Calling all pioneering travellers; unleash your inner polar explorer with this once-in-a-lifetime expedition arctic cruise, guaranteed to satisfy any cravings for true adventure. At Regent, we'll give you the rare opportunity to stand at the top of the world, reaching the North Pole aboard the most powerful icebreaker vessel ever built. Those without a sense of adventure need not read on.
Comfortably aboard a nuclear-powered icebreaker, you'll embark on an epic voyage safe in the knowledge that the I/B 50 Years of Victory is making light work of the thick ice and unpredictable wildernesses that lie ahead. Disembark at precisely 90 degrees north, to set foot on the frozen sea, enjoy a champagne toast and get photographic proof of your adventure. This itinerary also visits Franz Josef Land; the heaving glaciated archipelago of Russia's far north is home to historic remnants of some of the earliest polar expeditions and, if you're lucky, a population of polar bears.
In the morning, transfer to the port and prepare to embark on your epic journey. Board the nuclear-powered icebreaker I/B 50 Let Pobedy (I/B 50 Years of Victory) and settle into your comfortable cabin. Spend the rest of the day exploring the ship and watching Murmansk slip away as you sail north out of Kola Bay. (B, D)
Continue cruising northward through the Barents Sea. Days on board are far from dull; learn from scientists, engineers and geologists about the unique ice-breaking capabilities of the ship and the environments that it tackles on a daily basis. From the deck, ever-changing Arctic panoramas stretch out in all directions and you'll be afforded a visit to the impressive engine room in the heart of the ship. For the most spectacular perspective, take to the skies in a helicopter for a sightseeing tour that allows you to appreciate the stunning beauty of this vast polar landscape from high above. (B,L,D)
Spend cruising time listening to lectures on the area from the expedition team or embarking on sightseeing tours. (B,L,D)
Today reach the geographic North Pole. After carefully navigating to precisely 90 degrees North, drop the anchor on a sturdy stretch of ice and disembark for your once-in-a-lifetime chance to stand on the frozen sea. Join hands with your fellow passengers, around the flag that marks the exact north pole, and slowly walk around the world. Enjoy a champagne toast and a (slightly surreal) barbeque meal on the ice. (B,L,D)
As your journey turns south, set course for the lesser-visited Franz Josef Land islands; part of the Russian Arctic National Park since 2012, this pristine glaciated archipelago is a protected nature sanctuary. Embark on wildlife viewing excursions using both sturdy Zodiac boats and a helicopter. In this remote part of the world, you stand a fantastic chance of spotting endangered polar bears as they hunt, great walruses lounging on the pack ice or island shores, wild whale pods feeding in the waters and nesting colonies of migratory seabirds lining the cliffs. See the mysterious stone spheres on Champ Island and walk in the footsteps of famous early polar explorers who began their Arctic expeditions on these islands, at well-preserved historical sites. (B,L,D).
Continue your journey south through the bountiful waters of the Barents Sea, watching for whales from the boat. Opt to attend fascinating presentations and take part in workshops provided by expert staff, or relax enjoying the panoramic views from the open deck. (B,L,D)
*transfer to the ship on day of embarkation and to airport on day of disembarkation
Price based on Standard twin cabin.