Arctic - North Pole: Top of the World (July/August 2021)
21.07. - 02.08.2021
With this expedition you will experience your greatest adventure with memories which will accompany you for the rest of your life. Visiting the top of the world changes your perception about our planet forever! We offer you a journey which will give you the opportunity to admire spectacular landscapes and the stunning wildlife of the Arctic region. The adventure starts when we embark in Murmansk, Russia. You will have the opportunity to navigate with the “I/B 50 Years of Victory". This ship is an event of its own! It is the largest and most modern nuclear icebreaker in the world. This is not a standard cruise and the ship is not a tourist vessel. Instead, the icebreaker was built specifically to pilot scientific and cargo ships in hard-to-reach areas of the Arctic and along the Northeast Passage. You will spend 4 days sailing in the Arctic Ocean where you will be able to see firsthand the strength of this powerful ship in action. During the cruise, you will have excursions by Zodiacs and you will be able to use the ship’s own helicopter for scenic flights above the eternal ice. After a long journey you can say with certainty that you are standing on top of the world! What a magical place! From here, all directions point south, there is no permanent human presence, and the sun rises and sets only once a year. However, you have to hurry because no one knows exactly when, but there are only a few years left to stand on the North Pole. Soon, there will be no more ice to stand on and you will only spot a floating buoy marking the northernmost point of our globe. On the return trip we will explore the wildlife and the sheer beauty of the landscape of Franz Josef Land for 3 days. This place also offers interesting geological features as well as valuable historical sites. After this spectacular experience we will sail through the Barents Sea until we reach our landing site in Murmansk, Russia.
The powerful icebreaker "I/B 50 Years of Victory" is divided into 4 types of decks: Bow Deck, Bridge 1, Bridge 2, Bridge 3. All the suites are distributed in the 4 decks, here you find a description of the suites and their location:
Arktika Suite: This suite can be found in Bridge 1, Bridge 2, Bridge 3. It is a very spacious 33 square metres (355 square feet) bedroom with separated sitting room. A sofa bed is available in the sitting room area. This suite also provides private facilities, bathtub, refrigerator, TV set and DVD player, coffee maker, and opening windows.
Victory Suite: The Victory Suite has 28 square metres (301 square feet) of space which is divided into a large bedroom and a sitting room. There is a sofa bed in the sitting room. The suite also provides private facilities, bathtub, refrigerator, TV set, DVD player, and opening windows. The only Victory Suite is located on Bridge 3 deck.
Grand Suite: The Grand Suite has 26 square metres (280 square feet) with a bedroom and separated sitting area with sofa bed. The suite also provides private facilities, bathtub, TV set and DVD player, refrigerator, and opening windows. There are only two Grand Suites on the ship and both are located on Bridge 1 deck.
Junior Suite: The Junior Suite can be found in Bridge 1 and Bridge 2. It has 24 square metres (258 square feet) and consists of a bedroom and a separated sitting area with sofa bed. The suite also provides private facilities, shower, TV set and DVD player, refrigerator, and opening windows.
Mini Suite: The Mini Suite can be found in Bridge 1 and Bridge 3. It has 22 square meters (237 square feet) and consists of a bedroom and a separated sitting area with a sofa bed. The suite also provides private facilities, shower, TV set and DVD player, refrigerator, and opening windows.
Standard Twin: Our Standard Cabin has a smaller size with 14 square meters (151 square feet) but is still suitable to accommodate two people. This cabin can be found in the Bow Deck, Bridge 1, Bridge 2, and Bridge 3 deck. Here you have one lower berth, one sofa bed, private facilities with a shower, TV set and DVD player, and opening windows.
Despite the fact that the “50 Years of Victory” was not designed with touristic purposes in mind, it offers comfortable accommodation and gourmet cuisine for its guests. Public spaces create friendly, casual atmosphere for socialising and get-togethers.
Features aboard: Dining Room, Aft Saloon for lectures, presentations and socialising, bar & lounge with front view, shop, library & lounge, volleyball court, gym, 2 saunas, and swimming pool with heated sea water. The ship also features a clinical section with a licensed doctor.
Individual arrival in Murmansk in Russia, latest until 21.07.2021. Gladly we organise your arrival and departure additionally for you as well as some exciting pre and after itineraries in Russia. We also may assist in organising your visa if you need one.
