Why Should You Go on a Polar Cruise?

By ExpeditionsOnline / 01 September 2018

Why Should You Go on a Polar Cruise?

Why you should go on a polar cruise? Here at Expeditions Online, we're experts in all things polar, so find out more about why you should consider a polar expedition!


Icebergs in Greenland

Last month, we published a blog exploring why you should go on a polar expedition. We’d like to follow this up naturally by exploring why you should go on a polar cruise. Polar cruises are different to expeditions in many ways, and they may be better suited to you if you’ve always wanted to visit the North or South Pole but aren’t interested in the challenges and rigors of a full expedition. Our polar cruises offer a wide range of options to guests looking to explore the Earth’s last great wildernesses!

What’s the Difference Between a Polar Cruise and a Polar Expedition?

First of all, it’s important to quickly explain the difference between our polar cruises and expeditions. Polar expeditions are safe, organised, well sourced, but they also entail challenging physical exercise as our guest explorers hike, ski, and sail to their polar destinations. Our polar cruises also make some physical demands on our guests, but significantly less than our expeditions. 


Two men and a dogsled in the Arctic

In the North Pole, both cruises and expeditions will allow you to access some of the most beautiful, majestic landscapes and wildlife in the world; it’s simply the nature of the traveling methods and day-to-day goals that changes.  On a South Pole expedition, a significant amount of your journey will be on land, journeying across the continent to reach the South Pole — whereas a cruise will take more time sailing around the coast of Antarctica. If you think an expedition is the best way for you to explore the poles, check out our North Pole and South Pole expeditions

A Polar Cruise Is Ideal for Wildlife Enthusiasts


A polar bear — the largest land predator in the world

If you love wildlife and get a thrill out of seeing rare species, then a polar cruise may be the perfect trip for you. Every single polar cruise prioritises spotting and admiring polar wildlife above any other activity. If you’ve always wanted to see a polar bear in the wild, then our Spitsbergen Polar Bear Special cruise is made for you. However, there is so much more to the Arctic than polar bears; you can also expect to find musk-ox, arctic foxes, caribou, and the charming white hare, famous for its large white feet. And that’s just the mammals! There is also a huge variety of birdlife, such as terns, owls, thick-billed murres, guillemots, eiders, ducks, puffins, and an array of gulls. And this is just scratching the surface!


Emperor penguins and their chicks

If you opt for an Antarctic cruise, you will see a whole different variety of animals, but you won’t see any terrestrial mammals — just marine mammals, such as leopard seals, sealions, orcas, blue whales, etc. While the Arctic is home to many of the world’s largest, most impressive land mammals, the Antarctic has something absolutely unique: many of the world’s largest penguin populations. The Antarctic is the true, all-year-round home to two penguin species: emperor and Adélie. But chinstrap, Gentoo, and macaroni penguins all visit the north coast of Antarctica to breed in the summer (which is when all of our Antarctic cruises take place). 

Polar Cruises are Ideal for Photographers


The Antarctic tundra

Any trip to the Arctic or Antarctic is a photographer’s dream. The wildlife, icebergs, and stark polar landscapes (and seascapes) look unlike anywhere else on Earth. Any photographer who delights in finding a truly unique perspective is guaranteed to have the trip of a lifetime, whether they choose to visit the Arctic or the Antarctic. However, no two polar cruises are alike, and the Arctic and Antarctic have a lot more differences than many people realise. When a photographer is weighing up whether they should go on an Arctic or Antarctic cruise, it’s important to look through as many pre-existing photographs as possible. Ask yourself which photographs impress you more, and why. If you’re repeatedly drawn to images of big land mammals, skylines, birdlife, and icebergs, then an Arctic cruise is probably the best option for you. If you’re dazzled by the rugged expanse of the Antarctic continent, and by the vast colonies of unique penguin species, then an Antarctic cruise is the best option. However, whichever you choose, you’re guaranteed to get many of the greatest photographs of your life!

Get Out of the Standard Holiday Location Rut with a Polar Cruise

The last reason for going on a polar cruise is very simple: polar cruises offer travellers something utterly unique and outside of the standard cruise holidays that have saturated the travel industry. Don’t get us wrong, standard cruises are a fantastic way to travel the world and they have risen in popularity over the years. However, anyone who has been on a few normal cruise holidays already knows the standard format for the trip and roughly what they can expect. It’s not that standard cruises are bad — they’re great — but they’re not enough for anyone who truly wants to see as much of the world as possible. If travelling for you means seeing new things and experiencing new things, then a polar cruise offers something completely fresh. There are so many things to experience on a polar cruise that you won’t find on any other cruise holiday and they come with a range of unique features, such as specialist icebreaking ships, trained wildlife experts, Gemini and kayak experiences, and so much more!

That’s all we have time for today. We hope we’ve convinced one or two readers to begin planning a polar cruise in the near future. If we have, keep an eye on our polar cruise early-booking deals and polar cruise last-minute deals if you’d like to find the best possible price for your trip of a lifetime. Please get in touch if you have any questions.


Here are a few cruise suggestions to start planning your great polar adventure today!

Special Offers

Antarctic Peninsula: M/V Sea Spirit

A 12 or 13 day expedition on board the luxury M/V Sea Spirit with 10/11 nights onboard discovering the amazing Antarctic Peninsula

FROM 8395.00
Find Out More

Weddell Sea Emperor Penguin Voyage: M/V Ortelius

An incredible Antarctic expedition cruise on the M/V Ortelius with onboard helicopters searching for Emperor penguins in the Weddell Sea

FROM 11300.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Bonus

Introduction to Spitsbergen: Ocean Adventurer

This expedition aboard the luxurious Ocean Adventurer is the perfect introduction to Spitsbergen and the incomparable beauty of the High Arctic

FROM 6495.00
Find Out More

North Spitsbergen M/V Plancius

Search for polar bears on this 7 night cruise on board the ice-strengthened M/V Plancius exploring the northwestern Arctic wilderness of Spitsbergen

FROM 3850.00
Find Out More

Special Offers!

Arctic Odyssey: Remote Russian Archipelagos

Like a true Arctic explorer, you’ll discover breathtaking ice-draped coastlines that are rarely visited by even the most intrepid adventurers

FROM 15995.00
Find Out More

Classic Antarctica Cruise: MV Ushuaia

A small ship cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands aboard the M/V Ushuaia

FROM 4860.00
Find Out More

Ross Sea and Peninsula: MV Ortelius

An epic adventure half way around Antarctica. MV Ortelius visits both the Peninsula and Ross Sea. Onboard helicopters are an amazing extra!

FROM 28450.00
Find Out More

Weddell Sea Quest: M/V Ushuaia

An 11 day expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands & Weddell Sea aboard the M/V Ushuaia

FROM 7990.00
Find Out More

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