Welcome to the city of Murmansk on Russia’s Kola Peninsula, starting point of our adventure. Upon your arrival at the airport we provide a transfer to your hotel, which has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the voyage.
Murmansk is easy to reach by regular flights with stopovers in Moscow or Saint Petersburg. You may wish to extend your stop in Moscow.
Today we provide a group transfer to the port where we welcome you aboard the nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy. Explore the ship and get orientated as we slip our moorings and sail north out of Kola Bay.
Nowhere can it be more truly said that “getting there is half the fun”. As we cruise northward through the Barents Sea there is always the possibility of seeing whales. Meanwhile, you have the opportunity to learn about the unique icebreaking capabilities of the ship. You are also treated to a tour of the engine room.
As we make our way across the ice cap, you witness firsthand the ship’s awesome power as massive ice blocks give way under the enormous bulk of the spoon-shaped bow. The sensation of being on deck at this time is surreal and unforgettable.
We also take advantage of 24-hour daylight to offer helicopter flightseeing tours. From the air you can observe the ship crushing a path through the ice. You also have a unique vantage point from which to witness the stunning beauty of this vast polar icescape.
Welcome to the geographic North Pole! After carefully navigating to 90 degrees North, we ceremoniously drop the anchor on a sturdy stretch of ice and disembark onto the frozen sea.
Now is the time to experiencing the long-anticipated thrill of standing at the top of the world. Join hands with your fellow passengers and literally walk around the world during our special International Round Dance. You are also treated to a barbeque meal on the ice. You may even have the chance to take a plunge into the icy water!
After our memorable time at the North Pole we turn around and head south. But the adventure is not over yet. The High Arctic archipelago of Franz Josef Land is still to come!
The Franz Josef Land archipelago, part of the Russian Arctic National Park since 2012, is a nature sanctuary. Polar bears and other quintessential High Arctic wildlife—such as walruses and some rare whale species—can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Franz Josef Land. Scree slopes and cliffs around the islands host enormous nesting colonies of migratory seabirds such as guillemots, dovekies, and ivory gulls. We take advantage of 24-hour daylight to exploit every opportunity for wildlife viewing and excursions via Zodiac and helicopter.
Franz Josef Land is home to some interesting geological features, such as the mysterious stone spheres on Champ Island. Collectors of geographical extremes may take note that Cape Fligely on Rudolf Island is the northernmost point of land in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Franz Josef Land also offers visitors the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of famous polar explorers at well-preserved historical sites. The journals of explorers such as Julius von Payer, Benjamin Leigh Smith, Frederick George Jackson, and Fridtjof Nansen come alive at Cape Norway, Cape Flora, Eira Harbour, and Cape Tegetthoff. Memorials, monuments, crosses, and the remains of dwellings are testimony to incredible historical events that are further illuminated by our expert lecturers.
Tikhaya Bukhta is currently a Russian Arctic National Park ranger station occupying Soviet-era research buildings and was also a major base for polar expeditions. Nearby, the fascinating columnar basalt cliffs of Rubini Rock are home to thousands of nesting seabirds.
After our amazing time in Franz Josef Land we cross back south through the bountiful waters of the Barents Sea. Presentations and workshops by our expert staff ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent. You may also take advantage of onboard facilities and amenities such as a polar library, volleyball court, gym, two saunas, warm seawater pool, gift shop, and massage treatments. Seabird viewing and whale sightings can be enjoyed from panoramic open decks as well as exterior stateroom windows.
Our once-in-a-lifetime journey comes to an end. After breakfast we say farewell in Murmansk. We provide you with a transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Itinerary, landings and all other activities during the cruise depend strongly on ice and weather conditions and are subject to the decisions of the Expedition Leader and the Captain of the vessel. Encounters with any mentioned wildlife cannot be guaranteed.
For those lucky enough to have already cruised with Expedition Leader Jan Bryde, there is no need for further introductions. For sure, guests remember his charm and unique ability to turn even the most ordinary occurrences into an unforgettable travel experience. If you have haven’t yet cruised with him, here’s a great opportunity to get to know one of the best in the polar travel business.
Jan has been working as expedition leader or cruise director since 1994 on tourist vessels all over the world. During this time, he has traveled to over 120 countries. He has made more than 60 voyages to Antarctica, including a semi-circumnavigation from New Zealand to the Antarctic Peninsula via the Ross Sea. He has also led more than 30 voyages to the Arctic regions, including Svalbard, Greenland, the Russian Far East, and more than a dozen cruises to the geographic North Pole. A dynamic and charismatic speaker, Jan infuses passion and excitement into every expedition he leads. Jan speaks German, English, Spanish and French.
Sergey Gorshkov is a famous Russian photographer. Since Sergey first took Nikon in his hands, his life changed to an endless photo safari. It was in Kamchatka where Sergey shot his photos for his first project about bears. Bears are still Sergey’s passion and one of the main objects of his photography.
Having focus on wildlife photography, Sergey participated in the well-known BBC projects "Frozen Planet" and "Planets Earth 2". He is the winner of numerous awards. His photos have been included to the top 50 of the Greatest Wildlife Photographs of 2018 by National Geographic, and top 100 wildlife photos of the last 50 years according to the BBC Wildlife Photographer. Sergey Gorshkov was named “Photographer of the year in Russia” in 2007 and 2012. In his photos, Sergey pays great attention to the issues of wildlife assets conservation.
Sergey Gorshkov about his new project: “Right now I am thinking about an ambitious project – the “conquest” of the Russian Arctic. I want to portray this ascetic and beautiful world the whole way – from the East to the West. I was able to work a lot on the Chukchi Peninsula, the Wrangell Island, the Taymyr Peninsula and the Putorana Plateau. My plans are – Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land.”
The Polar Regions are perhaps the most photogenic on earth, with countless beautiful scenes presenting themselves every day. Endless expanses of ice, beaches crowded with seals or penguins, sunsets over unbroken horizons, starlit skies, and even the majestic northern lights – they all present fantastic photographic opportunities – and in order to make sure that you come home with some spectacular images we offer you the chance to learn and practice your photography alongside an experienced professional.
Our expert Photographer will be on hand to answer your questions and give advice, both in the form of on-board lectures and workshops on shore. Explore the key elements of photography in a fun and relaxed setting, with plenty of opportunities for questions and feedback. Learn how to see light in a new way and experiment with the techniques of composition and framing.
A helicopter aboard the 50 Years of Victory in our North Pole cruises lets our passengers be more than just spectators in this intrepid mission.
Time, weather and/or ice conditions permitting, you will experience breathtaking helicopter rides over the icebreaker as it plows its way through the ice. Just imagine how amazing photo ops this adventure provides!
The helicopter is also used to land on wild Franz Josef Land islands where we cannot use Zodiacs. So our North Pole passengers are never far from the action.
The helicopter landings and rides during the North Pole cruise are included.
Duration : from 3 days
Moscow is the most popular stop over city on your way to/ from Murmansk. You may wish to stay here for some days.
Sightseeing tour is a great chance to see the best sights of the Russian capital. Feel the exciting atmosphere of Moscow in the city centre, which is Red Square, Christ the Savior Cathedral, Novodevichy convent, Bow and Sparrow Hills, Tverskaya Street, the Boulevard Ring. Learn the history of the world-known Exhibition of Economic Achievements, where each pavilion is a unique monument of architecture. Meet amazing architecture and friendly atmosphere of the Russian monastery in the unique center "Kremlin in Izmailovo".
And when it seems you’ve got sigths of all the attractions, immerse yourself in a wonderful underground world of Moscow Metro, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world! 44 of its stations are recognized as objects of cultural heritage.
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