Discover Arctic's Wonders on Board an Extraordinary Cruise

Discover Arctic's Wonders on Board an Extraordinary Cruise

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For a long time confined to the realms of mystery and imagination, the Great North today reveals all its splendor and its virgin and impressive landscapes through exceptional cruises, out of time.

Whether you are a travel lover, a scientist or an enthusiast of unique environments, the Arctic expeditions attract a varied public, in search of sensations, change of scenery, and exception. And what better way to experience this than aboard one of the most prestigious ships fleet? it's time to be tempted by an Arctic cruise on

A brief history of voyages to the polar circle doors

The lands north of the Arctic Circle have long been coveted, but their difficult access conditions and environment prevented many adventurers from treading these lands.

The first successful explorer was the Greek Pytheas, who managed to reach Iceland in 300 BC. It is only centuries later that polar exploration will be in full swing, led by Scandinavian and Dutch navigators, including Willem Barent who discovered Spitsbergen in the 17th century.

Expeditions, thanks to technological progress, will multiply, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries, whether by sea, by land or by air with Roald Admusen.

The Arctic - Scoresbysund in eastern Greenland

What do do during an Arctic Cruise? 

1. Discover unique landscapes

The Far North is often considered a hostile, white territory and you might think that there is not much to do there except catch cold. The Arctic lands are full of wonders, whether in terms of landscape, flora and fauna or culture.

For example, you can discover these imposing glaciers, which cover a majority of the land, in Scandinavia, Iceland or Canada. If you are not enchanted by ice as far as the eye can see, you can always opt for the discovery of volcanic Iceland, and in particular of its volcano, Kirkjufell, which is located only a few kilometers from Reykjavik. Symbol of the power of nature, this place is full of mysticism and offers a breathtaking panorama.

Still in the volcano spirit, you can discover the Aleutian Islands, a string of volcanic islands, the northernmost remnant of the Pacific Ring of Fire, which extends over more than 2,000 kilometers southwest of Alaska, the end of the world! Unlike the tropical volcanic islands, they offer a diametrically different landscape, raw, untamed, in the heart of which a varied fauna and flora thrives.

2. Keep your eyes open to observe a great variety of wildlife

In the heart of the Arctic Circle, many species can be observed, including the famous Greenland whales. You may have the chance to witness the dance of these majestic animals and the largest mammals of our time. No less than 8 whale species live in these waters. With a bit of luck, you may even cross paths with seals, narwhals and other orcas.

Exploring the Arctic also means following in the footsteps of the king of these lands, the mighty polar bear. This great predator scours the ice floes and the land north of Spitsbergen, Canada and Russia in search of tasty prey, including seals, reindeer and sometimes even Arctic foxes. At the end of your expedition, the Arctic fauna and flora will no longer hold any secrets for you.

arctic polar bear

3. Play the explorer, in the footsteps of your illustrious predecessors

During your journey, you will have the chance to relive the different epics undertaken by daring explorers, a few centuries before you. What better place to imbibe their stories and relive the most exciting moments of their quests?

Immerse yourself in the rich history of these places, from the Viking conquests to the exploits of the English navigator James Cook to the daring and no less dangerous first passage of Roald Amundsen's famous "North West Passage". He was the first man to link the Pacific and Atlantic oceans by the north in 1906 by sailing along the coasts of Alaska and Canada.

4. Immerse yourself in local myths and cultures

These cold lands are not only populated by animals. Indeed, for more than 4000 years, the Inuit people have been living in these territories, from Alaska to Greenland.

You will be able to listen to the stories and myths of the Inuit people, eager to share their history and heritage, who perpetuate to this day ancestral and millenary traditions.

You will understand how these people have survived for thousands of years in this hostile and frigid land with techniques, practices and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. It will also be an opportunity to see how today's issues significantly impact their communities and their way of life.

ponant cruise in the arctic

But...can an Arctic cruise be sustainable?

As you may already know, the tourism industry has a strong impact on the environment and one may wonder about the sustainability of a cruise in such fragile, remote and untouched environments.

Some companies do not propose programs or measures to understand, analyze and reduce their impact. Others take the opposite path and try to make these expeditions as harmless as possible, while allowing the local communities to benefit from the economic spin-offs.

This is the case of PONANT, which is committed to both the environmental and human aspects, through a series of measures and commitments that you can find on their website. We can cite some of the measures implemented to reduce the ecological impact of these cruises:

  • Reduction of CO2 emissions
  • abandonment of heavy fuel oil
  • implementation of environmental impact studies
  • limitation of the speed of the ships
  • limitation and recovery of waste
  • participation in scientific research and wildlife protection programs

Cruises on PONANT ships also take into account the human aspect.

  • Itineraries are defined in consultation with local authorities, NGOs and Inuit peoples
  • Awareness campaigns are conducted with the crew, guides and passengers to respect local traditions and not to "defile" the places visited
  • Partnerships with local communities are set up to participate in their economic development, notably through the PONANT Foundation, which supports innovative initiatives and promotes exchanges between Arctic peoples and Western economic actors.
ponant cruise in the arctic


The Great North is calling you and there is surely no place more remote and wild. Long inaccessible, these doors are now open to nature lovers and thrill seekers. During your stay, you will be able to live many adventures, visit breathtaking places and sites for their beauty or their history, but also admire the wildlife. Be sure to look at the history and commitments of the company that will accompany you on your expedition, to ensure that your impact will be minimal, if not positive for the local communities

Credit: Courtesy of Studio PONANT - Servane Roy-Berton, Mathieu Gesta, Nathalie Michèl and Laurence Fischer

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Baptiste is an adventurer with a passion for urban and wilderness exploration and adventure, and a lover of vintage objects with timeless charm. As a Founding member of the Eiken team, he tries to share his passion and expertise for travel and vintage fashion through his articles.

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