Arctic tourism is on the rise, and it’s not hard to understand the appeal: pristine landscapes, rarely seen wildlife, and the exclusivity of being one of the few to have made the journey. Visits to Europe’s Arctic region, which includes the northernmost areas of Sweden, Norway and Finland, are returning to pre-pandemic levels. But with that recovery comes some challenges, including preserving indigenous cultures and a fragile environment. Visit Arctic Europe, a cross-border initiative between these three countries, works with local tour operators and tour operators to ensure visits are responsible and impactful. Hurtigruten Expeditions, which operates hybrid-powered cruise ships on its East Greenland and Svalbard – A True Arctic Expedition itineraries, is visiting Jan Mayen, a remote Arctic Circle destination, and Ittoqqortoormiit, a town of 500 people on an Arctic peninsula, while ensuring a zero-emission voyage .
East Greenland and Svalbard – A True Arctic Expedition, from US$8,822 www.hurtigruten.com.
With American Airlines, first-class air travel is a thing of the past – so to speak. In late October, the company’s executives announced in an investment call that they would no longer offer first class on long-haul international routes. It might seem like an odd change considering this is the type of flight where more personal space and special perks are most appreciated, but there are a few reasons behind the decision. While business travel is still lagging behind pre-pandemic travel (the Global Business Travel Association predicts it will take 2026 for bookings to reach 2019 levels), business class is becoming as demanding as many First -Class experiences. American’s decision is more about what its customers book and how premium flights are marketed. In 2024, the airline will launch its flagship suite seats, which include a day bed, privacy door and personal storage space.
Luxury tour operator Black Tomato (blacktomato.com) has landed a covetable brief – to create a 007-inspired multi-country European tour to celebrate James Bond’s 60th on-screen celebration. As you’d expect from anything spy-related, the itinerary is top secret, and full details will be announced in March. What we do know: There will only be 60 bookings available (each for two guests), the 12-day tour will depart from London and the Black Tomato team is working with some of the film franchise’s location scouts to create the trip. “On Lake Como, guests water ski along the Moltrasio coast and take a side of Licence to killwhile Monaco travelers like Bond get VIP access to the Casino de Monte Carlo Casino royalesays Tom Marchant, co-founder and owner of Black Tomato. This isn’t the first Book-to-Tour adjustment the company has made. “Storytelling is an integral part of Black Tomato’s DNA,” he says. Earlier this year, the company entered into a partnership with Agatha Christie Ltd. for trips inspired by the author’s 10 month journey from the UK to Africa and last year created a series of family trips rooted in classic children’s stories.
Gen Z might be more associated with TikTok clips than film cameras, but the two have something in common: you never know what you’re going to get. And Gen Z is digging the secret. A 2019 survey by research firm Keypoint Intelligence found that 19 percent of Gen Zs share printed photos, while the previous year 41 percent had purchased photo prints in a store, online, or through an app. “The appetite to learn about and experience film photography has increased, especially among generations who grew up exclusively with digital cameras and cell phone photography,” said Gianmarco Bernaudo, Director of Marketing and Product, Printing Solutions at Fujifilm Canada. The company recently launched two film developing packages that allow travelers to order a roll of film or single-use camera to be developed, send the film to Fujifilm’s printing lab, and have the professional-quality prints (and digital files of them) returned in the mail.
Fujifilm film development from $19.99 http://developer.fujifilmprintlife.ca.
When adventuring north, you’ll deal with wind as well as snow, and the intensity of both can vary throughout the day. The Arc’teryx Alpha AR Jacket was developed with changing mountain conditions in mind. Ideal for rock, ice and alpine mountaineering and expeditions, the shell jacket is made from waterproof Gore-Tex Pro with a breathable lining to help you stay warm but not overheat. Climbing helmets fit nicely under the hood, which has easy-to-use adjusters even with gloved hands, and reflective strips are integrated into the design to be visible in emergency situations.
Alpha AR Jacket, $750 at Arc’teryx (arcteryx.com).