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When is the best time to visit the Arctic

The weather conditions are extreme in the Arctic from 24 hours darkness in the depths of winter to 24 hour light at the height of summer and everything in between. What it is possible to do in the Arctic is heavily seasonal and you will need to plan your trip carefully to make sure what you want to do and see is possible. The year can be roughly split into four seasons. 

Polar summer

This is between mid-May and the end of September with 24-hour daylight until mid-August. It is the main cruising season in Arctic waters as the sea ice has melted sufficiently to provide access to some of the more remote areas. It is also the busiest time of year for towns like Longyearbyen whose population swells with tourists and the town is abuzz with people getting ready to embark on their voyage or having just returned.

Polar winter

In direct contrast to this is the polar winter between October and the end of February with a two and half month period from mid-November to late January with 24-hour darkness. Cruises don't run but if it is the northern light that you are after then it is the time to visit. 

Sunny winter

A fine time to visit the island of Spitsbergen and town of Longyearbyen is during the period after the dark winter but before the main peak season, this is between early March and mid-May. Conditions for photography are stunning as the sun starts to creep back to bathe the dramatic scenery and there is still a chance of seeing the northern lights as well as being able to explore further afield in daylight.

Call us on +44 117 313 3300 to start planning your holiday, we’re looking forward to hearing from you


Month-by-month guide to travelling in Arctic

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