Arctic Expeditions

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Arctic expeditions take travelers on an exhilarating journey to a remote, relatively unexplored land of adventure. Rich in natural wonders and resources, teeming with wildlife and birds, this frozen region appeals to travelers and scientists, nature lovers and sightseers. The gigantic glaciers are awesome; the huge colonies of birds are spectacular.

The Arctic includes about seven million square miles, most of it ice-covered ocean. The Arctic Circle includes the northernmost parts of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandanavia, and Russia, but the Arctic region adds Iceland, Spitsbergen (Svalbard), and the Bering Sea. The highest point in this region is Mount Gunnbjorn on the Greenland Ice Sheet at 12,139 feet.

Arctic Expeditions to a Hazardous Region

This is a land of extremes. In winter, the temperature can reach -90 degrees Fahrenheit; in summer, it can soar to 100 degrees. Temperatures at any one time are dependent on proximity to the ocean, amount of ice cover, and latitude. With roughly 1.5 million visitors each year, mostly in summer, and a total coastline of about 25,000 miles, there is plenty of room for exploration, free from crowds or other tourists at all, on Arctic expeditions.

Arctic expeditions on land demand intimate knowledge of the vagaries of the weather, the hazards of ice drift, and illusions of solid landforms created by reflections in the sky from dark, open water. Arctic travel on rugged North Pole icebreakers is both safe and thrilling because these boats take passengers through the Northwest Passage and other Arctic waters that are not accessible by other kinds of ships.

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