Arctic Yacht Charter
The Arctic Circle is a land of adventure, home to magnificent wildlife and imposing landscapes ever shifting with the seasons - and a luxury yacht charter is the best way to explore and live among the very best destinations. Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard are typical stops on an Arctic charter to experience winter sports such as skiing and dog sledding or even drift-diving past cold water coral reefs. During the summer months Kayakers can glide past glaciers beneath the Midnight Sun and wildlife emerges in abundance. With such long winters, the indoor lifestyle is well developed with impressive cafes and restaurants, shopping centres, art galleries, museums and leisure centres.
Five quick reasons to visit the Arctic
Stunning locations, Amazing wildlife, Historic and cultural attractions, Knowledgeable guides, Unique charter experience
More about this part of the Arctic Ocean
The Canadian north, Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard form the Arctic Circle charter grounds, where ancient Norse settlements are hidden among the bays of the coastline and pristine wildernesses home to incredible species - polar bears, beluga whales and puffins are just some of the possibilities you might see on your luxury yacht charter. Hidden deep beneath the snow, volcanic activity has created fumaroles, geothermal spas and other unusual features in the landscapes, including numerous black sand beaches around Iceland. Towering cliffs and remote islets in the middle of the Barents Sea make for perfect nesting grounds away from predators, however your explorer yacht will be able to approach close enough for you to have clear sightings without disturbing the inhabitants.
The seas are fed by nutrient-rich currents that produce stunning coral gardens teeming with fish - perfect conditions for fishing enthusiasts and for divers, who can also swim among melting ice close to the shores.
Arctic Yacht Charter Experiences
Begin your journey by flying into the international airport in Nuuk, Greenland and making yourself at home with the warm and comfortable cabins aboard your explorer yacht. Nuuk is the world's northernmost capital city and visitors can spend the morning absorbing the amazing art galleries, museums and the iconic Church of Our Saviour in red wood. Take a snow mobile into the hills for skiing and other winter sports, then head back on board for a professionally prepared lunch from your expert chef as you cruise past the colourful buildings on your way to the awe-inspiring blues, whites and dramatic greys of the Ilulissat Icefjord. During the journey, make a stop at Sisimiut for the wrecks and sea life hiding beneath the glacial waters. Majestic Disko Bay is also a worthy detour to spot bowhead whales, humpbacks, minkes and more depending on the season.
Before you cruise on to Iceland, explore the Uunartoq hot springs and the scenic Banana Coast to the south. In the summer the shores are lined with arctic cotton and little streams of melting ice that feed into cool pools, which guests will want to dip into for relief from the surprisingly hot afternoons. Have your cameras at the ready to capture the stark contrasts in the flourishing greenery and vibrant flowers compared to the dark tumbling hills in the background.
The Myriad beaches in Iceland are also picture-perfect, and wildlife lovers - particularly bird watchers - will want to drop anchor at the black sand shores of Grótta, part of the Seltjarnarnes Peninsula where bird-watchers will be in their element. Reykjavik is close by, so once you've spent the afternoon at the beach you can head into town to tour the geothermal pools before learning how much Icelanders love their nightlife with live music, bars and clubs to choose from.
Cruise east to Jan Mayen for kayaking and paddle boarding along the beaches, or winter sports on Beerenberg Mountain. On Svalbard itself your will be able to see reindeer, walrus, polar bears and arctic foxes on a snowmobile safari. Gorgeous national parks are everywhere across the island, however Snaefellsjokull National Park and Londrangar in Hellnar are particularly breath-taking. When you want to get back in touch with civilisation, Longyearbyen has museums, art galleries and eateries, and you can discover the soviet history behind Barentsburg and Pyramiden.
Things to Consider:
Yachting Seasons & Climate:
A winter charter will mean that guests will get to experience the Light Fantastic, whereas the summer season from May through to August brings the Midnight Sun and wildlife in abundance.
