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13 nights
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Voyage to the North Pole

An Expedition of a Lifetime aboard the icebreaker '50 years of Victory'

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  • 50 Years of Victory

The quest for the North Pole began with the Greeks who speculated about constant midnight northern sun in summer and perpetual darkness in winter. The Vikings made inroads northward as did Europeans in the Age of Exploration, but the real interest in Arctic exploration did not bloom until the 19th century when it reached fever pitch and ever since, to reach the North Pole has been the pinnacle of Arctic expedition endeavours.

Few people can say they have stood at the one earthly spot where every direction is south. Join us aboard the most powerful icebreaker ship ever built on an amazing voyage to 90°N. We are working with our associates at Quark Expeditions for this true expedition aboard the ‘50 Years of Victory’, a nuclear-powered vessel with special capabilities, allowing us to explore where very few will ever go in their lifetime.

Crushing through the ice, the journey can take as long as a week, which only helps to heighten the level of excitement. The sound of mammoth slabs of ice colliding with the hull is unforgettable. Zodiac excursions will take you up-close to wildlife and the onboard helicopter will allow some spectacular aerial-sightseeing. On reaching the North Pole, we will celebrate with champagne on the ice and if conditions permit you will have the opportunity to soar above the Earth on an optional hot air balloon ride. On our return journey south, we will visit Franz Josef Land, an archipelago of 191 islands, unpopulated except for one small Russian military base. Here the foreboding landscapes of the islands are dotted with relics from famous explorers of the past. Home to walrus, polar bear, seal, Arctic fox, beluga whale and numerous species of Arctic birds, this is an archipelago visited by few people.

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  • Our View

    “This is an opportunity to visit a part of the world usually only open to explorers and researchers. It’s a difficult place to access and we require the use of the most powerful icebreaker in the world to reach our goal. The world we visit is one of stillness with just wildlife, birds or possibly polar bears for company as we power our way nort h. Once we arrive at the North Pole we can have a sense of pride that we are one of the few people ever to make this spot, and can even celebrate with a swim! ” 

    More information
  • Helicopter Team

    Landing a helicopter on the helipad of a ship or on a glacier takes great skill and are only two of the jobs that the helicopter crew must perform. For these reasons, only the best and most professional of helicopter crews enter service on a North Pole expedition. Many of their names are legends in the industry. Their expertise is put at your service affording you the opportunity to experience a maximum of thrills while ensuring you the safest of flights. There is no better way to explore the far north than by combining a world-class icebreaker and a helicopter. 

    More information

50 Years of Victory

50 Years of Victory

The “50 Years of Victory” was built in 2007 and is the largest and most modern nuclear-powered icebreaker in the world. She is a new generation ship, an upgrade of the Arktika-class. Accommodating a maximum of 128 guests and carrying the highest ice class possible (LL1), she is one of the only ships that can undertake a voyage to the North Pole. With 74,000 horsepower generated by two nuclear reactors, the vessel can crush ice up to three metres thick and is the world’s largest and most sophisticated nuclear-powered icebreaker. The 50 Years of Victory is the property of the Russian Federation and has received maritime registration under the name 50 LET POBEDY.

View vessel details

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Helsinki, Finland.

Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to your central hotel for an overnight stay. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 2 - Helsinki to Murmansk, Russia.

After breakfast in the hotel transfer to the airport for your specially chartered flight to Murmansk. On arrival we transfer to our ship and embark on our expedition to the North Pole. Take some time to get acquainted with ‘50 Years of Victory’, the world’s largest and most powerful icebreaker.

Days 3 to 6 - Northbound in the Arctic Ocean.

We have three days heading north through the mighty ice fields of the Arctic Ocean. Our time on board will be spent watching the ’50 Years of Victory’ crush through the Arctic ice pack, a sight you will never forget and one made even more memorable by taking a helicopter flight for a thrilling aerial view of the vessel and expansive Arctic Ocean. There will be a programme of lectures and discussions by the onboard expedition team while we also keep lookout for the bird life. There are also the vessel’s amenities to make use of such as the lap pool and basketball court.

Day 7 - North Pole.

