Cruise to Arctic

Cruise ship docked near snow-capped mountain

Arctic Cruises: Your guide to cruising the Arctic Circle and beyond

  • Polar bear standing on rock with vibrant flowers nearby
  • Northern Lights above snow-capped mountains
  • Expedition cruise ship cruising through glacier

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Frequently asked questions

Beyond exploring a side of the world that is hard to witness anywhere else, major attractions of an Arctic Cruise include spotting wildlife like polar bears and walruses, exploring remote islands, and experiencing the Midnight Sun or Northern Lights.  

Rumour has it you might even catch a glimpse of Santa’s elves at different times of the year (depending on how good you’ve been, that is).

The Arctic cruising season runs from late June to early September when the ice conditions are most favourable. The limited dates mean cruises sell out fast, so be sure to book in advance to avoid missing out.

Activities often include zodiac excursions, wildlife watching, visits to research stations, and guided hikes on the tundra. Your time onboard will also be spent listening to talks and seminars, or simply gazing out at the white expanse in the hopes of spotting a polar bear or two.

Most Arctic cruise packages include meals onboard, with a focus on hearty and warming food suitable for cold climates. Sounds like a one-way ticket to carb heaven if you ask us.

Yes, there are luxury Arctic cruises available, offering high-end accommodations and amenities combined with expert-led expeditions. Chat with your Flight Centre cruising expert to find the Arctic cruise that meets your needs.

Arctic Cruises usually last from 7 to 14 days, though some expeditions may be longer to explore more remote areas. Keep in mind that transport to the Artic from Australia will also take up a decent chunk of time – so be sure to account for that when planning your itinerary.

You betcha! Arctic cruises offer opportunities to see unique wildlife, including polar bears, seals, whales, and a variety of seabirds from your stateroom balcony and on specific onshore expeditions. We recommend bringing some binoculars and getting your eyes check before you go, that way your peepers are prepped for hours of wildlife spotting. 

A bikini, some sunscreen and maybe a good book… are probably what not to pack when you’re heading to the Artic. Instead, make sure you’re loaded up with essential items like warm and waterproof clothing, binoculars for wildlife viewing, and a camera with a good zoom. 

Some cruises do offer a polar plunge, so maybe a bikini will come in handy after all?

Some cruises offer visits to indigenous communities, providing insight into local cultures and lifestyles. Check with your unique itinerary to confirm what is included on your cruise.

Common departure points like Longyearbyen (Svalbard) and Reykjavik (Iceland) are accessible via international flights. Don’t stress though, we’ll happily take care of all the details so you can arrive in the Arctic ready to explore.

Flight Centre

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Lowest Airfare Guarantee is no longer valid at Flight Centre stores in New Zealand as of Thursday 14 July 2022. Click here for more information.

A Travel Expert Service Fee will be applied to bookings made in store, over the phone or via email, and is charged in addition to the advertised price. Click here for more information.

*Travel restrictions & conditions apply. Review any specific conditions stated and our general terms at Terms and Conditions. Prices & taxes are in NZD and are correct as at the date of publication & are subject to availability and change without notice. Prices quoted are on sale until the dates specified unless otherwise stated or sold out prior. Prices are per person.