Things to know about the North Pole
- When you get to 90 degrees north you will be standing on ice 6-10 feet thick, at the point at which all lines of longitude converge, above an ocean 13,000 feet deep
- Only around 1,000 people a year reach this point
- You can get there on a nuclear powered ice-breaker
- The Pole is around 700 miles from the nearest land
- While there is not much wildlife at the Pole itself you are likely to see polar bears, seals, walrus, whales and plenty of birds along the way
How to get to the North Pole
Though inaccessible for most of the year, it is possible to travel to the North Pole to bag those sought-after bragging rights during June and July when the ice is thinner, or in April if travelling via helicopter.
The start and end point for all North Pole voyages is Helsinki in Finland, from which you fly by charter plane to Murmansk, a city in Northwest Russia where the ship is based. Travelling via icebreaker ship from Murmansk is the favourite route for most visitors. Crush through multi-year ice to reach 90 degrees north where you can disembark, stand atop 13,000 ft of Arctic ocean and gaze at a mosaic of ice sheets. Find more on North Pole cruises here.
For those who are don't have time to make this voyage, you can fly to Svalbard and travel to the North Pole via helicopter (in April only), an experience like no other. Witness the world of white below you and touch down where all lines of longitude come together.
I have been lucky enough to reach the Pole three times on board the 50 Years of Victory and each time I was blown away by the spectacle of the ship pushing through the ice.
Loli Figueroa Polar Specialist
How do I get to the North Pole?
Trips to the North Pole
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.