Dominated by the polar ice caps, the Arctic encompasses some of the driest and most inhospitable landscapes on earth. A world of perpetual ice and snow, these breathtaking vistas cover some 5.4 million square miles of ocean and can lay claim to some of the most unique ecosystems anywhere on the planet. One of the last and most extensive continuous wilderness areas in the world, it is home to indigenous peoples, resilient coastal communities and a staggering profusion of wildlife. From the frozen heart of the Canadian Archipelago and the spectacular fjords of eastern Greenland, to the high lava deserts and volcanoes of the Icelandic coast, this is a land forged by nature at its most inspired and its most inspiring.
Whilst few places on earth can match its majesty or its grand physical presence, it is the Arctic’s wildlife that provides one of its biggest draws. The haunting treeless tundras provide home to an array of species, from caribou and Arctic foxes, to wolves and snowy owls. And lording it over all of them is the magnificent polar bear, the region’s undisputed predator. Beyond the tundra the rich Arctic waters meanwhile are a haven for seals, walrus, orcas, baleen whales and the distinctive narwhale, whose tusks were once believed to have been the horns of the legendary unicorn.
Illuminated by the Arctic light of the midnight sun, or the spectacular dancing displays of the Northern Lights, these lands provide a remarkable backdrop to journeys of quite exceptional diversity. Arctic cruises can take you through some of the most remote and breathtakingly beautiful landscapes in the northern hemisphere, whilst land-based adventures provide a chance to spend your days exploring by dog sled or snow mobile and your nights enjoying the hospitality of a unique choice of accommodation.
Whichever Arctic you choose, it will surely be a once in a lifetime experience.
Ask the hotel if they offer a Northern Lights wake up call.