The ends of the earth are at the top of many wish-lists, with cruisers dreaming of rugged scenery and elusive wildlife. Here’s our pick of the best Arctic and Antarctica cruises.

1. A friendly Arctic adventure

The remote Arctic can be intimidating, but not if you’re sailing with friendly Fred Olsen. Journey to the northernmost region on earth and be bowled over by the pure isolation and beauty of the Arctic Circle.

12-night W2112 ‘Islands of Northern Norway with the Midnight Sun’ cruise aboard Black Watch, departing from Liverpool on 3 June 2021, prices start from £1,799pp, fredolsencruises.com

Arctic and Antarctica cruises
Discover the pure isolation and beauty of the Arctic Circle

2. All the way south to Antarctica

Immerse yourself in the splendor of Antarctica – a beautiful landscape of mountains rising from the sea, untouched icebergs and diverse marine life – on Scenic’s brand new ship, Scenic Eclipse.

15-night ‘Antarctica in Depth’ cruise aboard Scenic Eclipse, round trip from Buenos Aires via South Shetland Islands and South Orkney Islands, departing 9 November 2021, from £10,811, scenic.co.uk

3. Follow the Arctic explorers

Sail aboard Hapag-Lloyd’s MS Bremen, the polar cruise ship that ventures where few others dare – deep into the Antarctic in the tradition of intrepid explorers.

14-night ‘Expedition Antarctica – in the footsteps of Polar Explorers’ cruise aboard MS Bremen, round trip from Ushuaia via South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula, departing 5 December 2020, from £8,899, hl-cruises.com

Arctic and Antarctica cruises
Everyone will love penguin-watching in Antarctica

4. Spellbound by seabirds

Jump onboard Silver Cloud’s grand world cruise for its Arctic sailing. Be spellbound as you sail through Svalbard, travel as far north as possible by ship and take in ice-capped islands, majestic mountains and a land where you’ll find more seabirds and marine life than people.

13-night ‘Reykjavik to Tromso’ cruise aboard Silver Cloud via Svalbard Northern Region, Svalbard Southern Region and Bear Island, departing 3 July 2021, from £11,970, silversea.com

5. Kingdom of ice

The great white continent is one of Planet Earth’s final frontiers, a land of dazzling white landscapes and penguins, seals and whales, memorably showcased on this Quark Expeditions tour.

7-night ‘Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake’ cruise aboard Ocean Adventurer, round trip from Punta Arenas via the Arctic Peninsula, departing 21 January 2021, from £8,300, quarkexpeditions.com

Arctic and Antarctica Cruises
Test your limits with a kayak adventure through the ice

6. Education in wildlife

Set sail from vibrant Montevideo deep into Antarctica, learning from experts on the way about the host of wildlife that dwells in and among the ice-caps.

21-night ‘Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica’ cruise aboard G Expedition from Montevideo to Ushuaia via the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, departing 22 October 2021, from £8,199, gadventures.co.uk