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Journey to the ends of the earth with the polar experts

The Antarctic | Antarctic Peninsula | Falkland Islands | South Georgia | The Arctic | Svalbard | Canadian Arctic Archipelago| Iceland | Greenland | The North Pole

A voyage to Antarctica or the Arctic stands as an adventure unto itself. Far more than merely stepping off the tourist trail for a spell, this is venturing as far off the map as is geographically possible – something you’ll be regularly reminded of by the icebergs that dwarf your ship, the unharnessed horizons that greet your eye and the penguin colonies that outnumber your party, thousands to one.

With Intrepid Travel, you won’t have to forego too many of home’s creature comforts in journeying to the ends of the earth. The ships are specialised polar vessels, designed to plough through even the roughest seas. The feasts prepared in the onboard kitchens are superb and every cabin boasts ensuite bathroom facilities and exterior views. Regular Zodiac outings, shore landings and onboard lectures delivered by polar experts will see to it that you’re grasping the full magnitude of the region each day.

The question is which ice-bedecked seascape floats your boat (so to speak) most. Is it penguins or polar bears you’re after? Nordic fjords or the Falklands? Shackleton’s trail or Santa’s stomping grounds? Mid-year or end of year that suits? Whichever pull of our globe’s magnetic poles you’re feeling, Intrepid can take you there – on an expedition to the edges of adventure unlike any other.

The polar experts...

To get the most out of your polar experience, Intrepid has a fabulous team of polar experts who not only live and breathe the wonder of the two poles, but are itching to share their extensive knowledge with you. Whether during onboard presentations that cover all aspects of the regions’ history, geology and ecology, or taking you out on Zodiacs to experience it all firsthand, their passion is infectious and will enhance any journey to the Arctic or Antarctic.

Included activities

Whether you want a leisurely experience, a thrillseeking adventure or simply to immerse yourself in the knowledge of polar experts, there are plenty of activities to enhance your trip. Many of these, such as hiking and birdwatching, are included in your trip package.

Wildlife & ornithology
Bird and wildlife watching is at the heart of any polar expedition. Explore the frosty wilderness with the guidance of expert naturalists and ornithologists, who will help you spot and recognise the rare and diverse species of birds and animals that call these icy lands home. From polar bears to penguins to narwhal whales, there is a wealth of wildlife to discover.

The astonishing landscapes and rich wildlife of the polar regions offer incredible photographic opportunities. Each ship has a multimedia centre where you can download digital images and burn CDs, and on some voyages there is a resident photography expert who can offer expert advice on capturing the best shots.

Your polar adventure can be as active as you like. At many stops on each voyage there are opportunities to go hiking through diverse terrains, from the summer tundra of the Arctic to the rocky coasts of the Falkland Islands. Hike with an experienced leader and be awed by the incredible sights.

Zodiac excursions
There are plenty of chances to get off the ship and explore in sturdy, inflatable boats called Zodiacs. Venture out in small groups accompanied by an expedition leader. This is the best way to safely and swiftly get around and discover all the wonders of the polar regions.

What’s on the boats

  • Ice-rated expedition ship
  • Large cabins with outside views
  • Ensuite facilities
  • Small, international groups
  • Expert guides and naturalists
  • Onboard physician
  • Polar history, wildlife and geology
  • Sundeck
  • Plunge pool (Ocean Diamond & 50 Years of Victory only)
  • Gym
  • Library
  • Bar
  • Gift shop
  • Daily cabin service

The Antarctic

It’s the final frontier, the white continent, the end of the earth. Ice-strewn and windswept, Antarctica is like no place you’ve ever seen. Get immersed in the wild, untouched landscapes of this majestic part of the world. This is the coldest, highest, driest and windiest place on earth, and it’s brimming with a natural beauty that will leave you breathless. Rocky beaches, crashing glaciers, shimmering icebergs and an astonishing array of wildlife await. Pull on your snow boots, rug up in a fleecy parka and slip some gloves on those hands – it’s about to get mighty chilly. Each day of your Antarctic voyage gets you up close and personal with incredible frosty landscapes, historical sites, iceberg-filled inlets, craggy mountain ranges or abandoned whaling stations. Plus there are cliffs full of nesting seabirds, whales breeching in the blue waters, playful seals frolicking on the shores and penguins waddling by.

