Tailored from £25,800 per person excl. flights
13 or 14 days Franz Josef Land, North Pole
13 or 14 days Franz Josef Land, North Pole
Trips either start from Murmansk in Russia or departures in June can also include charter flights to and from Helsinki in Finland. Upon arrival in Murmansk you will first meet the impressive ship which will be your home for the next 11 nights. 50 Years of Victory is the most powerful icebreaker in existence, capable of crushing through ice up to 3 metres thick and during a short summer season it hosts tourists in comfortable accommodation for the trip to 90 degrees north.
Included in the trip are all your activities and this includes trips to shore by Zodiac as well as sightseeing trips by the helicopter, allowing for an incredible perspective of the polar landscape.
As well as the North Pole, you will also visit the remote archipelago of Franz Josef Land on your way back to Murmansk to visit historic settlements and search for Arctic wildlife.
Arrive in the city of Murmansk under your own arrangements and meet the provided transfer to the hotel for an overnight stay before the start your exciting journey tomorrow. Murmansk can be easily reached on scheduled flight routes, normally with a stop in Moscow or Saint Petersburg.
After breakfast you will meet the group transfer from the hotel to the nuclear-powered icebreaker, 50 Years of Victory. Become acquainted with the ship and your cabin as the crew slip the moorings and you head out of Kola Bay into the Arctic Ocean.
Over the next four days journey northward through the pack ice of the Barents Sea, you will witness the immense power of this icebreaker ship with its unique spoon-shaped bow. Depending on the exact conditions this journey can take up to six days so you have lots of opportunity to take advantage of the 24 hour daylight to keep a look out for whales which could be seen at any point. The helicopter excursions will give you an amazing perspective on the landscape and allow you to observe the crushing path of the ship through the ice.
Around day seven, after careful navigation through the ice floes by your expert team, you will arrive at the legendary North Pole, anchor is dropped to disembark on the ice to revel in the magnificence of the top of the world.
Enjoy a special International Round Dance as you join hands with other travellers and create a circle of the globe. Take photos, wave a flag and perhaps even take a polar plunge if the conditions are safe. The staff will also treat you to a barbeque in the perhaps one of the most remote places on the planet, before boarding 50 Years of Victory and starting the journey south.
Franz Josef Land is a remote archipelago of 200 islands which has been part of the Russian Artic National Park since 2012. After a day’s sailing from the North Pole you should have two days to explore this environment by Zodiac and helicopter.
You have a great chance of seeing some enigmatic arctic wildlife in this glaciated, windswept landscape. Of course the animal which is high on many people’s ticklists will be the polar bear, but also keep a look out for Arctic foxes, bowhead and fin whales, orcas and even narwhals. Bird congregations can be vast in some parts of the island chain with sea cliffs providing perfect breeding sites and the productive Arctic waters the perfect feeding ground. There are also many interesting geological features and the historic remains of three ill-fated Arctic expeditions to explore.
After visiting the historic sites of the North Pole and Franz Josef Land the cruise is coming to an end as you cross back across the Barents Sea back towards mainland Eurasia. It is the perfect chance to enjoy some of the amenities onboard 50 Years of Victory, such as the gym, heated saltwater swimming pool or even the multi-use sports court. Educational presentations and workshops will also be on offer, carried out by the expert members of the expedition team and a glance seaward is also worthwhile as there are still good seabird and whale sightings to be had.
Say farewell to your fellow passengers and staff as you alight the boat after breakfast. A transfer will be waiting to take you to the airport for your flight home. During the June voyages a charter flight back to Helsinki, Finland is included.
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50 Years of Victory is the impressive and powerful vessel that makes a journey to the North Pole possible. It is propelled by electric motors using electricity that is generated by nuclear reactors, which brings the CO2 emissions down to almost zero. The ship was also built with a spoon-shaped bow to increase the efficiency of efforts in breaking ice. As the engineers expected it excelled in initial sea trails and showed exceptional speed and manoeuvrability for an icebreaker.