

Ice caps of note include:

  • Austfonna (with Sørfonna and Vegafonna) 8,492 km2 (3,279 sq mi)
  • Olav V Land 4,150 km2 (1,600 sq mi)
  • Vestfonna 2,505 km2 (967 sq mi)
  • Åsgårdfonna 1,645 km2 (635 sq mi)
  • Edgeøyjøkulen 1,300 km2 (500 sq mi)

Svalbard is the perfect place to see the effects of repeated ice ages. The islands and landforms of Svalbard were created by glaciers cutting through plateaus in the land and helping to form fjords, valleys and mountains. Spitsbergen also happens to have Norway's longest fjords:

  • Wijdefjorden 108 km (67 mi)
  • Isfjorden 107 km (66 mi)
  • Van Mijenfjorden 83 km (52 mi)
  • Woodfjorden 64 km (40 mi)
  • Wahlenbergfjord 46 km (29 mi)

Greenland (Denmark)

The largest high-Arctic land area, the world's largest island and contains the world's largest national park in North-East Greenland National Park. Greenland measures 2,166,086 km² (836,330 sq. mi), of which 81% is covered by the Greenland ice sheet. Some even argue that the ice sheet actually connects three smaller islands otherwise separated by straits into one big island.

Most major settlements in Greenland can be found along the ice-free coasts along the west of the island. Some people, however, brave the elements and set up scientific expedition camps in the more central, ice-covered parts of Greenland. Until 1950, radio station Jørgen Brønlund Fjord was the northernmost outpost in the world.

One of the towns along the west coast, Ilulissat, is of particular interest to nature- and Geography-lovers. Not only does Ilulissat have the world's mostly northerly 4-star hotel, the Hotel Arctic, but has some of the world's most impressive geological features on its doorstep. The Hotel Arctic is 100m from the coast and 2.7km (1.7 mi) from UNESCO World Heritage Site Ilulissat Icefjord (a 45km (25 mi) fjord that runs from Disko Bay to the south of Ilulissat Town). The town also houses the world's most productive glacier in the Northern Hemisphere, the Jakobshavn Isbræ (Greenlandic: Sermeq Kujalleq).

Jakobshavn Isbræ lies to the east of Ilulissat, and flows at a rate of 20 - 35m (66 – 115ft) per day. This means that the glacier produces and passes to the fjord around 20 billion icebergs every year, some icebergs being so gargantuan (up to 1km (3,300ft) in height) that they struggle to float down the fjord.

Novaya Zemlya (Russian Arctic)

Novaya Zemlya consists of two islands parted by the Kara Strait: Severny (Northern) and Yuzhny (Southern). The Northern Island is mostly mountainous throughout, while the Southern Island is by and large tundra.

The Ural Mountains overlap much of the Northern Island, with the highest peak being Mount Narodnaya, which has an elevation of 1,895m (6,217 ft). Cape Flissingsky, also on the Northern Island, is the easternmost point of Europe. The area has huge deposits of lead, zinc and copper.

Canadian Arctic

Colloquially known as the ‘Far North’, the Canadian Arctic has three territories:

  1. Yukon
  2. Northwest Territories
  3. Nunavut

Parts of Quebec and Labrador are sometimes also seen to be a part of the Far North.

Nunavut is the largest of the three territories, and on Ellesmere Island is the world's northernmost settlement – the Canadian Forces Station alert, latitude 82.5°N, lying 817 km (508 mi) from the North Pole. Cape Columbia, also on Ellesmere Island, is one of the world's most northerly points. Northernmost territory in Canada and home to 32k people.

The Arctic Archipelago, a 36,563-strong group of islands (94 major islands) measuring approximately 1,424,500 km² (550,000 miles squared), covers much of Nunavut and some parts of the Northwest Territories.

Due to the extreme climate, most of the islands are uninhabited, save for the thin scattering of Inuits on the coasts of the southern islands. The Arctic Archipelago is the second-largest high-Arctic land area,

Franz Josef Land (Russian Arctic)

Franz Josef Land is a tightly-knit group of islands stretching 375 km (233 mi) east to west and 234 km (145 mi) north to south. With 191 islands making up Franz Josef Land, it is far smaller than the Canadian Arctic.

