North Pole

The Ultimate Arctic Adventure aboard the 50 Years of Victory

North Pole route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $25,995  
Length: 14 days
Arrive: Helsinki, Finland
Depart: Helsinki, Finland
Lodging: 2 nights hotel, 11 nights aboard 128-passenger expedition vessel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship
Activity: Small Ship Cruising, Sea Kayaking
Trip Level: 12-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

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.


Day 1
Helsinki, Finland

Arrive in Helsinki and overnight at hotel.

Day 2
Helsinki, Finland / Murmansk, Russia

From Helsinki, our charter flight brings us to Murmansk, Russia, where we embark on the nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Years of Victory.

Days 3-6
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.

We can expect the days, and hours, to present variable sailing conditions this far north. The crossing from Murmansk to the North Pole can take us anywhere from 5 to 8 days. This means we’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.

Day 7
Top of the World—90° North!

Our anticipation of the past days reaches a climax as we arrive at the North Pole! We can celebrate our success by rising high in a hot air balloon to commemorate this great moment. Later, we enjoy a champagne toast and a barbecue feast right on the ice.

Day 8
Southbound in the Arctic Ocean

As we head south, we can expect more great memories, including the chance of spotting polar bears hunting for seals.

Days 9-10
Franz Josef Land

At Franz Josef Land, so remote it was discovered after Antarctica, we 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 we hope to see them as we 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.

Days 11-14
At sea / Murmansk / Fly home

After two days at sea, we return to Russia’s most northerly city. A charter flight brings us back to Helsinki, where we overnight before flying home. We encourage you to spend some extra time exploring Helsinki, Tallinn (the capital of Estonia), and St. Petersburg.

Note: This cruise is not an exclusive Wilderness Travel departure. The itinerary, lecturers, and other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the ship operator.

Post-Cruise Extension

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.

Day 1

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.

Day 2

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. 

Day 3

Return to Helsinki aboard the Allegro train.

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 1, Easiest, and is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active. Zodiac landing crafts are used to explore the coastline and transport passengers ashore for walks to wildlife sanctuaries and the remains of historic settlements. Some agility is required for getting in and out of the Zodiac landing crafts.

Explanation of Trip Levels



Jun 3-17, 2015  50 Years of Victory

Jun 15-28, 2015  50 Years of Victory
Jun 26-Jul 9, 2015  50 Years of Victory
Jul 19-Aug 1, 2015  50 Years of Victory

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

CategoriesCruise Price
Standard Twin $25,995
Mini Suite $29,995
Suite $35,995
Victory Suite $38,995
Arktika Suite $39,995
Hot Air Balloon Option: $295
Mandatory Transfer Package (per person, includes charter flights): $1750
Single supplement: 70% for Twin and Mini Suites, 100% for Suite and above

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: 20% of trip cost
130 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $1000 per person
179-121 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
120 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Deck Plan


Standard Twin Cabin: 1 lower berth, 1 sofa bed, private facilities with shower, window that opens, TV and DVD player.

Mini Suite: Sitting area with sofa bed, bed separated from the sitting area, private facilities, with shower, window that opens, TV and DVD player.

Suite: Bedroom and sitting area, sofa bed in sitting room, private facilities with bathtub or shower, refrigerator, window that opens, TV and DVD player, coffee maker, safe.

Victory Suite: Large bedroom and sitting room, sofa bed in sitting room, private facilities with bathtub, refrigerator, window that opens, TV and DVD player, coffee maker, safe.

Arktika Suite: Very spacious bedroom and sitting room, sofa bed in sitting room, private facilities with bathtub, refrigerator, window that opens, TV and DVD player, coffee maker, safe, daily selection of fresh fruit, drinks, and snacks, unique cabin amenities.

Download Cabin Information PDF


Trip Cost Includes:

  • One night pre- and one night post-expedition hotel accommodation in Helsinki as specified in the itinerary
  • On embarkation day, a transfer from the group hotel to the Helsinki airport and from the Murmansk airport to the ship
  • On disembarkation day, a transfer from the ship to the Murmansk airport and from the Helsinki airport to the group hotel
  • All helicopter aerial sightseeing according to each day’s program
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks on board throughout your voyage. (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and Special Guests as scheduled
  • Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep
  • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • A complimentary selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard ship
  • Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation, when applicable, voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew, passport and any applicable visa expenses., government arrival and departure taxes, baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance, excess baggage charges, laundry and other personal charges, telecommunications charges, adventure options that are not included in the cost of the voyage, transfer package (see separate cost above). On 50 Years of Victory, any private helicopter flying time that may be available for optional flights can be purchased at an hourly rate to be announced on board.

Arrival & Departure Information

Arrival & Meeting Place
Helsinki Airport Hilton Hotel
Helsinki, Finland
Date: Day 1
Suggested arrival time: Afternoon

Suggested Arrival Airport
Helsinki, Finland (airport city code HEL)

Passengers may arrive at anytime on Day 1 of the trip. There is no need for a transfer as the hotel is in the airport.  On Day 2, passengers will get on the charter flight, currently scheduled for 8:00am, to Murmansk, Russia. Please note that the purchase of a transfer package including charter flights in conjunction with this expedition is mandatory. The transfer package for this departure is $1690 per person.

Murmansk, Russia
Date: Day 13
Disembarkation: 8:30am

All passengers will disembark the ship on the morning of Day 13 and will be transferred to the airport for a charter flight back to Helsinki where they will be transferred to the Helsinki Downtown Hilton Hotel. On Day 14 of the trip, passengers can make their own way back to the Helsinki Airport and can depart anytime.

Suggested Airport for Departure
Helsinki, Finland (airport city code HEL)

On Day 14 of the trip, passengers can make their own way back to the Helsinki Airport and can depart anytime.

Expedition Details

A valid passport is required for this trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for six months after the conclusion of your trip. It is a good idea to carry photocopies of your passport photo page in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.

A visa is required for US Citizens traveling to Russia.  Please call for details.  No visa is required for Finland.

We recommend checking the Center for Disease Control at should you have any international health concerns.

No inoculations are currently required for Europe.

50 Years of Victory

The 128-passenger 50 Years of Victory, the world’s largest and most sophisticated nuclear-powered icebreaker, carries the highest ice class rating possible, with the ability to crush ice up to 10 feet thick. On board the ship, you hardly feel a thing, yet the sound of mammoth slabs of ice colliding with the hull is absolutely unforgettable. An onboard helicopter extends the vessel’s ability to reach remote ice-locked Arctic islands en route from the North Pole, and a fleet of Zodiacs bring you up-close and personal with Arctic wildlife, icebergs, and more. Each cabin has exterior views and private facilities, and public areas include a gym, two saunas, small swimming pool, and library.