About the Arctic

The Arctic and all you need to know about its land, animals and night skies are found in the information gathered over decades of research and exploration to the ‘desert of the north’. What we’ve learned about the Arctic, is that this region is a magical place filled with dazzling sights and wildlife that has been designed to only survive in this particular part of the world. 

The word ‘Arctic’ comes from the Greek word for bear, ‘arktos’, which refers to two celestial bodies visible in the Arctic sky year-round. The constellations in question are Ursa Major meaning ‘Great Bear’ and Ursa Minor, Little Bear, which contains Polaris, the North Star. 

The wilderness of the Arctic region is substantial and crucial for the migration and breeding of whale and bird populations from around the world. It remains one of the wilderness areas most critical for global diversity.

  • Arctic Climate

    It the Arctic really that cold? Read on to discover what temperatures your likely to experience on your expedition to the Arctic.

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  • Arctic Landscapes

    Discover the Arctic’s geology with spectacular landscapes of glaciers, ice caps and tundra, all covered with unexpected delights.

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  • AECO Biosecurity Guidelines

    The Arctic remains one of the most pristine natural environments in the world. AECO’s biosecurity guidelines aim to minimize the risk of future introductions of non-native species to the Arctic.

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  • Arctic Flora

    The Arctic's flora is a great example of how resilient nature can be. Before you embark on the Polar Pioneer, what flora should you be familiar with?

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  • Arctic Birdlife

    The Arctic is certainly a tough place to live, and its bird life has adapted over thousands of years to succeed in this environment.

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  • People of the Arctic

    From the first settlers to today's citizens, the Arctic has been shaped by some fascinating people. Read on to find out who, throughout the centuries, hascalled the Arctic home.

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  • Arctic Wildlife

    Puffins flap in with beaks full of fish, polar bears hunt seals to fatten their cubs and whales swim north to feed; find out about the wildlife of the European Arctic!

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I wanted to see "A" polar bear in its natural habitat, the expedition went beyond my wildest dreams. To see so much wild life and particularly "23" polar bears, I had tears in my eyes just seeing the first one!! The bonus and I still cannot believe it, to see a blue whale.
M. Johnston - Spitsbergen Odyssey, 2016
The trip was more than I expected, I describe it to friends as waking to a different David Attenborough program every day, but better.
T. Johnston, Spitsbergen Odyssey, 2016
I cannot rate Aurora, the staff, the expedition team, the hotel staff and chefs and the crew highly enough. And the ship....love Polar Pioneer in all its non-luxury glory!
K. Hinchliffe, Jewels of the Arctic, 2015
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