The northern-most point of Franz Josef Land is Cape Fligely on Rudolf Island. Wilczek Land is the second-largest island in the archipelago and is 670m (2,200 ft) above mean sea level - one of the most elevated areas in the Arctic. The islands are surrounded by the Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea and Kara Sea.

Considering that 85% of Franz Josef Land is glaciated, it is unsurprising that the archipelago is uninhabited. On the positive side, this makes the archipelago a perfect place to situate a nature reserve of some sort. The Russians have duly obliged by establishing the Arctic National Park in 2012.

There is a huge amount of variation between the islands in terms of terrain, with between 5-10% of the non-glaciated land consisting of vegetation – mostly grasses, moss, lichens and algae in regions such as George Land, Northbrook Island and Heiss Island. Otherwise, bare rock and ice predominates, although snow algae can be found on glaciers. When Jeff Goldblum says “nature finds a way” in Jurassic Park , he may well have been speaking of the ‘bare Arctic’ semi-myth (well, not really, but we'll shoehorn in references to films wherever possible). Bird settlements can increase vegetative coverage, with as much as 100% of an area being covered by vegetation thanks to their nutrient-rich guano. Poppies such as saxifrada and Arctic poppies can be found on all islands. Buttercups, polar willow and alpine foxtail are all common in wet regions of the islands.

Arctic Ocean

As anyone who's paid attention in Geography class should know, the Arctic Ocean is the world's smallest and shallowest ocean, covering an area of 1,056,000km² (542,427,000 sq. mi). The Arctic is altmost completely covered by sea ice in winter and partly through summer, when the heat can melt away up to 50% of the Arctic's sea ice.

The Arctic generally has very little coastline, and is mostly made up from the Arctic Ocean. The North Pole is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean.

Unlike many other oceans of the world, the Arctic Ocean has very low salinity due to the inflow from rivers and streams and lack of outflow with the salty waters of other oceans. The lack of evaporation also helps keep the water of the Arctic Ocean fresh. Glaciers and icebergs are therefore made from fresh water, and make up around 20% of Earth's fresh water supply.

Close but no cigar

There have been many who set out with the intention of reaching the North Pole, but in the end never quite managed it:

The Polaris expedition, led by the American Charles Francis Hall, ran aground and was wrecked at Etah, Greenland. The crew survived the winter and were rescued in the Summer of 1872.

Claims and Successes

The explorer Robert Peary claimed to be the first person to reach the North Pole in 1909, although there actually isn’t any evidence to support this. In fact, many argued that with the equipment he used, the expedition should have failed.

However, Tom Avery successfully trekked to the North Pole in 2005, along with four others, having replicated Peary’s circumstances. The expedition took 36 days, 22 hours and 11 minutes, proving that Peary could have completed the mammoth trek, but not proving that he did so. Discrepancies over distances and speeds recorded by Peary and his team still cast doubt over their achievements to this day.

First to the pole

Success stories weren’t reliable until the 20th century, when claims could be substantiated, and it was on May 12th 1926 the crew of the airship Norge recorded the first undisputed sighting of the Pole. However it wasn’t until 1948 – when the Soviet party commanded by Alexander Kuznetsov landed their aircraft close by and walked to the Pole – that the first people, undoubtedly, walked on the North Pole.

Other expeditions of note

Other expeditions of note

August 3rd 1958
US submarine Nautilus travelled under the polar ice cap to the North Pole. Once there it did not surface but continued on its way.

March 17th 1959
The USS Skate was the first submarine to surface at the North Pole. Sir Hubert Wilkins’ ashes were scattered by the crew.

April 9th 1968
Ralph Plaisted was the first to definitively reach the North Pole travelling only by land. He travelled by snowmobile and was monitored by the US Air Force.

Exactly 60 years after Peary’s claim: Wally Herbert became the first man to get there unaided by machine, using only a dog sled.

Canadian Richard Weber and Russian Misha Malakhov became the first to travel to the Pole unaided. They had no outside help, no dogs or airplanes and no way to restock their supplies. No one has completed this journey since.

May 2nd 2007
The BBC’s Top Gear drove to the Pole in a modified Toyota Hilux.

Close but no cigar

There have been many who set out with the intention of reaching the North Pole, but in the end never quite managed it:

Frederick Cook claimed to have reached the pole in the year before Robert Peary made his similar claim. Though later debunked, his expedition did discover Meighen Island, the only discovery by a United States expedition of an island in the American Arctic.

