How to Get to the Arctic

November 12, 2015


In New England, they have a saying, “You can’t get there from here.” It’s often used by people being asked for directions to a place that can’t be described without a long and complicated explanation. 

When you take part in a Quark arctic adventure, you’ll never hear anyone say, “You can’t get there from here,” because there are many options available for travelers across North America, in Europe and around the globe.

As you study these options, there are a few important points to remember:

  • You may be tempted to break your travel into separate tickets, but breaking up your fares rather than traveling on one ticket can increase the chances of delays and cancellations.
  •  Be sure and check your carrier’s luggage limits before traveling; typically the limit is 20 kilos for checked luggage, but limits can be more restrictive.
  • We have excellent packing lists to help you prepare.
  • For passengers who booked flights through Quark, we also offer a 24-hour Air Desk Helpline, to assist you in the event of flight problems, delays or cancellations.



North American Gateways to the Arctic

There are direct flights from most major North American Cities to the Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC) in Anchorage, Alaska. One of the top five airports in the world for cargo, the Ted Stevens Airport serves nearly five million passengers annually. It features visitor information centers, a large collection of Alaskan Native Art, and the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame is onsite as well. This airport is the beginning point for many amazing arctic experiences.

There are many direct flights to the Edmonton International Airport (YEG) from major cities across North America. The airport features more than 60 shops and restaurants, a large collection of art, live entertainment, free Wi-Fi and charging stations. Banking, visitor information, car rentals and valet parking are all available. This airport is the starting point for many Northwest Passage adventures.

Ottawa is the Capital of Canada, and the Ottawa International Airport (YOW) is on the direct flight path of many airlines to international cities. YOW features many amenities for travelers, including banking, currency exchange, baggage storage, and a free cellphone parking lot, where drivers can wait for passengers to call or text that they are ready for pickup. This airport is your gateway to the ice.

Yellowknife is the capital city and largest community in the Northwest Territories. The Yellowknife Airport (YFZ) is the arrival and departure point for several Quark arctic experiences, including Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge, situated north of the Arctic Circle. Direct flights into Yellowknife Airport come from many northern communities, including Calgary and Edmonton.

European Gateways to the Arctic

There are flights directly into Copenhagen Airport, Denmark (CPH) from most international cities. In advance of their visit to the airport, travelers can download the CPH Airport app to their smartphone, to receive up to the minute flight information, shopping offers and to book parking in advance.

“Where Scotland Meet the World”, Edinburgh Airport, Scotland (EDI) has direct flights from most international cities. Edinburgh is the embarkation point for Quark’s majestic Scotland to Spitsbergen adventure, which features a blend of Norse and Scottish history.

Svalbard Airport, Longyearbyen Airport (LYR), serves the island of Spitsbergen, located on the Arctic Svalbard archipelago of Norway. Just outside of the community of Longyearbyen, it is the northernmost airport in the world. To reach Longyearbyen, travelers may want to connect via Helsinki and Oslo.

Keflavík International Airport (KEF) in Reykjavik is the largest airport in Iceland, and direct flights from many international cities arrive here. For the intrepid traveler, the popular tour Beyond Reykjavik: Iceland Off the Beaten Path is available. This airport is the jumping off point for a number of Quark adventures, including the Iceland Circumnavigation and Three Arctic Islands

Tromso Airport, Langnes, Norway (TOS), has two terminals and features dining options, shopping and a spectacular view. Our Tromso, Bear Island and Spitsbergen expedition begins here. When traveling to Tromso Airport there are a number of options, but we recommend a flight via Oslo, Norway.

Another option for North Pole adventurers is a direct flight to Helsinki Airport (also known as HELSINKI-VANTAA Airport), Finland (HEL) from most international cities. Here, you can spend an extra night to explore this amazing city. Many of Quark expeditions begin or end in Helsinki, the capital of Finland.

Contact an experienced Polar Travel Adviser with any questions about traveling into and out of the Arctic regions – we’re the experts!

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