People of the Far North

By Stewart_Campbell / 20 June 2016

People of the Far North

The Arctic remains one of the earth’s last frontiers. Home to extreme conditions, beautiful landscapes, stunning wildlife – and some of the hardiest, most remote communities on the planet.

Now, thanks to a handful of intrepid and small expedition ships, you too can explore and experience this extreme living space and have the opportunity not only to see wildlife, but to meet local Inuit peoples of the Arctic.

Indigenous Arctic peoples share Central Asian roots and spread out over the Arctic thousands of years ago, forming a number of distinct groups. The Inuit people (Eskimo) are the most famous and the most widespread arctic people, ranging from northeastern Greenland to the Siberian coast of the Bering Sea.  In far northern America you will find Aleuts, Athapaskans, and the coastal Tlingit. Peoples of northern Scandinavia and Russian Far East include the Sami, Even, Koryak, and Chukchi. 


All these indigenous peoples have adapted to and thrive in a harsh climate, depending on hunting and herding. To survive the extreme cold is helped by their high-fat and protein diet of mostly meat and fish. Along the coast, people largely fish and hunt seals. Inland peoples hunt wild animals and breed reindeer. Despite the isolation, the different Arctic communities have long communicated and traded amongst each other, passing on myths, ideas and tools and therefore can be said to share a broad common culture. 

A common theme shared by all communities is the threat to traditional cultures due to big changes brought in by the rest of the world. Mining and exploitation of oil, and mineral resources, pollution and global warming, plus the various attractions of modern ways of life all make it hard to keep up traditional ways of life, and communities have tried to balance the competing pressures with varying degrees of success.

Experience the culture and beauty of Inuit communities

Following are some expeditions into the heart of the Arctic which allow you to experience a little of the culture and beauty of the Inuit communities:

Ittoqqortoormiit in Greenland, its most northerly community on its eastern edge has just 450 inhabitants and a rich and unique Inuit culture. You can reach here on a number of expeditions, from Svalbard to Iceland via remote East Greenland, or this Jewels of the Arctic expedition, Scoresbysund, Aurora borealis voyage, or this East Greenland cruise with the Sea Spirit.

On the western side of Greenland, in the Canadian Arctic, the Baffin Island and Western Greenland expedition visits the Inuit community at Pangnirtung, Canada, which is well known for its traditional arts and crafts. Other wonderful Arctic expeditions in North America include the Northwest Passage expedition or This 20 day epic expedition aboard the luxurious Ocean Adventurer to the highlights of Canada and Greenland

The journey there is just as wonderful

Experiencing the Inuit culture will give you a real escape from the modern and urban world. But the journey to, and beyond, these locations is awesome. Sail through iceberg alleys, cruise amongst glaciers, hike in fjord landscapes and cruise in zodiacs looking for polar bears.

Witnessing these hardy Inuit communities, their resourcefulness and their ability to work with both nature and the modern world is both an adventure and a lesson to many.

Following are some of opur best current expeditions to Greenland. For more information on expedition cruises to some of the most wonderful travel destinations on the planet, contact Expeditions Online


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Svalbard & NE Greenland National Park: Sea Spirit

Abundant wildlife in Spitsbergen and stunning scenery in Greenland create a complete Arctic experience on board the luxury Sea Spirit

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Greenland Disko Bay: Ocean Albatros

Onboard this Ocean Albatros Greenland cruise alongside glacial landscapes, whales, seabirds and a multitude of fascinating settlements

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Complete East Greenland: Ocean Albatros

Join an expedition cruise from Iceland to the massive Northeast Greenland National Park, an unparalleled wilderness with fjords, glaciers & wildlife

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Northeast Greenland Solar Eclipse: Hondius

An epic 14 day expedition from Spitsbergen to Iceland via the huge fjords of Eastern Greenland and in search of the Solar Eclipse of 12th August 2026

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Greenland Solar Eclipse 2026: Ocean Albatros

Experience one of nature's most dazzling phenomena in one of the world's most awe-inspiring destinations. Experience totality in wild East Greenland

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Four Arctic Islands: Ocean Adventurer

This 18 day expedition aboard the luxurious Ocean Adventurer visits the Arctic islands of Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Greenland and Iceland

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Three Arctic Islands: Ocean Adventurer

This expedition aboard the luxurious Ocean Adventurer visits the Arctic wilderness of Spitsbergen and eastern Greenland

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Jewels of the Arctic

A 15 day expedition on board a state-of-the-art expedition ship from Svalbard to Iceland via East Greenland

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