A journey to the Arctic or Antarctic is unlike anything else on earth. 

Regardless of whether you're visiting the southern or northern extremes of our planet, there's something about these white landscapes that captures the imaginations of even the most hardened travellers. Nothing will prepare for the peaceful remoteness that awaits as you cruise to the extremes of the earth and discover great white landscapes full of icy inlets and frozen coves. Experience the rush of setting foot on some of the world's most isolated terrain, witness brilliant natural phenomena and come to terms with the sheer size and scale of the globe's polar regions. An Arctic or Antarctic Cruise is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience you'll remember forever. 

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Browse our range of polar expeditions

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Capture the essence of the Antarctic Peninsula and its incredible islands aboard the...

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Set off on an 11-day expedition on board the Ocean Endeavour, revealing the landscapes...

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This is one Christmas you’ll never forget – journey to Antarctica on board the Ocean...

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Take an adventure of a lifetime to the Antarctic and beyond. Cross the Antarctic Circle...

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Experience the rare opportunity to explore both the eastern and western sides of the...

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Embark on a 21-day Intrepid expedition including the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia...

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Explore South Georgia, the Antarctic Peninsula and the Falkland Islands with Intrepid...

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Take to Antarctica on an 12-day expedition on board the Ocean Endeavour via Puntas...

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Spend 12 incredible days on board the Ocean Endeavour navigating the spectacular...

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Traverse the untamed coastline of Greenland and Northern Canada on board the Ocean...

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Explore the wild coastline of Northern Canada and Greenland on board the Ocean...

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Embark on an Arctic expedition to remote parts of Canada and Greenland – in search of...

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The Northwest Passage, Smith Sound, the islands of the Canadian Arctic and Greenland –...

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Take your photography skills to the next level on a cruise around pristine Spitsbergen...

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Cruise to three Arctic Islands – Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland – on this 15-day...

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Cruise to four Arctic Islands – Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Greenland and Iceland – on this...

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Breathe in the crisp Arctic air and discover Spitsbergen, the largest island in Norway...

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Discover the Arctic wonders of Svalbard on this polar cruising adventure around...

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See all the highlights of the east, south and west coasts on this Arctic voyage around...

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Discover the fjords of Southern Greenland on this nine-day expedition, flying in and...

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Embark on an expedition that seeks the essential sights and sites of the Canadian High...

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Head north on a 12-day Arctic expedition towards Canada’s most northerly islands,...

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Take a voyage across the Arctic Circle via the Svalbard Archipelago and north-east...

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Departing from Helsinki, explore incredible Spitsbergen in search of polar bears,...

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From Helsinki, experience the wonders of Spitsbergen, East Greenland and Iceland on a...

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An Arctic expedition through East Greenland and Iceland is the perfect opportunity to...

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Join Intrepid and special guests from the World Wildlife Fund-Australia’s whale...

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Join Intrepid and special guests from the World Wildlife Fund – Australia’s whale...

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Follow the whales of Antarctica as they migrate south on this 11-day expedition cruise,...

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See all the highlights of the east, south and west coasts on this Arctic voyage around...

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Grab your camera and capture the incredible wildlife and landscapes of Svalbard on this...

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Embark on an Arctic expedition to Scotland, Denmark and Spitsbergen.

Things to do on a polar expedition

A man staring out at the calm waters of Drake Passage from aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Survive the Drake Passage

Many might think the hardest part about travelling to Antarctica is 1) deciding to go and 2) paying the expense, but it’s actually crossing the notorious and legendary Drake Passage. Known to feature waves of up to 26 feet high, this sea crossing is one of the roughest passages in the world and won’t hesitate to test your endurance and stamina levels, as well as your stomach’s strength. 

A group of travellers on a zodiac boat at the North Pole 90 degrees sign with the expedition ship in the background.

Visit the mythical North Pole

There’s simply something about the North Pole that makes it irresistible to avid adventurers. Whether it’s the vast, white nothingness that surrounds you, the chance of spotting Santa Claus and his reindeer dashing over the snow, or the immense satisfaction that comes with saying ‘I’m standing on top of the world’ – the North Pole is a destination so surreal you’ll think you dreamed it. 

A group of travellers kayaking over the icy waters of Antarctica with iceberg formations in the background.

