North Pole Expedition
North Pole Expedition
All roads lead south when you are at the northernmost point of the earth. To become aware of this and to realize how unlikely it was just a few decades ago to even set foot in this place is perhaps the greatest highlight of this journey. On your way to the North Pole, you will explore the Barents Sea, visit Franz Josef Land and admire the local fauna in a barren yet beautiful landscape.
First day: Arrival at Murmansk. Overnight in a hotel.
Second day: Embarkation and start of the expedition.
Third to penultimate day: On expedition cruise... Ice, weather and wildlife observation will determine the route.
Last day: Disembarkation at Murmansk and return home.
The Russian port city of Murmansk is the starting point of your North Pole expedition. Here you will spend one night before boarding the "50 Years of Victory" on the second day. The ship is anchored in the port of the Russian Arctic Ocean Fleet. Between the enormous icebreakers of the fleet, the Victory seems comparatively small. However, she is a strong and proven icebreaker herself, offering space for up to 134 passengers. Every cabin on board offers an excellent view of the sea and in the inner areas of the ship you will find spacious common areas. With the tide you leave the port of Murmansk and sail through the Kola Fjord out to the Barents Sea.
The trip to the North Pole takes about four days. While the Victory glides steadily northwards, it never gets boring on board. On deck and from your cabin you keep an eye out for whales, with a little luck you may see humpback whales appearing near the ship. Interesting lectures and workshops on wildlife and other exciting topics of the Arctic take place regularly below deck. Why don't you also take part in the guided tour through the icebreaker's engine room. Here you will gain fascinating insights into the technology that makes your North Pole expedition possible. Helicopter flights over the perpetual ice are also offered. From the air you will have a wonderful view over the icy expanse and observe how the Victory constantly makes its way through the ice.
On the seventh day of the journey you will finally reach the North Pole. The tension among the passengers increases as you approach the destination of your journey. Slowly the icebreaker pushes forward until the ship finally stops. The Victory is navigated to 90° North and anchors on the ice. The joy on board is great, applause sounds. Dress warmly, because now it is time for your ice walk at the northernmost point of the world. You leave the ship, the soles of your thick boots touch the drifting ice. Enjoy the uplifting feeling of being here! In a figurative sense you have the possibility to circle the whole world with a few steps. Later the crew invites you to a BBQ on the ice in the never ending sunshine of the arctic summer.
On the return journey you will explore Franz-Josef-Land. Since 2012 the archipelago is a nature reserve and part of the Russian Arctic National Park. Polar bears and walruses are by far not the only animals that find a habitat here. Rare species of whales roam the waters off the coasts and thousands of birds, including guillemots and ivory gulls, breed on the islands' rocks and steep cliffs. From the ship you can take sightseeing flights by helicopter or shore excursions with Zodiac boats. Franz-Josef-Land offers a variety of fascinating destinations for nature lovers. The landscape as well as the animal world always offer new and exciting motives for amateur photographers. The Champ Island, for example, stands out due to its geological peculiarities, where mysterious, almost perfect stone spheres can be found. The northernmost land point of Eurasia you will visit on Rudolf Island, Cape Fligely.
When the Victory leaves Franz Josef Land and starts its journey back to Murmansk, you will be caught between two worlds. The time seems to have flown by. You have gathered touching new impressions, learned a lot, and yet the departure from the beauty of the Arctic will not be easy for you. In your thoughts you are still with the wild animals, the snow-covered mountains and the icy silence of the North Pole. Now it is time to let the impressions sink into your memory and to end your North Pole vacation relaxed on board the Victory. Enjoy the amenities of the ship while outside the Barents Sea merges into the Kola Fjord.