Top of the World

The North Pole is the world’s northernmost point and a prize still zealously pursued by adventurers and explorers today.


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To the North Pole
POS © RIA Novosti. Vera Kostamo

Duration: 13 days
Starts: Murmansk, Russia
Ends: Murmansk, Russia
Language: English Speaking Voyage


Included


This incredible adventure starts in Murmansk, Russia. There you embark the nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy for a roundtrip voyage to the geographic North Pole. Anticipation heightens as the mighty ship takes you smashing through the frozen Arctic Ocean toward your goal.

In addition to the exhilaration of cruising aboard a state-of-the-art icebreaker and the thrill of standing at the top of the world, you also have the opportunity to explore the rarely visited Russian Arctic archipelago of Franz Josef Land. This is an extraordinary voyage on a one-of-a-kind ship, worthy of a true adventurer.

Itinerary

© The Polar Travel Company
© Cristopher Michel
© Agustín Ullmann

Day 1 | Murmansk, Russia (hotel night)
Welcome to the city of Murmansk on Russia’s Kola Peninsula, starting point of your adventure. Upon your arrival at the airport a transfer is provided to your hotel, which has been arranged already and is included in the price of the voyage.

Murmansk is easy to reach by regular flights with stopovers in Moscow or Saint Petersburg. You may wish to extend your stop in Moscow.

Day 2 | Embarkation in Murmansk
Today a group transfer is provided to the port where you’re welcome aboard the nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy. Explore the ship and get orientated as the moorings are slipped and sail north out of Kola Bay.

Day 3-6 | The Voyage North
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.

Advantage of 24-hour daylight is also taken 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

Welcome to the geographic North Pole! After carefully navigating to 90 degrees North, the anchor is ceremoniously dropped on a sturdy stretch of ice, and disembark onto the frozen sea.

Now is the time to experience the long-anticipated thrill of standing at the top of the world. Join hands with your fellow passengers and literally walk around the world during the special International Round Dance. You are also treated to a barbeque meal on the ice. You may even have the chance to take a plunge into the icy water!

After our memorable time at the North Pole you turn around and head south. But the adventure is not over yet. The High Arctic archipelago of Franz Josef Land is still to come!

Day 8-10 | Exploration of 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—can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Franz Josef Land. Scree slopes and cliffs around the islands host enormous nesting colonies of migratory seabirds such as guillemots, dovekies, and ivory gulls. Advantage is taken of the 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 the 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 the amazing time in Franz Josef Land you 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 | Disembarkation in Murmansk
Your once-in-a-lifetime journey comes to an end. After breakfast farewell is said in Murmansk. A transfer is provided to the airport for your flight home.

Itinerary

Day 1 | Murmansk, Russia (hotel night)
Welcome to the city of Murmansk on Russia’s Kola Peninsula, starting point of your adventure. Upon your arrival at the airport a transfer is provided to your hotel, which has been arranged already and is included in the price of the voyage.

Murmansk is easy to reach by regular flights with stopovers in Moscow or Saint Petersburg. You may wish to extend your stop in Moscow.

Day 2 | Embarkation in Murmansk
Today a group transfer is provided to the port where you’re welcome aboard the nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy. Explore the ship and get orientated as the moorings are slipped and sail north out of Kola Bay.

Day 3-6 | The Voyage North
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.

Advantage of 24-hour daylight is also taken 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

Welcome to the geographic North Pole! After carefully navigating to 90 degrees North, the anchor is ceremoniously dropped on a sturdy stretch of ice, and disembark onto the frozen sea.

Now is the time to experience the long-anticipated thrill of standing at the top of the world. Join hands with your fellow passengers and literally walk around the world during the special International Round Dance. You are also treated to a barbeque meal on the ice. You may even have the chance to take a plunge into the icy water!

After our memorable time at the North Pole you turn around and head south. But the adventure is not over yet. The High Arctic archipelago of Franz Josef Land is still to come!

Day 8-10 | Exploration of 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—can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Franz Josef Land. Scree slopes and cliffs around the islands host enormous nesting colonies of migratory seabirds such as guillemots, dovekies, and ivory gulls. Advantage is taken of the 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 the 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 the amazing time in Franz Josef Land you 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 | Disembarkation in Murmansk
Your once-in-a-lifetime journey comes to an end. After breakfast farewell is said in Murmansk. A transfer is provided to the airport for your flight home.


© The Polar Travel Company
© Cristopher Michel
© Agustín Ullmann


INCLUSIONS

• 1 pre-cruise hotel night accommodation on Day 1 in Murmansk, Russia, with breakfast
• Transfer from the airport to the hotel in Murmansk on the day prior to embarkation
• Transfer from the hotel to the port in Murmansk for embarkation on Day 2
• Transfer from the port to the airport or central location in Murmansk upon disembarkation
• Shipboard accommodation with housekeeping
• Shipboard breakfasts, lunches and dinners
• Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
• All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by helicopter
• All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by zodiacs
• Shore landings included in daily program
• Program of lectures and informal discussions by experienced Expedition Team and guest lecturers
• Professional Expedition Leadership
• Branded expedition parka
• Rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise
• Hair dryer and bathrobes in each cabin
• Informative pre-departure materials
• Digital Voyage Log
• All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
• All shipboard luggage handling
• Personalized medical insurance covering the risks of evacuation and repatriation. Coverage: 100,000 EUR. Duration: cruise days only. This is only for passengers under 90 years old

EXCLUSIONS

• Gratuities to the expedition team and hotel staff
• Airfare to and from your hometown to Murmansk
• Transfers from the airport to the hotel if arriving prior to Day 1 of the program
• Helicopter flying time in excess of that offered for the group
• Passport and visa expenses (if required); a Russian visa is required for the trip. The visa must be obtained by the customer and is at his or her expense. Please, contact your local Russian Consulate to learn more about the procedure for obtaining a Visa
• State arrival and departure taxes (if levied)
• Meals ashore and supplements in respect of single hotel accommodation (if required)
• Excess luggage charges on international and local flights
• Telecommunication services; laundry, bar and beverage charges aboard the vessel
• Luggage, cancellation insurance (strongly recommended)


* The prices are per person expressed in US Dollars.
NOTE: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.



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