Ever wondered what a day in the life of an Arctic adventure might look like? Is it 24/7 icebergs and glaciers? Is it possible to see a polar bear from your cabin? Do we Polar Plunge every day? We break it down in our handy guide to 24 hours on an Arctic Adventure.

The Arctic is a wild and untamed destination, a place for explorers, adventurers, and the curious alike. Nature is the boss on every Arctic sailing, with our trusted expedition leader’s nature’s 2IC. Due to Arctic’s ever-changing climate, we provide a broad stroke of what may happen across 24 hours; there are never any guarantees. We’ve, therefore, taken the liberty of selecting the standard elements experienced on tour, cherry-picked from a few of our most popular ones.

Polar Bear Seeking Adventures

Spying a polar bear in the wild is a drawcard when choosing the Arctic as your holiday destination. Elusive, powerful, and awe-inspiring, it is utterly compelling to witness the King of the Arctic, whether it’s hunting for its next meal or relaxing on the ice.

As polar bears live solitary existences, we take to our Zodiac Cruise boats to track them down on pack ice. It’s no sure thing to find this elusive predator, however, the Arctic is the polar bear’s realm, and we’ll do our utmost to make it happen. Due to the flexibility of our itineraries, we have multiple opportunities to see a polar bear in its natural habitat.

For your greatest chance of ticking a polar bear off your bucket list, consider any of our Greenland, Svalbard, or Canadian Northwest Passage itineraries

Wildlife Spotting

Besides the polar bear, there is an incredible amount of wildlife to see in the Arctic – far more than in the Antarctic, in fact! From cuties like Arctic foxes and puffins to the mammoth, like musk oxen and whales, many expedition days have the potential for jaw-dropping wildlife sightings.

We have a commitment to only encounter wildlife in their natural habitat, which makes any interactions that much more magical! Plus, with 25 years’ experience in the Arctic and our passionate expedition leaders, we’re clued up on all the best spots to see which wildlife, where, and at what time of year.

Want to know our pick of the best Arctic wildlife and corresponding tours? Read this! 

Polar Plunge

The Polar Plunge is a once-in-a-lifetime activity that you’ll desperately want to do and in equal measure wish you weren’t crazy enough to want to do it! While optional, this polar rite of passage sees you plunging into the depths of the Arctic’s waters, surrounded by glaciers. It’s thrilling.

Guests who have bravely signed up for the Polar Plunge report a rush of pride accompanies the rush of blood as it floods back to your extremities. It’s an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, push your boundaries, and add an unforgettable travel story (and bragging rights) to your repertoire.

You’ll have one opportunity per voyage to tackle the Polar Plunge. This life-affirming challenge always happens under the supervision of a doctor, with memories happily snapped by a professional photographer.

Take the Polar Plunge on any of our voyages in the Arctic.

Enrichment Talks

When you cruise with AE Expeditions, you’re not only choosing to be experience the best of the Arctic with top-notch expedition leaders and the best crew in the business. You’ll also unlock key insights and nuances about each destination we cruise through.

Every voyage has a series of evening talks and lectures to whet your appetite for the days ahead. Our on-board professional photographers also give talks, including tips on improving your photography skills (you can apologise to your family and friends now about the upcoming barrage of photos).

Our popular Citizen Science programmes allows giving back while on tour, guided by subject matter experts. Citizen Science is the collection and analysis of data provided by the general public (in this case, you) in collaboration with Arctic scientists. It’s an enriching, optional addition to your AE Expeditions experience.

To delve into more specialised interests, check out our Special Guests Program. On dedicated sailings, our featuring experts in their field – photography, exploration, wildlife, etc. – share lectures, fireside chats, and phenomenal insights, elevating your Arctic cruise experience.

Add-on Activities


SCUBA Diving

Trekking & Hiking

Stand-up Paddleboarding

Another way to tap into your interests while in the Arctic is to join one of our add-on activities. With three incredible Arctic add-on options featured across some of our tours, you can add even more thrills to your sailing.

One of the most unusual add-on activities is a scuba dive in Iceland, diving between two tectonic plates. It’s the only place in the world you can do this, and we’re the ONLY cruise operator to offer diving in the Arctic!

Located outside Reykjavík, the Silfra Fissure is a rift between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. The crystal-clear waters offer visibility to 100m, and the icy temperatures (2-4c) are managed with specialised dry suits and gear. It’s incredible! Find this add-on on the  Iceland Circumnavigation and Arctic Complete expeditions.

If you prefer your adventure activities on the water, not under it, our Jewels of the Arctic is one of our most popular sailings for kayaking. Perhaps because of its incredible landscape or maybe because Greenland is the birthplace of the word ‘kayak’!

The AE Expeditions Way

When you travel with AE Expeditions, you’re not only receiving 30+ years of experience leading ship-based adventures to remote destinations. You’re also choosing a small-ship, low-impact cruise that affords a deeper connection to everything experienced in the Arctic. Our mission is to have you disembark from your AE Expeditions adventure knowing more than when you got on.

If you’re ready to explore this incredible region of the world in the most meaningful and memorable way possible, get in touch with our knowledgeable team today.

Unlock our immersive Arctic Expeditions

Arctic & Beyond 2024 Season Brochure

Explore our Arctic & Global 2024 season, full of life changing adventures across the wildest and most remote destinations around the globe. Choose from 15 departures exploring the Arctic and 3 voyages to our hand-picked Global destinations.

Dive into our comprehensive 112-page brochure and find your next life-changing adventure.


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