Visiting the world’s northernmost regios by yacht promises to be an experience like no other. An unfathomable expanse of icebergs, extraordinary wildlife, glittering glaciers and frozen ravines, the Arctic has fast become the world’s hottest (or rather, coldest) new explorer yachting spot.
The Arctic typically describes the North Pole as well as a cluster of regions including parts of Alaska, Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. Slightly more accessible than its southern counterpart, the Arctic Sea makes for sublime cruising, littered with sea ice and unreal areas of natural beauty.
Remote conditions have fostered these areas of extreme natural beauty, forming large parts of their appeal - but for these reasons, guests looking to visit the Arctic by superyacht should be sure to take extra precautions.
Modern explorer yachts are equipped with an arsenal of features which ready them for the brutal conditions of the Arctic. Ice-class hulls, sheltered spaces and wide beams are common visible features on explorer yachts, but unbeknownst to the inexperienced eye, these vessels also come with huge amounts of storage space for supplies and safety equipment. Plan your routes well in advance, discuss it with your charter manager, and consider bringing an experienced guide with you on your trip.
There are several popular cruising routes to discover the Arctic. Delve into the sublime abyss of the Central Arctic Ocean, also known as the ‘Arctic Donut Hole’, or take a week-long trip around the scenic coast of Finland or Greenland. Icelandic routes offer tantalising hot-spring stop-offs, while accessing the Arctic from Alaska is most popular for those on the other side of the Atlantic.
Every landscape and creature in the North Pole will thrill and excite, while the responsibility of protecting and preserving these pristine frozen deserts will alter your mindset forever.
Unlike Antarctica, the North Pole is the only place where the renowned and endangered polar bear species can be found, making an Arctic trip truly unforgettable for the chance to see one of these incredible creatures in its native habitat. Also native to the region are reindeer, Arctic foxes, narwhals and walrus. Visitors should take heed though; while they may seem cute in popular culture, polar bears are one of the few animals who regard humans as prey.
It is important to visit the North Pole in the right season, as the consequence could be getting stuck in sea-ice and spending an enforced winter of 8 months in the region.
The ‘summer’ period for the Arctic is short-lived, beginning in June and typically cooling down around August and September. Even in summer periods the Arctic is bitter cold and will still experience snow, but is more hospitable to superyacht visits.
Temperatures remain around 0 degrees Celsius however in regions by the sea, and despite the region experiencing 24 hours of sunlight, differences between day and night temperatures remain perceptible due to the sun’s position in the sky.