Arctic quiz: Find out which cruise line is right for you…

Travel Advice

You're planning an extraordinary adventure, a trip of a lifetime. You are going to visit the Arctic, and hope to catch a glimpse of polar bears in the wild before it's too late. But once you start researching your many options, and find how many cruise lines and tour operators offer trips to the polar regions, the amount of choice can quickly become overwhelming.

Of course, the best way to narrow down your options and find the right cruise line for you is to speak to one of our expedition experts here at Mundy Adventures. We've been to the Arctic, and between us we've travelled on all the key expedition lines, so we can give you first hand advice based on your individual interests and requirements.

However, we thought it would be fun to put together a little quiz, to help steer you towards the type of Arctic cruise that we think you'll enjoy. Simply make a note of the answer that best describes you for each question, and we'll tell you at the end what sort of Arctic explorer we think you are…

1. What is your main motivation for visiting the Arctic?

(a) I've always dreamed of visiting the Arctic - this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip that I've been saving up for.
(b) I'm interested in science and nature, and I want to explore this pristine ecosystem.
(c) I love cruising, and I haven't been on a cruise to the Arctic yet.
(d) I've been to the Arctic before, and now I want to explore in more depth.

2. Which part(s) of the Arctic are you interested in visiting?

(a) Just setting foot on land is enough for me - I'm happy with the most basic itinerary, but I would hope to see a Polar bear
(b) I want to visit the Svalbard Archipelago, and ideally travel as far as the ice cap.
(c) I'm interested in all of the above, and I also want to investigate other options such as Northern Iceland, Greenland, and parts of Alaska: places where there are indigenous people.
(d) I want to explore in the footsteps of the great explorers, maybe go through the Northwest Passage, or all the way to the North Pole.

3. What are you most excited about seeing in the Arctic?

(a) Everything! I'm excited about the idea of being there at all.
(b) I'm excited by the idea of getting up close to the wildlife and taking some great photos with my expensive camera.
(c) I love the idea of soaking up the scenery as I relax and enjoy the ship I am travelling on.
(d) I'm hoping to see Polar bears of course, and get a really hands on experience, way beyond what others might have done.

4. What are the most important features of an expedition ship to you?

(a) The most important feature is that it's affordable - I don't mind if I'm on a slightly larger ship.
(b) I want to travel on a ship with top-of-the-range scientific equipment and excellent guides and lecturers.
(c) I like my luxury - a suite with a balcony, a range of fine dining restaurants, a good spa, and maybe even a butler.
(d) I want to travel on a ship that is as environmentally sensitive as possible, utilising the latest green technology.

5. Do you have any preferences when it comes to your fellow travellers?

(a) I'd prefer to travel with other Brits and Europeans.
(b) Nationality is not important to me, but I prefer a slightly younger, more active crowd.
(c) A luxury experience is the most important thing to me - I have no problem with being the only Brit on a ship full of Americans or Australians.
(d) I'd love the chance to travel to polar regions with scientists, climatologists and other experts in their field.

6. How would you like to explore ashore?

(a) I'm happy to only make one landing a day and make the most of that time ashore.
(b) I want to be as active as possible - camping, kayaking, hiking, maybe even scuba diving!
(c) I'm happy to pay extra to explore by helicopter or submarine.
(d) I want to push the envelope and explore where few other tourists have ever set foot.

7. Apart from expedition cruising, what's your favourite way to travel?

(a) I'm usually happy to arrange my own accommodation online to save money.
(b) I enjoy escorted touring and 'soft adventure' holidays.
(c) I'm all about cruising - I enjoy 'classic' cruises to places like the Mediterranean or Caribbean.
(d) I like adventurous holidays and expeditions, trekking and visiting remote or unusual destinations.

8. Apart from the Arctic, which other expedition destination is at the top of your bucket list?

(a) I'd love to see the Northern Lights in Norway.
(b) I want to visit Antarctica, that is a must
(c) I'm interested in tropical destinations like the Galapagos, the Kimberley and the South Pacific.
(d) My dream is to travel to the most remote locations which have been visited by only a handful of people

Now add up your answers and find out what sort of Arctic explorer we think you are…

Mostly (a) - Expedition First Timer

A trip to the Arctic is the realisation of a life-long dream. You've probably never been on an expedition cruise before, and perhaps you never will again after this, so you're looking for advice on how to get the most out of your holiday and ensure that every penny counts. A cruise line like Hurtigruten Expeditions would be a great fit for you, with fares at the more affordable end of the scale. Hurtigruten's ships are a little larger than most expedition vessels, but they offer a comfortable and contemporary base for your expedition on ships like Fram (250 guests) and Maud (500 guests)

Hurtigruten - MS Fram

Mostly (b) - Active Adventurer

You don't just want to see the Arctic; you want to feel the crunch of the snow under your snowshoes, hear the cracking of icebergs as you kayak across the water, and experience the thrill of camping overnight in one of the most remote locations on earth. While you like to travel in comfort, the idea of having a butler really isn't for you; the quality of the onboard expedition team and the ship's scientific equipment is much more important. Cruise lines to consider include polar specialist Quark Expeditions, Australian outfit Aurora Expeditions and the highly experienced Lindblad Expeditions, who have a long-standing partnership with National Geographic.

Aurora Expeditions - Kayaking in Spitsbergen

Mostly (c) - Luxury Lover

In the past you might have dismissed the idea of an expedition to the Arctic; 'roughing it' just isn't for you. But things have changed dramatically in the last few years, with a new generation of technologically advanced, ultra-luxury expedition ships that will take you to the ends of the earth without compromising on comfort, service or style. Top choices include Silversea Expeditions, pioneers of the luxury expedition concept, and recent entrants to the market Scenic, with their sleek yacht Scenic Eclipse. You may also be interested in Seabourn's new expedition ships, Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit.

Silversea - Silver Endeavour

Mostly (d) - Polar Pioneer

You are looking for an experience that goes way beyond the traditional idea of a cruise, whether it's a voyage to parts of the Arctic where few other humans have set foot, or the opportunity to take part in scientific research on board a high-tech vessel featuring the latest technology. For you there is really only one option: French cruise line Ponant's groundbreaking hybrid-powered luxury icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot, a truly unique ship that visits parts of the Arctic that other cruise lines simply can't reach - she can even break through the ice cap to reach the North Pole.

Ponant - Le Commandant Charcot

Get your free Arctic guide

Our expedition cruising guide to the Arctic will tell you everything you need to know, including when to visit, what to see and how to get there.

Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Adventures. Her most recent adventure was a cruise on Silver Origin and she has also sailed with Seabourn, Ponant and Aqua Expeditions. Her favourite adventure destination is the Galapagos however she's also enjoyed cruises in the Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, Brahmaputra, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Mekong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Arctic. When she’s not travelling she loves reading, food and wine.

More about Edwina

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