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North Pole

Arctic North Pole Cruise

Summary : Take a trip to the top of the world where South is all around you…You’ll have the ultimate experience aboard a powerful nuclear-powered Russian icebreaker. Encounter rookeries of Arctic birds, walruses and seals. Keep an eye out for polar bear too on this trip of a lifetime!

Please keep in mind that this is a unique expedition to a remote and very little explored part of the globe. Our sample itinerary should therefore be considered as a guide only, as it is heavily dependent on both weather and ice conditions.

Activities : Birding, Hiking

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Itinerary
Day 1
Murmansk, Russia

Following your arrival into Murmansk, transfer to your included hotel.

Day 2
Murmansk, Russia

After the group transfer from your hotel, you will board the 50 Years of Victory in Murmansk. Depart on one of the most powerful icebreakers in the world and start your journey north via Kola Bay.

Day 3 – 6
Voyage to the North Pole

Nowhere can it be more truly said that “getting there is half the fun”. As you cruise northward through the Barents Sea there is always the possibility of seeing whales. Meanwhile, you have the opportunity to learn about the unique icebreaking capabilities of the ship. You are also treated to a tour of the engine room.

As you make your way across the ice cap, you witness firsthand the ship’s awesome power as massive ice blocks give way under the enormous bulk of the spoon-shaped bow. The sensation of being on deck at this time is surreal and unforgettable.

Take advantage of 24-hour daylight to offer helicopter flightseeing tours. From the air you can observe the ship crushing a path through the ice. You also have a unique vantage point from which to witness the stunning beauty of this vast polar icescape.

Day 7
North Pole

With heart-pounding anticipation, the Victory will be slowly maneuvered into position at exactly 90ºN.

Welcome to the Geographical North Pole. But this is only the start of your adventure. Disembarking from the ship, you will experience the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of standing on the top of the world. To celebrate this victory, you will join hands with the other passengers while everyone literally walks around the world during.

Topping off the day will be a North Pole barbecue and, for the more daring and adventurous, a plunge into the Arctic Ocean.

Day 8 – 10
Franz Josef Land

The Franz Josef Land archipelago, part of the Russian Arctic National Park since 2012, is a nature sanctuary. Polar bears and other quintessential High Arctic wildlife such as walruses and some rare whale species may be spotted. Scree slopes and cliffs around the islands host enormous nesting colonies of migratory seabirds such as guillemots, dovekies, and ivory gulls. Take advantage of 24-hour daylight to exploit every opportunity for wildlife viewing and excursions via Zodiac and helicopter.

Franz Josef Land is home to some interesting geological features, such as the mysterious stone spheres on Champ Island. Collectors of geographical extremes may take note that Cape Fligely on Rudolf Island is the northernmost point of land in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Franz Josef Land also offers visitors the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of famous polar explorers at well-preserved historical sites. The journals of explorers such as Julius von Payer, Benjamin Leigh Smith, Frederick George Jackson, and Fridtjof Nansen come alive at Cape Norway, Cape Flora, Eira Harbour, and Cape Tegetthoff. Memorials, monuments, crosses, and the remains of dwellings are testimony to incredible historical events that are further illuminated by onboard expert lecturers.

Tikhaya Bukhta is currently a Russian Arctic National Park ranger station occupying Soviet-era research buildings and was also a major base for polar expeditions. Nearby, the fascinating columnar basalt cliffs of Rubini Rock are home to thousands of nesting seabirds.

Day 11 – 12
The Voyage South

After your amazing time in Franz Josef Land, cross back south through the bountiful waters of the Barents Sea. Presentations and workshops by the expert staff ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent. You may also take advantage of onboard facilities and amenities such as a polar library, volleyball court, gym, two saunas, warm seawater pool, gift shop, and massage treatments. Seabird viewing and whale sightings can be enjoyed from panoramic open decks as well as exterior stateroom windows.

Day 13
Murmansk / Moscow

After breakfast, say farewell to Murmansk. Transfer to the airport or to the city center, depending on the time of your flight (not included) to Moscow. Overnight at your included hotel in Moscow.

Day 14
Moscow, Russia

After breakfast, you are free to make your own way to the airport or to extend your stay in Moscow.

Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.

Bilingual Departure: English/German

Insurance Coverage: Note there are restrictions regarding age.
Passengers are covered by medical travel insurance policy to the value of 100,000 EUR per person and said policy includes emergency evacuation and repatriation. Duration: cruise days only. This is only for travelers under 85 years old. Travelers over 85 years old are to purchase their own insurance policy with coverage not less than 100,000 EUR – such policy is to cover risks of repatriation/evacuation from extremely remote territories, and is to be sufficient for traveling in the High Arctic. Any risks, not covered by the insurance policy provided, are to be covered by passengers at his/her disposal and at his/her own expense.

Included:
1 night pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Murmansk, Russia, with breakfast; transfer from airport to the hotel in Murmansk 1 day prior to embarkation; transfer from hotel to the port in Murmansk on embarkation day; transfers from the port to the airport or central location in Murmansk upon disembarkation; 1 night post-expedition hotel accommodation in Moscow, Russia, with breakfast; shipboard breakfasts, lunches and dinners; coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock; Zodiac cruising; digital voyage log; rubber boots on loan for duration of the cruise; expedition parka – yours to keep; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; group helicopter flightseeing (weather permitting); shipboard luggage handling; insurance coverage mentioned above for those under 85 years old. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; passport and visa expenses; required evacuation and repatriation insurance for those over 85 years old that is mentioned above; state arrival and departure taxes (if levied); any beverages that are not in the complimentary selection; meals ashore unless otherwise specified; baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, bar and other personal charges; phone and internet charges; gratuity for ship’s crew and Expedition Team members; fuel surcharge may apply.

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