North Pole Voyage Aboard 50 лет Победы – “The 50 Years Of Victory”
The ultimate Polar voyage aboard the only ship capable of making this unique trip – The 50 years of Victory offers a rare and rewarding experience.
This voyage combines the raw power of the ship with the use of helicopter flights and a tethered hot air balloon for aerial viewing . Crushing through pack ice that is metres thick, the ‘Victory’ can cruise in conditions that would defeat any other ship. Getting to the ‘top of the world’, the experience of standing where all directions are south is unsurpassed. There will be time to make the shortest possible circumnavigation of the world before heading south to explore the secluded Franz Josef Land, with its enormous flat-topped islands and sheer basalt cliffs, this archipelago is a birdwatcher’s heaven.
This is quite simply a voyage without comparison.
The adventure begins in Helsinki. Check in to a centrally located hotel.
From Helsinki, a charter flight will take you to Murmansk, Russia, where you’ll embark on the voyage to the North Pole and get acquainted with 50 Years of Victory, the world’s largest and most powerful icebreaker.
The first of four days travelling north in the Arctic Ocean, with the ship breaking through the formidable pack ice.
Watching Victory crush through the Arctic pack-ice is a sight you’ll never forget, made even more memorable by taking a helicopter flight for a thrilling aerial view of Victory and expansive Arctic Ocean. You can expect the days, and hours, to present variable sailing conditions this far north. The crossing from Murmansk to the North Pole can take us anywhere from 5 to 8 days.
Days 4-6 ::
Continue travelling north in the Arctic Ocean.
90° North, with time to celebrate reaching the top of the world.
All the anticipation of the prior days reaches a climax as we reach the North Pole! Many travelers find themselves overcome with emotion, while others are in a festive and celebratory mood.Take photos, wave a flag, enjoy the moment! Later, everyone enjoys a champagne toast and a BBQ on the ice. Take a Polar Plunge into the icy waters marking the North pole. Add an exclamation to your success by rising high in a hot air balloon to commemorate this great moment (weather dependent).
Travel south in the Arctic Ocean.
As 50 Years of Victory makes her way back through the churning pack ice, we may spot Polar bears on the hunt with Ivory gulls following close behind – eager to dine on leftovers.
The first of two days visiting Franz Josef Land; helicopters and zodiacs are used to transfer ashore for landings
This group of 191 islands forms the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia, and lies entirely within the Arctic Circle. Here we’ll explore Cape Flora, and discover historic remains from three ill-fated Arctic expeditions. When conditions permit, Zodiac trips beneath towering cliffs will explore remote seabird rookeries. Onboard helicopters again provide aerial sightseeing and our Zodiacs transfer you to seldom visited landing sites. This part of the Arctic Ocean is so remote that Franz Josef Land was discovered after Antarctica. It is the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia and lies entirely within the Arctic Circle. We may see walrus and Polar bears on these islands, which we’lll explore on Zodiac excursions and helicopter sightseeing rides.
Southbound at Sea.
During our southbound journey, as it was on our journey north, we keep a vigil for Polar bears on ice. No two Polar bear sightings or North Pole voyages are the same.
Disembark in Murmansk; charter flight to Helsinki, night in hotel.
The return to Helsinki requires a charter flight from Murmansk and just the right tide conditions for docking the ship. Overnight in Helsinki, in a centrally located hotel.
Our adventure finishes after breakfast in Helsinki.
The Ship – 50 Years Of Victory
Icebreaker – 50 Years Of Victory
The 50 Years of Victory is an actual icebreaker – an enormously powerful ship, carrying the highest ice rating in the world, and equipped with helicopters for aerial sightseeing. Some of our most extraordinary journeys are only made accessible on very grown up Polar-Class icebreakers.
The voyages are designed to be as flexible as possible, taking advantage of circumstances and events as they occur, as well as passengers’ wishes and particular interests wherever possible. The atmosphere on board is relaxed and friendly with expedition staff, including naturalists and Polar experts, on hand and the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world. The ship is kept warm, clean and comfortable with a wet/mud room in which to hang gear and store boots ready for the next adventure.
- Staff and Crew: 140
- Guests: 128
- Length: 150.7 meters
- Breadth: 30 meters
- Draft: 11.00 meters
- Propulsion: 2 nuclear reactors 74,000 horsepower
- Ice Class: LL1 (the highest rating possible)
- Cruising Speed: 21 knots in open water
- Registration: In Russia by Rosatomflot
- Lifeboats: 4 fully enclosed
Eating and Drinking
All meals while on the ship included.
The ships galley offers good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks from around the world on sale.
Buffet style – unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal.
Three course set meal, or the occasional buffet or BBQ.
Three courses with a starter of soup, salad or anti-pasto, a choice of three mains with at least one vegetarian and one seafood option and a dessert of sweet pudding or ice cream or fruit, tea and coffee.
Route Map – North Pole Trip
Vaccinations and Visa
There are no specific health risks.
All nationalities now require a visa for Russia. These requirements will vary depending on your nationality. For British nationals visa applications must now be made in person at a visa processing centre, located in London and Edinburgh. At the time of application, fingerprints will be taken. We will be providing a new type of service to assist with the application process; however we will no longer be able to submit the application on your behalf. It is your responsibility to arrange a visa prior to travel, but we will provide you with more information after booking to help and advice with this.
- All meals while on the ship
- All accommodation (see below)
- All transport and listed activities
- Tour leader throughout and qualified Expedition Staff
- Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
What’s Not Included
- Travel insurance
- Single accommodation (available on request)
- Visas or vaccinations
- Mandatory Charter Flights Helsinki to Murmansk Return (£1500 paid on booking)
- Hot Air Ballooning
Hot Air Ballooning option
Clients can sign up for tethered hot air ballooning flights during the voyage. Flights will be carried out using a basket that can carry three guests plus the pilot. The basket has a door that makes access very easy. We aim to deliver these flights right at the North Pole; however, weather conditions will dictate the exact location. Each flight will be around 15 minutes in duration. There are only 50 places available for each voyage. Here are some reasons why you may want to join one of the flights:
- Be one of only 100 people to see the North Pole from a hot air balloon in 2015
- See the top of the world from the top of the world
- Photography opportunity and bragging rights
- A certificate is provided as a memento
- Very competitive price, just about the same cost as a balloon flight elsewhere in the world
On the Zodiac cruises you are sitting still for most of the time with the potential for some sea spray and a cold headwind – if you are not dressed appropriately you will get cold. On the shore excursions, the majority of landings are ‘wet’ which means that the Zodiacs beach and you are helped to slide into the ankle deep shore break before walking up onto dry land (wellington boots are issued to all passengers).
There are, of course, no paths, so be prepared for slippery, rough terrain and sometimes fairly deep snow. Back on board the cosy ship after each adventure, you can have a sauna and/or a hot shower and then relax with a tea, coffee, hot chocolate or something stronger from the bar.
Due to the nature of this journey, the voyage occurs only twice a year:
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