ARCTIC TRAVEL GUIDE
CONTENTS INTRODUCTION Across The Top Of The World
REGIONS Svalbard & Jan Mayen
Iceland 5 Greenland
ON BOARD & ASHORE Hidden Depth: Arctic Ice in All Its Forms
Meet The Locals
Royal Geographic Society
Experts By Your Side
The Expedition Experience
Luxury Meets Adventure
An Explorerâ€™s Heart
ACROSS THE TOP OF THE WORLD Remote and fascinating, a true ice-clad wonderland. Journey to the ends of the Earth and experience the rush of setting foot on some of our planetâ€™s most remote terrain. Follow in the wake of the adventurous Norse. Cruise amidst pristine landscapes of rugged mountains, glaciers, icebergs and deep fjords. Gaze amazed at boiling mud pools and spouting geysers. Witness scores of seabirds swooping down from soaring basalt cliffs. Every walrus haul out, every whale breach, every polar bear sighting tells a fascinating tale of the extreme and majestic beauty of these faraway lands. For those with a passion for true discovery, Silversea unlocks the most intriguing and challenging destinations at the top of the world, all while indulging you in the distinctive, all-inclusive lifestyle that discerning travelers prefer. Welcome to the Arctic.
Alexandra Fjord Pim Island
SVALBARD Bowdoin Fjord
Bear Island Cape Burney Pond Inlet
Gjesværstappan Uummannaq Qeqertarsuaq
Lower Savage Island
Tromsø Hornbjarg Vigur Island Akureyri Husavik Dyjandi Langanes Latrabjarg
Evighed Fjord Lady Franklin Nuuk Island
Torngat Mountains National Park
Sisimiut Kangaamiut Cape Dorset
Qaqortoq Uunartoq Island
CANADA St. Anthony L’Anse aux Meadows Havre St. Pierre Bonaventure Twillingate Island Woody Point St. John’s Perce Quebec City Charlottetown
NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN
Ice Sheet is 3km or 1.8 miles at its thickest point. If the whole 2.85 million cubic kilometres of ice were to melt it would raise global sea levels by 7.2m or 23.6ft
Icy paradises in the Arctic Circle The Inuit languages, spoken by the native cultures that inhabit the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada and Alaska, have multiple words to describe ice. From vast glaciers and towering icebergs to sprawling white carpets of pack ice that extend to the horizon, the captivating shades of whites, greens and blues paint an inspirational masterpiece on Mother Nature’s canvas. And with a population of less than 4 million people spread across 8 countries, the Arctic can truly be considered nature’s realm. Seasonally populated by roughly 200 species of birds, as well as dozens of hardy terrestrial mammal species that call this region home year round, visitors enjoy visual feast of wildlife splendor with the stunning otherworldly backdrop of our planet’s northernmost reaches.
OF EARTH’S SUPPLY OF FRESH WATER
The Greenland Ice sheet covers a staggering 1.71 million sq km. 7.7% of the world’s freshwater is in Greenland.
The Northwest Passage was successfully navigated via boat by Roald Amundsen, a famous Norwegian polar explorer.
REGIONS Learn of Viking legends and the history of whaling as we sail across increasingly northern latitudes on our Arctic expeditions. Here daylight stretches well into the evening hours, allowing more time to scan the surrounding waters for the fluke of a whale’s tail. Cruise through fjords, unwind in a natural hot spring, and experience everything from iceberg-strewn seas and Inuit culture to an astonishing array of wildlife including the mighty polar bear, proud symbol of the Arctic. For the ultimate and comprehensive Arctic experience, two special routes stand out: the Northeast and Northwest passages, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through the northernmost reaches of our planet. SVALBARD AND JAN MAYEN Roughly located halfway between the northernmost tip of continental Norway and the North Pole, the “Land of the Polar Bear” is a true High Arctic archipelago with rugged mountains, ice caps, glaciers, deep fjords and amazing wildlife. There are walruses, seals, arctic foxes and a resident population of some 2,500 to 3,000 polar bears. Tundra hikes and shore walks bring us up close to the dramatic settings. Bear Island has some of the largest seabird colonies of the North Atlantic. With its towering ebony peaks and broad black lava beaches, the volcanic island of Jan Mayen is a rarely visited outpost that’s as stunningly beautiful as it is remote. The primordial landscape is dominated by the 7,500-foot (2,300 meters) Mt. Beerenberg. Humpback and minke whales cavort and feed in the waters around the island while Atlantic Puffins, Northern Fulmars and Snow Buntings are but a few of the bird species found here.
