Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500
Arctic Cruises

Arctic Cruises

Cruise to some of the most exciting areas in the world - the home of the polar bear, glaciers, icebergs and fascinating flora and fauna.

We offer a fine collection of adventure and expedition cruises to the Arctic with excursions ashore to view the sights! This is the land of the Midnight Sun, where the sun barely sets throughout the summer.

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020 / 2021

About Arctic Cruises

Spitsbergen is the largest island in the starkly beautiful Svalbard Archipelago, 400 miles north of mainland Norway and just 600 miles from the North Pole itself. Spectacular cliffs dominate the coastline with deep hidden fjords and colourful villages. Plants and migratory birds flourish in this national park, alongside reindeer, seals, arctic foxes and polar bears.

Still within the Arctic Circle, Greenland adventure cruises take you to the heart of the largest island in the world. Explore the ice covered extremities of northern Greenland and the staggeringly fertile green expanses of southern Greenland.

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Arctic Adventure Highlights


The small town of Akureyri sits at the end of Eyjafjordur below a landscape of volcanic mountains. The town has a lively atmosphere with art galleries and coffee houses, a folklore museum of local life and a heated outdoor pool with geo-thermal hot pots. Visits to Akureyri may include tours to the thermal Lake Myvatn and the waterfalls of Godafoss.

Akureyri (Iceland)


Alesund is built across three islands and uniquely for Norway, is an Art Nouveau town, rebuilt in this style after a devastating fire in 1904. The KUBE Art Museum is housed in the former premises of the Norwegian Bank, and upmarket shops line Apotekergata. For good views of the islands, hills and coast, take the steps from Alesund's park up to Mount Aksla. Worthy of a visit is the magnificent 12th-century Borgund Stave Church in Laerdal.

Alesund (Norway)


The old Hanseatic port of Bergen is within walking distance of the city centre and the famous Bryggen, the World Heritage listed waterfront area of gabled traditional buildings which dates back 900 years. The outdoor fish market is one of Bergen's popular tourist attractions, along with the Floibanen, the funicular which travels up Mount Floyen close to Skomadkerdiket Lake for views of the city and the sea.

Bergen (Norway)


Longyearbyen is the capital of the remote and beautiful Svalbard Archipelago, situated on its largest island, Spitsbergen and the gateway to the High Arctic. The town nestles between two glacier tongues on Advent Fjord and has a modern feel to it, with brightly-painted buildings, good facilities and the interesting Svalbard Museum. Longyearbyen has several research stations and the Global Seed Vault, which was dug into the permafrost and preserves seeds to ensure the future of plant diversity and food crops.

Longyearbyen (Norway)


Nuuk is the capital of Greenland, founded in 1728 and situated at the head of a large network of fjords. It is a blend of modern architecture and the older buildings of Kolonihaven. The Greenland National Museum houses the famous 15th-century Qilakitsoq Mummies, discovered beneath a hillside underhang in 1972 in a remarkable state of preservation. In the harbour is the beautiful statue of the 'Mother of the Sea' which is covered by the waves at high tide.

Nuuk (Greenland)


Reykjavik is the most northerly capital in the world. The wooden buildings of the old town sit beside lively, modern Reykjavik which has excellent museums, galleries and contemporary outdoor geo-thermal pools. There are superb viewing decks in the lovely church of Hallgr'mskirkja, built to resemble lava flow. The Imagine Peace Tower opposite the harbour was built by Yoko Ono as a memorial to John Lennon and emits a tower of light during the last three months of the year.

Reykjavik (Iceland)


Spitsbergen is the largest island in the remote Svalbard archipelago and the only one with a permanent population. For travellers continuing north, it is the gateway to the High Arctic and the last stop before the North Pole. This harsh habitat supports polar bears, reindeer and hardy flora, and is home to international research stations and the Global Seed Vault. Its dramatic scenery includes Advent Fjord, the Monaco Glacier and jagged granite mountains.

Spitsbergen (Norway)


Svolvaer is the main port and capital of the Lofoten Islands, and its harbour is idyllically set below a ring of mountains. It's renowned for the special qualities of its natural light which attracts painters and sculptors to the town, built across small islets connected by bridges. For such a small town, there are plenty of shops, restaurants and good public transport links to smaller towns nearby.

