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North Pole: The Ultimate Arctic Adventure

North Pole Cruise Information

Summary : Few have ever reached 90°N—the ultimate travel goal that has stirred the hearts and minds of explorers and adventurers alike. Departing from Murmansk, Russia, your journey to the extreme north will be just as exciting as standing at the very top of the world. Imagine being aboard the most powerful nuclear icebreaker on the planet as it crushes through thick, multiyear pack ice. Achieving the absolute zenith of polar exploration, you’ll celebrate with a champagne toast, pose for the ultimate photo op and, if conditions permit, soar high above the Earth on an optional hot air balloon ride. Take in even more spectacular sights from a thrilling helicopter tour over the icy Arctic Ocean. On your return, visit Franz Josef Land to discover amazing historical sites and scout for the astonishing wildlife that call this fragile place home. As one of the privileged few to voyage to the top of the world each year, you’ll be surrounded by dramatic, endless icescapes and the courage of those who came before you.

Read about ET traveler Giovanni Savaglio's North Pole expedition here.

Activities : Birding, Hiking

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Itinerary
Day 1
Helsinki, Finland

Your adventure begins with a one night stay in Helsinki, Finland’s capital.

Day 2
Helsinki, Finland / Murmansk, Russia / Embark

From Helsinki, you’ll join your fellow passengers on the charter flight to Murmansk, Russia, where you’ll embark on your voyage to the North Pole and get acquainted with 50 Years of Victory, a nuclear icebreaker.

Day 3 – 6
Arctic Ocean – Northbound

Being on board Victory and feeling the icebreaker as it crushes through the Arctic pack ice is an experience you’ll never forget. Just as memorable is boarding the ship’s helicopter for a thrilling aerial view over the ship and the Itinerary expansive Arctic Ocean. You can expect variable sailing conditions this far north. The crossing from Murmansk to the North Pole can take us anywhere from four to six days, depending on the ice conditions. This means you’ll have plenty of time to get to know your shipmates and be treated to presentations and discussions with your Expedition Team while looking out for birdlife. There are also many wonderful amenities on board, such as the ship’s heated saltwater plunge pool or basketball court.

Day 7
90° North

The anticipation reaches a climax as you arrive at the North Pole! Many travelers find themselves overcome with emotion, while others are in a festive and celebratory mood. Take photos, call your family, wave a flag—just be sure you enjoy your moment at the top of the world! Later, everyone will celebrate with a toast and a barbecue on the ice. If the opportunity allows, you have the option of taking a polar plunge into the icy waters around the North Pole. We’ll also attempt to launch passengers high above the Pole in our hot air balloon to commemorate this great moment (this is highly weather dependent).

Day 8
Arctic Ocean – Southbound

On your return voyage, you can sit back and relax. As you head farther south, you may get lucky and spot polar bears hunting for seals.

Day 9 – 10
Franz Josef Land and the Arctic Ocean

This group of approximately 200 islands forms the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia and lies entirely within the Arctic Circle. Here, you’ll explore Cape Flora and discover historic remains from three ill-fated Arctic expeditions. You may also have the chance, if conditions allow, to explore remote seabird colonies while Zodiac cruising beneath towering cliffs, or enjoy another breathtaking aerial sightseeing tour aboard the Victory helicopter.

Day 11 – 12
Southbound at Sea

Enjoy your time on deck or reminisce with your shipmates and new friends as you cross the Arctic Ocean back to Murmansk. Expedition staff will be on hand to answer any remaining questions and point out wildlife during the return journey.

Day 13
Murmansk, Russia / Disembark

Returning to Russia’s most northerly city, you’ll have time to bid farewell to the 50 Years of Victory. You’ll be transferred to the airport for your charter flight to Helsinki, Finland, to enjoy one final night with your newfound friends.

Day 14
Helsinki, Finland

After breakfast, your North Pole journey comes to an end.

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. 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.

Important Trip Information:
Russian visas are required for tourists from most countries, and this voyage requires double-entry Russian visas. There is a strict luggage limit of 44-lbs for checked luggage and 11-lbs for carry-on luggage for flights between Helsinki and Murmansk. Additional luggage can be stored at the hotel in Helsinki as part of the mandatory transfer package. There is NO option to pay for additional luggage. Restrictions are subject to change without notice; please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.

Hot Air Ballooning:
Imagine the sensation of rising slowly upward in the basket of a hot-air balloon during a much-anticipated visit to the North Pole. Suspended up to 30 metres (100 feet) high above the icy surface in the safety of a tethered hot-air balloon basket, guests enjoy a 360° view of the Arctic landscape below. The hot air balloon option is an accessible activity in one of the most inaccessible parts of the world, and it provides guests an entirely new perspective! Hot air balloon rides are at an additional cost, the option can only be booked during your voyage, and availability is highly weather dependent.

Included:
Shipboard accommodations; group helicopter flightseeing according to daily program; photographic journal documenting the expedition; emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person*; all shore landings per the daily program; Zodiac transfers and cruising; leadership and presentations by expedition team and special guests as scheduled; an expedition parka (yours to keep); gear on loan (waterproof expedition boots and walking poles for shore landings; hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin); luggage handling aboard ship; daily housekeeping; all meals onboard the ship; a complimentary selection of beer and wine during dinner; coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; Russian invitation letter for visa application provided after final payment. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; mandatory transfer package; additional overnight accommodations; arrival and departure transfers in Helsinki; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above; baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage fees; helicopter flights beyond those included; meals ashore unless otherwise specified; any beverages that are not in the complimentary selection; mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned; laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified; phone and internet charges; hot air balloon option; gratuities; 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.

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