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A 14-day itinerary aboard one of the world’s most powerful icebreakers, and to a location very few people have ever set foot on – the mighty North Pole. 50 Years of Victory, one of the few vessels in the world with the power capable of negotiating such challenging ice conditions, will take you north from Murmansk, crossing the Barents Sea and breaking straight into the dense Arctic pack ice. The journey will take you through an ever-changing panorama of wind-polished ice up to two and a half meters thick, narrow channels of dark green water, and aquamarine pools scattered across the frozen sea. You’ll be able to enjoy the immense polar landscapes from the bridge or deck of the ship as well as from the helicopter, and will have the opportunity to encounter the Arctic’s incredible wildlife such as polar bears, walruses and ivory gulls along the way.
Having become one of the very few people to have ever set foot on the North Pole, you will then head south to the wild and wonderful world of dense pack ice, towering volcanic mountains, icebergs and glaciers of Franz Josef Land.
Day 1: Helsinki, Finland
Day 2: Murmansk, Russia
Day 3-6: Barents Sea
Day 7: The North Pole
Day 8: Heading South
Day 9-10: Franz Josef Land, Russia
Day 11-12: Southbound at Sea
Day 13: Murmansk, Russia
Day 14: Helsinki, Finland
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You will have the time to explore the charming capital of Finland before meeting your fellow travellers at the hotel.
You will fly to Murmansk via a charter flight. Surrounded by birch and spruce forest, Murmansk is almost halfway between Moscow and the North Pole. You will be transferred to the port, ready to embark the world’s largest and most powerful nuclear icebreaker, 50 Years of Victory.
Set sail for the North Pole! The sailing conditions on the Arctic Ocean are changeable, which is why the crossing from Murmansk to the North Pole can take anywhere from 4 to 6 days.
Watching Victory crush through the Arctic ice pack is a sight you`ll never forget. Join our naturalists and other experts in the lecture room for presentations on the wildlife, geology, history and other aspects of the Arctic, and conservation guidelines for visiting this remote corner of the world. There will also be plenty of opportunities to watch for the abundant Arctic seabirds and whales as we sail north.
The ship’s open bridge policy enables you to watch navigation and icebreaking operations around the clock. Ice reconnaissance flights, together with ice charts received via satellite, help the experienced captain and officers guide the 50 Years of Victory steadily northwards. There will even be opportunities to board the helicopter for fantastic aerial views of the ship crashing its way towards the pole, and to land briefly on the ice. The expedition team will also plan to stop the ship temporarily, put down the gangway, and invite everyone down for an invigorating walkabout.
Depending on the ice conditions en route, we will arrive at our ultimate destination on day 7. As you approach the North Pole, you’ll be incredibly excited as the ship works its way towards our ultimate goal – 90° North. Then comes the moment everyone will have been waiting for – standing on the top of the world! You’ll wander out onto the ice to explore this otherworldly white and blue landscape that stretches for hundreds of miles in every direction; this incredible place that so many explorers have struggled and risked their lives to reach. There will be time for quiet contemplation as we consider their heroic efforts. Like all the best expeditions, we also find time for festivities and – for those who dare – a plunge into the Arctic Ocean!
The ship will begin its adventurous journey south, giving you another opportunity to enjoy the power of the icebreaker and the spectacular and ever-changing scenery. Look out for Arctic wildlife, especially those majestic polar bears, join our naturalists and other experts in the lecture room for more presentations on the wildlife, geology, history and other aspects of this magnificent wilderness, and take the opportunity to visit the ship’s control centre and engine room.
You will enter a remote world of dense pack ice, towering volcanic mountains, icebergs and glaciers at Franz Josef Land. The archipelago of 191 islands stretches 233 miles from west to east and 145 miles from north to south. Undiscovered until 1873, it is still relatively unexplored. Here you’ll explore historic places like Cape Flora on Northbrook Island and discover the historic remains from three ill-fated Arctic expeditions. When conditions permit, Zodiac trips below the towering cliffs will explore remote seabird rookeries, and you may also see walruses and polar bears.
You will cross the Arctic Ocean back to Murmansk. Look up and enjoy watching the beautiful Arctic seabirds!
You will arrive in Murmansk early in the morning, before heading back to Helsinki on a charter flight. You will spend your final night at a centrally located hotel.
Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel before starting your journey back to the UK.
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