You’re planning a vacation but all the usual hotspots are leaving you feel uninspired. You’ve been to a couple of tourist-oriented spots around the globe and they’re more or less the same thing – t-shirt shops and a handy McDonald’s. What you’re really craving is an entirely new experience, something completely different from anything you’ve done before. It’s time to plan a trip to the Arctic.
How different will it be? What will you see, do, and experience? Here are just 5 of the many new adventures you’ll enjoy on your Arctic cruise.
1. It’s a giant adventure made easy
Once upon a time the Arctic represented a region of some major adventures. Explorers who were racing to be the first to find viable Northwest or Northeast Passages or the North Pole itself were national heroes and were followed in much the same way sports heroes are followed today.
Of course aside from racing each other they also had to contend with an environment that had a tendency to completely freeze up the waters during the winter, rendering ship travel impossible. This made for a dicey proposition – firewood, food, and an adventurer’s resolve could all be frozen out.
Despite all of the dangers, the Arctic still lured in some of the greatest names in the adventuring world of the early 1900s. Nowadays you can get in on the adventuring too, but without all of the life-threatening risks. You’ll get to see just what it was about the Arctic that drove these great explorers to keep hurling themselves at the frozen North and then head to bed in a well-appointed climate-controlled stateroom.
2. You get to experience the Northern Lights
Do the Northern Lights live up to all the hype? Absolutely. Aside from the obvious beauty, the Aurora is also an empowering experience. Those multi-coloured waves in the sky are an interaction between the Earth and the Sun and act as a reminder of how we’re a part of the universe around us.
If you’re geared up to see the Lights make sure you plan your Arctic cruise towards the very beginning or end of the cruising season as you’ll need proper darkness to see them. During the summer the Arctic becomes the land of the Midnight Sun and truly dark hours are few and far between.
3. You get to see Polar Bears in their natural environment
Seeing a polar bear in a zoo is simply not the same experience. Animal behaviour is dictated by their environment, so a zoo polar bear is a different beast than their brothers and sisters still in the wild.
4. It’s a bird-watcher’s delight
If you’re an ornithologist you’re going to have the chance to check off all sorts of species from your birding book – Arctic Skuas, Terns, Barnacle Geese, Black and Brünnich’s Guillemots, the list goes on and on.
And even if you’re not really a huge bird fan you’re still likely to find the penguin-like Puffins absolutely adorable.
5. Experience the Midnight Sun
As mentioned above when talking about the Lights, during the summer the Arctic receives daylight almost right around the clock. At its darkest the Arctic offers something akin to twilight, a spectral kind of light that is a favourite of photographers.
The above reasons are just a start. We haven’t even touched on the different kinds of whales you can meet, the Inuit and Viking history you can explore, and of course the beauty of the landscapes.
Perhaps the very best reason to head out on an Arctic cruise is that you’re no longer just a tourist, a faceless member of the throngs; now you’re an adventurer, someone who looks to take longer strides when they’re ready to head out into the world.
So I bet you want to go to the Arctic? I mean I would after seeing these photos. However, have you thought about the Antarctic? We loved it so much we had to write an article about how much we hated it. Do yourself a favour and check it out.