Before
You Go

Prepare For Your
Arctic Expedition

Before you embark on the journey of a lifetime, take a look at our tips and suggestions to ensure you enjoy your expedition to the fullest and with your health, comfort and well-being in mind.

Physical Fitness

To travel to the Arctic, you should be in relatively good health. It’s not necessary to be at peak, athletic levels of physical fitness, but there is physical activity when on shore. We highly recommend that you receive a confirmation from your doctor regarding your fitness to travel to the Arctic.

Passport and Visa Requirements

You do require a valid passport when entering the countries your journey takes you through on your Arctic expeditions. Check with the Department of State Travel for specific visa and passport requirements for the ports you are traveling through. Make sure your passport is active for at least 6 months after your travels are complete and that it has enough blank pages for the necessary stamps.

What To Pack

During the height of Arctic summer (mid-May to late August), temperatures often reach between 50- and-60-degrees Fahrenheit. It’s much more pleasant than many would think for a destination known for glaciers, icebergs and stunning fjords. But in the far northern areas, it can still become chilly (due to how windy it can be!) so, it’s important to layer up when heading out on an expedition to the Arctic. The below dress guideline is for expeditions journeying through Longyearbyen (Svalbard) and Greenland.

Base Layers

It’s recommended you bring leggings or thermal underwear for warmth and to control moisture. Thin socks and tops are also best for comfort and easier movement. We recommend basic long johns, leggings and thermal underwear for warmth and moisture control, with enough to switch between day to day as you see fit. Fabrics such as merino wool, fleece, Capilene and synthetic blends like polyester or acrylic work best.

Mid Layers

Consider a combination of light-to-mid-weight layers for optimized warmth with minimal bulk. We recommend insulation layers of thick socks, long johns and shirts and glove liners. Choose these layers based on weather conditions and your personal comfort level.

Outer Layers

To keep you dry and protected from the elements, we recommend waterproof pants and sweater or protective shirts. We also suggest a windbreaker or a similar style jacket.

As you make it to the shores of the Arctic regions, you’ll be provided with waterproof knee boots to step off the tender or Zodiacs for some landings. You will also receive a complimentary parka provided by Atlas for voyages to Longyearbyen, Svalbard, but feel free to bring your own coat.

Top Layers & Accessories

To protect the face and neck, we recommend a scarf or neck gaiter and to keep your head warm a knit wool cap and/or jacket with a hood to cover up. For your hands, we suggest waterproof gloves or mittens. While it may be cold and icy, the sun is still shining, so it’s recommended you pack sunscreen (without oxybenzone for environmental protection) and lip balm, as well as polarized sunglasses.

What To Wear On Board

When spending time aboard our yachts, you can keep it casual, as they are climate controlled for comfort. We recommend the following attire.

  • Light shirts and pants
  • Non-slip, closed toe shoes
  • Waterproof jacket or windbreaker (for enjoying Water’s Edge or the top-most deck)
  • In the evenings, comfortable winter attire for evening dining. Casual relaxation in slacks or skirts, with sweaters or jackets optional

FAQs

Do you provide flights for Arctic expeditions?

A: Every Arctic expedition includes FREE private charter jet service between Oslo and Longyearbyen.

Will Atlas Ocean Voyages provide expedition clothing (included) and changing area?

A: Every Arctic expedition includes a FREE parka and vest (yours to keep!) and FREE use of knee boots throughout the voyage. Our yachts also have a mud room for changing before you head out to your next exhilarating challenge.

What should I keep in mind when visiting the visiting the Arctic?

A: This is a pristine destination with a fragile ecosystem, so it’s important to remember to be a responsible explorer, including being mindful of packing clean gear, not taking anything from shore, and following the instructions on board for properly decontaminating your footwear and clothing. For a complete guide on what to do to be a conscious traveler, visit our Environmental Stewardship and Safety for All pages on our website or visit the AECO site for a full set of guidelines.

When is the best time to travel to the Arctic?

A: During the height of Arctic summer (mid-May to late August), temperatures are often pleasant, reaching between 50- and-60-degrees Fahrenheit. Summer is also the best time to spot beluga whales in Greenland.

Is your fleet made for Arctic expeditions?

A: Yes! Our brand-new yachts are Polar Category C and Ice Class 1B, purpose-built for remote navigation. As our expeditions take place during Arctic summer, there will be mild ice conditions and more open water, which is what our categorizations allow our yachts to navigate. With these polar code categorizations, we offer safety and stability.

What level of health and physical fitness do I need to be in to travel to the Arctic?

