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|A journey in the Arctic is not one you merely take to reach your destination, but one to savour in itself, giving time and space to remove urban cobwebs and revitalise the mind. The coastal landscapes are both rich and expansive, where one may marvel at the spectacle of dolphin acrobatics at the bow, view tail flukes of whales on the horizon or witness polar bears cruising by on the ice.
The Arctic's vast and remote expanse is ideal for exploration from the sea. Your vessel is no longer only a means of transport, but your base camp; sustaining and protecting you, whilst at the same time taking you deeper into one of the wildest and most hostile places on the planet. The Arctic instills a strong sense of detachment from the routine of modern scheduled life.
Ice Strengthened Sailing & Motor Ships
Aqua-Firma provides the opportunity to explore this remote wilderness by your choice of ice-strengthened motor ships, or by sailing yachts and tallships. These vessels carry small groups of between 20 - 112 travellers, providing an intimate and stimulating atmosphere of like minded people. Each vessel however delivers a different experience: The ice-stengthened vessels are bold and powerful, hosting excellent viewing from the bridge, bow and decks throughout its length. One can watch in awe as the vessel deftly moves aside an ice mass equal in size to its own, whilst carving a path through the floes in its way.
The tallships on the other hand are handsome, comfortable and undoubtedly suited to the challenges of the Arctic, evoking a romance and an expeditionary sense of adventure which comes with moving as one with the Nature rather than against it.
Aqua-Firma's specialist knowledge and experience means that optional adventures such as Polar Sea Kayaking,
For the experienced dry suit diver we have an exciting programme of Polar Diving onboard some of our special marine life and wildlife departures. Such expeditions are often supported by underwater photographers and cameramen who bring back from their dives images of the underwater world: enriching the experience of those onboard who do not dive but wish to learn more about the incredible environment below the icy Arctic waters.
During all our natural history voyages we spend significant periods of time ashore in the company of some of the best natural history guides in the Arctic. Rigid inflatable boats launched from the motor ships carry small groups to impressive glacier fronts and majestic icebergs, providing close up observations of the incredible wildlife of the polar seas. Lectures, workshops and entertaining discussions are led by professionals including former British Antarctic Survey staff, marine scientists, wildlife experts, polar historians and geologists.
Spitsbergen with its rugged mountains, sweeping tundra, ice caps and glaciers, is a High Arctic archipelago just 600 miles from the North Pole. It is a true wilderness: difficult to reach and hostile to explore. Spitsbergen is amongst the most interesting and exciting of all Arctic destinations, and is home to around 2,000 polar bears as well as walruses, reindeer, Arctic fox and huge Arctic seabird colonies.....MORE
Greenland is huge, isolated and difficult to imagine. It is the World's largest island, magnificent, dramatic and unspoilt by modern human trappings. Home to the largest National Park in the World, the North-East hosts majestic fjord scenery, enormous ice sheets, sweeping glaciers, mountainous icebergs and wildlife which includes musk oxen. In Eastern Greenland, our early summer tallship voyages go in search of Greenland Bowhead Whales. As Humpback Whales join them and migrate northwards, we too push north along the coast. As we head south in late summer, we find that East Greenland is often an excellent place for early season viewings of the Northern Lights....MORE
Norway's Lofoten Islands
The Lofoten Islands form a sweeping arc protruding out from the mainland of north western Norway. The sea here is deep, clear and warmed by the Gulf Stream. The Lofoten Islands emerge high and steep out from sea providing some of Norway's most dramatic coastal scenery. We explore this region of islands, fjords and coastal mountains by means of a 20 passenger tallship … MORE
Photographs kindly provided by Troels Jacobsen, Jan Belgers, Tiu Simila, Rolf Stange, Taliesin Coombes, Sally Attree, Josh Harrison, Doug Howes, David Slater Pedro Vieyra and Charlotte Caffrey