Choosing the right Arctic ship for you

Our team at Swoop Arctic have over 50 years of experience in polar cruises and can guide you towards the ship that’ll suit you best. Get started with our quick tips then give us a call for expert advice.

  1. Make a list of what matters most to you - is it size of ship, passenger capacity, stability, comfort level or activities on offer?
  2. Medium sized ships (for 80 to 116 passengers) are popular and there’s a wide range to choose from. These don’t feel too big but have generous public areas and a good choice of cabins.
  3. Smaller ships (for less than 80 people) offer a more intimate experience. It’s easier to board and disembark, and everyone can land at once.
  4. For stability, larger ships are the best bet as they perform better in rough seas.
  5. Comfort levels on all Arctic ships have improved over the last decade; you can now enjoy an adventure without the hardship. Selected cruises come with spa facilities, balcony suites, gourmet dining, and even butler service.
  6. Many expeditions offer adventure activities including diving, snorkeling, kayaking and photography. Let us know your interests and we’ll find the cruise that incorporates those activities.

Choosing the right Arctic cruise ship for you

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Swoop says

Look beyond the style of the ships and consider some of the hidden qualities. Are the engines quiet enough to get you closer to the wildlife? How strong is the hull? Is it stable if the seas get rough? All are important aspects that can make a good trip a great one.

Comfort and adventure ships

These expedition vessels are spacious and boast a range of options - top cabins often have balconies and there will be more of a focus on hotel style service onboard. You can still expect daily landings and adventure options during your expedition.

Ultramarine - Arctic Ship


Elegant lines, contemporary styling, onboard helicopters, spacious balconied cabins and a wide range of adventure activities; this ship is Ultra by name and ultra by nature. …

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Hondius - Arctic Ship


​Hondius​ is custom-made for Polar exploration and carries up to 170 guests in a range of cabins. Large deck space for viewing and comfortable observation loungers plus the …

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Janssonius - Arctic Ship


Expect a first class Arctic cruise on this vessel which tackles the most challenging of polar voyages with flexibility, elegance and comfort. A purpose buiilt expedition vessel …

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Sylvia Earle - Arctic Ship


This state-of-the-art ship honours the highly accomplished marine biologist and oceanographer, Sylvia Earle and launched in 2021. Sister ship to the Greg Mortimer, this ship …

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Roald Amundsen

Roald Amundsen

Potential could be this ship's middle name. Few can compete with it's ability to traverse the full Northwest Passage and carry out landings with specialist guides.

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MS Fram

MS Fram

Fully refurbished for the 2020 season, the MS Fram combines advanced technology with a wide choice of cabins, green credentials, and a new Science Centre.

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Ben says

Its a simple equation for me: if you're on a decent ship with a highly experienced crew your chances of seeing wildlife increase significantly.

Ben Rowley Arctic Consultant

Authentic expedition ships

These ships are workhorses, often ex-research vessels and capable of getting almost anywhere. Functional and practical onboard, their 'rough around the edges' feel often adds to their heaps of character. The landings, though, are really what trips on these ships are all about.

M/S Quest - Arctic Ship


Purpose built to navigate ice-choked waters of Greenland this brilliant little ship makes and incredible platform for her 53 passengers to explore the Arctic from.

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Sailing ships

Sailing through Arctic waters in near silence is an astounding experience that few people encounter. These two schooners offer you that opportunity.

Luxury ships

At the very top of the luxury scale with impeccable service on board and all the facilities you would expect from any super-yacht cruise ship. Alongside the grandeur, you can expect to be pulling on your boots and coats for daily excursions as you sail the frozen north.

Le Commandant Charcot

Le Commandant Charcot

Travel in luxurious surroundings on board this purpose built ice breaker. Designed to minimise the environmental impact of travel while maximising the expedition approach.

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Cassia says

We've all got our favourite style of ship and for me it is all about being out on the deck so that is what I prioritise. Although a little bit of luxury never goes amiss!

Cassia Jackson Polar Specialist

Our top trips to the Arctic

Adventure into the frozen north on one of our favourite Arctic cruises.

How We Can Help You

We'll guide you throughout your Arctic journey - from making the right choices when booking, to packing the correct clothing and equipment - offering sound, impartial advice and support at every stage.

  1. Find Your Perfect Expedition

    We work with all the main Arctic small ship operators, offering more than 30 different vessels and 60 Arctic voyages and land-based expeditions.

  2. Help you decide when to take your trip of a lifetime

    We can help you decide which month will suit you best and advise when to start planning ahead for the best choice of trips and voyages.

  3. Arrange your pre and post-Arctic travel

    We'd be pleased to help advise you on flights.

Ready to Book Your Arctic Adventure?



We'll spend some time listening to your aspirations, then discuss the kind of experience that might suit you.



Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.



We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.

Our team of experts are ready to help you with any questions about a trip to the Arctic. Call us now to start your journey.