Top 5 reasons to visit the North Pole
- Reach the most northerly point on the planet for maximum bragging rights
- Travel on one of the world’s most awesome ships
- Strong chances of polar bear sightings en route
- Helicopter flight seeing and a hot air balloon ride once you arrive
- Includes the chance to see little visited Franz Josef Land
Getting to the North Pole
Sailing to the North Pole
The world's most powerful nuclear ice breaker, the 50 Years of Victory slices through the thick sea ice surrounding the North Pole. It's a long journey to the top of the world, but this vessel is designed to ensure there's always something to do. When you're not standing at the expansive bow taking in the scenery, you can visit the sauna, do a few laps in the pool, or pick out a good book from the well-stocked library.
This ship's pièce de résistance is its on board helicopter and hot air balloon. There's no better way to get a glimpse of the scale of your ship as it carves through the ice, a small speck in an otherwise white, icy wilderness.
How do I get to the North Pole?
What happens when I get to the North Pole?
Circle the North Pole
Very few people have ever stood at the Geographic North Pole. This is often a very personal occasion; for some, the achievement of a lifetime that warrants a moment's reflection, for others, there is an elation only satisfied by running through all the timezones as quickly as possible.
No matter what your reaction when you get there, you'll have time to walk, reflect, take pictures and wave flags, before joining your group in an old tradition of circling the pole together.
Helicopter flight and hot air balloon ride
Floating above the North Pole in a hot air balloon, tethered to the ice below, it can almost feel like you're holding up the whole world. The ice extends for as far as you can see and further, and you can mark out the timezones as you hover above the earth.
Not many ships boast their own hot air balloon and helicopter, and having these options is one of the things that makes the 50 Years of Victory quite so special. Escape into the skies on board the helicopter during your voyage for a change of scenery, and to gain a very different perspective on your trip.
Our best trips to the North Pole
What will I see on the journey to the North Pole?
Polar bears roam the ice here, and although you won't travel through the classic polar bear hotspots, you still have a good chance of sightings. Your expedition leaders will be helping you look out for the white fur on the bright ice, but there's more to be seen here than just the 'King of the Arctic'...
Keep your eyes peeled for whales, arctic foxes, ringed seals, black legged kittiwakes and the northern fulmar, all of which have been spotted on journeys to the North Pole.
The Arctic ocean is surrounded by land on almost all sides, just one of the reasons why the sea ice here is far thicker than in Antarctica. It also makes travelling by ship here a completely different experience, only possible on an ice breaker ship that can power through 2-3m of ice.
During your journey, your ship will ease through this ice towards the North Pole. Find a spot on the bow and settle in to watch as the ice creaks and splinters around the ship. Before you know it, an hour will have passed by, and your camera will be full of photos of the mesmerising ocean.
Franz Josef Land
A remote archipelago inhabited only by polar bears, walruses and seabirds, Franz Josef Land is one of the least visited places in the Arctic.
Cruises to the North Pole will stop off here so that you can hop into a zodiac and go and explore some wild tundra, or visit some of the historical sites which still exist as a testament to some of the first explorers in this area.
You can lean out over the bow and watch as the ship smashes through the sea ice, then look back and see only white for miles around you except for a thin blue channel, slowly being covered as the ice flows back.
Loli Figueroa Polar Specialist
The North Pole: FAQs
14 days in length, excluding travel days to and from Finland. This includes 4 days sailing from Murmansk to the North Pole via Franz Josef Land, and 4 days sailing back. These days at sea are jam-packed full of lectures, time spent getting to know your fellow adventurers, and opportunities to gain valuable insights from your specialist expedition leaders. You'll also be looking out for wildlife, getting off on zodiac excursions, and preparing yourself for reaching the North Pole.
From $27,995 per person, depending on which cabin category you choose.
With only a small number of North Pole trips each season, you are strongly recommended to book early, approx. 12 - 18 months in advance.
The average temperature during the summer months is 32F (0C), and the atmosphere is dry and the sun remains low in the sky. However, the weather in the Arctic is hugely variable, and it's worth being prepared for all eventualities so that you can be sure you'll still enjoy your trip if the weather turns.
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