The North Pole
North Pole 13 days aboard 50 Years of Victory
The ultimate Arctic tick box expedition…stepping foot at the North Pole! Departing from Murmansk in Russia, your famous ice-breaker ship “50 Years of Victory” will crush through the pack-ice on your journey to the top of the world. Depending on ice conditions the journey to the North Pole can take anything up to a week, which only helps to heighten the level of excitement and anticipation as you edge closer to a land very few people are fortunate enough to ever reach. With a helicopter sightseeing ride included and an exploration of the Franz Josef Land archipelago on your way back to civilisation, this is an impressive once-in-a-lifetime itinerary.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
- Set foot at the North Pole
- Ice-breaker experience
- Spectacular helicopter flights
- Marine mammals
- Visit Franz Josef Land
- Polar Bears
- One night's hotel in Murmansk pre voyage
- Transfer from airport to the hotel in Murmansk 1 day prior to departure
- Group transfers to and from ship
- Full board accommodation on ship
- All zodiac landings and excursions
- Helicopter excursions
- Programme of lectures by expert guides
- Expedition parka
- Loan of rubber boots
- All port fees
ITINERARY12 Nights 13 Days
- Day 1 | Murmansk
- Day 2 | Murmansk - Embark
- Days 3 - 6 | Northbound in the Arctic Ocean
- Day 7 | 90° North
- Days 8 - 10 | Franz Josef Land and the Arctic Ocean
- Days 11 - 12 | Barents Sea
- Day 13 | Murmansk
Your adventure begins in the city of Murmansk on Russia’s Kola Peninsula. Arrive independently and take your transfer to the hotel for your included overnight stay.
Murmansk - Embark
After breakfast, a transfer will be provided to the port where you will board the ice-breaker ship 50 Years of Victory. Settle in and familiarise yourself with your new surroundings as the crew the slip the moorings and sail north out of Kola Bay.
Northbound in the Arctic Ocean
Watching the Victory crush through the Arctic pack ice is a sight you'll never forget, made even more memorable by taking a helicopter flight for a thrilling aerial view of the Victory and the 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, allowing for the excitement to build as you cruise closer to the North Pole. This means you'll have plenty of time to get to know your shipmates, stare out at the awe-inspiring horizon, enjoy some drinks at the bar or go for a swim in the ship's lap pool.
All of the anticipation of the prior days reaches a climax as you arrive at the North Pole! It is not uncommon to be overcome with emotion as you finally step foot on land at the top of the world. There will be a festive and celebratory atmosphere that will most likely be incomparable to anything you will have experienced before. Take photos, call your family, wave a flag and enjoy every moment!
Your arrival at the North Pole will be celebrated with a champagne toast and a barbecue on the ice. If the opportunity allows you may wish to take a polar plunge in the icy waters around the North Pole, an exhilarating experience you are unlikely to forget!
After spending the day at the North Pole you will board the ice-breaker again as it turns south towards the High Arctic archipelago of Franz Josef Land.
Franz Josef Land and the Arctic Ocean
After the exhilaration of the North Pole, you have time for one more adventure as you explore Franz Josef Land, the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia, lying entirely within the Arctic Circle. This part of the Arctic Ocean is so remote that Franz Josef Land was discovered after Antarctica. This group of 191 islands is a nature sanctuary, with polar bears, walrus and rare whale species likely to be spotted at any time. Wildlife viewing will be the main focus here and you can enjoy helicopter sightseeing rides and Zodiac excursions, taking advantage of the 24-hour daylight to exploit every opportunity to get up close to these intriguing animals. As well as polar bears and marine animals there are also exceptional birdwatching opportunities here with the cliffs around the islands being host to enormous nesting colonies of migratory seabirds such as guillemots, dovekies, and ivory gulls.
Although wildlife will be the focus, Franz Josef Land is also home to many interesting geological and historical features, such as the mysterious stone spheres on Champ Island which you will have time to visit and photograph. You can also visit Cape Fligely on Rudolf Island which is the northernmost point of land in the Eastern Hemisphere. There will also be the opportunity to visit Cape Norway, Cape Flora, Eira Harbour, and Cape Tegetthoff to see the well-preserved historical sites that document the journeys of famous polar explorers who reached these lands long ago such as Fridtjof Nansen, Julius von Payer and Frederick George Jackson. Memorials, monuments, crosses, and the remains of dwellings are testimony to incredible historical events and your expert lecture team will offer further insights into their importance.
After the thrilling adventures of the North Pole and Franz Josef Land it is time to head back towards civilisation as your ice-breaker ship cruises south through the Barents Sea. You can take the time to process the experiences you have had and relax after what will have been an action-packed time. Enjoy the many onboard facilities including the gym, saunas, warm sea-water pools and the polar library, or attend a final lecture or presentation. If you’ve not had your fill of wildlife experiences you could spend some time on the panoramic open decks looking for seabirds and whale sightings.
Arrival back into Murmansk will signal the end of your once-in-a-lifetime journey as you disembark 50 Years of Victory after breakfast and join your included transfer to the airport for your independent onward or homeward flights.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
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