About Us

Polar Tracks

The tip of the iceberg

Welcome, intrepid traveller, to a polar agency powered by the spirit of adventure. We’re polar guides Heather Thorkelson, Lauren Farmer, and Kit van Wagner. We’re the team behind the scenes who create spectacular, seamless and personal polar experiences.

What we do

There’s more than one way to experience the polar regions. Whether you live for adrenaline and can’t wait to get out on the ice, or you want to spend your days capturing the way light bounces off glaciers, we’re here to take the stress and guesswork out of your polar adventure.

We can help with and advise on

  • Seasons
    The best time to see wildlife and enjoy favorable conditions at either polar region.
  • Ships
    The cabins, ship capacity, style and even cuisine that keeps you comfortable.
  • Budgets
    From luxurious creature comforts to economic practicality and everything in between.
  • Activities
    Kayaking, camping, excursions—there’s plenty to do ashore, too.
  • Itineraries
    Cultural, zoological, artistic or active—we’ll pack your days full of what you love to do.

Expertise, straight from the field

Founder + owner. Expedition Guide. polar Enthusiast.

Heather Thorkelson

Originally from Canada, Heather has worked in the world of polar expedition guiding and cruising for over 12 years. As a skilled guide, she has a knack for delivering unforgettable experiences. She fell in love with the polar regions when she first visited Svalbard in 2007 and was overwhelmed by the peace of its vast landscape. Soon, she was venturing south on an expedition to Antarctica, where she has since returned to over 30 times.

Heather is committed to supporting the highest standards of professionalism in the polar guiding industry and was inducted to the Board of Directors for the Polar Tourism Guides Association in 2018.

Beyond the ice caps, Heather is a business consultant and certified life coach. Having travelled to over 50 countries and lived in seven, she loves connecting individuals from around the world to their polar trip of a lifetime.

Photo credit: Dean Tatooles

Expedition Leader

Lauren Farmer

Lauren is a dual Australian/American who came to the expedition industry following a career working in television marketing in New York. She has been guiding in both polar regions since 2013, first as a photographer, then as Assistant Expedition Leader and now as Expedition Leader.

She is a proud fellow of the Explorers Club, a certified Senior Guide with the Polar Tourism Guides Association and is a co-founder of the Polar Citizen Science Collective, a non-profit which works to promote scientist-led citizen science within our industry.

She now calls the Scottish Highlands home, having recently settled on a seaside croft with her husband and their rescue cat, Scampi.

Expedition Leader

Kit van Wagner

Inspired by her experiences growing up in Japan, Norway and England, Kit van Wagner has been steadily working her way around the globe, sharing her infatuation with wild places, wildlife, and remote cultures.

She began working on expedition ships internationally in 1999 and has travelled extensively in polar and subpolar regions including the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, the Falkland Islands, the New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands, the Ross Sea, Svalbard, Greenland, Iceland, Alaska and the Russian Far East. Over the years she has also provided essential support in expedition operations including permitting, destination scouting and itinerary development.

Kit holds a Master’s degree in Marine Science Education and has directed marine conservation, public outreach and staff training initiatives. Kit is a U.S. Coast Guard 100 Ton Captain, Dive Instructor, PTGA Senior Polar Guide/Assessor, and has had a varied career history also working as a sailing instructor, tall ship officer and backcountry kayak guide.

Expedition Leader. Extreme Adventure Skier. Earth Scientist.

David Berg

Dividing his time between the Arctic and Antarctica, David is an accomplished professional polar guide from Sweden who has led expeditions in Svalbard, Greenland, Scotland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, South Georgia, the Falkland Islands and, of course, Antarctica.

In May 2016, David followed in the footsteps of one of his heroes, Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen, and completed an unsupported 600-km crossing of Greenland’s inland ice in 27 days.

No stranger to below-freezing temperatures, David also drove snowmobiles for Sweden’s Icehotel, where temperatures drop to -50 degrees. As an accomplished lecturer in earth sciences and glaciology, he loves to regale fellow travellers with the history and stories of the polar regions.

Photo credit: Christopher Michel