Out into the Cold: The Ultimate Polar Adventures - Page 2

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Sea Kayaking in Ellesmere Island
If you go on only one Arctic kayaking expedition in your life, make it this one. Using folded kayaks airlifted from Resolute (Canada's northermost settlement) to the island's Kane Basin you can explore inlets and iceberg-filled waterways, stopping to camp on the shore and on ice floats. Continuous sunlight in the summer allows the perfect environment to view polar bears, walrus, bearded and ringed seals, musk ox, snow geese, and wolves. Guided trips require only marginal kayaking and wilderness camping experience.

Dogsled and Ski through the Gates of the Arctic
The Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is one of the largest wilderness areas in North America and, with 8.4 million acres to cover, it's the perfect place to join a dogsledding team. Explore Alaska's Brooks Range, with staggering peaks of the Frigid Crags and Boreal Mountain forming the "Gates" as they lead into the high Arctic. With dogs as your guide, this a truly unique polar wilderness adventure.

Cruise through Antarctica
Unless you are prepared to pay for an expensive overland trip across Antarctica, the best way to view this land is by cruise ship, preferably one with small launches or Zodiac inflatables. These small craft are essential for exploring the lesser inlets and ice floes that make this continent so unique. Discover giant glaciers and blue-hued icebergs as tall as 10-story buildings, as well as seals, petrels, cormorants, and colonies of penguins, and, during the summer, humpback, fin, right, and set whales.

Yukon: Arctic Ocean River Run
Positioned above the Arctic Circle, the Firth River snakes through Canada's Berrenlands National Park, all the way to the Arctic Ocean. As you cruise along—this trip offers more ripples than whitewater—you are surrounded by alpine meadows, open tundra, ancient glaciers, and deep canyons. Expect to see moose, musk ox, walrus, seal, and, during their July migration, the 180,000-strong Porcupine caribou herd.

Canadian Polar Bear Observation
Churchill, Manitoba, is the undisputed polar bear capital of the world. Each summer, they congregate by the hundreds along Hudson Bay's southern shore to hunt seals and fish. To the south, the bears make their maternity dens, giving visitors a chance to view mothers and cubs. Head in on 4WD tundra buggies and snap photos all day in warmth and safety, or stay overnight in a heated tundra bunkhouse to capture that golden morning light.

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Best Hotels in Alaska

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The Hotel Alyeska
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SpringHill Suites by Marriott Fairbanks
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Aspen Suites Hotel Juneau

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