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Specializing in Antarctica Travel and Arctic Cruises since 1996

Polar Cruises is the expert in small-ship travel to Antarctica and the Arctic. We are uniquely qualified to help you plan your polar expedition to the most pristine wilderness areas on earth.

Since 1991, our staff has participated in voyages to the Antarctic and Arctic regions as Expedition Trip Leaders, Naturalists, Program and Operations Managers, and passengers. Polar Cruises staff knows the ships and trips from personal experience because we travel to Antarctica and the Arctic every season.

Many tour companies run Antarctica cruises and Arctic adventures, offering a wide range of polar travel options, itineraries, dates and prices. We evaluate the quality of the ships, operations, tour programs and companies, and provide polar cruise ship information and expedition trip reviews. Then we talk to you about your travel preferences and book the best polar vacation for you. Pick a few polar vacations and tours that interest you. Then call us:

Toll-Free at 888-484-2244 or 1-541-330-2454 from outside the U.S. or Canada.

Differences between Antarctica and the Arctic RegionsAntarcticaArcticContinent surrounded by waterOcean surrounded by continents & Greenland2% ice freeLimited land iceSea ice mainly annual, salty, and less than 2 meters thick (6 ½ ft.)Sea ice mainly multi-year, low in salinity and more than 2 meters thick (6 ½ ft.)Marine mammals (whale and seal); no terrestrial mammalsTerrestrial mammals (reindeer, wolf, musk ox, hare, lemming, fox); marine mammals (whale, seal, polar bear, walrus)Penguins & less than 20 bird speciesMore than 100 bird speciesLichensAbout 90 flowering plant species


Antarctica is the southern polar region, and the Arctic is the northern polar region. Polar regions have extremely cold, harsh climates that require plants and animals to adapt in interesting ways.

What’s the key difference between the regions? Antarctica is a continent surrounded by ocean, while the Arctic is an ocean almost completely surrounded by land. 

Arctic ice is typically thicker than Antarctica ice (6 - 10 ft and in some places 12-15 ft). However, with water under it, some of the water’s heat escapes through the ice. Even in winter, some of the ice breaks up and releases ocean heat to warm the air. The Arctic receives relatively warm water from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. 

Most of Antarctica is covered by a few thousand feet of ice – though there is some geothermal heat beneath the ice, that heat can’t escape. The Southern Ocean surrounds Antarctica, and winds from its strong storms help create an ocean current that circles the continent. This reduces the amount of warm water that reaches the land. The result? The Antarctic region is colder than the Arctic.


A leader in Arctic travel, Polar Cruises provides trip planning services, cruise reviews, vacation recommendations and prices for cruises to the various Arctic regions, including the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Spitsbergen, Alaska and the Russian Far East.

Vast and spectacular, the Arctic reaches from Russia's Far East to Spitsbergen to Arctic Norway. Covered in ice pack for most of the year, it is during the short summer months we are offered the opportunity to witness the diverse scenery, unusual wildlife and interesting peoples the Arctic has to offer. Whether it is an adventure into history, an exploration of natural wonders, or a look at rare and amazing cultures, there is a voyage for everyone in the land of the midnight sun.

The High Arctic is best explored from July to September, as the pack ice recedes. From the decks of huge ice breakers to Luxury Cruise Ships to 50 passenger converted research ships, there's a lot to explore. Polar bears, walrus, seals, and even Arctic foxes haunt the ice edge, while millions of seabirds breed and raise their young on ledges and barren islands. Remote villages, icebergs and magnificent scenery and historic sites make for unforgettable vacations. 

Arctic Destinations

Spitsbergen, Greenland-East, Greenland-West,Iceland, Northwest Passage, North Pole, Canadian Arctic, Newfoundland and Labrador, Russian Far East 

Polar Cruise Line  travel to Antarctica every year to review Antarctica cruises and tours for you – it’s our job to evaluate the quality of the ships, operations, programs and companies and then pass that information on to you.

Antarctica Ships Luxury Expedition Ships (75-200 Passenger Range)

Luxury Class doesn’t have to do with the size of the ship, but rather the class of travel. A luxury ship to Antarctica offers luxurious accommodations, spacious public spaces and lounges, and Five-Star amenities such as a TV/VCR, mini-refrigerator, choice of bed type (twin or queen), elevator, as well as Butler Service and verandas in select cabin types. It carries you in style to the most remote wilderness destination in the world.

You do not need to trade comfort for safety and adventure. Luxury ships to Antarctica still come with ice-strengthened hulls, active stabilizers for motion control, sophisticated navigation equipment, ample Zodiacs for landings, expert expedition staff and lecturers, an experienced crew and wait staff. This type of ship provides you with an Antarctic experience with luxury accommodations.

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