The High Arctic – The High Arctic is an ice-bound desert that supports a fragile ecosystem. Environmentalists warn it's under threat from global warming as summer ice melts reach record levels.
MS Expedition – The MS Expedition was originally built as a car ferry, but now traverses Arctic and Antarctic waters as a cruise ship operated by Canada-based G Adventures, which offers environmentally sensitive trips.
Polar bears – Polar bears are guided by their superior sense of smell which can detect prey more than a kilometer away.
Raft expeditions – Raft expeditions allow passengers to get closer to the ice and the animals it supports. Trips to spot polar bears are accompanied by marksmen since the bears are known to hunt humans.
Walruses – Pungent and blubbery, walruses live year-round in the waters off Norway's northernmost Arctic islands. Their tusks can grow up to a meter long.
Harp seals – Harp seals can be found around Norway's northernmost islands. On the ice, they're hunted as food by polar bears, in the water they're prey for whales. They're also hunted commercially by Norway, Canada and Russia.
Multi-year ice – Multi-year ice -- often formed over centuries -- is a rich source of nourishment for the entire Arctic food web. Its recent decline spells trouble for the region's fauna.
Deeper Arctic – In 2015, the multi-year ice has receded far north, allowing us to press deeper into the Arctic than expected.
Oil prospects? – Recent years have seen the Arctic become a target for oil exploration. Last year oil giant Shell abandoned as uneconomic an exploratory drilling program in Alaska, but a resumption isn't ruled out.
Whale worries – "Agreeing to Arctic drilling is a bad decision and a mistake," says Susan Adie, wildlife activist and G Adventures operations manager. Sub-sea oil exploration could, she says, present a threat to the rare beluga, blue and bowhead whales that use these waters.
Midnight sun – The midnight sun casts a golden glow, hovering just above the horizon as it struggles to climb the earth's curvature at this latitude.
Guillemots – Another Arctic denizen, the guillemot, clings to limestone rocks that resemble landscapes from "Jurassic Park."
Reindeer – The High Arctic landscape also hosts reindeer, Arctic foxes and kittiwakes.
Education – Trips ashore from the MS Expedition are punctuated by lectures from chief field researchers. They're driven by the concept that welcoming and educating visitors to the region will help to preserve its future.
Record melt levels – In 2015, Arctic ice cover fell to the fourth lowest extent in the satellite record, with temperatures hitting the second highest recorded, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
'Low years' – "Ten years ago this would have been an astonishing summer of ice melt," says Ted Scambos, NSIDC's lead scientist. "Now it is just another season in a decade of low years."
Ecosystem – "The almost complete melt-away of the multi-year ice in recent summers has really knocked the core productivity of the whole ecosystem," says Jamie Watts, ship leader and marine life enthusiast.