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The North Pole

Contributed By Melissa Rodriguez

Get in touch with your inner explorer and join us on a voyage to the North Pole!

SmartFlyer’s Director of Leisure, Melissa Gulotta, shares ultimate arctic adventure that will serve you bragging rights for a life-time. Are you hungry for adventure? This may be just the trip you’ve been looking for.

To reach the North Pole is the pinnacle of Arctic expedition endeavors. Few people can say they stood at the one earthly spot where every direction is south. Crushing through the ice, admiring soaring seabirds and visiting Franz Josef Land, your voyage will be one that you won’t soon forget. The added excitement of helicopter excursions and an optional hot air balloon ride at the top of the world make this Quark Expeditions adventure a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.

TRIP NOTES

HIGHLIGHTED ACTIVITIES:

  1. Helicopter ride over the ship for an aerial view of the Arctic waters
  2. Champagne toast and an on-ice BBQ to celebrate being 90° North!
  3. Dive into the icy waters for a true polar-plunge
  4. Hot Air Balloon ride high above the North Pole to commemorate your journey
  5. Explore Cape Flora and discover the historic remains of three ill-fated arctic expeditions

14 Nights, 15 Days Itinerary:

DAY 1: HELSINKI, FINLAND

Your adventure begins with a one-night stay in Helsinki, Finland’s capital.

DAY 2: EMBARKATION DAY IN MURMANSK

From Helsinki, you’ll join your fellow passengers on the charter flight to Murmansk, Russia, where you’ll embark on your voyage to the North Pole and get acquainted with 50 Years of Victory, the world’s largest and most powerful icebreaker.

DAYS 3-6: NORTHBOUND IN THE ARCTIC OCEAN

Being on-board Victory and feeling the icebreaker as it crushes through the arctic pack-ice is an experience you’ll never forget. Just as memorable is boarding the ship’s helicopter for a thrilling aerial view over the ship and the expansive Arctic Ocean.

You can expect variable sailing conditions this far north. The crossing from Murmansk to the North Pole can take us anywhere from four to six days depending on ice conditions. This means you’ll have plenty of time to get to know your shipmates, and be treated to lectures and discussions by our expedition team while keeping a lookout for bird life. There are also many wonderful amenities on-board, such as the ship’s lap pool or basketball court.

DAY 7: 90° NORTH

As you reach the North Pole many travelers find themselves overcome with emotion, while others are in a festive and celebratory mood. Take photos, call your family, wave a flag; just be sure to enjoy your moment at the top! Later, everyone will celebrate with a champagne toast and a BBQ on the ice. If the opportunity allows, you have the option of taking a polar plunge into the icy waters around the North Pole. We’ll also attempt to launch passengers high above the pole in our hot air balloon to commemorate this great moment (highly weather dependent).

DAY 8: SOUTHBOUND IN THE ARTIC OCEAN

On our return voyage you can sit back and relax. As you head further south, you may get lucky and spot polar bears hunting for seals.

DAYS 9-10: FRANZ JOSEF LAND AND THE ARCTIC OCEAN

This group of 191 islands forms the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia and lies entirely within the Arctic Circle. Here you’ll explore Cape Flora and discover historic remains from three ill-fated arctic expeditions. When conditions permit, we’ll launch the Zodiacs and cruise beneath towering cliffs to explore remote seabird colonies. The 50 Years of Victory helicopter will provide aerial sightseeing and our Zodiacs will transfer you to seldom-visited landing sites.

DAYS 11-12: SOUTHBOUND AT SEA

Enjoy your time on deck or reminisce with your shipmates and new friends as you cross the Arctic Ocean back to Murmansk. Expedition staff will be on hand to answer any remaining questions, and point out wildlife during the return journey.

DAY 13: DISEMBARKATION IN MURMANSK

Returning to Russia’s most northerly city, it will be time to bid farewell to 50 Years of Victory. You’ll be transferred to the airport for your charter flight to Helsinki, Finland, to enjoy one final night with your new-found friends.

DAY 14: HELSINKI, FINLAND

After breakfast, your official Quark Expeditions® journey comes to an end. We do encourage you to spend time exploring Helsinki, Tallinn (the capital of Estonia) and St. Petersburg.

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