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Norwegian Arctic landscape

When is the best time to visit the Arctic?

Expedition cruises to the Arctic (around the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, plus Greenland and the Russian far east) operate in the brief Arctic summer, when the sea ice has receded enough to allow the expedition vessels in to explore. In the high summer of late June and early July, the sun remains above the horizon for 24 hours a day and sea birds are in abundance. Hopefully you will have a chance to meet a polar bear or two at whatever time you travel, while whales will hopefully be spotted throughout the season too.

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who's been there
Audley Travel specialist Anna

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Arctic specialists on 01993 838 652

I have sent clients at every time of the Arctic summer travel season, and all have had great experiences. As with any trip that is wildlife-based, you are at the mercy of nature, and the polar bear sightings are a matter of luck and being in the ‘right place at the right time’ (along with the skill of your expedition crew) rather than travelling at any particular point in the season.

Lizzie, Latin America and Polar Specialist

Arctic Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Longyearbyen -13°C 22mm -13°C 28mm -13°C 29mm -9°C 16mm -3°C 13mm 3°C 18mm 7°C 24mm 6°C 30mm 1°C 25mm -4°C 19mm -8°C 22mm -11°C 25mm

Month-by-month guide to travelling in the Arctic

Arctic Sea Ice

Visiting the Arctic in October - May

The density of the sea ice and the long days of darkness mean that no expedition cruises operate during these months.

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Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring the Arctic