All the anticipation of the prior days reaches a climax as the ship manouevres to 90 degrees north and we reach the North Pole. We will disembark and enjoy a once in a lifetime experience of standing at the top of the world. Later, everyone enjoys a champagne toast and a BBQ on the ice whilst the more daring can plunge into the Arctic Ocean.

Day 8 - Arctic Ocean.

We now start our journey back south, as we head to our next landfall we may get lucky and spot polar bears hunting for seals.

Days 9 & 10 - Franz Josef Land.

This group of 191 islands forms the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia, and lies entirely within the Arctic Circle. Here we will 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 the 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. Walrus and polar bear are numerous on these islands, which you will explore on Zodiac excursions and helicopter sightseeing rides. Possible landing sites and wildlife sightings are numerous and include:
APOLLONOV ISLAND: This small island has a ridge that may provide a vantage point for viewing a walrus rookery, known to haul-out on the island. Zodiac cruising for watching walrus from a distance is also a possibility.
BELL ISLAND: In 1881, Benjamin Leigh-Smith’s expedition built a hut here, but the crew never had the opportunity to use it, as their ship was wrecked off the coast. The hut is in supreme condition,and has a number of interesting inscriptions on its interior walls. Also found here is an old Russian isba (a wooden hut), which may even predate the official 1873 discovery of Franz Josef Land.
CALM BAY, HOOKER ISLAND: Sporadically in use today, this is the site of the first ever polar station in the archipelago, built in 1929. Memorials to Georgiy Sedov’s wintering in 1913-14 are built here and the remains of a glaciologist hut can also be seen.
CAMBRIDGE STRAIT: This is a well-known area for spotting polar bears. This is a popular hunting ground for them as seals also frequent the area.
CAPE FLIGLEY, RUDOLF ISLAND: The most northern point of the archipelago is marked with a copper plaque and memorial cross. This is also the most northern part of Europe, reaching further north than Spitsbergen. The island is almost entirely ice-covered and temperatures only rise above freezing for a few short weeks each summer.
CAPE FLORA, NORTHBROOK ISLAND: More than half a dozen expeditions passed through here in the late 19th and early 20th centuries - among them was the ‘1000 Days in the Arctic’ expedition of Jackson-Harmsworth. Many buildings from the time are in ruins or have fallen into the sea, but some remain. Memorials and crosses have been erected in more recent years in memory of the survivors and victims of those early expeditions.
CAPE NORWAY, JACKSON ISLAND: Sometimes unreachable, even to icebreakers, weather is always a factor at this northern part of the archipelago. A variety of Arctic flora is found in this area, making it particularly interesting for botanists. This is also the location where Fridtjof Nansen and Frederick Jackson stayed during the 1895-96 winter and the remains of their stone hut can be visited.
CAPE TEGETTHOF, HALL ISLAND: Impressive tall cliffs are home to large numbers of seabirds, while the ruins of the Walter Wellman 1898- 99 expedition are also found. With a diverse landscape the island is great for exploring on foot, provided that polar bears aren’t in the vicinity.
CHAMP ISLAND: Wildflowers of the tundra are a common sight, giving a bit of colour to an often bleak landscape. Of particular interest are the mysteriously perfectly-rounded rocks scattered on parts of the island. They are up to two metres in diameter and have been nicknamed ‘Devil’s Marbles.’
NEGRI FJORD: This is a scenic and narrow waterway that lies between MacKlintok Island and Hall Island towards the southern reaches of Franz Josef Land.
RUBINI ROCK, HOOKER ISLAND: Considered by many to be home to the most impressive bird cliffs anywhere in Franz Josef Land. The cliffs are home to a bounty of seabirds and because of deep waters, ships are able to get up close to the edge of the cliffs for great views. Most of the shores are dominated by glacier fronts, while a large part of the island is ice-covered.

Days 11 & 12 - Barents Sea.

Enjoy a few moments on deck, use the facilities on board, ask any outstanding queries to our expedition team and reminisce with your shipmates and new friends as you cross back to Murmansk.

Day 13 - Murmansk, Russia to Helsinki, Finland.

Returning to Russia’s most northerly city, it is time to bid farewell to your ship, ‘50 years of Victory’. You will be transferred to the airport for your charter flight to Helsinki, Finland to enjoy an overnight stay.