Close but no cigar

There have been many who set out with the intention of reaching the North Pole, but in the end never quite managed it:

Fridjof Nansen set out for the pole from his ship the Fram. However, worried they wouldn’t have enough supplies to reach the pole and then Franz Josef Land the expedition turned back on the 7th April Nansen observed the way ahead was "a veritable chaos of iceblocks stretching as far as the horizon."

Close but no cigar

There have been many who set out with the intention of reaching the North Pole, but in the end never quite managed it:

The USS Jeanette under Lt. Cdr. DeLong set out for the pole but was caught fast in pack ice near Wrangel Island. For 21 months the ship drifted to the northwest, closer the North Pole.

In June 1881, Bennett Island was discovered and claimed for the U.S.

Close but no cigar

There have been many who set out with the intention of reaching the North Pole, but in the end never quite managed it:

1827: the British naval officer, William Edward Parry set off from Spitzbergen at Seven Islands. He reached 82°45’N which remained the highest latitude attained for 49 years.

Franklin’s Lost Expedition

Quark’s best selling trip is based around Franklin’s lost expedition to the Arctic, which, in 1845, became icebound in the Canadian Arctic. Quark follows Franklin’s footsteps and takes explorers on a thirteen-day voyage to one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world.

Franklin’s men perished in the Arctic whilst hauling silverware and china. The men were also accused of cannibalism.

Franklin’s widow, Lady Jane Franklin, Lady Franklin devoted herself for many years after his disappearance to trying to ascertain his fate, including sponsoring seven expeditions to find her husband or his records (two of which failed to reach the Arctic).

Find out more

Introduction to Spitsbergen Spitsbergen Explorer Spitsbergen Circumnavigation Three Arctic Islands East Greenland Arctic Quest In the footsteps of Franklin Epic High Arctic North Pole Arctic Watch Lodge Basecamp Spitsbergen Greenland Explorer Iceland Circumnavigation Northwest Passage Scotland to Norway Fjords and Bears Ultimate Thule

Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

Big Island, Big Advert

The complete in-depth Svalbard experience takes you around Spitsbergen, the Seven Islands, Edgeøya, Nordaustlandet and the smaller outlying islands of the archipelago.


  • Enjoy the same highlights as the
    Spitsbergen Explorer
  • More Iconic Arctic wildlife: harp seals,
    Arctic hares, minke whales and more
  • Visit monaco glacier, hike through
    the Arctic tundra and polar desert

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

Spitsbergen Explorer

Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

A journey fit for the Arctic explorer with a little more time. Located above the Arctic Circle, Spitsbergen welcomes travelers from around the world to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site.


  • Unique Arctic wildlife – polar bears, walrus, reindeer
  • Polar desert exploration
  • Continuous daylight

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

Introduction to Spitsbergen

Polar Bear Safari

A perfect introductory voyage to the Svalbard archipelago, this 9-day expedition will satisfy those short on time while still promising Arctic flora, fauna and icescapes.


  • Unique Arctic wildlife – polar bears, walrus, reindeer
  • Continuous daylight
  • Tundra hiking

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

Three Arctic Islands

Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen

Voted one of the Top Tours of a Lifetime by National Geographic Traveler, our award-winning expedition is highly recommended for those who want to experience the contrasting beauties of three diverse Arctic countries.


  • Spitsbergen, Greenland, Iceland
  • Arctic wildlife: polar bears, musk ox, reindeers, walruses
    and more
  • Glaciers, icebergs and fjords

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

East Greenland

Northern Lights

The east coast of Greenland is renowned the world over for the best displays of this super natural light show! The Greenlandic people believe when the Northern Lights dance, it’s their “ancestors’ spirits playing football [soccer] in the sky.”


  • Spectacular Greenland landscape
  • World’s largest fjord system
  • World's largest and most remote national park

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

Arctic Quest

Greenland to Churchill

Our most in-depth Arctic voyage, this expedition offers wildlife, history, culture and tradition for those interested in an immersive Arctic experience!


  • Arctic wildlife – polar bears, walrus, and massive seabird colonies
  • Unique landscapes of west Greenland and Canada
  • Traditional Inuit Communities

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

In the footsteps of Franklin

Greenland and Canada’s High Arctic

Sail north along Greenland’s western coast towards Canada’s High Arctic to see spectacular limestone bird cliffs, the prehistoric musk ox, and rich history dating back thousands of years.