Svolvaer (Lofoten Islands, Norway)

The Lofoten and Vesterålen Islands

These beautiful, mountainous island chains, rising to 1,000 metres in places, are some of the oldest in the world, fjorded during the Ice Age. Many of the fishermen's cabins are built on stilts along the waterfront in the small settlements here. Tiny islands like Rost are home to nesting seabirds such as puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes, eider ducks, cormorants and sea eagles. See the Legends of the Lofoten Islands Tour, which spends more time here.

The Lofoten and Vesterålen Islands (Norway)


Tromso is the capital of the Arctic, and has been the starting point for many Polar expeditions. In the waterfront Polar Museum there are exhibits related to these and the history of hunting and trapping in the Polar region. There are shops, cafes, the stunning stained glass Arctic Cathedral and the world's most northerly botanic garden in the town, which benefits from the Gulf Stream.

Tromso (Norway)


Trondheim is an attractive city partly encircled by the River Nid and was once the capital of Norway. Its waterfront is bordered by brightly-painted wharves and the old town bridge leads to the lively Bakklandet neighbourhood where there are numerous wooden houses, shops and cafes. The town's chief sight is the ancient cathedral of Nidaros which was built in the 11th century over the burial site of St Olav.

Trondheim (Norway)

Customer Reviews

The North West Passage trip on LAustral, Ponant, was a fabulous experience. There was a very special mix of wildlife, landscape, Inuit culture, and history.

Compared to the Antartic penninsular, where the wildlife is easy to find, in the NW Passage it has to be sought out and cannot be guaranteed. However, the Captain made great efforts to ensure we saw as much as possible and what we did see was extraordinary. From polar bears swimming near the ship, to dozens of narwhals, belugas and walrus, with a couple of grey whales and musk ox, and some bearded seals, the photographers on board were going crazy.

The landscape is spectacular,so being able to land and walk on the tundra, and islands where Franklin and others landed, is a great experience. Icebergs and ice flows were also seen, though with global climate change the ice flows are much reduced.

Intuit culture and life style were highlights and vists to two villages, one in Greenland and one on Canada, gave a glimpse into the challenges they face and how the climate has dictated their way of life. In fact this trip really makes you appreciate the impact of climate change and the adverse effect on Inuit life and the pressure on wildlife with reduced numbers of polar bears and other species that rely on ice. We, and our governments, urgently need to look at how we reduce our carbon output significantly.

Finally, the history of early explorers, particularly Frankins ill fated voyage and the many attempts to find him, was fascinating.

All this was enhanced by the excellent talks given by the expedition team members who were also on hand to help at the landings and on the walks.

The luxury on board LAustral with first class food and service was as you would expect.

Just a note to thank you and your team for organising a holiday that turned out to be a trip of a lifetime.

We saw 15 polar bears, with really good views of many of them, The pictures of the polar bear was taken from the beautiful observation lounge of the Fram. We also saw reindeer, walrus and thousands of birds. The scenery was magnificent and Ann even went swimming in the waters by the Magdalene glacier. Perhaps the most unexpected and magical part of the holiday was that we were able to reach the Ice Edge, which is the pack ice that surrounds the North Pole (80 degrees 25 North). We were taken on a trip around the ice in the small polar circle motor boats. Although it was freezing cold (we were kitted out with thermal suits) the experience was out of this world The shapes and colours of the ice was spectacular. We were told that it was likely that we were nearest people to the North Pole at that time. As you can see, we really had an unforgettable time.

Once again, many thanks for arranging our second trip on the MV Fram and, hopefully, it will not be the last.

We had a wonderful holiday to Spitsbergen on MV Fram. It was a holiday of a lifetime. We not only saw a polar bear, but also 2 Blue Whales which we watched for almost two hours under the midnight sun. This was the highlight of the holiday, together with swimming in arctic waters at almost 80 degrees N, just 600 nautical miles south of the North Pole.

Our travel arrangments went without a hitch as did the whole holiday.

MV Fram is a super ship, good food, comfortable cabins and with super views of the scenery from every lounge on board especially the superb observation lounge. The service was faultless and the Expedition Leaders were excellent. All in all, this was not just a holiday but an adventure of a lifetime. The service from Blue Water Holidays was excellent with all our queries and information being dealt with promptly and in a very friendly manner, allowing us to have a hastle free holiday. We would certainly consider booking another holiday through Blue Water Holidays in the future.

Total Reviews: 5 Read More Reviews...