Beat summer heat with Arctic adventure

Exploring the Arctic with Poseidon Expeditions is one way to escape the summer heat.
(Poseidon Expeditions)
Chicago Tribune

Weather in July and August can be hot and sticky in much of the U.S., so it’s a good time for a cool-weather getaway — somewhere like, say, the Arctic. Poseidon Expeditions is offering expedition cruises to Franz Josef Land, an area of the Russian High Arctic that’s seldom visited and, due to ice, is accessible for only a few weeks each year. The archipelago of 191 uninhabited islands is part of the Russian Arctic National Park. Poseidon has two sailings in July and August from Longyearbyen, Norway, aboard the MV Sea Spirit, whose all-suite accommodations can hold up to 114 passengers. Among wildlife that may be seen are polar bears, walruses and endangered bowhead whales. On the way back to Longyearbyen, the cruise also will explore the Spitsbergen archipelago. The two sailings are priced from $7,295 per person, double occupancy. Reservations also are being taken for the 2017 voyages, which will be priced from $8,995, with an early bird discount on one for $8,096. Info:


Classic camper vans

Classic Volkswagen camper vans have a certain appeal, though the coolest ones — from the ‘60s and ‘70s — can be hard to find. The United Kingdom-based online site Camperbug aims to fix that. The site likens itself to Airbnb and claims a network of more than 700 classic campers for hire in the UK and Europe. Some of the offerings are more contemporary vans, but there are also many of the classic “bug” campers that can be rented for a few days or a week. Ruby Rhubarb, for instance, is a cute little red-and-white 1979 VW van in Essex, England, that can be yours this summer for a three- or four-day break for about $644, including insurance. Info:


Kids cruise for free

Travel is a good way to expose kids to new cultures and ideas. Aqua Expeditions can help with a promotion that lets kids 7-12 cruise for free on select dates aboard the Aqua Mekong, a luxury all-suite vessel that explores areas of Vietnam and Cambodia. The offer is good until Aug. 12, with blackout dates through most of June, and applies to kids traveling in a triple cabin with two parents or in a double cabin with a single parent. An example of available itineraries is a seven-night expedition cruise between Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Activities include cycling trips to local fishing villages, exploring floating markets and an interactive cooking class on board with the chef. Pricing for adults is from $8,540 per person, double occupancy. There are also three- and four-night cruises available. Airfare is extra. Info: 866-603-3687,

Phil Marty is a freelance writer.


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