Above: Polar bears off Svalbard, Norway

Although cruises to Antarctica remain popular, in the past few years, the Arctic has become the hot spot of expedition cruising. This remote region has recently been in the news for some unfortunate reasons, notably shrinking ice coverage and threatened populations of polar bears. Understandably, people wish to see these pristine environments and impressive animals while they still can, and if there is any upside to the Arctic’s environmental changes, it is that the reduction in sea ice has allowed expedition vessels to explore the region in unprecedented fashion.

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Above: Polar bears off Svalbard, Norway