Antarctic Peninsula
Reaching out like a long, curling finger, this large peninsula is the northernmost point of the Antarctic continent, separating the Weddell Sea and the Southern Ocean. Few words can capture the experience of setting foot on its wintry shores. Peppered with research stations, the peninsula is filled with vast natural landscapes, where glaciers flow into the sea, icebergs rise majestically and jagged mountain ranges keep you in constant awe. Be welcomed by penguins and seals, and be on the lookout for minke and humpback whales playing in the clear waters.

Falkland Islands
The Falklands archipelago is an eden of wildlife set in the South Atlantic Ocean. Among the white-sand beaches and rugged mountains roam an abundance of wildlife native to this British Overseas Territory. Spot fur seals basking in beds of tussock grass, sea lions calmly swimming in the ocean, penguins playing on rocky shores and unique birds, such as the albatross, Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck, scattered over the landscape. The small, largely British, population of these islands live in settlements of colourful buildings that wouldn’t be out of place in a seaside village of England. Stop by the charmingly ramshackled Port Stanley for a beer or two at the local pub, or check out the museums and churches.

South Georgia
The rugged, inhospitable landscape of South Georgia is the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton. Pay tribute while at his grave and get deeper into the spirit of past explorers by roaming old whaling stations and abandoned outposts that are scattered around the island. There is no native population in this British Overseas Territory, but the rich array of wild creatures more than make up for the lack of human contact. Be captivated by huge colonies of king penguins or get up close and personal with elephant and fur seals.

The Arctic

Wild, ice-covered landscapes, stories of Viking conquests, colourful Inuit communities – the northern reaches of the earth are brimming with wonders to uncover. The Arctic holds an enticing promise of gleaming fjords, calving glaciers and wild creatures rarely seen anywhere else on earth. From the bird- and bearfilled islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago to the rugged coastlines of Greenland, the Arctic is a treasure-trove of natural beauty with no shortage of possibilities for adventure. Hike through wildflower-strewn tundras, watch for wildlife on rocky beaches, cruise through shimmering fjords choked with ice and watch glaciers calve into the sea. Along the way, discover Inuit ways of life in small native settlements, where the cultures, traditions and thriving art scenes never fail to inspire. Then, of course, there are polar bears. There are plenty of chances to spot these magnificent Arctic giants in the wild as they prowl around for prey. Beluga and humpback whales, bearded seals, walruses and a wealth of rare birdlife also abound, giving every wildlife lover more than enough to write home about.

Voyage to Spitsbergen, the largest island in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. From the captivating 14th July Glacier to the craggy beaches of Phippsoya, this frosty land is teeming with natural beauty. Polar bears roam the shores, walruses laze about on rocks and the mysterious Svalbard reindeer can be spotted grazing along the coast.

Canadian Arctic Archipelago
This chain of 94 major islands – not to mention the spattering of 36,469 smaller islands – inhabits the frosty waters of the Arctic Ocean above the Canadian mainland. Among the ice caps and tundra of the area’s various islands, including Baffin Island, Beechey Island and Prince Leopold Island, discover vibrant Inuit communities, huge colonies of seabirds, polar bear hunting grounds and remnants from historical expeditions.

Pull into port at colourful Akureyri, where on certain crisp and clear nights the Northern Lights can be seen. Sitting at the head of a striking fjord, this northern town is Iceland’s second largest urban area. Then be captivated by the humming capital of Reykjavik, a place as well known for its frenetic night-life as its Viking history.

Home to the astonishing Sermeq Kujalleq glacier and the Scorsbysund fjords, Greenland is full of icy wonders. This former Danish colony is one of the largest islands and least-densely populated countries in the world, and three-quarters of the land is covered by the only ice sheet found outside of Antarctica. From small Inuit settlements to pristine World Heritage-listed sites, Greenland encapsulates the essence of the Arctic.

The North Pole
This is it – the very top of the world. At 90° North there is no land, just slowly moving ice, and the experience of looking out over a silent mass of white from the earth’s northernmost point is seriously surreal. Make this incredible voyage on the world’s most powerful icebreaker ship, 50 Years of Victory.

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