Day 14 - Helsinki to London.

After breakfast in the hotel transfer to the airport for your scheduled flight to London.

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
24 June 2018 to 7 July 2018
Category Price
Standard Twin £21495
Mini Suite £24495
Suite £29995
Victory Suite £31995
Arktika Suite £33495
Standard Twin for sole use £35995

Tour Reference Code: SC50240618

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel between London and Helsinki, charter flight between Helsinki and Murmansk, two nights hotel accommodation in Helsinki on a bed and breakfast basis, 11 nights aboard the ‘50 Years of Victory’ on a full board basis, all drinks on board the ship including house wines and spirits, expedition team, shore landings, Zodiac excursions, transfers, port taxes, airport taxes, photo journal, loan of waterproof boots on board, expedition parka, Helicopter sightseeing flight mentioned in programme (subject to weather conditions).

Not Included: Travel insurance, gratuities, Russian visa, premium label drinks, optional hot air balloon trip.

NB. Itinerary subject to change based on weather conditions.

  • All Decks

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50 Years of Victory

The “50 Years of Victory” was built in 2007 and is the largest and most modern nuclear-powered icebreaker in the world. She is a new generation ship, an upgrade of the Arktika-class. Accommodating a maximum of 128 guests and carrying the highest ice class possible (LL1), she is one of the only ships that can undertake a voyage to the North Pole. With 74,000 horsepower generated by two nuclear reactors, the vessel can crush ice up to three metres thick and is the world’s largest and most sophisticated nuclear-powered icebreaker. The 50 Years of Victory is the property of the Russian Federation and has received maritime registration under the name 50 LET POBEDY.

 
  • 50 Years of Victory
  • 50 Years of Victory - On Deck
  • 50 Years of Victory
  • Victory Suite
  • Arktika Suite
  • Suite
  • Your Cabin / Suite

    The icebreaker features 64 cabins and suites. All the cabins and suites afford outside views (opening windows), private facilities with bathtub or shower. Most of the suites have two rooms. Minimum cabin area is 14 sq.metres (151 sq.ft.); maximum is 33 sq.metres (355 sq.ft.). Cabins are spread over four decks and all have an exterior view with windows that open and en-suite facilities. All cabins have a TV & DVD player.

    Standard Twin (44 cabins): 1 lower berth, 1 sofa bed, private facilities with a shower, TV set and DVD player, opening windows.

    Mini suite (6 cabins): Sitting area with sofa bed, sleeping bed separated from the sitting area, private facilities with a shower, TV set and DVD player, refrigerator, opening windows.

    Suite (6 cabins): Bedroom and sitting area, sofa bed in sitting room, private facilities with a shower, refrigerator, TV set and DVD player, opening windows.

    Victory Suite (1 cabin): Large bedroom and sitting room, sofa bed in sitting room, private facilities with a bathtub, refrigerator, TV set and DVD player, opening windows.

    Arktika Suite (5 cabins): Very spacious bedroom and sitting room, sofa bed in sitting room, private facilities with a bathtub, refrigerator, TV set and DVD player, coffee maker, opening windows.

  • Your Space

    Public areas include the dining room where seating is unreserved, the aft Saloon for lectures, presentations and socialising, the bar and lounge with front view to the bow of the ship, library and lounge, gym, two saunas and a swimming pool with heated sea water. There is also a clinic with a licensed doctor. A lift serves all decks and the Navigation Bridge is open for visiting. One of the highlights of the North Pole voyage aboard the “50 Years of Victory” is a tour to the engine room where travellers can learn all about the unique icebreaking capabilities of the “Victory” and how pack ice is negotiated.

  • Your Dining

    The dining room is spacious, has free seating and meals are served to your table with a variety of international cuisine prepared by qualified chefs. All cruises include full board in the single sitting restaurant. Breakfast is provided buffet style; lunch and dinner are a mix of buffet with choice of soup and entrées and served dishes with choice of meat, fish or vegetarian. Afternoon tea is also provided daily with a choice of cakes. Coffee, tea and cocoa are available at coffee station 24/7. Among the specials are polar barbecues on open deck and on ice.

