FrontRunners: Arctic Adventures
Adventurers with a yen for Arctic exploration have a couple of options for consideration this summer. Lands of the Midnight Sun is a three-week trip that links far-flung, far-north destinations by private jet for just 60 passengers, and is offered by TCS Expeditions (800.727.7477, www.tcs-expeditions.com). Participants will gather in Boston on June 25 for departure, stopping in Greenland, Norway, Sweden, and St. Petersburg, Russia. The city is the point of departure for an overnight trip on the Nostalgic Istanbul Orient Express to Kizhi. Back on the jet, the return trip touches down for an Arctic interlude in Lapland, two days in glacial Spitsbergen, Norway, and finally to thaw in the geothermal waters of Reykjavik, Iceland.
A second journey begins in Oslo, Norway, before pilgrims embark on a 13-day voyage to the ultimate Arctic destination: the North Pole. Quark Expeditions (800.356.5699, www.quarkexpeditions.com) promises first-class comfort on what is possibly the only vessel capable of negotiating the ice pack: a Russian nuclear icebreaker. The explorers will be airlifted by helicopter to the Yamal, which departs July 7 from Spitsbergen, Norway, at the edge of the polar ice cap.