Reasons to travel by land

  • Go at your own pace, with dedicated guides
  • Reach parts of the Arctic that cruise passengers would never come close to
  • Avoid groups and spend more time with local people, experiencing their culture and traditions
  • Enjoy a real sense of adventure, where opportunities arise as you go
  • Stay in a wide range of accommodation; from luxury hotels to remote campsites
  • Tailor your trip to focus on an area of specific interest
  • Use our knowledge to book local guides who will enhance your trip

Where to go

Greenland

Just the name, Greenland, conjures up some magical images in the mind. Unfathomablly big fjord systems filled with massive icebergs, colourful settlements alive with fascinating culture, and of course the ice cap that crushes the land on which it sits.

Greenland is open to ships for just a short window from July to September, but to the land traveller, it's open all year round. Winter months offer dog sledding, ice fishing and snowmobiling across the frozen fjords, before walking out under the Aurora Borealis. 

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The freezing conditions give way to the relative warmth of spring and summer when trekking becomes serious and arctic char, salmon and trout head upstream. Kayaking and camping is an option during the summer too, with options across west, south and east Greenland to consider.

A night out on the ice cap is something no one could forget, or, for the serious adventurer, there is also the opportunity to cross its entirety. For us, Greenland is the ultimate Arctic destination, offering something at almost any time of the year.

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Svalbard

Best known for boat-based expeditions in search of polar bears, Svalbard is little known for its land-based adventures, but there are many to choose from.

For short sharp breaks in winter, Svalbard becomes a playground for dog sledding and some serious snowmobiling, as well as visits to ice caves or abandoned coal mines.

The northern lights are often spotted above the hills and the heart of winter gives you an opportunity to experience 24-hour darkness in the relative comfort of good hotels.

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Summer in Svalbard is undoubtedly dominated by the ships, but that does not preclude land-based travel with the Russian mining towns of Pyramiden and Barentsburg making fascinating places to visit. The presence of polar bears is a very real threat and that makes serious trekking in Svalbard a specialist activity, but shorter hikes from Longyearbyen will gain you some incredible views.

With the channels mostly free of ice you can also head out on daily whale watching cruises or go kayaking. A favourite of ours is to head along the coast by speed boat to the old Radio Station and spend a couple of days in total isolation and surprising comfort!

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Tennessee says

Churchill

One of the exclusively land-based destinations within the Arctic, with some fabulous tours to chose from. During February and March, this is one of the very best places in the world to see the northern lights due to an incredibly high proportion of clear nights and some brilliant facilities to help keep you warm at the same time.

In July and August, Hudson Bay hosts one of the most spectacular animal migrations in the world as thousands of beluga whales congregate at the mouth of the Churchill River to calve. This should be on any wildlife lovers list of must-sees.

Perhaps most famously though, for a few weeks in October and November Churchill becomes the centre of a polar bear migration as these majestic apex predators gather to await the ice on Hudson Bay and the seals that will attract. Nowhere else on earth will get you so close to a polar bear.

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Our favourite land-based trips

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