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Feeling on top of the world at the North Pole!
by Joanne Stone, DTW Client Read the Blog
Day 1: arrive Helsinki, Finland Just six degrees south of the Arctic Circle lies Helsinki, a sophisticated city with nightlife, green spaces and a beautiful harbour. Spend a pre-voyage night at a centrally located hotel. Day 2: Murmansk and embarkation Take a charter flight from Helsinki to Murmansk, Russia, the home port of the Russian nuclear icebreaker fleet. Embark one of the world's largest and most powerful ice-breakers as you commence your expedition to the North Pole. Days 3-6: The Arctic Ocean Sailing conditions on the Arctic Ocean are changeable, so the crossing from Murmansk to the North Pole can take anywhere from 5 to 8 days. Watching Victory break through the formidable pack ice is a sight you'll never forget. Crashing through ice several metres thick, Victory can sail in conditions that would defeat most other ships. It may be possible to watch the ship's progress from the onboard helicopters, and youíll also have opportunities to view native seabirds and whales. The onboard Expedition Team will keep you engaged with informative presentations as the ship forges north. Day 7: 90° North-The North Pole Conditions permitting, the icebreaker should reach the North Pole some time around the seventh or eighth day of the expedition. Youíve joined a rare and select group: those that can truly say theyíve stood at the top of the world. Reflect on the many adventurers that came before you, giving their lives for the moment you are now experiencing. You'll have time for a hike on the expansive ice; you can literally walk around the world in under a minute. And for those that have pre-booked, now is the chance to gain a unique perspective on this special destination, as you enjoy a 15 minute hot-air balloon ride over the North Pole*. Day 8: The Arctic Ocean Now it's just you and the polar bears. As Victory sails southward, stand on the deck and survey the expanse of brilliant blue and white ice that stretches hundreds of kilometres in all directions. Keep an eye out for rare Arctic wildlife, particularly near Franz Josef Land, where polar bear sightings are possible. Days 9-10: Franz Josef Land Franz Josef Land is one of the most recently discovered archipelagos in the world. It was only in the late 1800's that this remote and stunning world of islands and ice was found, and even today it remains mostly unexplored. There are 191 islands in this naturalist's paradise, inhabited by polar bears, walrus, arctic fox, seals and belugas. As long as visibility is sufficient and the weather good, the helicopters will provide aerial sightseeing flights and the Zodiacs will transfer you to seldom visited landing sites. Days 11-12: The Arctic Ocean Continue south to Murmansk with time available to reflect on your incredible journey. Day 13: Murmansk and disembarkation Cross the Barents Sea to Murmansk, where youíll bid a fond farewell to the icebreaker and its crew. Board the charter flight to Helsinki, where you will spend your final post-voyage night. Day 14: Helsinki After breakfast at your hotel this morning it is time to depart, or perhaps extend your stay in Finland. Notes
Please note that all voyage itineraries are intended as a guideline only - embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy of expedition travel. Actual routes and landings will be dependent on weather, sea and ice conditions. A degree of flexibility is essential in the polar regions!
Russian visas are required on this voyage for tourists from most countries. This voyage requires double-entry Russian visas. See your country’s Russian consulate or embassy for details.
Hot-Air Balloon trip must be pre-booked; maximum 50 passengers per voyage and subject to weather conditions.
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Discover the World