The Authentic Way to Experience the Arctic
Our Arctic holidays offer a rare chance to experience remote parts of the Arctic on a small ship tour with 12 guests.
Each expedition is led by an experienced expedition leader and guide who will share their expert knowledge of Svalbard’s wildlife, geography, geology, and history. It’s a chnace to go exploring with real explorers.
Our Top Arctic Holidays
Small Ships, Big Adventures
Travelling by small ship is a way to maximise your time in the Arctic while minimising your impact on this vital part of the world. Larger cruises can take over 300 passengers, which makes landing slow. Our expedition micro-cruise vessels are ice-strengthened, comfortable, and have two Zodiac landing crafts on board. So, when conditions allow – we can make daily shore landings so all guests can go wilderness hiking, wildlife watching, and discovering amazing nature and history without waiting around. A small vessel can travel to places larger ships can’t pass through, including beautiful fjords, and smaller visitor groups are less disruptive to the environment too.
Explore Svalbard on Expedition Vessel Togo with 12 guests.
Arctic Holidays to Explore Svalbard
Come and explore Svalbard archipelago – a short flight from mainland Norway, and only eight hundred miles away from the North Pole for a chance to experience polar landscapes and wildlife during the Arctic summer. Secret Atlas expedition micro-cruises to Svalbard run from April when there is still lots of snow to September when there is lower light in the sky for atmospheric landscape photography. Cruises vary in length between 8-15 days, and we work with local partner organisations if you want to plan any land-based activities on Longyearbyen around the expedition micro-cruise dates.
There are adventures and wonders to be found on Svalbard’s islands each month. But when planning your trip it’s worth considering what you most want to see and do while you’re there. April and early May are the ideal time to see the archipelago as it emerges from the winter, where you can explore frozen shores and admire snowy mountains from the warmth of the expedition vessel. Cruises between May and August take advantage of the 24-hr daylight, and the sea ice opens up to allow longer cruises and exploring more remote locations – perfect for wildlife watching, and hiking off the beaten track, and finding historic remnants.
From seeing polar bears, walruses, and beluga whales in the wild, to seeing huge glaciers up close, and standing where famous explorers like Roald Amundsen and Umberto Nobile made history – Svalbard is a haven for curious travellers.
Find out more about our Svalbard cruises
Arctic Holidays to See Northern Lights and Whales
Join us for a winter holiday to Norway and witness one of the most incredible natural phenomena on Earth – the northern lights (aurora borealis). The city of Tromsø is one of the best places on Earth to see the colourful wonder of the northern lights. It sits in a region known as the auroral oval, with a latitude of almost 70° north and has relatively low-light pollution – ideal conditions for witnessing the northern lights.
Although daylight hours are fairly short in the winter, there’s plenty to explore and witness during the day too. We’ll travel north to beautiful villages and fjords, and there’s a good chance of seeing the mighty Orca (killer whale) as well. Depending on conditions, our expedition micro-cruises are a great opportunity for daily Zodiac landings, with the chance to explore and hike through remote Norwegian villages.
Arctic Holidays to Explore Greenland
Greenland is the largest island in the world. Although it sits within the Kingdom of Denmark, it’s an autonomous country. Despite its large landmass, it has a relatively small population of fewer than 60,000 people, and it’s the most sparsely-populated country on Earth. A holiday to Greenland is the chance to immerse yourself in Arctic landscapes, visit remote settlements, and see soaring glaciers. A huge ice cap is known as the Greenland Ice Sheet (also known as Inland Ice) covers approximately 80 per cent of the country’s landmass.
Our expedition micro-cruises are a great way to encounter incredible wildlife on land and in its waters including humpback whales, narwhals, polar bears, and musk oxen as well as a vast array of birdlife. One of the highlights of our expeditions to Greenland is the chance to meet locals from the tiny capital city of Nuuk (with only 17,000 residents) as well as more remote settlements. Greenland may be extremely cold, but the Greenlandic people are warm and welcoming. Travelling within a group with only 12 guests is a great opportunity to experience local culture in a meaningful, and low-impact way.
Arctic Holidays on a Small Expedition vessel with 12 guests
Smaller vessels like ours are flexible and equipped for big adventures in the Arctic. And adventure is a big part of all expedition micro-cruises. Part of that means we adapt our itineraries and voyage routes to the changing conditions – that could be for better opportunities for shore landings, wildlife watching, capturing incredible Arctic photography or wilderness hiking.
It’s also the chance for a shared experience, in a small group of only 12 guests. Our crew includes veteran expedition leaders, expert guides, and a chef preparing three meals a day, keeping your energy up for activity-filled days in the wild. The Zodiac landing craft will let us explore ashore including observing walrus haul-out sites from a safe and respectful distance.
The expedition vessels are warm, and comfortable, with plenty of communal space as well as decent sized twin or double cabins with mostly en-suite shower rooms. The large decks are perfect for photography, or you can enjoy incredible Arctic scenery from the warmth of the lounge instead.
We work with experts who have made these voyages many times, including world-class photographers who lead our photo tours. All of our wildlife watching strictly follows the rules laid out by The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), to keep guests safe and make sure our expeditions don’t have a negative impact on Arctic wildlife.