About Us

Polar Tracks

The tip of the iceberg

Welcome, intrepid traveller, to a polar agency powered by the spirit of adventure. We’re a team of current and former polar guides who work behind the scenes to 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 polar expedition world for almost a decade and a half. 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 40 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. In 2020 she co-founded her second polar company, Polar Pioneer Management, with colleagues in Scandinavia.

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

managing director. polar cruise specialist. 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 and Assessor 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.

polar cruise specialist + 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.

polar cruise specialist + Expedition Leader

Jon Fuhrmann

Jon grew up in Vienna, Austria, but his roots are in Hungary and Transylvania. He moved to the UK to study and very nearly became an investment banker, but ultimately ended up at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge where he completed a Master’s degree in glaciology.

Instead of going into academia, Jon focused on science communication and worked in the press office of the Natural History Museum in London, an institution that offered endless inspiration and fascination in its vast collections. He was also involved with British Antarctic Survey’s communications campaign for the RRS Sir David Attenborough, Britain’s new research icebreaker.

In 2015, Jon embarked an expedition cruise ship for his first season and followed the siren song of the Antarctic; he hasn’t looked back and has since worked as a naturalist, lecturer and expedition leader on six continents with a particular focus on the polar regions, where the infinite facets of the ice have not released their spell on him.