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An enigmatic landscape and diverse ecosystem, the Arctic is as formidable as it is beautiful. Search for the Northern Lights - according to some legends the spirits of departed ancestors dancing across the night sky - and catch sights of the elusive polar bear. Try and spot an Arctic fox, learn about the fascinating Inuit culture in Greenland and, of course, experience the incredible Midnight Sun in its surreal splendour. The Arctic is also home to blue whales, the largest animal ever to have lived on the planet, and hundreds of species of birds, including guillemots, kittiwakes and Arctic terns, which migrate an incredible 20,000 miles from the Arctic to the Antarctic - and back again - every year!
You will be spellbound by Svalbard, an archipelago where humans are outnumbered by polar bears. The main settlement of Longyearbyen is the world's most northerly city, where the sun doesn't set for 4 months each year during the summer. Less appealing, there are 4 months during the winter when the sun barely rises. Svalbard rather understandably claims various 'most northerly' records, two of the more quirky being the northernmost blues festival and statue of Lenin! Spitsbergen, the largest island on the Svalbard archipelago, translates as 'rugged mountains' - unimaginative perhaps but entirely apt.
Discover Jan Mayen Island, a volcanic island emerging out of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, named after a Dutch explorer even though it had been discovered (and even rediscovered!) on several occasions before the aforementioned Dutch seafarer reached the island in 1614 while trying to establish Dutch whaling in the North Atlantic. An early decision by the League of Nations was to transfer Jan Mayen Island to Norwegian sovereignty around 100 years ago. The only inhabitants now are Norwegian military personnel and members of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.
There are many itineraries to choose from with our tour operator partners, including Hurtigruten, Great Rail Journeys, G Adventures and Insight Vacations. Let our experienced Sales team guide you to an unforgettable journey that perfectly matches your requirements.
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