Where to go in the Arctic to see Wildlife, Landscapes and Culture


Ruth Wise describes the Arctic as follows:
"The landscape was hauntingly seductive
The icebergs almost surreal;
This place is like a fantasyland
There's nothing else like it, I feel."

Haunting. Seductive. Fantasy. All of this is true. But while pictures of desolate icebergs, vast icy terrain, and bitter cold often fill our imaginations when thinking of the Arctic, few think about the wildlife, colorful and interesting villages, or alien and unique foliage that blankets the landscape.

Here is a list of some of our favorite Arctic destinations for different interests.

If you want to see wildlife:


The Arctic is filled with opportunities to view land, air, and sea life in their natural habitat. Attracted by the many species of marine life that border these areas, there is a rare opportunity to encounter some of the world’s most obscure creatures.

Aptly named the “wildlife capital of the Arctic”, Spitsbergen provides a rare opportunity to view an abundance of protected species in their natural environment. Amongst the landscape, travelers may see polar bears in plain sight, aided by the fact that the landscape is both stark and void of large icebergs. Along the flows, expedition ships will move through ice, giving travelers good opportunities for sighting walruses, Arctic foxes, and other Arctic mammals in their natural state.

Wrangel Island & the Russian Far East
Wrangel Island is known as the world’s largest denning site for polar bears. Visitors often witness not only polar bears but walruses, musk ox, reindeer, and tundra geese as well. The Russian Far East is a birder’s paradise, with over 40 different species of bird and fish that call this area home.

Northwest Passage & Baffin Island
Through the area known as the NW Passage and around Baffin Island, passengers may encounter polar bears, walruses, seals and even Arctic foxes as they hunt for food along the ice edge. There are millions of seabirds native to the area, and birders may encounter up to 26 different species during their passage through these waters.


If you want to immerse yourself in Arctic culture:


Visit remote villages encased between magnificent icebergs and meet the people who call the Arctic home. Experience the local culture through art, story, dance & song.

West Greenland
Travelers will experience the mix of Danish & Inuit influences while strolling through colorful fishing villages.

Baffin Island
Explore small communities and see unique Inuit arts & crafts on Canada’s largest island.

Newfoundland and Labrador
Dating more than 1,000 years back, this area is home of the oldest city settlement in North America. Rural in location, scarce in population, yet vast in wilderness, many travelers find themselves engrossed in this area’s natural solitude.


If you want to photograph picturesque landscape and foliage:


Vast and spectacular, the Arctic provides the perfect opportunity to experience the abundance of foliage and cold-weather wildflowers that blanket this area. Or, some prefer to snap a picture of the desolate and simplistic beauty of icebergs, snowdrifts, and ice-laden mountains.

East Greenland
Nearly “glowing” from the inside out, areas of Eastern Greenland are a photographer’s dream. The sun, which glistens off the towering icebergs and glowing glaciers, makes a beautiful backdrop for this jaw-dropping landscape. Though covered in ice, the remoteness of this area is simply spectacular.

Russian Far East
Much to the delight of many visitors, the East Russian landscape is one filled with blooming Arctic wildflowers that come alive to create a beautiful blanket of landscape over the region.

Canadian Arctic
If mountains, fjords, glaciers, and packed ice seem like the perfect backdrop for gorgeous photo opportunities, then the Canadian Arctic provides the perfect landscape. You may even get the opportunity to snap a picture of the musk ox, walrus, or occasional polar bear passing by.


Whether you are seeking wildlife, Arctic culture, or picturesque landscape, the Arctic has it all. Inquire with Polar Cruises today and we can match you with an Arctic trip that matches your specific vacation interests.