A: To travel to the Arctic with Atlas Ocean Voyages, it’s not necessary to be at peak, athletic levels of physical fitness. You can take it easy or be as active as you want on shore. As you are journeying to a remote part of the world, we encourage you to check in with your doctor if you would like peace of mind. And if you have pre-existing conditions that may require medical attention, we ask that you notify Atlas before your sailing.

Is an Arctic expedition possible for disabled travelers?

A: While we aim to make our voyages inclusive for all guests, Antarctica is a destination that presents challenging elements. Our Arctic journeys also use Zodiacs to transport guests between shore and yacht, so if you have a disability that does not easily allow for such transportation, we cannot serve you well for an Arctic expedition at this time.

What is a Zodiac and who operates them?

A: Zodiacs are highly buoyant rubber boats built with inflatable hulls with several air-filled compartments for optimum floatation. Our polar-class yachts are equipped with custom-designed Zodiacs, complete with reinforced bow chests. Trained staff and crew members drive and operate the Zodiacs when taking you to your Arctic adventures in the water and on shore. Please make sure to always follow their careful instructions when embarking and disembarking from the Zodiac.

Should I bring binoculars on an Arctic expedition:

A: Atlas is pleased to provide a set of binoculars in every suite and stateroom for you to use freely for your wildlife viewing adventures.

What kind of animals will I see?

A: The Arctic is a paradise for animal lovers with plenty of wildlife. You’ll see various species of seals, sea birds, whales and more. Check out our Wildlife page to discover what you may see.

Are my activities restricted on shore?

A: To help preserve the beauty and environment of the Arctic, your expedition leader will guide you every step of the way. This way, you experience your journey to the fullest while leaving only footprints behind. Before you head to shore, your expedition team will brief you on conservation and best practices for exploring the land. It’s important to follow their instructions.

What should I know before I go on an expedition to the Arctic?

A: We believe in being prepared so you can fully enjoy your Arctic experience. Please check out our “What to Pack” page to see what you should know before embarking on your journey.

Who is leading Atlas Ocean Voyages’ Arctic expeditions?

A: Our world-class expedition team consists of expedition leaders, guest lecturers, photographers and scientists — experts in their fields — who will guide and educate you through your Arctic journey. They’ll help you experience the region to the fullest while doing what it takes to maintain the pristine environment. Their knowledge and passion will make your voyage unforgettably extraordinary.

To Book, Call your Preferred Travel Advisor
or our Voyage Specialists at 1.844.44.ATLAS (28527) 

Always Included

  • FREE cultural immersion
  • FREE dining venues with ever-changing menus
  • FREE unlimited beverages, including fine wines, spirits and craft beers
  • FREE open bars and lounges, including 24-hour bar service with specialty canapés
  • FREE stocked in-room minibar
  • FREE specialty coffees, teas and fresh-pressed juices
  • FREE afternoon and high tea
  • FREE champagne and gourmet canapés during meet and greet
  • FREE 24-hour room service, including spirits, wine and beer
  • FREE L'OCCITANE bath amenities
  • FREE pre-paid gratuities
  • FREE use of walking sticks and binoculars
  • FREE reusable water bottle
  • FREE butler service and expanded room service menu in suites

Exclusively on Polar Expeditions

  • FREE cultural immersion
  • FREE private charter jet service*
  • FREE enrichment lectures and destination briefings
  • FREE shore landings led by expert field guides
  • FREE escorted sightseeing safaris by Zodiac
  • FREE polar plunge
  • FREE Atlas Ocean Voyages parka and vest
  • FREE use of knee boots
  • FREE private group transfers between airport and yacht*
  • FREE 1-night pre-cruise hotel stay on all Antarctica expeditions
  • FREE 1-night post-cruise hotel stay on select Antarctica expeditions
*Available on Antarctica and select Arctic expeditions

Exclusively on Epicurean Expeditions

  • FREE cultural immersion includes culinary experience ashore, such as local market visits, specialty tastings and more
  • FREE Josper Grill Dining Experience at 7AFT Grill
  • FREE culinary presentations and wine tastings
  • FREE cooking demonstrations and cuisine tastings
  • FREE events hosted by a Tastes & Traditions Expert on select expeditions
  • FREE Atlas Ocean Voyages backpack
  • FREE use of water toys on select expeditions

Exclusively on Cultural Expeditions

  • FREE cultural immersion
  • FREE enrichment programs and workshops on select expeditions
  • FREE authentic, local experiences and on board events on select expeditions
  • FREE Josper Grill Dining Experience at 7AFT Grill
  • FREE Atlas Ocean Voyages backpack
  • FREE use of water toys on select expeditions

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