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A Personal Look at our Frozen Planet: Going to Extremes

Thursday, 29th September 2022

Will Gray

spitsbergen polar bear reflection astk

Now that you’ve watched Frozen Planet II have you wondered what it’s like to visit Antarctica, the Arctic or any of the world’s other frozen lands?

We love cold places. That might sound strange coming from a holiday operator. But you only have to watch one of the episodes of the BBC’s latest natural history blockbuster to understand where our 39-year passion for the poles comes from.

The Arctic and Antarctica are some of the most hostile places on earth, but – as Sir David Attenborough reveals in the six-part series – they also possess a serene beauty, not to mention some of the world’s most astonishing wildlife. It’s little wonder that our small-ship polar expedition voyages are so popular.

But in this return visit to the planet’s chilly extremes, Frozen Planet II also ventures beyond the polar regions to explore icy mountaintops and the aurora-blushed boreal forests of the far north.

So, woolly hats and gloves on, let me give you a taste of what it’s actually like to explore our frozen planet – plus some suggestions for how you can discover if for yourself.

Voyages to Planet Penguin

In Frozen Planet II, there’s no shortage of spellbinding penguin behaviour. In episode 1, Frozen Worlds, emperor penguin chicks embark on a hazardous trek across the sea ice to reach the ocean, while episode 4 (Frozen South) features the vast king penguin rookeries of South Georgia. You’ll also see chinstrap and Adélie penguins against the magnificent backdrop of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Take me there: Discover the World has developed a comprehensive range of expedition voyages, ranging from Classic Antarctica, where you’ll explore the natural wonders of the Antarctic Peninsula in as little as nine nights, to longer cruises of 18 nights or more combining the Peninsula, Falklands and South Georgia and specialist voyages In Search of Emperor Penguins.

A Glimpse of the Ice Bear

Take me there: Discover the World’s Svalbard voyages offer great opportunities for sighting polar bears and other Arctic wildlife, including walruses and whales. The 9 to 13-night Around Spitsbergen expedition cruise sets out to visit a key hunting area for polar bears on Spitsbergen’s east coast.

For almost guaranteed (and often close-up) views of these formidable predators, our Classic Polar Bear Adventure takes you out onto the tundra of the Canadian Arctic near Churchill. The bears gather there each October and November, waiting for Hudson Bay to freeze so they can hunt seals across the ice. Travelling in custom-built polar rovers you can often observe them foraging and play-fighting.

In Awe of Orcas

Take me there: Led by expert guides, the four-night Orcas and Aurora small-group tour combines two extraordinary natural spectacles. By day, you join boat tours in search of orcas hunting shoals of overwintering herring in the bays of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and by night you head along the coast and into the mountains on the lookout for the elusive northern lights.

Spirits of the Forest

Take me there: Discover the World have unrivalled expertise in planning trips to the Far North of Europe, and are the UK’s leading operator for holidays at the Icehotel where you can join excursions in search of moose and other wildlife. They also offer action-packed breaks based in log cabins and wilderness lodges in Finnish Lapland such as lakeside Muotka Wilderness Lodge with a range of included activities, such as husky sledding, snowmobiling and aurora hunting.

Responsible travel in a Frozen Planet

Frozen Planet II doesn’t shy away from the climate crisis and the huge impact it will have on polar ecosystems if we fail to take urgent action. Discover the World has always promoted responsible polar travel, using small expedition ships (carrying no more than 200 passengers) to minimise impact, and working with local operators who not only adhere to strict environmental practises but also pioneer sustainable methods of travel.

Feeling inspired?

If you would like to plan your own adventure to witness the wonders of our frozen planet, get in touch with our Travel Specialists on 01737 214 250, or send an enquiry to start discussing your options.