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!
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking
$999,999,999 to $0
Just six degrees south of the Arctic Circle is a sophisticated city with nightlife, green spaces and a breathtaking harbor – Helsinki, Finland. Arrive early to explore the city before settling down for the night in a centrally-located hotel.
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 the 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 or go for a swim in the ship’s lap pool.
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. Later, everyone enjoys a champagne toast and a BBQ on the ice.
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! Watching for polar bear tracks on the ice will become an obsession. And if a bear wanders close to the ship, no matter what time of day or night, an announcement is made so travelers can gather on deck to take once-in-a-lifetime photographs. You may get lucky and spot polar bears hunting for seals. Ivory Gulls, the rarest of Arctic birds, fearlessly dance on the ice within the bear’s reach, eager to dine on the scraps.
This group of 191 islands forms the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia, and lies entirely within the Arctic Circle and 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 rookeries while keeping an eye out for walrus and polar bears. Onboard helicopters again provide aerial sightseeing and access to otherwise inaccessible 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 to enjoy one final night’s hotel stay in this remarkable city.
Your journey has officially come to its conclusion. Consider extending your stay to further explore Helsinki and the surrounding area before your return home.
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.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. 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 you with this.
Hot Air Ballooning Option: $295 per person
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.
Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; all breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage; a complimentary selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages; all shore landings; Expedition Leader; Zodiac transfers and cruising; presentations by Expedition Team and guest speakers; photographic album on DVD; a pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an expedition parka – yours to keep; coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock; comprehensive pre-departure materials; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; luggage handling aboard ship; helicopter transfers and aerial sightseeing according to each day’s program; emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per person*. Subject to change without notice.
Any airfare; mandatory charter airfare package; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; any beverages that are not in the complimentary selection; any meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry and other personal charges; telecommunications charges; gratuity for ship’s crew and Expedition Team members; hot air balloon option; fuel surcharge may apply.
*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only to travel between the first and last day of the expedition purchased. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition 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.