Why Should You Go on a Polar Expedition?

By TMA / 23 October 2018

Why Should You Go on a Polar Expedition?


The stunning South Pole landscape

Here at Expeditions Online, eager explorers regularly get in touch to ask us about our range of Arctic and Antarctic cruises. But a smaller number of explorers are looking for an even deeper, more extreme experience: a polar expedition. For many outdoors enthusiasts, polar expeditions are at the top of their bucket lists, along with climbing Mount Everest. Have you ever considered taking an expedition to the North or South Pole? In this blog, we’d like to give you a few popular reasons why people go on a polar expedition.

The Incredible Wildlife at both Poles 


Emperor penguin and chicks, at the South Pole

For many explorers, observing polar wildlife is one of the top reasons to go on an expedition. Due to the extreme conditions, both the Arctic and the Antarctic have fascinating animals found nowhere else on Earth. 

In the Arctic, many explorers hope to spot a polar bear. The polar bear is the world’s biggest land-based predator and there’s something undeniably appealing and exciting about spotting one (or perhaps a mother bear and her twin cubs). Part of the appeal of searching for polar bears is their rarity, as they never congregate in large numbers, and they roam around vast distances in search of food. Their rarity and elusiveness pulls in wildlife enthusiasts from all around the world. If you’d like to see a polar bear (from a healthy distance), a moose (the biggest species of the deer family), herds of caribou, and other impressive wildlife, then an expedition to the North Pole and perhaps parts of the Canadian Arctic would be perfect for you.

Penguins in the Antarctic are as plentiful as polar bears are rare in the Arctic. In Antarctica, you’ll find most of the 17 species of penguins (all of which are found in the Southern Hemisphere). If this interests you, you may like the guide we wrote back in July detailing the best cruises and expeditions to see penguins. You might also like to read more about our Emperors and Explorers South Pole Expedition if you’d like to take a full expedition to the South Pole and meet hundreds of emperor penguins! Because most of the penguin species on Antarctica are used to having no land-based predators, they are often very tolerant of human visitors, which allows guests to get some incredible photographs. This leads neatly to the next reason why you should go on a polar expedition…

Take Incredible Photographs on a Polar Expedition


Icebergs near Greenland, in the Arctic Ocean

While there is no substitute for first-hand experience, there is something very special about taking a unique photograph of the natural world. Given the rarity and exclusivity of polar wildlife, you’re likely to get snaps of animals found nowhere else on Earth. And it’s not just the wildlife; even though we visit both poles in their respective summers, the icy landscapes and seascapes are more impressive than anything you’re likely to find anywhere else on Earth. 

There is something stark and undeniably epic about the polar scenery, and the fact that both poles are so difficult to reach means that you’re accessing one (or both) of the most exclusive places in the world. This means that you’ll likely to take entirely unique photographs. If you’d like a trip to the South Pole that focuses on photography, you will appreciate our Emperor Penguins: A Photographer’s Paradise expedition.

It’s also worth mentioning the long hours of sunlight in both the North and South Pole as we visit in each pole’s respective summer. With as much as 24 hours of sunlight each day, depending on when you visit, there is always enough light to take a shot of anything that catches your eye. 

A Polar Expedition is one of the Best Ways to Challenge Yourself 


Icebergs and icy landscape in Antarctica 

For many who take on polar expeditions, the biggest draw is the sense of adventure and the challenge. While, our South Pole and North Pole Expeditions provide guests with more-than-adequate equipment and expert guidance, they are still not for the faint-hearted. But the challenge of traversing the icy landscapes is actually one of the main reasons to visit the poles. Whether you’re taking photographs of the stunning scenery or looking for some of the incredible polar wildlife, the emphasis is on getting out into the elements and exploring two of the most extreme environments on the planet! 

Most guests who embark on polar expeditions have grown up hearing about the great pioneering adventurers journeying to the North and South Poles. While our resources, expertise, and technology make our expeditions many times safer than the classic polar expeditions, they still provide guests with plenty of adventure. Our polar expeditions are trips for guests with exploration in their hearts keen to go out on an adventure. If you’d like a slightly easier trip, then you may prefer one of our Arctic Cruises instead. 

We hope one or two readers have been convinced by this blog post. There are so many reasons to embark on a polar expedition but, for most, the wildlife, photography opportunities, and the sense of challenge are all the biggest reasons! If you have any questions about out cruises and expeditions, please feel free to get in touch!


Here are some selected trips to plan your next big adventure with Expeditions Online!

Travel Credit

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 4000.00
Find Out More

Svalbard Explorer: Ocean Adventurer

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

NOW 5621.00
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Up to Half Price Sale

Spitsbergen Highlights: Ocean Adventurer

Majestic peaks, massive glaciers and towering fjords contrast with the vivid tundra. Active exploring provides opportunities to spot polar bears

NOW 3746.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Offer 2025

Svalbard & Polar Ice Edge Best of Svalbard

A polar bear safari cruise with the luxury M/V Sea Spirit exploring the northern reaches of Svalbard

NOW 7561.00
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Svalbard Last Stop Before the North Pole

Board the Ocean Albatros for an 8 day cruise to spectacular Spitsbergen. Travel with expert lecturers and look out for wildlife such as polar bear

FROM 4695.00
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Around Spitsbergen - M/V Hondius

A 9 night adventure cruise on board the new ship the ice-strengthened M/V Hondius circumnavigating the Arctic wilderness of Svalbard

FROM 5400.00
Find Out More

Travel Credit

Around Spitsbergen M/V Plancius

A 9 night voyage around Svalbard, on board the comfortable M/V Plancius, searching for polar bears, walrus, reindeer, Arctic birdlife and flora

FROM 5400.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Offer 2025

Expedition Svalbard: M/S Quest

A 10 night, in-depth expedition cruise exploring the Svalbard archipelago onboard the 53-passenger M/S Quest

FROM 8390.00
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