Discover the Best Time for an Unforgettable Arctic Cruise

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Are you dreaming of exploring the Arctic on a cruise? The Arctic is a magical and untouched place that offers stunning scenery, exotic wildlife, and a unique cultural experience. But, what time of year is best for an Arctic cruise? This article will guide you through the best time to visit the Arctic, the Arctic climate, and the best Arctic cruises available.

Understanding the Arctic Climate

Before diving into the best time to plan an Arctic cruise, it is important to understand the Arctic climate. The Arctic is located at the northernmost part of the Earth and is known for its harsh and unpredictable weather conditions. The region consists of a polar climate with long and extremely cold winters and short, cool summers.

The Arctic winter begins in October and lasts until April, with temperatures dropping to as low as -40°C (-40°F). The winter season is characterized by total darkness, with the sun not rising above the horizon for several months. The summer season, on the other hand, begins in May and lasts until September, with temperatures ranging from -5°C to 10°C (23°F to 50°F). During this season, the Arctic experiences the midnight sun, where the sun does not set below the horizon for several weeks.

The Best Time for an Arctic Cruise

The best time of year for an Arctic cruise is the summer season from May to September. This is the time when the ice around the Arctic Ocean starts to break up, creating enough space for ships to move around freely. The weather is also more pleasant during this period, with warmer temperatures and longer days, allowing for more exploration time.

June and July are ideal months to visit the Arctic. This is the time when the weather is mild, wildlife is abundant, and there is still a significant amount of ice present. During these months, you can witness the iconic polar bear and Arctic fox in their natural habitat, along with various species of birds and marine animals. You can also participate in a range of outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, and whale watching.

If you are looking for a true Arctic experience, August and September are perfect months to visit. This is the time when the ice starts to melt, and the region opens up further, allowing for more exploration. You can witness the last of the summer wildlife before it prepares for the winter, and the Northern lights begin to appear, providing an ethereal backdrop to your cruise.

The Best Arctic Cruise for You

Now that you know the best time to visit the Arctic, it’s time to choose the right Arctic cruise for you. There are multiple options available, ranging from luxury cruises to small-ship expeditions. It is important to do your research and choose the option that suits your interests and budget best.

If you are looking for a luxurious experience, Silversea’s Arctic cruises are an excellent option. These cruises offer an all-inclusive experience, where you can indulge in gourmet food, world-class service, and luxury amenities. Their Arctic cruises operate from June to September, and you can choose from various routes that take you through the breathtaking scenery of Norway, Iceland, and Greenland.

For those looking for adventure and an immersive cultural experience, Quark Expeditions’ Arctic cruises are ideal. These cruises operate from June to September and take you to remote locations such as Spitsbergen and Greenland. During the cruise, you can participate in activities such as hiking, kayaking, Zodiac cruising, and onshore explorations. You can also interact with the local Inuit communities and witness their unique way of life.


Exploring the Arctic on a cruise is an unforgettable experience that provides a unique insight into a world that is untouched and pristine. The best time to plan an Arctic cruise is during the summer season from May to September, where you can witness abundant wildlife, participate in exciting outdoor activities, and witness the awe-inspiring Northern lights. Whatever your interests and budget may be, there is an Arctic cruise that is perfect for you.

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