  • Life Onboard

    With a crew of 140 and accommodating a maximum of 128 guests, this comfortable vessel has a friendly, casual atmosphere with the focus on the expeditionary nature of the voyage. An expedition cruise to the North Pole is an eventful one, and not only because every expedition day offers intense exploration of the Arctic. In the 24-hour-daylight at the peak of Arctic mid-summer, you will try to stay awake as long as possible seeking to spot another polar bear, or observing 75,000 horsepower icebreaker crushing multi-year ice layers three metres thick or socialising with new friends in the ship’s bar or lounge.

    Your “typical” expedition cruise day begins with a friendly wake-up call and breakfast. You will already know the plans for the day ahead as each evening there is a briefing. There might be a lecture or a talk by one of the onboard experts in the morning, or you might have a chance to relax and enjoy the stunning surrounding views. Then there comes the call to get ready for the first Zodiac or helicopter landing, and the day begins.

    Evenings are for relaxing; a calm time to curl up with a good book, chats with friends at the bar, watch a movie or relax in a sauna with heated sea water. But, if you haven’t had your fill from the day’s activities, there are some scheduled alternatives. There may be a lecture in the auditorium, or, of course, you can always spend a few more hours on the deck or Bridge looking at the wild Arctic landscapes as the ship sails by.

    An important part of our voyage is devoted to the lectures delivered by noted naturalists, scientists and experienced Polar explorers. Documentaries, feature films and slide shows are presented.

    Among the features are:

    • A spoon-shaped bow designed for greater icebreaking ability;
    • An automated, digitalized control system;
    • The most up-to-date nuclear safeguards and protection systems.

    “50 Years of Victory” is not a tourist ship. The main task of the icebreaker is to pilot scientific and cargo ships to hard-to-reach areas of the Arctic and along the Northeast Passage. It is only in summer when adventurers get a unique chance to travel aboard a real working icebreaker.

     

  • For your comfort

    Day to day activities are planned carefully to make the most of weather conditions and wildlife sightings. The aim is for you to experience as much of the Arctic as possible and of course as safely as possible. Landings are carried out by helicopter and the Zodiacs are used to cruise the coast of Franz Josef Land to get close to wildlife. The qualified Expedition Staff, the experienced Captain and the Crew will do everything to make your voyage safe and unforgettable. There is also a clinic onboard with a licensed doctor. The icebreaker is equipped with the most up–to–date satellite navigation system and communication equipment. (Inmarsat and Irridium).

  • Vessel Technical details

    Length: 160m (525 feet)

    Breadth: 30m (98 feet)

    Draft: 11m (36 feet)

    Power plant: 2 nuclear reactors, two steam turbines rotating six generators

    Total capacity: 75,000 hp

    Cruising speed: 21 knots

    Maximum fuel storage: 4 years

    Crew: 140

    Passengers: 128

    Registry: Russia

  • Ship Directory
    The booklet below contains some further details pertaining to the vessel.
    Please click on the booklet to view. 

  • Deck plans
    • All Decks

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Our View

“This is an opportunity to visit a part of the world usually only open to explorers and researchers. It’s a difficult place to access and we require the use of the most powerful icebreaker in the world to reach our goal. The world we visit is one of stillness with just wildlife, birds or possibly polar bears for company as we power our way nort h. Once we arrive at the North Pole we can have a sense of pride that we are one of the few people ever to make this spot, and can even celebrate with a swim! ” 

Helicopter Team

Landing a helicopter on the helipad of a ship or on a glacier takes great skill and are only two of the jobs that the helicopter crew must perform. For these reasons, only the best and most professional of helicopter crews enter service on a North Pole expedition. Many of their names are legends in the industry. Their expertise is put at your service affording you the opportunity to experience a maximum of thrills while ensuring you the safest of flights. There is no better way to explore the far north than by combining a world-class icebreaker and a helicopter. 

Expedition Highlights

• Travel aboard the most powerful icebreaker in the world and one of the only ships that can undertake this journey

• Toast with champagne on the ice at the North Pole

• Breathtaking wildlife opportunites in Franz Josef Land where we hope to see walrus, polar bear and millions of birds

• Travelling in the Midnight Sun 

• Included helicopter excursions to see the ship breaking through the ice

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