21.07.2021: Murmansk, Russia
Arrival in the city of Murmansk on Russia’s Kola Peninsula. Either individual arrival or additionally organised by MEET THE GLOBE against extra charge. 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. For the rest of the day you are free to explore this vibrant city which offers you panoramic views at various points as well as the opportunity to visit different monuments and historical sites. You will spend one night in your hotel.
22.07.2021: Embarkation in Murmansk
The adventure starts today! A group transfer takes you to the port of the Russian Northern Fleet, where the huge icebreaker lies at the pier. This is followed by an elaborate procedure at the entrance to the strictly secured port, which under any other circumstances you are not allowed to enter. You will embark on the "50 Years of Victory". Get familiar with this huge expedition ship that will be your home for the next few days. As you move into your cabin, enthusiasm continues to rise. We leave the port with the tide sailing through the Kola Fjord.
23.07. - 26.07.2021: The Voyage North
Nowhere else it can be more truly said: "The journey is the destination!" As the ship sails north through the ice-free Barents Sea, you can look out for whales and get used to life on board. Learn the incredible skills of this icebreaker. You shouldn't miss the tour of the huge engine room.
As soon as the ice limit is reached, the power of the "50 Years of Victory" becomes clear. Huge floes of pack ice break at the bow. The experience of feeling the vibrations on deck and watching this force will be unforgettable!
The 24-hour sunlight is fully exploited and the on-board helicopter offers fantastic flights over the eternal ice. Observe from the air how the expedition ship breaks its way through the ice and enjoy the view over the wonderful beauty of this seemingly endless ice desert from this unparalleled position. This is your unique chance to take photos and videos from a very remote spot of our planet. The glimpses from bird’s eye view onto the icebreaker in the middle of the eternal ice are simply indescribable!
If you want, get to know travelers from all over the world on board. And everyone has the same goal that drives them: To visit a unique place on our globe, to feel the strength and beauty of nature up close and to be part of an expedition that will change you forever.
27.07.2021: The North Pole
There is a certain tension in the air as the expedition goal will be reached today. The ship continues to break its way. The eternal ice is still an inhospitable, but at the same time fantastic backdrop. Out of the sudden you are welcome to the geographic North Pole! You can eagerly observe how the ship is navigated exactly to 90° North. The anchor is left on a sturdy ice floe and you disembark to walk on the ice!
The joyful anticipation for this unique expedition was certainly huge and now the time has come. Enjoy the incredible experience of standing at the North Pole with you own feet! Hold hands with your fellow travellers and literally walk around the world. For sure, this moment will accompany you for the rest of your life! Subsequently enjoy an unforgettable barbecue on the ice. Or maybe you feel like taking a quick bath in the Arctic Ocean? Daredevil expedition participants take a jump into the ice-cold water. If you do not want to jump into the Arctic Ocean yourself, you have a lot of fun watching others at this extraordinary event. Of course, there is also plenty of time to capture this day in photographies. Everyone has enough opportunity to take their own personal North Pole pictures. This day will shape you and you will remember it forever!
It is time to weigh anchor and the journey continues. The "50 Years of Victory" is heading south now. But the adventure is not over yet. The impressive archipelago of Franz Josef Land awaits you!
28.07. - 30.07.2021: Franz Josef Land
Most sources say Franz Josef Land consists of 191 islands. However, there are also sources that speak of 187 or 192 islands. In 2019, new islands were discovered which were previously covered by glaciers. Since 2012, the archipelago has been a nature reserve and a part of the Russian Arctic National Park. Getting permission to go ashore is not easy. However, since you are on a Russian icebreaker, you can benefit from this privilege. Polar bears and other quintessential 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 with Zodiac cruises and helicopter flights. Photo and film fans will once again be offered unique opportunities to take outstanding pictures. The unfamiliar landscape and the wild animals in their natural habitat offer versatile and special motifs.
There are also interesting geological features on Franz Josef Land, such as the mysterious stone spheres on Champ Island. If you are interested in geographic extremes, remember that Cape Fligely on Rudolf Island is the northernmost land point of Eurasia.
