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 to 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 the 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 looking out for birdlife. There are also many wonderful amenities on board, such as the ship’s lap pool or basketball court.
Day 7 — 90° North
The anticipation reaches a climax as you arrive at 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 you enjoy your moment at the top! Later, everyone will celebrate with a champagne toast and a barbecue 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 (this is highly weather dependent).
Day 8 — Southbound in the Arctic Ocean
On our return voyage you can sit back and relax. As you head farther south you may get lucky and spot polar bears hunting for seals.
Days 9 and 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 and 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 your ship, 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 newfound friends.
Day 14 — Helsinki, Finland
After breakfast, your official Quark Expeditions journey comes to an end. We do encourage you to spend some extra time exploring Helsinki, Tallinn (the capital of Estonia) and Saint Petersburg.
IMPORTANT: Russian visas are required for tourists from most countries. This voyage requires double-entry Russian visas. See your country’s Russian consulate or embassy for details.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.