Imagine standing at the North Pole, the one earthly spot where every direction is south! Our expedition aboard the 50 Years of Victory, the world’s largest and most powerful icebreaker, brings us deep through the thick pack ice of the Arctic Ocean to the top of the world, where we celebrate our achievement with champagne and an optional hot air balloon ride over the vast frozen landscape. Along the way, we admire flocks of soaring seabirds and explore the wildlife-rich archipelago of Franz Josef Land, with its polar bears, walrus, and many species of whales, including humpbacks, belugas, and narwhals.
This is the trip of a lifetime! For most of us, it is the only opportunity to be part of an expedition to one of the remotest places on the planet. The lectures were excellent and certainly enhanced the whole experience.
— Bill B., Portland, OR
Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.
Arrive in Helsinki and overnight at hotel.
Helsinki, Finland / Murmansk, Russia
From Helsinki, your charter flight brings us to Murmansk, Russia, where you embark on the nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Years of Victory.
Northbound in the Arctic Ocean
Watching the ship crush through the Arctic ice pack is an unforgettable sight, made even more memorable by taking a helicopter flight for a thrilling aerial view of the ship and expansive Arctic Ocean.
You can expect the days, and hours, to present variable sailing conditions this far north. The crossing from Murmansk to the North Pole can take anywhere from 5 to 8 days. This means you’ll have plenty of time to get to know our shipmates, stare at the horizon, enjoy some drinks at the bar or go for a swim in the ship’s lap pool.
Top of the World—90° North!
Your anticipation of the past days reaches a climax as you arrive at the North Pole! You can celebrate our success by rising high in a hot air balloon to commemorate this great moment. Later, enjoy a champagne toast and a barbecue feast right on the ice.
Southbound in the Arctic Ocean
As you head south, you can expect more great memories, including the chance of spotting polar bears hunting for seals.
Franz Josef Land
At Franz Josef Land, so remote it was discovered after Antarctica, visit historic places such as Cape Flora on Northbrook Island, home to structures and ruins from three ill-fated Arctic expeditions. Walrus and polar bear are residents here, and you may see them as you explore on Zodiac excursions and helicopter sightseeing rides. Franz Josef Land is the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia and lies entirely within the Arctic Circle.
At sea / Murmansk / Fly home
After two days at sea, return to Russia’s most northerly city. A charter flight brings you back to Helsinki, where you overnight before flying home. We encourage you to spend some extra time exploring Helsinki, Tallinn (the capital of Estonia), and St. Petersburg.
St. Petersburg by High Speed Train
Travel on the The Allegro, a high speed train on the historic track between Heslinki, Finland. and St. Petersburg, Russia, and enjoy the best of Imperial St. Petersburg on this 2-night, 3-day extension. Please call for prices.
Board the high-speed Allegro train to St. Petersburg city center. Explore the canals and squares of the Venice of the North with an English-speaking guide. See the beautiful palaces that line the Neva River and visit the renowned Hermitage Museum. Overnight at hotel.
A hydrofoil transports you to Peterhoff Palace, a country retreat with manicured gardens and fountains. Lunch is served in a restaurant called the Summer Palace, because of its architectural style, reminiscent of 18th Russia. Continue touring in the afternoon, and in the evening, attend a ballet or opera performance, then dine at the Russian Ampir Restaurant.
Return to Helsinki aboard the Allegro train.