ICELAND Fires rage beneath the exterior of Iceland. The island is located along the mid-Atlantic ridge, where the edges of the North American and the European tectonic plates meet. As the plates slowly move apart, they have spawned volcanic activity that formed much of the land 5,000 to 10,000 years ago and continues to forge the character of the island. Here you’ll encounter a dramatic natural spectacle of dazzling white glaciers and rugged black lava fields, red sulfur, blue hot springs and green, green valleys. Contrary to the island’s forbidding name, the climate is surprisingly mild. Some 500 miles from Scotland, Iceland is the westernmost country of Europe. Vikings and Celts settled this remote island more than a thousand years ago. Half the population live in Reykjavik, Iceland’s lovely, modern capital wrapped around a sweeping bay, which has managed to retain its charming Old World atmosphere.
Polar Bear, Storøya, Svalbard
Iceland waterfall Skogafoss
GREENLAND Magnificent scenery, Inuit villages, incredible wildlife — gaze amazed at the untamed majesty of Greenland or Kalaallit Nunaat, Earth’s biggest island and one of its largest unspoiled natural paradises. Covering 1.7 million square kilometers (660,000 square miles) or 80% of Greenland’s surface, the largest ice sheet outside of Antarctica is found here. But these vast territories are far from frozen wastelands. Polar bears, Arctic foxes and various species of birds delight wildlife lovers, while shaggy muskoxen and herds of wild reindeer inhabit the tundra. More than 40,000 kilometers of coastline beckon intrepid travelers to unlock the hidden Arctic treasures of delightful land. Colorful towns like Sisimiut, Kangaamiut and Uummannaq bear witness to the resilience of the local population while adding dashes of visual contrast to the frosty Greenlandic landscapes.
NORTHERN NORWAY Continental Europe reaches its northernmost latitudes in Norway. Sprinkled around the Arctic Circle, thousands of islands rim the long, thin extremity of northern Norway, by far the largest and most sparsely populated part of the country. Here the coastline zigs and zags upward to the Northcape and even beyond. It is a big, wild and exotic land, where the lure of adventure attracts the fearless and brave-of-heart. But it is the raw beauty of nature which brings us to these shores. The sparkling glacial peaks which reach toward the sun. The wildflowers which blanket the meadows. And, of course the celestial displays of the midnight sun. Tromsø is the region’s largest city and lies far north of the Arctic Circle. Farther north, the grassy and steep Gjesvaerstappan Islands shelter vast seabird populations, including one of Norway’s largest colonies of Atlantic Puffins.
ARCTIC CANADA Earth’s second-largest nation grows splendor the farther north one travels. Isolated and rugged, this is a land ripe for discovery. The Canadian Arctic Archipelago, a sprawling network of more than 36,000 islands interspersed amid icy waterways, lies at the heart of this enchanting region shared by the territories of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. And a cruise is the best way to discover the myriad treasures hidden among the steep cliffs, majestic mountains, scenic bays and uninhabited landscapes. The scarcity of human settlements provides ample opportunity for nature to work its charms and set the stage for abundant wildlife, especially in places like Sirmilik National Park, the jewel of the Arctic Cordillera, and Nijurtiqavvik National Wildlife Area.
Cape Tegetthoff, Hall Island Champ Island Hooker Island Bell Island
Ice Edge Cruising
Wrangel Island Ostrov Gerald Kolyuchin Island Cape Dezhnev
Gjesværstappan Islands Tromsø
Akhmatov Gulf, Severnia Zemlia
Cape Zhelaniya, Novaya Zemlya
Medvezhiy Islands Ayon Island
Uelen Village Nome
NORTHEAST PASSAGE Follow in the footsteps of legendary explorers like Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld, Fridtjof Nansen, George De Long or Roald Amundsen to discover islands and coastlines so drastically far off the beaten path they might as well be on another planet. The 5,019-nautical-mile journey across the fabled Northeast Passage is an ultimate Arctic expedition, traveling as north as the ice will let you in one unforgettable journey. On the way from Nome, Alaska to Tromsø, Norway, discover the impressive flora and fauna of Wrangel Island, the otherworldly landscape of Champ Island, the stunning basalt columns of Tikhaya Bay, the impressive fjords and majestic glaciers of Severnaya Zemlya. Throughout the voyage, learn about the history, geology and wildlife of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.
