Across the top of the Asian continent is the legendary Northeast Passage, until recently the domain of nuclear-powered icebreakers for most of the year, but thanks to climate change, can be ice-free in summer. From Wrangel Island, with the world’s highest density of polar bear dens, traverse the Arctic Ocean, setting foot in places few people have ever visited including the Medvedie and Novosibirskie Islands, Severnaya and Novaya Zemlyas and Franz Joseph Land. These are wild places, inhabited by polar bears, walrus, seabirds like tufted puffins and rhinoceros auklets, and Russian scientists who live in weather-worn stations left over from the Cold War.
No matter which continent you choose, one other significant difference between the Antarctic and the Arctic are the polar bears. Marine mammals that spend most of their lives on Arctic Ocean sea ice, they hunt seals, walrus, even whales in the frigid waters and come ashore to give birth to their cubs.
Whenever we enter of Ice Bear’s domain, your specialist Discovery Team expedition leader and members carry bear deterrents ranging from rifles and flare pistols to pepper spray (depending on local regulations). Landing areas will be carefully marked with flags showing the limits of where you can go. Whether on land or on the ship, your safety is our priority.
As well as Arctic destinations, here are some seasonal highlights to help you decide which voyage to choose: