Glacier Bay, Alaska

Explore the ice world

Glacier Bay, Alaska

Leave well-trodden paths behind. Enough of New York, Paris, honeymoon in the Maldives or scuba diving in the Caribbean. How many of you have been to some of the least explored regions of the world? I’m not talking about some far-flung travel destinations in Canada or the Far East. No, the ice world is the polar regions.

There is no need to go far either. If you’re from Europe or North America, the North Pole is well, further up north. The ice world is understandably one of the most inhospitable places on earth. As the region is plunged in darkness for about half the year in winter, the best time to visit would be at the peak of summer, when you can experience the midnight sun and see nature come alive.

Destinations

Again, there is no need to go deep into icy territory right to the North Pole in the footsteps of hardy explorers to experience all this beauty. Half of Canada is frozen; Alaska next door has some wonderful wildlife and virgin forests while Greenland is one of the least explored island, vast as it is. Closer to Europe and more easily accessible are the fjords of Norway, Lapland and Svalbard Island higher up.

You also have the vast territory of Russia, in particular Siberia. One of the most famous, or infamous inhabitant of the frozen land was Josef Stalin. He was exiled for a number of years in Turukhansk on the Yenisey river which flows into the Artic sea. In winter, the river freezes solid and Stalin used to skate on it. In summer and spring, he became an adept hunter and fisherman.

Cruise

If you feel put off by the hardship of the land or the lack of facilities to explore the ice world, there is a rather easy way to bypass these inconveniences: cruises. That’s right, get on board a luxury ship and allow yourself to be whisked from destination to destination, from the comfort of your cabin. Admire the scenery and take pictures of the shores from the ship, without having to set foot on land. But if that’s what you want for a truly genuine experience, the cruise ship drops anchor in a number of ports where you will be able to get off and go inland.

A popular cruise is to set off from San Francisco or Vancouver and head for the Alaskan coast. Along the way you can stop in Canada to experience the Rockies or a trip on dog sleds. Hurtigruten Cruises specializes in Artic cruises.

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