We take advantage of continuous daylight to offer flightseeing tours with the icebreaker’s onboard helicopter. From aloft you have a unique and exciting perspective from which to witness the ship plowing its way through the ice and to experience the surreal beauty of the vast frozen ocean. We also use the helicopter to achieve landings in Franz Josef Land when conditions prevent landings by Zodiac, giving you unparalleled access to this remote and hard-to-reach Arctic wilderness. Weather permitting, flightseeing tours and landings by helicopter are included free on all North Pole voyages.
The vast, intricate, and ever-changing icescape of the Arctic Ocean offers a unique and challenging world of subjects for photographers of all backgrounds. Our free photography program gives you the chance to learn and practice your photography skills alongside an expert photographer. Primeval landscapes, intriguing geological features, poignant historical remains, and charismatic Arctic wildlife in Russia’s Franz Josef Land also provide a wealth of inspiration for the photographer. Our expert will be available to help you make the most of this bounty in your viewfinder.
Day 1 — Murmansk, Russia Welcome to the city of Murmansk on Russia’s Kola Peninsula, starting point of our adventure. Upon your arrival at the airport we provide a transfer to your hotel, which has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the voyage. Day 2 — Embarkation Day in Murmansk Today we provide a group transfer to the port where we welcome you aboard the nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Years of Victory. Explore the ship and get orientated as we slip our moorings and sail north out of Kola Bay. Days 3 to 6 — Northbound in the Arctic Ocean Nowhere can it be more truly said that “getting there is half the fun”. As we 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 we make our 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. We also take advantage of 24-hour daylight 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 — 90° North Welcome to the geographic North Pole! After carefully navigating to 90 degrees North, we ceremoniously drop the anchor 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 our 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 we 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. We take advantage of 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 our 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. Days 11 to 12 — At Sea After our amazing time in Franz Josef Land we cross back south through the bountiful waters of the Barents Sea. Presentations and workshops by our 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 After breakfast on board we say farewell in Murmansk. We provide you with a transfer to the airport or to the city center, depending on the time of your departure flight. Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. The above is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.
Twenty years in the making, 50 Years of Victory is the first Arktika-class icebreaker to have a spoon-shaped bow, capable of breaking through ice up to 2.5 metres (9.2 feet) thick! This is the world’s largest, most-powerful nuclear icebreaker. Complete with a helicopter for shore excursions, Victory is a ship unlike any other, with the ability to go where other ships cannot. Onboard you hardly feel a thing. Absolutely unforgettable is the sound of mammoth slabs of ice colliding with the hull! An onboard helicopter extends the vessels ability to reach ice-locked, remote Arctic islands en route from the North Pole.
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Date Selected: 8th Jul 2018