Arctic Cruise to Frozen Paradise

The North Pole brings to mind a stark land of cold, snow, and polar bears (and perhaps visions of Santa and Mrs. Claus and a group of hard-working elves). Visiting this remote region is a trip of adventure, as you cruise through chilly seas reflecting the high blue sky and scattered with drifting ice. In the summers, the ice pack that covers the North Pole diminishes, making it easier for ships to come near the pole.

Those who take an Arctic cruise may think of the many expeditions that tried—and failed—to reach the elusive 90°. This includes the doomed American Polaris expedition in 1871 and Fridtjof Nansen’s near success in 1895, as well as Robert Peary’s disputed claim of victory in 1909, and Roald Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth’s undisputed sight of the Pole from a plane in 1926.

A cruise through the Arctic Ocean means experiencing the region of the midnight sun, where summers have no sunset and winters have no dawn. Such travel also means the chance to see exotic wildlife, from giant albatrosses to tiny puffins, from beluga whales to long-horned narwhals, and from long-tusked walruses to polar bears whose white coats make them invisible against the ice. Visitors to the Arctic will come to agree that this remote part of the world is a slightly chilly version of paradise.