Kayak through the icy Antarctic waters

While you can still get relatively close to the Antarctic wilderness from aboard the Ocean Endeavour, a speedy zodiac, or on land itself, there’s nothing quite like gently making your way over the ocean’s ice-clogged surface on a kayak. Fully immerse yourself in the wonders of this region by paddling through the freezing waters, taking in the sheer size and stature of floating icebergs and glistening glaciers along the way.  

The blue/green colours of the Northern Lights in Finland.

Watch the Aurora Borealis light up the sky

Whether you’re watching from the back of a dogsled in Greenland or from the deck of the Ocean Adventurer in Norway, the natural phenomenon that is the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) will capture your travel-loving heart in ways that nothing else will. While there’s a scientific way to explain the dancing colours, once you set your sights on them, you’ll believe they’re nothing short of a miracle.  

Polar expedition reviews

Polar regions to explore

Seal lays on ice in Antarctica

Antarctica

Antarctica is one of the few places in the world that still exists in pretty much its natural state. Venture to the southernmost tip of the planet to watch penguins courting as far as the eye can see, seals sleeping on ice floes and whales blowing water as they surface. Conquer the Drake Passage and set your eyes on dramatic contrasts while learning about a place that has united countries and belongs to no one.  

Browse our Antarctica expeditions

Cliff face is illuminated at sunset in the Arctic

The Arctic

Realm of the mighty polar bear and the renowned Northern Lights – the Arctic Circle is the final frontier before the long journey to the North Pole. It’s a challenging world populated by musk oxen, walruses and narwhals; where communities have a long history of surviving off the sea. Explore untouched coastal areas, icy oceans and tiny settlements and discover one of the most biologically diverse parts of the world.

Browse our Arctic expeditions

Activities in Antarctica

Make your Antarctica experience even better by participating in some once-in-a-lifetime activities. Offered on the majority of our trips, these activities will push your boundaries and take you out of your comfort zone so you can get the most out of this wild and unforgettable destination.

Wildlife in the Arctic

Boasting one of the most diverse regions in the world, the Arctic is home to hundreds of animal species from the mighty polar bear to the distinctive snowy owl. And you've got a front-row seat. Here's a small glimpse of what you can expect to see on your Arctic adventure. 

Find out more about animals in the Arctic here.

Why choose Intrepid

Well-equipped ships

Our ships are well-equipped to deal with the harsh environment of Antarctica and safety is our biggest priority. Each vessel has modern conveniences and provides the perfect platform for Antarctic exploration.

Expert leaders

Our experienced leaders have made hundreds of polar voyages. Learn about the history, geography and wildlife of the Antarctic from experts in the field, including naturalists and ornithologists who are always ready to answer questions.

Daily excursions

We run frequent excursions to get up-close to wildlife, allowing you to experience what it’s like exploring onshore. Each shore day includes two excursions with our leaders exploring the sea ice, ready to encounter any wildlife that may waiting. You’ll be given life vests, waterproof jackets and waterproof boots for the duration of the activities. 

Full board

All cruises provide three course meals, 24-hour tea and coffee, and main activities including Zodiac excursions, onboard seminars and shore landings. Our chefs know just how to warm you up after your Antarctic outing, just be ready for a second serving!

Safety

All of our ships and operations teams undergo strict safety audits. We are committed to upholding the highest safety standards on all our trips operating within the Antarctic region.

Sustainable travel

We strive to use travel as a force for good. That’s why we choose to give back to the communities we visit, carbon offset all our trips and take our social and environmental responsibilities seriously. We’ve been officially certified as the world’s largest travel B Corp, which means when you choose Intrepid Travel, you can rest assured you’re travelling to improve the planet.

Your home on the sea

Travellers on board the expedition ship during an Intrepid tour in the Arctic

We know you want to be as comfortable as possible while cruising on board, which is why we’ve chosen vessels equipped with modern conveniences that make each voyage a true pleasure. Each ship boasts onboard chefs to prepare a range of hearty, quality meals, and onboard experts to ensure you spend more time seeing the sights and less time thumbing through a guidebook.

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Polar ships

Arctic FAQs

A group of travellers walking on land in the Northwest Passage on a sunny day

When is the best time to visit the Arctic?

The best time to visit the Arctic region is during the high summer season (between June and September) as the weather is warmer and it is more enjoyable to spend long periods of time outside.

