Polar travel advice, including tips on travel in Antarctica and the Arctic, and where to see polar bears and penguins
The Arctic and Antarctica were once the preserve of extraordinary polar explorers, of whalers and trappers, and – in the case of the Arctic Circle – of nomadic indigenous people. However, these icy wildernesses that once seemed so remote are now accessible to all.
Several countries fall within the Arctic Circle – parts of Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and the USA (Alaska). An estimated 650,000 indigenous people live here today, although they live in settlements and buy food at the supermarket rather than live off the land as they once had to do.
For the visitor it is the wildlife, the wilderness and the remoteness that bring them, as well as natural phenomena such as the midnight sun and the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). However, once here the history and culture of the peoples can fascinate just as much. You can explore the oceans and coastlines of the area on an expedition cruise, or you can stay in any of the countries that fall within the Arctic, perhaps having a go at dog sledding or snowmobiling, or enjoying the brief, bright summers.
Antarctica is very different to the Arctic. For a start, there are no polar bears; instead this is the land of the penguin. There are no permanent populations of people either. Stunning icebergs of myriad sizes, shapes and colours dot the water. Antarctica is everything you expect but much more too. This is a destination that certainly lives up to the hype, and Antarctica’s haunting beauty will stick with you forever.
A growing number of visitors are making it to this terra incognita, usually on an expedition cruise. However, you should still be able to avoid other people, other than your fellow passengers, and get to appreciate the solitude. A trip here isn't for those who like a fixed itinerary: Antarctica’s weather is unpredictable, as is the Arctic’s, and a salutary reminder of the power of nature.
Some people find that they prefer the far North. Some find that it is Antarctica that they fall in love with. Either way, you cannot fail to be impressed, touched and moved by the Poles.
Chilly, but worth it – see the best bits of the planet's icy extremes
We round up the best nature documentaries can you find on Netflix, Amazon Prime, iPlayer and NowTV - so you've got more to watch once you've finished Our Planet... More
A vast expanse of wriggling bellowing blubber, a walrus ‘haul out’ is one of nature’s most spectacular sights. We reveal the best places to see walruses – both Pacific and Atlantic... More
There are few places in the world more synonymous with exploration and adventure than the Northwest Passage. Here are seven experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime... More
Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, alive with polar bears, whales, walruses and a rich history of exploration. Discover why you should visit now... More
From cruising through iceberg bays to hiking the flower-speckled tundra, an expedition voyage is the best way to experience the remote wilderness of Greenland. Discover what it’s like… More
Killer whales can be easier to find than you think. From the icy waters of the Antarctic to the beaches of Patagonia – we uncover the best orca-watching spots around the world... More
The Wanderlust Photo of the Year 2018 results will be revealed tomorrow! Have a look at the final 10 photos from this year's wildlife category to get an idea of how steep the competition is this year... More
Ahead of the results being announced on Friday, we take a look at the top 10 photos from the Landscape category of this year's Wanderlust Photo of the Year competition... More
Cruise from Argentina or New Zealand, fly across the Drake Passage or head straight for the South Pole. Clare Wilson shows you numerous and adventurous ways of how to get to Antarctica... More
This year, be among the first to experience these freshly opened countries, trails and itineraries, from Iceland and Svalbard to lesser-visited Laos… More
They are the must-visit destinations of 2019. From cycling in Petra to discovering Georgian wine with Wanderlust’s Lyn Hughes, these are the trips that offer the best way to experience them More
We catch up with Santa's biggest helper to find out what life is like in Lapland, why it's such a magical place, and how he gets his nose so shiny... More
Master a new skill in the new year by Immersing yourself in new cultures and enjoying a more rewarding journey on these expert-led learning trips More
The rarest travel experiences. The toughest. The dearest. The ones that won’t be around forever. These are the real do-before-you-die journeys... More
Explore wintry landscapes by day and spy cosmic wonders by night. Take your pick from our list of ultimate northern lights escapes... More
Crowd-free crescents, UNESCO-listed dots, the map's hardest-to-reach corners... We've scoured the globe to find the most enchanting islands you've (probably) never heard of but really should visit More
Camp out in the South Pole, build your own igloo in Finland, or watch the northern lights from the comfort of your bed! These cool accommodation options will make your wintry holiday all the more magical More
Drive the ice roads of Canada, take the North-west passage or travel by train under the Northern Lights of Norway. Take your lead from the great explorers and create a polar journey to remember... More
From music played through ice-built instruments in Norway to ice sculptures of Angkor Wat in Japan, these fantastic festivals add fun and colour to cold winters around the world... More
Wanderlust subscribers now receive a free £50 voucher valid on trips from a great selection of top tour operators
And the best bit is, this isn't a one-off offer, you get one every time you renew as well!
The £50 discount can be redeemed against one trip booking with one of our tour operator partners, by the expiry date printed on the voucher. The £50 can even be redeemed on top of any discounts our partners are already offering, ensuring Wanderlust subscribers get the best deal possible.
Simply quote your unique voucher code when booking to claim the discount. This offer is only available to Wanderlust subscribers.
UK subscribers automatically receive the voucher each year. Overseas subscribers receive it upon request.
From: £22515.00More …
From: £7310.00More …
From: £Contact usMore …
From: £12100.00More …
From: £7300.00More …
From: £7300.00More …
From: £7310.00More …
From: £8345.00More …
From: £8345.00More …
Sign up today for free and be the first to get notified of new articles, new competitions, new events and more!