Bear Island, Svalbard
Beechey Island Radstock Bay, Devon Island Dundas Harbour Cape York, Greenland Resolute
Cruise Peel Sound
Cruise Beaufort Sea Barrow Herschel Island Nome Sachs Harbour
Gjoa Haven Smoking Hills Cruise Amundsen Trough Cruise Dease Strait
Sisimiut Jenny Lind Island
Uummannaq Ilulissat Kangerlussuaq
Cambridge Bay Silver Explorer
NORTHWEST PASSAGE From intrepid Vikings that ventured centuries ago into the present-day Canadian Arctic to no-less audacious traders and explorers that sought a northerly way to reach the Pacific Ocean, the Northwest Passage has long attracted daring souls and those seeking truly special experiences. One look at a map of northern Canada, with its labyrinth of more than 36,000 islands that seem to gradually break up into Arctic waters, and it becomes apparent that this is a realm full of possibilities that’s ripe for exploration. Our journey begins in Kangerlussuaq in western Greenland, from where we head north to Cape York before crossing over into the heart of the High Canadian Arctic in Nunavut. Cruising through key waterways such as Peel Sound and Dease Strait, we make our way to the Beaufort Sea and on to Nome, Alaska, where this exhilarating journey reaches its conclusion.
HIDDEN DEPTH: ARCTIC ICE IN ALL ITS FORMS Karine Bengualid, Author Describing the mesmerizing qualities of Arctic ice is like trying to convey the beauty of a rainbow: Its magnificence must be perceived to be truly understood. On a cruise in the Arctic Circle, you quickly develop an appreciation for the immense variety of ice formations, which make it one of the world’s most dazzling natural wonders. Not only is every single ice formation distinct and strangely beautiful, but each tells a story from a certain point in history, whether recently formed or hundreds of years old. “The Inuit have dozens of words to describe snow and ice,” says Dr. David Millar, a Glaciologist with the Arctic Institute of North America at the University of Calgary, “That’s how varied the landscape is.” You’re bound to develop a fascination with frozen water when in the Arctic: Its shape, its coloration, its variety, its role in the environment, and its continuously changing form. Arctic ice is characterized by striking colors—ranging from porcelain white to powder blue — which are formed by its varying attributes and tell a story of its age. Photo by Denis Elterman
Expand your curiosity on our travel blog
These colorful tales are but a sample of a collection of in-depth stories featured in our Discover travel blog. Our destination experts share personal anecdotes, while vivid photography showcases worldwide cruise itineraries, and behind-the-scenes videos from iconic photographer Steve McCurry highlight his recent travels with Silversea. These original posts present an authentic glimpse into what it’s truly like to sail around the world with Silversea — from encountering crocodiles basking under the Kimberley sun to exploring the Arctic realm of the mighty polar bear. Discover more on our travel blog: https://discover.silversea.com 8
Brasvelbreen, Svalbard/Denis Elterman
Polar bear, Svalbard
MEET THE LOCALS Whether it’s attending a briefing, exploring by Zodiac®, or hiking on terra firma, an expedition cruise with Silversea will immerse you immediately in your destination. Every moment can amaze: a humpback whale riding a swell, a polar bear with her cubs, climbing atop an icefloe. Here are just some of the species you may encounter.
LAND MAMMAL SPECIES
Although the Arctic environment proves too harsh for most mammalians, some hardy species live year-round in the extreme conditions of this region, making the Arctic the coldest place on Earth inhabited by land mammals. Examples of these sturdy species include the polar bear, Arctic wolf, musk ox, reindeer, Arctic fox, tundra wolf, snow hare, and Arctic lemming, among others.
MARINE FAUNA SPECIES
There are 12 species of marine mammals that regularly inhabit the Arctic: 4 species of whales ( Bowhead, Grey, narwhal and Beluga), the polar bear, the walrus, and 6 species of ice-associated seals (Bearded, ribbon, Ringed, Spotted, Harp and Hooded), Several additional species (e.g. Blue whales, Fin Whales, Humpback Whales, Killer Whales, Harbor Porpoise) are spotted occasionally.
Plants have developed surprising strategies to survive in this harsh environment, like asexual reproduction. The vegetation of tundra is low growing, and consists mainly of sedges, grasses, dwarf shrubs, wildflowers, mosses, and lichens.
The Arctic is seasonally populated by roughly 200 species of birds, corresponding to about 2% of global avian species. Every summer, thousands of seabirds flock to breed in numerous colonies. Species include the Arctic Tern, Steller’s Sea Eagle, Great and Arctic Skua. Regionally endemic birds, those that live in the Arctic year-round, include puffins, Brünnich’s Guillemots, Red-Legged Kittiwakes and Rock Ptarmigans.