  • Unique Arctic wildlife — polar bears, walrus, whales, and massive sea bird colonies
  • West Greenland and Canada’s High Arctic
  • Traditional Canadian Inuit and Greenlandic communities

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

Epic High Arctic

Baffin Island Explorer via Fury and Hecla

This is our most comprehensive Canadian expedition and one that visits remote National Historic Sites of Canada, settlements from 4,000 year-old cultures and sails through the rarely traversed Fury and Hecla Strait.


  • Arctic wildlife – polar bears, whales, and massive sea bird colonies
  • Experience the sites of the rarely traversed Fury & Hecla Strait
  • Traditional Inuit Communities

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

The North Pole

The Ultimate Arctic Adventure


  • Top of the World 90° N
  • Nuclear-powered icebreaker, 50 Years of Victory
  • Optional aerial sightseeing by hot air balloon

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

Arctic Watch Lodge

Canadian Adventure and Wildlife at 74°N

Spend a week at this unique Canadian Arctic wilderness lodge and world-class beluga whale observation site. Situated 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the lodge offers fully-guided opportunities for hiking, kayaking, Zodiac cruising and exploring the Arctic tundra in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).


  • Rarely seen and iconic Arctic Wildlife: beluga whales, polar bears, musk ox, ringed seals, and much more
  • Included all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), Mercedes Unimog, kayaking, rafting and more
  • Cunningham River estuary, home to hundreds of beluga whales
  • Visit Cape Anne Thule sites with ancient stone and bone houses

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

Basecamp Spitsbergen

Basecamp Spitsbergen is a unique four-day Arctic lodging and adventure experience, showcasing the majestic beauty of Spitsbergen and featuring unique accommodations and activities.


  • Stay in a 120' Dutch schooner ship stuck in the Arctic ice
  • Travel by snowmobile and traditional dog-sled
  • Visit the Von Post Glacier
  • Possible Northern Lights viewing
  • Arctic Wildlife: possible polar bear viewing

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

Greenland Explorer

Valleys and Fjords

Greenland is Europe's final frontier; its grandeur is unquestionable and yet is unknown to most travelers. Sailing Greenland's coast is the best way to sample the rich history and diversity of this beautiful and dramatic country and to encounter an ancient culture surviving in a modern world.


  • Meet locals on the western coast of Greenland and explore traditional Inuit settlements
  • UNESCO World Heritage site Ilulissat Icefjord
  • Historic places from Norse and Viking eras
  • Arctic wildlife such as whales, birds and seals

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

Iceland Circumnavigation

Ultimate Fire and Ice

Our expedition around Iceland offers an in-depth exploration of this small island of geological extremes. Encounter unrivaled natural diversity, from volcanic landscapes to lava fields, ice sheets, gushing hot springs and cascading waterfalls. Our Expedition team will make every effort to maximize your experiences with all the extremes of this land, its incredible bird life, colorful hamlets, friendly and hearty people and serene bays perfect for kayaking.


  • Visit Golden Circle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Watch geysers erupting
  • Visit the Blue Lagoon and the highland lava desert and sulfur pits of Húsavík
  • Experience Icelandic culture, art and food
  • Arctic bird life such as puffins, and great whale watching opportunities

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

Northwest Passage

Franklin's Legend (Westbound)

For centuries, fortune-seekers risked their lives to find the Northwest Passage, the fabled sea route running between Europe and Asia. The greatest geographical problem of the last three centuries, according to the New York Times of November 25, 1852.


  • Explore highlights of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic
  • Iconic Arctic wildlife: musk ox, caribou, polar bears, Arctic fox and more
  • Colorful Greenlandic villages and traditional Inuit handicrafts
  • Ilulissat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most productive ice fjord in the Northern Hemisphere

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

Scotland to Norway

Crossing the Arctic Circle

This mystical expedition cruise of the northern Atlantic, offers rich culture and wildlife experiences, including some rare opportunities that will delight those interested in birding. We'll explore the medieval art and archeology of Britain's northernmost archipelagos of the Orkney and Shetland Islands, before continuing east to the picturesque port of Bergen. Continuing northwards into the Norwegian Sea, we'll discover the UNESCO-protected Vega Island, a veritable ornithologists’ dream.