The archipelago offers visitors numerous opportunities to walk in the footsteps of famous polar explorers and to visit well-preserved historical sites. The diaries of explorers such as Julius von Payer, Benjamin Leigh Smith, Frederick George Jackson and Fridtjof Nansen come alive in places like Cape Norway, Cape Flora, Eira Harbour or Cape Tegetthoff. Memorials, monuments, crosses and remains of dwellings are given new value through the stories of the lecturers on board and are filled with real life.
Tikhaya Bukhta is currently a Russian Arctic National Park ranger station occupying Soviet-era research buildings and was also a major base for numerous polar expeditions. Nearby, the fascinating columnar basalt cliffs of Rubini Rock are home to thousands of nesting seabirds.
You are on an expedition and often this word is associated with a harsh climate. This may become clear during your visit to this archipelago. Temperatures can change by up to 20 °C within hours. This is often accompanied by a strong wind. The normal temperatures are around 2 °C in summer and -22 °C in winter. Of course, there are also fluctuations and it seems that these are increasing with the climate change, leading to the fact that extreme values of 10 °C to -49 °C have been measured in recent years.
Your 159m long ship was specially built for these conditions. And of course, real explorers are not deterred by the weather, but rather enjoy this unique time in another place on the globe which only a few can claim to have been here themselves.
31.07. - 01.08.2021: Voyage Southbound
After the fantastic time in Franz Josef Land, we cross back south through the bountiful waters of the Barents Sea. Presentations and workshops of the lecturers make the days at sea fly by. Continue to enjoy the icebreaker's amenities such as polar library, volleyball court, two saunas, sea water pool, gym, gift shop or massage parlor. You will surely have many interesting conversations with fellow travelers from all over the world. Seabirds and whales can also be observed from the outer decks during the last days at sea providing many more lasting memories of your great expedition. The journey continues south and slowly the ship approaches the destination port.
02.08.2021: Disembarkation in Murmansk
During nighttime we enter the Kola Fjord and it is as bright as day. After a last delicious breakfast on board you end the adventure of a lifetime. We offer a group transfer to the airport or to the city centre if you want to spend even more time in the largest city north of the Arctic Circle. Maybe you will experience the polar fever and you can already look forward to your next polar adventure with MEET THE GLOBE! We also offer trips to Antarctica or Greenland.
- 1 pre-voyage night at Hotel Azimut or a similar hotel before embarkation in Murmansk, breakfast included
- Group transfer from the airport of Murmansk to the hotel (1 day prior to embarkation)
- Group transfer from the hotel to the harbour
- Group transfer from the harbour to the airport or to the city centre upon disembarkation
- Expedition to the North Pole with accommodation in the booked category
- All meals on board throughout the voyage
- Tea, cocoa and coffee station 24 hours daily
- All shore excursions and activities by helicopter throughout the voyage (subject to weather and ice conditions)
- All shore excursions and activities by Zodiacs throughout the voyage (subject to weather and ice conditions)
- Shore landings included in daily programmes
- Experienced expedition leader and expedition team (English and German speaking)
- Lecturers for the presentations on board
- Expedition parka specially designed for polar regions
- Quality rubber boots for shore landings to borrow during the time of the cruise
- Bathrobes, slippers, toiletries, and hair dryer in each cabin
- Gratuities to the expedition team and hotel staff on board
- Pre-departure information material
- Digital voyage log
- Service taxes and port fees
- All shipboard luggage handling
- Official invitation letter to apply for the Russian visa (if necessary)
- Personalised medical insurance covering the risks of evacuation and repatriation. Coverage: 100.000 €. Duration: cruise days only. This is only valid for passengers aged less than 90 years.
- International or local flights to/from Murmansk, Russia (may be booked on request)
- Transfer from the airport to the hotel if arriving prior to day 1 of the programme
- Helicopter flying time in excess of that offered for the group
- Passport and visa expenses (if required). Depending on your passport, a Russian visa is required for the trip. The visa must be obtained by the customer and is at his or her expense. Please, contact your local Russian embassy or consulate to learn more about the procedure for obtaining a visa. We will provide a necessary invitation letter.
- Arrival and departure taxes (if levied)
- Meals ashore and supplements in respect of single hotel accommodation (if required)
- Excess luggage charges on international and local flights
- Luggage and travel insurances
- All drinks
- Private expenses during the tour such as laundry and onboard communication (telephone calls, faxes, and e-mail service)
- Emergency evacuation insurance. We recommend a minimum benefit of 200.000 € and therefore to increase the insurance already included in the travel price, which only is valid for the travel days on board the icebreaker and for passengers aged less than 90 years.
