The North Pole, the Northern Lights in Winter and the Midnight Sun in Summer, arctic foxes, polar bears, ice bergs and ice caps – there’s a plethora of reasons to visit the wonderful Arctic region which spans the northernmost part of Earth and covers parts of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. Long winters swathed in thick snow make this area ideal for winter sports, but wildlife is fabulous year-round, and the melting of the ice in spring and summer make way for different activities, like hiking or canoeing.
KEY FACTS BEFORE YOU GO:
- Capital: The Arctic is a geographic region at the northernmost part of Earth, and doesn't have a capital as it covers a number of different countries, either wholly or partly. There are 8 Arctic states - Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States - which have sovereignty on land within the Arctic Circle.
- Currency: Currencies depend upon which part of the Arctic you are visiting. Alaska (as a US State) uses US Dollars, Arctic Canada (as an area of Canada which happens to fall under the Arctic realm) uses Canadian dollars, Arctic Russia uses Russian rouble, Finland, and Lapland (including Swedish Lapland) use Euros, Norway and Svalbard use Norwegian krone, Greenland uses Danish krone, and Iceland uses Icelandic króna.
- Time Difference: For specific information on time differences in the Arctic Circle region, please find out more
- Flight time: Depending on where you're flying to, flight times can be varied, and not all Arctic destinations have direct flights from the UK. More information on flight times can be found here.
- Official language: Languages vary according to the destination visited
- Entry requirements: Entry requirements vary according to which part of the Arctic you're travelling to, but you can find out more about entry requirements for Alaska (US), Canada, Russia, or the parts of the Arctic which either fall under EU countries or are part of the Schengen area (Greenland, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Lapland, and Svalbard/Norway)
- Vaccinations and Health: You should always ensure that you travel with adequate travel health insurance.
If vaccinations are required, it is generally advisable to arrange an appointment with a health professional four to six weeks before departure.
General information on travel vaccinations can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/travel-vaccinations/
On some expedition cruises to parts of the Arctic (particularly the more remote parts), you may be required by the cruise line to submit a Medical Certificate completed and approved by your doctor (usually not more than 8 weeks prior to departure date) - you will be advised of this before booking.
You can read more specific information about the following destinations: Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Lapland, Sweden, Finland
To find out more, and for the most up-to-date advice on Arctic travel (which applies to all Arctic states): https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/arctic-travel
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