2 Destination Guide - 1 Arctic

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The Arctic Circle encompasses a vast and diverse area of the world. Touching three continents and comprised of several regions including Northern Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Spitsbergen and Northern Russia, the Arctic, unlike any other place, offers visitors a broad spectrum of cultures, landscapes and wildlife.

The Arctic Summer runs June to September and is a time of mild temperatures and long days of sunlight, which breath new life into the area after a long winter. Whether you leave from North America, Europe or Russia, it’s only a matter of days before you find yourself in a place ripe with opportunities for adventure. Set sail on Hanse Explorer and follow in the footsteps of legendary explorer Roald Amundsen as you sail the Arctic Ocean through the renowned North West Passage. Hear stories of the Inuit people of Northern Canada and Greenland and learn how they maintain their traditional way of life. Enter a world of midnight sun, iridescent icebergs and majestic fjords as you discover the rugged beauty of Norway. As the ship cruises comfortably through pack ice be on the lookout for polar bears, walrus colonies, seals, albatrosses and beluga whales.

A trip through the diverse and extreme beauty of the Arctic is a rare journey where the places, people and wildlife encounters far exceed expectations. Spotting a humpback whale breaking through the ocean’s surface, walking upon an ancient glacier or witnessing an ice shelf calving are truly breathtaking experiences leaving you with the gift of memories that you’ll treasure forever.

Points of Interest

  • Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago. Known for its polar bear population, Spitsbergen is also home to the Arctic fox, Svalbard reindeer, whales, harp seals and walruses. Majestic fjords, rugged coastal mountains and calving glaciers make up the stunning landscape of this area. The midnight sun in the summer months makes it an ideal time for wildlife viewing and photography.
  • East of Spitsbergen, you’ll find Franz Josef Land an archipelago in the far north of Russia. Home to the campsites of past explorers, research stations and military outposts, this area has a rich history and has many stories to tell. Wildlife includes walrus, Arctic foxes, polar bears, seals and beluga whales.
  • The Northwest Passage is a famous sea route from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean that consisting of a series of deep channels through Canada’s Arctic islands. The passage has attracted explorers for decades and is an area full of mystery, intrigue and history. Half of the world’s polar bears are located on Canadian ice and sightings are frequent. Landings in places like Baffin Island and Greenland offer rare exchanges with the Inuit people of these regions.
  • The Northern Sea Route, also known as the Northeast Passage, runs along the Russian Arctic coast and traverses the entire distance between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Visit exotic Siberia and several groups of islands to see polar bears, musk oxen and reindeer.
  • Greenland is the world’s largest island offering visitors an opportunity to experience the connection between nature and culture. The Inuit people thrive here among the polar bears, reindeer, whales and musk oxen. Travel to the west where you can visit dog sledding settlements or take a trip to the east and see towering glaciers and fjords. Hike through valleys lush with wildflowers or take a tundra hike over glaciers. Afterward, enjoy the natural hot springs under the midnight sun.