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LIST: UK TOUR OPERATORS TO THE ARCTIC AND ANTARCTICA

These are UK-based tour operators and specialist travel agencies featuring trips to the polar regions - Antarctica and the Arctic.

Antarctica is truly vast, covering almost 10% the earth's surface, and Brits can't get enough of it. We're the second keenest nation among the 30,000 annual visitors to Antarctica (Americans are 1st).

In the Arctic we are also big players (being closer) though numbers are hard to assess. The North Cape attracts 200,000 international visitors per year and nearest bit of dry land in the Arctic, Svalbard, hosts between 20-30,000.
Abercrombie & Kent 0845 0700610 Many years experience operating expeditionary-style cruises to Antarctica.
Aurora Zone, The 01670 785 012 starThe Northern Lights travel company specialising in just one thing - taking people to see the Aurora Borealis in Finland, Sweden and Norway, for geeky interest breaks, family adventures or romantic honeymoons.
Arctic Experience 01737 214214 Arctic Experience is one of the best-known operators specialising in, well 'arctic experiences'. They've been around for 25 yrs (2010) and have a large programme of expeditionary, wildlife and wilderness tours to Iceland, Greenland, Spitzbergen and the Faroes. Part of the Discover the World group.
Arcturus Expeditions 01389 830204 Arcturus offer their own expeditions (camping, walking), and arrange other activities (dog-sledding, sea-kayaking, cruises, etc) with other operators. Destinations in both the Antarctic and Arctic.
Discover the World 01737 214 250 A wide range of expeditionary cruises to both polar regions offering a selection of themes and areas.
Exodus 020 8675 5550 Exodus have a selection of four Antarctic expeditionary cruises ranging between 13 - 19 days, and two new Spitzbergen adventures in the Arctic.
Explorations Company, The 01367 850 566 Bespoke upmarket itineraries to South America and the Antarctic.
Footprint Adventures 01522 804929 Wide range of expedition cruises to Antartica and the region for naturalists, wildlife enthusiasts and birders.
G Adventures 08444 10 10 30 Pound sign The Great Adventure People - small-group worldwide adventure travel specialist with a comprehensive year-round programme of cruises to the Arctic and Antarctic.
Jacada Travel 020 3131 7406 Bespoke travel agency offering luxury tailormade itineraries to Antarctica.
Journey Latin America 020 8747 3108 A choice of Antarctic cruises on nine different ships.
Mighty Fine Company, The 0845 072 0090 Arctic cruises around the Spitzbergen area.
Ornitholidays 01794 519445 Guided bird-watching cruises to Antarctica, the Falklands & South Georgia.
Pen Hadow Travel 020 8399 6327 A polar guide company launched in the mid-nineties as 'The Polar Travel Company' by arctic explorer Pen Hadow, taking you to either pole. These days, instead of doing it themselves, they use another specialist, Voyage Concepts (see below), to arrange itineraries.
Peregrine Adventures 01635 872 040 Cruises to Antarctica, the Falklands & South Georgia, and to the Arctic waters of Greenland, Newfoundland and the Northwest Passage, on two ships which they operate in conjunction with the Russian Academy of Science: the Peregrine Mariner aka Akademik Ioffe - the same ship that Exodus (above) uses - and Peregrine Voyager aka Akademik Sergei Vavilov.
Quark Expeditions 01494 464080 Major polar expedition cruise operator with a fleet of ice-breakers cruising to both Antarctica and the North Pole.
Real World Travel 0870 736 4757 Small selection of Antarctic expedition cruises.
Select Latin America 020 7407 1478 A wide range of Antarctic and South Atlantic cruises ranging from 4-days to 36-days.
Voyage Concepts 020 8399 6060 Worldwide expeditions and adventure operator specialising in polar travel and mountain expeditions.
Voyage Jules Verne 020 7616 1000 VJV offer cruises to the North Pole on the Russian Icebreaker Yamal.
Wildwings 0117 9658 333 Wildwings offer a range of Antarctic cruises from Chile, but also to the pack ice from South Africa, to the sub-Antarctic islands below New Zealand, and a full circumnavigation. Also, if you have a fascination for the deep and deep pockets to go with it, they arrange dive trips in deep sea submersibles under the North Pole and arctic ice.
World Expeditions 020 8870 2600 A small selection of Arctic and Antarctic voyages.
Worldwide Journeys & Expeditions 020 7386 4646 Antarctic cruises on a choice of three ships.

Notes

  • Poseidon Arctic Cruises (+7 095 246 3995) operates a number of arctic cruises and expeditions using Russian icebreakers from Murmansk
  • Oceanwide Expeditions (+31 118 410 410) is a Dutch expeditionary cruise specialist offering a range of Arctic & Antarctic cruises. Also remote islands in the North & Mid-Atlantic.
  • Antarctic Shipping (UK agent: 0117 9467547) was launched in 2002 by a group of former Chilean navy officers and operates the Antarctic Dream, a 78-guest expedition cruise ship, on expeditions to Antarctica.

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