Wildlife sightings listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and ice conditions.
ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY WITH IBG Silversea Expeditions and the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) have joined forces to spread knowledge collated from centuries of scientific exploration. Founded nearly 200 years ago to advance geographical science, the Society, whose patron is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, will share some of the world’s most important geographical research and archive material. NORTHWEST PASSAGE
The search to discover the Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and the Pacific led to a series of expeditions throughout the nineteenth-century. Often inadequately clothed and with insufficient rations (and reticent to seek advice from the indigenous Inuit peoples of the region, whose expertise was second to none) these first explorations of the Arctic were to set the scene for future explorations of Antarctica. Much was learnt and lost in the icy chill of the Arctic: from the early explorations of Sir William Edward Parry to the tragic fate of Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition on board the ships Erebus and Terror — and the bravery of the subsequent expeditions that sought to find him — uncover the thrilling and spine-tingling stories behind one of the most famous episodes in the history of exploration. 02
NORTHEAST PASSAGE The figure most closely associated with the search for the Northeast Passage is Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1832-1901), who is credited with being the first to navigate the Northeast Passage in 1878. Finding a viable shipping lane between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans along the northern coast of Russia had been an ambition of European explorers since the 16th century. This he would finally accomplish in his modern steamship, the Vega. His achievement inspired a whole new generation of Arctic explorers including Nansen and Amundsen, the Norwegian explorers. Following a series of expeditions to Spitsbergen, Nordenskiöld’s theory on ocean currents and the drift patterns of Arctic ice was established: that by late summer, the northern Arctic would be free of ice. Between 1868 and 1872 Nordenskiöld undertook a further three attempts to find a route through or across the ice. These helped him to establish that in fact ice did flow further south than expected, and led him to attempt to reach the North Pole by crossing the ice. 01 Passage through the ice. June 16th 1818, Lat. 70. 44 N. From the book ‘Voyage of discovery in H.M. Ships Isabella and Alexander, for the purpose of exploring Baffin’s Bay and inquiring into the probability of a North-West Passage’by John Ross; London, 1819 02 “A very extraordinary lump of snow”. Painted by Sir John Ross whilst in the Arctic, 1833.
EXPERTS BY YOUR SIDE Silversea takes great care to assemble a truly top-notch team of naturalists and other experts to accompany each ship. For we know full well that those who yearn to explore the farthest reaches of our planet are driven by a quest for knowledge and discovery.
BRAD SIVIOUR Senior Expedition Leader
NICKI DENARIE Expedition Leader
Hiking in Cape Hofmann Halvø, Greenland
Silversea Expeditions has one of the highest “expedition team to guest” ratios in the expedition cruising industry. This means that every expedition voyage benefits from the presence of between 11-28 qualified specialists, depending on the ship, to help guide you through every step of your adventure. You can attend daily recaps and briefings and lecturers presented by professionals hand-picked for their expertise in specific areas depending on your destination.These educated, experienced and talented men and women have all been chosen for their friendliness, infectious enthusiasm and passion in their specialized field. They will make sure that every opportunity for adventure is properly evaluated; making sure that your experience is something to write home about. The team includes a variety of experts such as biologists, naturalists, ornithologists, geologists, historians and photographers. So whether you want to know how to get the perfect photograph, the name of a local bird species, or the history of the area is, there is always someone there to answer your questions, and lend a hand.
The Expedition Team members scheduled for all voyages can be subject to change or cancellation.
ROBIN AIELLO Marine Biologist
TRULS KUHLE Bear Guard
DR. DANAE SHEEHAN Ornithologist
THE EXPEDITION EXPERIENCE Purpose-built for cruising the ice floes, Silver Cloud brings a rare combination of luxury and safety to Arctic travel. Her speed and bow thrusters give her the power and agility necessary to ensure a safe, smooth passage through these remote and frigid waters, transporting you to beaches undisturbed by tourists and islands uninhabited by man. EXHILARATING EXPERIENCES ASHORE
Touring Scoresby Sound, Greenland
Kayak across a glassy bay. Go Zodiac® cruising to look for polar bears, nesting birds and walruses hauling out on a beach. On our polar expedition we limit guests up to 254 and with 18 Zodiacs, all guests can go exploring at the same time. However please understand that weather and ice, not clocks and calendars, set the schedule for a journey in these latitudes, and no landing can be guaranteed. But if our forays ashore vary, the quality of your experience will not. Every mile will reveal something wonderful ... astonishing.