  • The ancient history of the Scottish Isles combined with the exceptional landscape of the Norwegian Fjords
  • Enjoy amazing bird life, with thousands of North Atlantic seabirds
  • Sail deeper into fjords and visit islands that larger ships cannot
  • An excellent mix of culture and natural history
  • Sail north across the Arctic Circle
  • Combine this voyage with Tromsø, Bear Island and Spitsbergen: Fjords and Bears

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

Tromso, Bear Island and Spitsbergen

Fjords and Bears

Venture from Tromsø deeper into the Arctic Circle past iconic fjords towards the usually ice-bound Svalbard Archipelago. We’ll discover the rarely-visited Bear Island, an important bird area. We’ll explore the wildlife haven of Spitsbergen, a rugged land of deep fjords, mountains and ice sheets. And we'll spend our time here searching for walrus, seals, reindeer, arctic fox and the illusive polar bear. You'll also marvel at the colorfully-carpeted tundra which we'll be able to see first-hand on some of our hikes.


  • Unique Arctic wildlife: polar bears, walrus, reindeer
  • Polar desert exploration
  • Continuous daylight
  • Hiking and Zodiac cruising
  • Snowshoeing on selected expeditions
  • Optional kayak adventure on selected expeditions
  • Combine this voyage with Scotland to Norway: Crossing the Arctic Circle

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

Ultimate Thule

Greenland’s Far North

This voyage includes the Greenland highlights of our popular Epic High Arctic voyage, and explores in more depth the Thule region, synonymous with ‘the true Greenland’ for its untouched icescapes and sparsely populated Inuit communities.


  • The beauty of the fjords of West Greenland
  • Traditional Greenlandic communities
  • A chance to explore the far north, as far at Smith Sound
  • Ilulissat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Unique Arctic wildlife – polar bears, walrus, , whales, and massive sea bird colonies
  • Tundra hiking for all fitness levels
  • Zodiac cruising
  • Optional kayak adventure option on selected voyages

See the full itinerary and detailed voyage map at

Arctic Monkey

The Arctic Monkey was discovered in 2002. It is well known for its alarming, loud and shrill tones. Proving popular, Arctic Monkeys have since spread across dance floors all over the United Kingdom and into homes. It is the only animal to possess seven Brit awards, 2 Mercury music awards and has been nominated for two grammies. No arctic creature has had such proven success in the music industry as the Arctic Monkey.

The Northern Lights

The aurora borealis, is a pattern of coloured lights sometimes seen in the night sky in most northern parts of the world. Caused by solar particles impacting with the Earth's atmosphere. In the southern hemisphere they are known as the aurora australis or Southern Lights.

Find out more >

Highest Temperature Recorded

Fort Yukon, Alaska has recorded an extreme high temperature of 100°F / 37°C

Lowest Temperature Recorded

The lowest world temperature in inhabitied areas was recorded in the Arctic. The thermometers plunged to -90.4°F / -68°C in Oymyakon, Siberia (Feb. 6, 1933)

Tree line

Boreal forest occurs only to the south of the tree line.

Hot Springs


Find out more >

Fast moving glacier

The Jakobshavn Glacier is moving at 46 metres a day and drains 6.5 percent of the Greenland ice sheet per year.

Find out more >

Blue Lagoon

Geothermal spa, Iceland

Find out more >

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Quark Trips

Quark Trips

A guide to the arctic

Quark’s Expeditions

Unlike the explorers of the past, you have the opportunity to follow their routes and experience the Arctic for yourself, but without having to rough it. Our ships offer all of the safety and security you’ll need and unlike early explorers your destinations are set in stone, leaving you with time to enjoy everything else Quark has to offer. Whatever your interests, you’ll find activities to get stuck into, with kayaking, photography, cross- country skiing and hiking being just a few.

Quark Polar Firsts

August 1991 First-ever tourism transit of the Northeast Passage, the historic route across the Russian Arctic.

July 1999 First circumnavigation of the Arctic Ocean.

June 2008 Quark offers maiden voyage on nuclear icebreaker 50 Years of Victory to the North Pole.

April 2011 Three Arctic Islands trip voted one of National Geographic Traveler’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime

November 2013 Quark teams with Hot Docs to offer the first-ever floating polar film festival aboard the Sea Spirit.