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Poseidon Expeditions Blog - Posts with tag "Arctic"

Exploration of Franz Josef Land: Part 2

In the decades following its discovery in 1873, Franz Josef Land continued to attract adventurers to the edge of the world. The remote and barely hospitable archipelago was at times a base of operations—and at times a place of refuge—for explorers hoping to travel even farther off the map, into the white places where no one had gone before.

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Exploration of Franz Josef Land: Part 1

Since its discovery 150 years ago, Franz Josef Land has been the setting of some of polar history’s most remarkable tales of exploration and survival. At the height of the brief Arctic summer, melting snow reveals relics from early adventurers who endured long, dark winters in icebound ships or makeshift stone huts awaiting frozen graves or serendipitous rescues. Read on to learn about the notable explorers who literally put Franz Josef Land on the map.

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Franz Josef Land in One Minute

Nowhere in the Arctic is the heroism and drama of early polar exploration more plainly evident than in Franz Josef Land. This 192-island archipelago is notoriously inaccessible, but a small cruise ship with a fleet of Zodiacs enables you to discover the islands’ hidden treasures, such as historical remains of legendary expeditions, dramatic mountains, and surreal geology.

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Top Reasons to Visit Svalbard

Why is Svalbard the Most Popular Arctic Cruise Destination?

Svalbard is the number one tourist destination in the High Arctic for a variety of reasons. Firstly, its main settlement is easily accessible via its commercial airport and cruise terminal. In addition to being the perfect representation of the pristine polar environment in most people’s imagination of the Arctic, this wilderness is home to an unparalleled abundance and diversity of Arctic wildlife. Incredible opportunities for photography and activities like sea kayaking add to the appeal. But more than any single reason, it is the unrivaled combination of these attractions that makes Svalbard the top choice for travelers to the Arctic.

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Defining the Arctic

Where Are the Boundaries of the Arctic?

For most of us, the Arctic is defined by our imaginations. We think of the Arctic as being cold, remote and sparsely populated. We imagine endless summer days and long polar winters. We think of a region full of ice and devoid of trees, home to polar bears, walrus and reindeer (and sometimes penguins, though this would be wrong). These are the classic ideas we have about the Arctic. But how precisely do we define the Arctic? Where are its actual boundaries? As it turns out, this vast and varied region does not fit neatly into a cartographer’s lines. Read on to learn about the various definitions of the Arctic that have been proposed.

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More Than Just an Experience

Poseidon Expeditions’ goal is to provide curious, discerning travellers with the perfect combination of comfort and personable service, balanced with maximum opportunities for outdoor activities in the spirit of adventure.

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Extreme Points in the Arctic

How to Visit the World’s Northernmost Tourist Destinations

Geographical extremes hold a great attraction for many people. Perhaps this is because we have not lost our evolutionary desire for exploration that caused us to become the most widespread animals on the surface of the planet. Or perhaps we are drawn to distant places because their remoteness allows us to feel a moment of freedom from the oppressive weight of civilization. Maybe we simply enjoy the feeling of exclusivity when we stand where very few people have stood before. Certainly, bragging rights are assumed whenever we visit a place where terms like “northernmost” are applied. Whatever your reasons for seeking out the far corners of the world, a polar cruise is a great way to achieve your geographical goals. Here are some of the northernmost places you can visit on an expedition cruise to the Arctic.

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How to Choose the Perfect Travel Companion for the Polar Regions

Modern-day expedition cruising offers intimate wildlife encounters, epic nature viewing and adventure options for any age and preferred activity level. The best vessels to discover the remote destinations of the Arctic or Antarctica are small expedition ships, like our very own 114-passenger Sea Spirit or the "50 Years of Victory" icebreaker.

Even for those traveling solo, the informal atmosphere aboard offers plenty of opportunities for socializing. You can have a suite all to yourself or opt for a shared cabin experience when we match you with a passenger of the same gender. If you prefer traveling with a partner, friend or family, choosing the right person to accompany you to the polar regions can seem challenging at first.

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Arctic Seals of Svalbard

True Seal Species Commonly Seen on an Arctic Cruise
Svalbard is home to a huge number of seals. With their thick layers of insulating blubber, true seals (otherwise known as earless seals) are better adapted to these icy waters than are sea lions or fur seals, which are not found in the High Arctic. Unlike their Antarctic relatives, Arctic seals are hunted relentlessly by a fearsome land-based predator—the polar bear. Because of this, you will rarely see Arctic seals hauled out on land. Arctic seals prefer to rest on sea ice or icebergs, though they are not safe from polar bears here either. Witnessing a polar bear stalk a seal on the ice is one of the world’s great wildlife experiences. In Svalbard, seals can be found in all waters from the innermost fjords to the polar ice edge. The best way to see a variety of Arctic seals is to join an expedition cruise. Here are some of the seal species you can see on an Arctic cruise to Svalbard and beyond.

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What Exactly is a Zodiac?

An Essential Part of Expedition Cruising

Anyone who joins a polar expedition cruise will become quite familiar with Zodiacs*. They are the indispensable inflatable boats used to transport passengers on excursions away from the cruise ship. They allow passengers to go ashore in remote locations and to get closer to nature during their voyage. In these ways, Zodiacs are essential to the expedition cruise experience. They are arguably more important than the cruise ship itself. Read on to learn more about the features and uses of these incredible boats.

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