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Best time to visit the Arctic

The Arctic is one of the most fascinating and awe-inspiring regions on Earth, known for its stunning landscapes, unique wildlife, and rugged wilderness. But with its extreme climate and remote location, it can be challenging to determine the best time to visit. Read on for all the answers…

Visiting the Arctic is a truly unique and unforgettable experience. From the otherworldly landscapes and wildlife to the extreme climate and remote wilderness, it is one of the world's most awe-inspiring destinations. Witness the incredible Northern Lights, spot iconic polar bears, and explore the vast, untouched wilderness on an adventure of a lifetime.

The Arctic region experiences two distinct seasons – summer (April – September) and winter. We only take guests to the Arctic in summer, the most popular time for tourists to visit. In summer, the Arctic enjoys almost 24-hour daylight, providing ample time for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The average temperature during summer hovers around 32°F, making it the most comfortable time to visit.

Walruses relaxing in Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway in the Arctic
Walruses relaxing by the Arctic waters of Svalbard, Norway

One of the highlights of visiting the Arctic during summer is the opportunity to witness incredible wildlife. This is the time when many species migrate northward to breed and feed in the bountiful Arctic waters. Visitors can witness massive gatherings of walruses, herds of reindeer, and pods of whales. It's also the perfect time to observe the iconic polar bears, who are known to hunt and roam around the sea ice during this season.

Another reason to visit the Arctic during summer is the variety of activities that are available. Visitors can take part in guided wildlife tours, kayaking expeditions, and hiking excursions to explore the vast, untouched wilderness.

April and May

Polar bear playing, spotted on an Arctic cruise
A precious polar bear playing by itself. (Photo: Destination Expert, Adam Laughter)

This is when the sea ice begins to break up, creating open water channels that allow for easier navigation. It’s a great time for Arctic cruises, which offer the chance to explore the stunning landscapes and wildlife of the Arctic from the comfort of a ship. Visitors can witness the incredible sight of icebergs and glaciers, as well as spot wildlife such as seals and whales.

June and July

These are the peak months for visiting the Arctic, with long days and comfortable temperatures. During this time, visitors can take part in a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and kayaking. This is also the best time to spot polar bears, as they roam around the sea ice in search of food.

August and September

Northern lights or Aurora borealis in the Arctic
The aurora borealis is truly one of the most spectacular natural phenomenon.

The Arctic is now beginning to prepare for winter, with the sea ice starting to freeze once again. This is a great time to witness the incredible sight of the Northern Lights, which can be seen in the Arctic during the winter months.

Whether you're looking for a thrilling adventure or a relaxing vacation, the Arctic promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, providing a truly unforgettable glimpse into one of the world's most remote and beautiful destinations.

Keen to see what all the fuss is about? Check out our most popular Arctic cruises. Or speak to a Destination Expert about curating an Arctic adventure of your own making.

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