The Polar Regions are perhaps the most photogenic parts on the earth, with countless beautiful scenes presenting themselves every day. Endless expanses of ice, polar bears, whales and walruses present fantastic photographic opportunities. 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. Discover in the polar region how light can be perceived in a completely new way and which new image compositions arise here.
This service is available for all passengers without any additional costs.
A helicopter aboard the "50 Years of Victory", which we take with us on our cruises to the North Pole, invites our passengers to unbelievable adventures that offer much more than just looking at the landscape.
If the time, weather and ice conditions permit, you can take part in breathtaking helicopter flights. This allows to see up close how our icebreaker plows through the ice. Such an incredible experience of course also provides the ideal backdrop for spectacular photos and videos.
The helicopter is also used to visit the wild islands of Franz Josef Land, where landing with Zodiacs is not possible. Our North Pole passengers may be sure to always receive a dose of action!
The regular helicopter landings and flights during the North Pole cruise are included in the price. For an additional charge, depending on availability, you can purchase additional flight times by helicopter if you want to enjoy more spectacular bird's-eye views.
- Children must be at least 12 years of age to participate in the expedition cruise. However, children between 6-11 years may be accepted on a case by case basis. For that, please contact us in advance.
- The minimum age for pasengers traveling alone is 18 years. Guests 17 years and younger have to travel with an adult (18+) in the same cabin.
- All passengers are recommended to carry valid evacuation and repatriation insurance which should contain medical and evacuation coverage.
- As part of pre-departure preparations, we will ask for information as to the insurance company, policy number, amount of coverage and 24-hour contact number. Any risks, not covered by the insurance policy provided, are to be covered by passengers at his/her disposal and at his/her own expense.
- Before the trip, the customer is obliged to check whether the participation in the trip, with its specific content and route through extreme climatic conditions, is actually compatible with the respective physical condition, constitution, and current state of health. There is only the prescribed medical care on board, limited by the natural conditions of the ship and its on-board doctor. If, according to the travel details of this expedition cruise, the provision of the services is impossible because the traveller is unable to travel due to illness or infirmity or for another reason (e.g. starting the trip without mandatory accompaniment), the customer's claim to the service is excluded. In these cases, the traveller agrees to be examined by a doctor / on-board doctor, who checks the ability to travel and, if necessary, determines that the inability to travel is binding for both parties.
- Pregnant women are always welcome on the trip. For safety reasons, pregnant women are unfortunately not able to take part in the cruise if they are between the 1st and 13th week of pregnancy while on the cruise or from the 22nd week of pregnancy or later. Women who are in their 14th to 21st week of pregnancy during the entire cruise and who have received confirmation from their doctor that they can participate in the cruise and are fit to travel can participate in the cruise but are explicitly limited to the medical facility on board. Pregnant women who are allowed to take the cruise accept the information given to them with the pre-contractual information for pregnant women with their signature, which their doctor must also sign to confirm that they are fit to travel. If you are pregnant, please let us know and we will send you the appropriate form.
- 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.
- Standard Twin: 27.695 €
- Mini Suite: 32.195 €
- Junior Suite: 36.295 €
- Grand Suite: 37.195 €
- Victory Suite: 39.395 €
- Arktika Suite: 40.295 €
- Standard Twin: 1.7 times the shared rate
- Mini Suite, Junior Suite, Grand Suite, Victory Suite and Arktika Suite: 2 times the shared rate
- After receiving the booking confirmation, a deposit of 20% of the total price has to be paid.
- The balance must be received on our account at least 32 days prior to departure.
- Cancellation up to 120 days prior to departure costs 10% of the travel price. Therefore, 10% of the travel price is non-refundable.
- If you cancel between 119 and 91 days prior to departure, 20% of the tour price will be charged.
- If you cancel between 90 and 30 days prior to departure 50% of the tour price will be charged.
- If you cancel between 29 and 8 days prior to departure, 85% of the tour price will be charged.
- For cancellations made 7 days or less before the start of the journey, as well as for a no-show, 95% of the travel price must be paid.
- In case of early departure, no refund will be made, and the entire travel price must be paid.