Owner’s Suite, Silver Cloud
ALL-INCLUSIVE LIFESTYLE •
Spacious ocean-view suites
Butler service in every suite
Unlimited free Wi-Fi for all suites
• Personalized service – nearly one crew member for every guest • Multiple restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining • Beverages in suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits •
Inclusive room service
Butler service in every suite
• Highly-qualified expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more) • Included excursions and activities: Zodiac cruising, hiking and kayaking* on most sailings • Exclusive partnership with The Royal Geographical Society
*On select voyages. Kayaking available on Silver Cloud.
LUXURY MEETS ADVENTURE The right gear is essential for enjoying the full experience of the Arctic without the limitations of weather. To help you properly outfit for your adventure we have teamed up with Ship to Shore Traveler, a one-stop outfitting service. Rely on them for fine quality gear and accessories, both for purchase or rental. And do heed the advice of all smart travelers â€” donâ€™t overpack! Launderettes are available aboard Silver Cloud. POLAR VOYAGES PACKING CHECKLIST On all Polar voyages, a 2-in-1 parka developed exclusively for Silversea Expedition sailings, lightweight and rainresistant backpack and stainless steel water bottle is provided, compliments of Silversea. Please be sure to select the size for your complimentary parka: https://silversea.shiptoshoretraveler.com/ Heavyweight fleece top or wool sweater. Mid-weight fleece top and trousers. Waterproof trousers. Rent with free concierge delivery to the ship. Visit https://silversea.shiptoshoretraveler.com/
Mid-weight thermal underwear tops and bottoms (synthetic or wool). Wool or fleece hat. Waterproof warm gloves, ski-type gloves (2 pairs) and glove liners. Wool or wool-blend socks and thin sock liners. Heat-treated foot warming insoles and hand warmers.
Capturing the beauty of Svalbard
Waterproof, knee-high, rubber boots with non-slip soles. As you will step into icy water during Zodiac landings, boots are essential. For your comfort we recommend you bring your own boots or rent boots with free concierge delivery to the ship. Visit: https://silversea.shiptoshoretraveler.com/
Pair of good sunglasses with U.V. filter protection. During the expedition, the sun can shine for many hours each day and light reflection off the ice can be harmful to under-protected eyes.
Protective lotion for lips, hands and face. Reflected glare from sun, water, ice and snow, can be intense.
Wind chill can be a significant feature of a polar expedition. When the wind is constant, you can be robbed of body heat quickly. Adequate wind and rain gear is vital. Cotton is ideal in warm weather, however, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene, MTS and Thermax instead. Always test layers before a trip. The outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
Walrus in Svalbard
OPTIONAL FIELD GEAR
Camera, memory cards and extra batteries. Test your camera before leaving home to ensure it is working properly, and pack the manual for reference, should unexpected problems arise.
Consider bringing a camera beanbag to support your 300mm+ lens for your cameraâ€™s stabilization.
Binoculars are an essential part of your field gear and will enhance your experience ashore. Purchase a compact set and test them out before traveling. Motion sickness remedies (also available onboard). Spare contact lenses or glasses. Ilulissat, Greenland
A few large zip-seal bags to keep camera gear dry whilst riding in the Zodiac and during wet shore landings. Reading and writing materials. Insect repellent. A mosquito head net is also recommended for Iceland, Greenland and the Canadian Arctic. A lightweight, collapsible, walking staff (also called a trekking pole) provides a sense of security, increased balance and confidence when walking on ice, snow and rugged terrain. Available to rent at: https://silversea.shiptoshoretraveler.com/
Ski-mask, which may be helpful in snowy conditions while in the Arctic.
Rent with free onboard concierge delivery to the ship Visit: https://silversea.shiptoshoretraveler.com/ 14
AN EXPLORER’S HEART An expedition to the remote regions of the Polar North is an experience for true adventurers. This is one of the world’s final frontiers, and after spending some time sailing through these frigid waters and experiencing the landscape, history and wildlife in the company of polar experts, one can’t help but gain a renewed and even more profound respect for these protected areas.
CONRAD COMBRINK SVP Strategic Development Expeditions and Experiences
CALL YOUR TRAVEL AGENT O R YO U R R E S E RVAT I O N T E A M
+43 1 928 7897
+32 2 401 1432
+45 7014 2898
+49 69 2222 12283
+358 9 2319 5040
+33 1 7070 9622
+39 02 3604 9211
+377 9770 2424
+31 20 713 9298
+47 2103 3400
+46 8 5068 5493
+41 4458 07181
+34 9380 01962
S I LV E R S E A . CO M 16
A journey across the top of the world