Read more about the best time to visit the Arctic

The side of a boat as it sails through through the Northwest passage

What is the weather like in the Arctic?

It's generally cold in the Arctic but the summer season does see temperatures rise above freezing and most people find being outside tolerable and sometimes enjoyable.

Read more about weather in the Arctic

A group of travellers standing on the deck of the ship, looking out at the sunset over the Arctic

What should I wear in the Arctic?

Packing for the Arctic may seem daunting but as long as you pack heaps of layers, socks, gloves, beanies, and other cold weather clothing, you should be well prepared.

Read more about what to wear in the Arctic

A row of colourful houses and their freflections in Greenland on a clear day

Will my mobile work in the Arctic?

Your mobile phone won't work while you're at sea but there are various towns in the Arctic region where mobile coverage is satisfactory, even good.

Read more about mobile phones in the Arctic

The Arctic is located at the northernmost part of the planet, starting from the North Pole (yes, where Santa Claus lives) and extending out in all directions to the edges of the Arctic Circle. 

Click here to read more about the location of the Arctic

The Arctic is considered a polar region but it's made up of areas that belong to the Arctic ocean, a number of other seas and, of course, countries. These countries are Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Canada, Iceland, and the USA. 

Click here to read more about the Arctic

There are several animal species that call the Arctic their home including a variety of sea birds (puffins, common eiders, purple sandpipers and more), whales (minke, bowhead, beluga etc), polar bears, walruses, musk oxen, Arctic wolves, and reindeer. 

Click here to read more about the animals of the Arctic

Antarctica FAQs

A flock of penguins standing on an icy shelf under a cloudy sky in Antarctica

When is the best time to visit Antarctica?

Antarctica is best visited in the summer months from November to March when the weather is warmer and the sea ice has melted enough to get closer to the island shore.

Read more about the best time to visit Antarctica

Travellers standing on the deck of the Ocean Endeavour on a sunny day in Antarctica

What is the weather like in Antarctica?

The climate in Antarctica is the coldest one on Earth with cold summers and freezing winters. The warmest month is January with averages of around 10°C (50°F).

Read more about the weather in Antarctica

A group of travellers sitting in a zodiac boat with big, puffy jackets on

What to wear in Antarctica?

You have to be prepared and thorough when packing for Antarctica due to its remote location. Make sure you bring lots of layers, gloves, sunscreen, and moisturiser among other items.

Read more about what to wear in Antarctica

Two travellers chatting on an Antarctica island under a clear, blue sky

Will my mobile phone work in Antarctica?

Your mobile phone will not work during your Antarctica cruise as the continent is still considered extremely remote and doesn't have the right telecommunication infrastructure in place.

Read more about mobile phones in Antarctica

Ship equipment onboard the Ocean Endeavour

How to choose an Antarctic cruise

Deciding on the Antarctic cruise that suits you best comes down to figuring out the time of year you want to go, the itinerary, and how long you want the cruise to be.

Read more about how to choose an Antarctica cruise

The Ocean Endeavour sailing on the Southern Ocean under a clear sky in Antarctica

How much does a cruise to Antarctica cost?

The cost of an Antarctica cruise largely depends on the departure date, how long the cruise goes for, and the type of cabin you book on the ship but most cruises start from AUD$7,000 (USD$5,000).

Read more about the cost of an Antarctica cruise

Antarctica refers to the seventh continent of the world and is largely situated in the Antarctic Circle - a line of latitude sitting at around 66.5° south of the equator - at the base of the globe. The Antarctic refers to the region made up of south polar zones that include the seas and some outlying islands. 

Read more about the location of Antarctica

Antarctica isn't part of one single country, rather it is a continent governed under a series of recognised guidelines and agreements called the Antarctic Treaty System.

Read more about which country Antarctica is in

Each expedition includes stops at various landing sites around the Antarctic but when you stop at them and for how long often depends on the weather, as well as sea ice and wildlife movement. 

Read more about landing sites in Antarctica

While Antarctica may not be hospitable to human life, there are plenty of animal species that call the seventh continent their home. This includes penguins, whales, sea birds, seals, and more. 

Read more about the animals of Antarctica

See more information in our Arctic Frequently Asked Questions and Antarctica Frequently Asked Questions. 

Read more about polar travel