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When It Comes to Cruising, Freezing Cold Is Hot, Hot, Hot

Trophy trips to the Arctic are most easily done by ship—and luxury operators are cashing in.

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Source: Crystal Cruises

In a warming world, the upper echelons of the cruise industry are focusing on lower temperatures. No, they’re not the travel industry’s green pioneers (though new ships pollute far less than their predecessors). Instead, they’re building ships for Antarctica, the Arctic, and anywhere that glacial ice, rather than tropical heat, is the main attraction.

Unlike the first generation of ice-breakers—mostly bare-bones expedition ships and aging Russian research vessels with renovated interiors—and the handful of pioneering expedition ships that started to break the mold in recent years, this new breed of polar ships is smaller, nimbler, and far more comfortable.