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Getting to the Arctic: Travel Tips for In & Around Arctic Gateway Cities

2 min read

Getting to the Arctic with Quark Expeditions® involves travel through a major gateway, such as Helsinki, Finland, or Toronto, Canada. Our embarkation and stopover cities are destinations in themselves; use these tips to get the most out of your time in your travel gateway city.


Leave Plenty of Time for Travel

Ideally, passengers should leave at least two days for travel to their embarkation point. Getting to the Arctic surely involves a commercial flight, but might also require ground transportation or a charter flight. If you plan to stay longer in a departure or return city, be sure to leave time for all of the activities you'll participate in while you're there!

Double-Check Travel Documents & Medications

Is there anything worse than the panic of a forgotten passport? Maybe just one thing – a forgotten medication. Before you leave home, check and double-check that you have your passport, travel visas, itinerary, airline tickets and any medications you take regularly.

Different countries have different entry requirements, based on the visitor's country of residence or citizenship. We recommend that you contact the Consulate or Embassy of each country on your expedition itinerary for the most up-to-date information on their visa requirements. It can take up to six weeks for visa documents to be processed, so plan to do this several months before your departure. Remember, your passport must be valid for 6 months after the date of your return from the voyage.

Check out our Packing Tips for more on what you should bring to the Arctic.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Each Quark Expeditions® passenger is covered by our emergency evacuation insurance policy, from the first to last day of their expedition. However, we highly recommend that passengers also purchase their own medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, especially given the remote areas we explore. If you stay over in a gateway city, make sure your insurance covers that portion of your trip as well.

Notify Banks & Credit Card Companies of Your Travel Plans and Exchange Currency

On board our ships, we use U.S. dollars as the currency, though you won't need to carry money and are able to simply sign for purchases and pay at the end by credit card or cash. However, you might visit a number of different countries on your Arctic expedition, including Canada, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Greenland or Russia. Be sure to bring currency for shopping or activities in each country you will visit. Notify your banks and credit card companies of your plans to avoid any holds based on what might seem like suspicious activity.

Get to Know Your Arctic Gateway City

Whether you're traveling through Toronto or Helsinki, Longyearbyen or Reykjavik, there are a ton of activities and attractions to keep you as busy as you want to be!

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