Summary : For centuries, explorers set out for the North Pole by sled, ship, aircraft and even balloon, but it wasn’t until 1948 that a human reached 90º north. Now you can voyage there yourself aboard the nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Years of Victory, powerful enough to push through the formidable Arctic ice pack. Shore landings are planned in Franz Josef Land and at 90N, the top of the world, and sightseeing by helicopter provides an aerial view of the icebreaker crushing through the Arctic Ocean pack ice. Celebrate with champagne upon your arrival and if conditions permit, soar above the Earth on an optional hot air balloon ride. Join this once-in-a-lifetime journey and add your name to the handful of adventurers who’ve stood at the top of the world!
Read about ET traveler Giovanni Savaglio's North Pole expedition here
Activities : Birding, Hiking
$29,995 to $45,095
Just six degrees south of the Arctic Circle is a sophisticated city with nightlife, green spaces and a breathtaking harbor—Helsinki, Finland. Stay at a centrally-located hotel. (See Rate Notes for mandatory charter airfare package details)
From Helsinki, a charter flight will take you to Murmansk, Russia to embark on your voyage to the North Pole. Enjoy time to get acquainted with fellow passengers and the expedition ship—the world's largest and most powerful icebreaker!
Watching 50 Years of Victory crush through the Arctic ice pack is an incredible sight, made even more memorable by taking a helicopter flight for a thrilling aerial view of the Victory and expansive Arctic Ocean.
Expect the days and hours to present variable sailing conditions this far north. The crossing from Murmansk to the North Pole can take anywhere from 5 to 8 days, meaning plenty of time to get to know fellow shipmates, stare out at the horizon, enjoy some drinks at the bar, go for a swim in the ship’s lap pool, or shoot some hoops on the basketball court.
All the anticipation of the prior days reaches a climax as you reach the North Pole! Many travelers find themselves overcome with emotion, while others are in a festive and celebratory mood. Take photos, wave a flag, enjoy your moment! Add an exclamation to your success by rising high in a hot air balloon to commemorate this great moment (optional activity—fee applies & weather dependent). Later, everyone enjoys a champagne toast and a BBQ on the ice. Perhaps take a polar plunge!
Head southbound toward Franz Josef Land after appropriate celebrations at the North Pole. Now you can sit back and relax, everything from here on out is a bonus! As you head further south,
you may get lucky and spot polar bears
hunting for seals.
This group of 191 islands forms the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia, and lies entirely within the Arctic Circle. It's so remote that Franz Josef Land was discovered after Antarctica. Explore Cape Flora and discover historic remains from three ill-fated Arctic expeditions. When conditions permit, Zodiac trips beneath towering cliffs will explore remote seabird colonies. The 50 Years of Victory helicopter will provide aerial sightseeing and her Zodiacs will transfer you to seldom-visited landing sites.
Crossing the Arctic Ocean back to Murmansk, take time to relax and enjoy the ship's amenities or watch the ocean and sky for wildlife from the observation lounge or outside decks.
Returning to Russia’s most northerly city, bid farewell to the expedition crew and ship. Transfer to the airport for a charter flight to Helsinki, Finland and enjoy one final night in this remarkable city.
After breakfast, your journey comes to an end.
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. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers must have a minimum $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The shipping company will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that the travel insurance policy covers trip cancellation insurance, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage and repatriation. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.
Hot Air Ballooning:
Not included in cruise rate. Pre-booked option for up to 50 guests. Hot air ballooning must be booked at time of reservation. Each tethered hot balloon flight will be about 15 minutes in duration. A certificate will be provided as a memento.
Luggage Weight Restriction: There is a strict luggage limit of 44 lbs checked luggage and 11 lbs cabin baggage on the flights between Helsinki and Murmansk. Should you have additional luggage, it can be stored at the hotel in Helsinki. There is no option to pay for additional luggage. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; all breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage; a complimentary selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages; Zodiac transfers and cruising; downloadable photographic journal; a pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an expedition parka – yours to keep; coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; luggage handling aboard ship; group helicopter flightseeing according to daily program; emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person*; gratuities; beer and wine with dinner; soft drinks 24/7. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; mandatory charter airfare package; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; 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; hot air balloon option; extra helicopter flights beyond included; fuel surcharge may apply.
*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $500,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only while traveling with the shipping company between the first and last day of the expedition. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition, including pre- and post-packages/hotels/flights, purchased from the shipping company or from suppliers other than the shipping company, are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.