Best Time to Travel to the Arctic

Most Arctic expeditions operate in the from May – September when the Arctic ice pack is at is lowest level, the days are long and the wildlife is most active.

May – June

  • Typically the only voyages operating will be in Spitsbergen / Svalbard and Iceland.
  • In Spitsbergen there will be more snow around the landing sites (especially in May) and the sea ice is closer to shore than later in the sea.
  • Good time to search for polar bears on the sea ice in Spitsbergen.

July – early August

  • Peak of summer with warmest temperatures.
  • Wildflowers in bloom.
  • With less sea ice, there is the potential to circumnavigate Spitsbergen.
  • The first trips of the season to East Greenland.

Mid August – September

  • Prime time for Northwest Passage and Canadian Arctic voyages as the receding pack ice opens navigation routes.
  • Many birds start their southern migration in mid-August so it is suggested that bird watchers travel earlier in the season.
  • September is a fantastic time for visiting East Greenland with spectacular sunrises/sunsets and excellent chances for northern lights.