Home Ice bergs The best list of frozen holidays inspired by Frozen Planet II – Scotland on Sunday Travel

The best list of frozen holidays inspired by Frozen Planet II – Scotland on Sunday Travel

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A polar bear in Svalbard. Photo: PA Photo/Alamy.

A decade after enthralling viewers with scenes of snowy landscapes and hardy creatures surviving in sub-zero conditions, Sir David Attenborough and the BBC’s Natural History Unit are back with the six-part series Frozen Planet II, on BBC One.

Although it took four and a half years to collect shots from some of the world’s most remote places, it’s possible for travelers inspired by the images to set off and have their own polar adventure. As the expedition industry grows and travelers develop an even greater appetite for unmissable adventures, destinations such as Svalbard and South Georgia are becoming more accessible.

Yes, the costs are high and they’re a big investment, but these are once-in-a-lifetime trips to some of the most fragile places on our planet. And as climate change continues to threaten and reshape the environment, these are memorable experiences you won’t want to put on ice.

Emperor penguins. Photo: PA Photo/Alamy.

Whales, fjords and mighty icebergs

Where: Greenland and Iceland

Largely covered in ice, Greenland is almost impossible to cross by land. Sailing the coastline is the best way to explore the environment, meet local Inuit communities, watch whales, and sneak through a gallery of iceberg carvings. While most trips head west, this expedition explores the east coast, stopping at the Thule settlements of Frederiksdal and Sydkap and exploring the beautiful fjord system of Scoresbysund, arguably the most beautiful fjord system around. of the planet. For added value, the trip begins in Iceland in the equally offbeat Westfjords, home to Europe’s largest bird cliff at Látrabjarg – a must for birdwatchers – and a chance to keep an eye out for the Northern Lights. .

How: Intrepid (intrepidtravel.com) offers a 14-day Greenland and Iceland Northern Lights trip from £7,225 pp (three shares). Departure September 8, 2023. Excluding international flights.

Tasiilaq on Ammassalik Island in East Greenland. Photo: PA Photo/Alamy.

Dog sledding in nature

Once considered a remote wilderness, the arctic archipelago of Svalbard has become much more accessible in recent years. But there are still plenty of icy nooks and crannies offering adventure. Traveling by dog ​​sled, this three-day trip departs from the Advent Valley outside the remote town of Longyearbyen and explores valleys, mountains and glaciers in a roadless country above the Arctic Circle Arctic. Accommodation is simple trapper style cabins where everyone is busy chopping wood for the oven, melting snow for drinking water and tending to the team of avid huskies pulling the sleds. Additional excursions are available – whether it’s a nature safari on quiet electric snowmobiles or a guided e-bike ride that operates in winter and summer.

How: Regent Holidays (regent-holidays.co.uk) is offering a five-night trip from £2,495 pp (two sharing), including flights, transfers and all meals. Various departures in January and February 2023.

Dog sledding in Svalbard. Photo: PA Photo/Alamy.

Traditionally, most trips to Antarctica have been along the west coast of the peninsula. But as temperatures rise and the ice moves, the Weddell Sea becomes much more accessible. Earlier this year, conditions allowed scientists to discover explorer Shackleton’s lost ship, The Endurance, and several tourist vessels made it as far south as Snow Hill. Quark Expeditions’ ship Ultramarine aims to visit the remote island, a gateway to one of the few accessible emperor penguin colonies. Conditions permitting, a helicopter will transfer guests inland for a hike on the pack ice and observe the world’s largest penguins and their chicks.

How: Discover the World (discover-the-world.com) is offering a 14-night trip from £29,654 pp (two sharing), excluding international flights. Departures on November 12 and 24, 2023.

An elephant seal in southern Gergia. Photo: PA Photo/Alamy.

A chilling animal spectacle

Everyone’s obsessed with Antarctica – with good reason – but true wildlife enthusiasts head to the subantarctic islands. For starters, penguin species are plentiful: find gorgeous kings, entertaining rockhoppers, and slightly ridiculous macaroni. The birdlife is also excellent. In the company of a team of experts, walk through colonies of albatrosses and marvel as their huge wingspans cast shadows of jumbo jets, or listen to the birdsong of the rescued South Georgia pipit of extinction. Wildlife Worldwide will organize a trip at the start of the season where it is possible to see belligerent elephant seals involved in loud and bloody jousting fights, fur seals and albatrosses. Traveling aboard the state-of-the-art, custom-built Magellan Explorer, which can accommodate up to 96 passengers in comfortable en-suite cabins, most with private verandas, the voyage allows visitors, weather permitting, to take zodiac trips to see the area. closer birds and mammals. Starting in 2025, you’ll have plenty of time to save for a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

How: The Traveling Naturalist (naturalist.co.uk) offers a 15-day trip to the Festival of Wildlife Falklands and South Georgia from £9,995 pp (two sharing) on ​​the Magellan Explorer, excluding international flights. Departing October 11, 2025.

Make the big polar leap from the little ship

Where: Northern Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway

Latrabjarg cliffs, Westfjords, Iceland. Photo: PA Photo/Alamy.

Expedition sailing is best done on smaller vessels, allowing for intimate encounters and the ability to sail in waters where larger vessels cannot go. Sailing on a 33-seat schooner, this newly launched voyage aims to combine land and sea exploration. In addition to watching walruses and polar bears from a safe distance, guests can snowshoe along the shore and take in the “spicy” landscape that originally gave Spitsbergen its name. Sailing in the summer when the sun never sets means you have plenty of time to stay up late to enjoy the scenery and look for whales, whose numbers have steadily increased.

How: KE Adventure (keadventure.com) offers a 10-day trip from £4,870 pp (two sharing), including flights, accommodation and all meals. Departures on June 7 and 17, 2023.

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