During the summer months, the sunlight can be surprisingly warm and create T-shirt temperatures even through the summer high in Iceland is only 12°C/54°F in July. The summer is relatively dry, with rainfall usually occurring in the evening with a sudden drop between daytime and evening temperatures.
Winter snowfall from November through to January coats the mountains and countryside for the perfect conditions for dog-sledding, skiing, snowboarding and more. Temperatures drop to -8°C/17°F in Greenland while Iceland and Svalbard experience a milder winter of 0°C/32°F.
Clothing to Pack For Your Charter:
The long Arctic winter brings with it rain, sleet and snow, and visitors are advised to wrap up warm with multiple layers, with base layers playing an important role in staying warm while outside. Sturdy walking shoes, a hat and gloves are a necessity, along with a waterproof coat to ensure that you’re prepared for whatever nature might throw at you on any day. On clear days the sunlight reflects off the snow and sunscreen is an important part of your kit, whichever the season when you are visiting.
As temperatures can vary considerably throughout the summer depending on the weather, it is advisable to wear layers that can be removed when increasing physical activity or as the day gets hotter. During the summer months it is recommended to take bug spray to avoid bites from midges and other insects.
Main Ports and Marinas:
Nuuk Port (Greenland), Ilulissat Port (Greenland), Reykjavik Port (Iceland), Keflavik (Iceland), Rif Port (Iceland), Vestmannaeyjar Port (Iceland), Longyearbyen Marina (Svalbard), Pyramiden Port (Svalbard)
Famous Restaurants & Clubs:
Sarfalik Restaurant (Nuuk, Greenland), Cafe Toqqorfik (Nuuk, Greenland), Cafe Iluliaq (Ilulissat, Greenland), Arctic Cafe (Qaqortoq, Greenland), Dill Restaurant (Reykjavik, Iceland), Matarkjallarinn (The Food Cellar) Restaurant (Reykjavik, Iceland), Restaurant Nansen (Svalbard), Vinterhagen Restaurant (Svalbard)
A Must See Attraction:
Nuuk (Greenland), Qaqortukulooq (Greenland), Disko Bay (Greenland), Ilulissat Ice Fjord (Greenland), Uunartoq hot springs (Greenland), Snaefellsjokull National Park (Iceland), Londrangar (Hellnar, Iceland), Svodufoss (Rif, Iceland), Art Museum Ásmundarsafn (Reykjavik, Iceland), The Culture House (Reykjavik, Iceland), Nordre Isfjorden National Park (Svalbard), Magdalenefjord (Spitsbergen, Svalbard), Svalbard Museum (Longyearbyen, Svalbard)
Best beaches to visit in your yacht:
Disko Bay Beach (Greenland), Rocky Beach (Greenland), Banana Coast (Greenland), Búðir (Iceland), Grótta (Iceland), Reynisfjara (Iceland), Breiðamerkursandur (Iceland), Vestrahorn Beach (Iceland), Jan Mayen Island (Svalbard) Bear Island (Svalbard), Hopen Island (Svalbard)
Best time to go:
When to go depends on what you want to do and see: In the short summer months the pack ice breaks up and visitors can kayak among the beautiful icy surroundings and make use of the extended daylight hours for sports, wildlife watching and parties in the sunshine. In the winter months the Northern Lights colour the night-time sky, and the thick snows create excellent conditions for winter sports.
Further Charter Information
Yacht Rentals Available: Go here for the current list of yacht rentals in the Arctic.
News: Read the latest superyacht news about the Arctic here.
Charter Yacht Disclaimer
This document is not contractual. The yacht charters and their particulars displayed in the results above are displayed in good faith and whilst believed to be correct are not guaranteed. CharterWorld Limited does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information and/or images displayed. All information is subject to change without notice and is without warrantee. A professional CharterWorld yacht charter consultant will discuss each charter during your charter selection process. Starting prices are shown in a range of currencies for a one-week charter, unless otherwise marked. Exact pricing and other details will be confirmed on the particular charter contract. Just follow the "reserve this yacht charter" link for your chosen yacht charter or contact us and someone from the CharterWorld team will be in touch shortly.