Travel in Arctic & Islands of the Arctic Ocean


Travel in Arctic & Islands of the Arctic Ocean


The northern polar region includes the Arctic Ocean and its islands as well in the northernmost part of the European Asian and North American continents. One third of the total area is islands and mainland and more than two-third is sea.

The largest of the Arctic islands are Greenland, the Canadian Arctic Islands, Novaya Zemlya, Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, the New Siberian Islands, Severnaya Zemlya, and Wrangel Islands. The region is covered by thick ice-pack and large drifting ice-floes. The North Pole routes offer the shortest air connections between Europe and North America.

The polar region of the Arctic Ocean remains under ice for whole year, but warm currents cause the temperature to rise as high as one or even 30 C above freezing point during the short summer even at the pole. The winters are long and freezing cold with temperatures as low as 400 C below zero. The Arctic generates powerful airstreams which influence weather all over the globe. Meteorologists base their weather forecasts on them. The animals of the region are reindeer, caribou, polar bear, arctic fox, arctic hare, squirrel, and ptarmigan. The seas are inhabited by the whale, seal, walrus, beluga and narwhal.

The northernmost reaches of the North American continents and Greenland are inhabited by Eskimos and they live in their traditional snow-block shelters igloos. They use kayak boats to fish and kill seals and walruses. The Arctic regions of Norway, Sweden and Finland are the home of the Lapps traditional reindeer herdsmen. The Russian Arctic is inhabited by Nenets, Yakut, and Chukchi people. The world’s northernmost settlement is Alert on Ellesmere Island Canada.

In the previous 15 years Arctic has seen steady increase in tourism. At present one million tourists visit the place annually. If statistics is to be believed in 2004 fifty ships visited Arctic which has now swelled up to 200 ships. The cost of visiting the place is high. If your destination is Franz Josef Land and Nova Zembla islands you may also visit North Pole. Be prepared to rough out as there is no infrastructure and human habitat. Certain patch of the journey will be covered through helicopter.

Pack your clothing medicines and equipment with care for the expedition. Foot wear must be flat and sturdy with comfortable grip on the angle. You will enjoy your walks on the tundra. Pack a pair of solid leather hiking boots. Rubber boots with heavy felt are meant for water related activities. Woollens are a necessity. In spring Sun you will get a nice tan, but carry suntan cream for sun block.

Respect the sentiments of the local people and do not photograph them without permission. It is a wise decision to carry your supplies and other items you may need on the trip. Be aware that it is risky to travel and do not take chances on unknown land to venture into adventure alone.

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