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"Great trip! Can't wait for another!"
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North Pole: Ice Breaker Ship Exploration to the North Pole - 14 Days

GEC Trip Type: GROUP TOUR

*Solo Travelers: You're in luck! We provide free roommate matching - unless you'd prefer to purchase a single room (subject to availability).

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TRIP DESCRIPTION:

Departure Dates Available:
-- June 2019

PLEASE NOTE:. Space is very limited and on a first come basis, so book your spot early!

Join other like-minded people on this locally guided exploration to the North Pole aboard the world’s most advance and powerful nuclear ice-breaking expedition ship! This is an extremely rare opportunity to be one of the very few people on Earth to have actually stepped foot on the very top our planet... and all in the comfort and safety of one of the most advanced ships open to the public in the world, complete with a ship-based helicopter for included aerial tours!

Starting and ending in Helsinki, Finland, you will first fly to Murmansk, Russia. From here you will board the ship and make your way to the North Pole, crushing through multiyear ice on the Arctic Ocean, having champagne while standing on the North Pole ice, taking the “polar plunge”, visiting the Franz Josef Land, and along the way having the opportunity to sightsee by helicopter on the lookout for walruses, seals, whales, and polar bears, or take a tethered hot-air balloon ride at 90º N, weather permitting, via optional ship activities. Possible stops at the island of Franz Josef Land will have you in awe of the flora and fauna as you visit seabird colonies and retrace the footsteps of early explorers.

This is definitely a 'Trip of a Lifetime'. It’s got the fun, exploration, adventure and the opportunity to make life-long friends! But that is, after all, what GEC is all about: Make Friends. Travel the World.

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GET THE SCOOP! Want to see what previous travelers are saying about GEC? Check out the club's Testimonial Page.

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Make Friends. Travel the World. With over 80,000+ members across the US and Canada, the GEC is the largest and fastest growing adventure travel club in the world! GEC is a unique and exciting social travel club open to anyone interested in traveling to exciting destinations around the world with other like-minded adventurers. Membership is free... just sign up for a trip and you are a member!


Places Visited:

North Pole Group Trip, Helsinki, Finland, Murmansk, Russia, Arctic Ocean, North Pole, Franz Joseph Land


Trip Itinerary:
B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner

Brief Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival Day and Overnight in Helsinki, Finland.
Day 2: Fly to Murmansk, Russia. Board Ship. Depart for North Pole. (B, D)
Day 3-6: Northbound in Arctic Ocean (B, L, D)
Day 7: North Pole Visit (B, L, D)
Day 8: Southbound in the Arctic Ocean (B, L, D)
Day 9-10: Franz Josef Land (B, L, D)
Day 11-12: Southbound at Sea (B, L, D)
Day 13: Disembarkation in Murmansk. Fly to Helsinki (B)
Day 14: Trip Ends with Transfer to Airport. (B)


Detailed Itinerary:

B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner

Day 1:
Arrival Day and Overnight in Helsinki, Finland

Your adventure starts with an included night in Helsinki, Finland. You will arrive at the hotel on your own and check into the hotel when you arrive. Full details will be provided to you before departure as to how and when you will meet the ship’s crew and other passengers for the start of the voyage.

An extra pre-night hotel can be arranged for you as well if you’d like to come in a day or two early (subject to availability). Please contact us for details.

Overnight in Helsinki airport area hotel

Day 2:
Fly to Murmansk, Russia. Board Ship. Depart for North Pole. (B, D)

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 your ship, the world’s largest and most powerful icebreaker.

Overnight on the ship


Day 3-6:
Northbound in Arctic Ocean (B, L, D)

Being on board the ship and feeling the icebreaker as it crushes through the arctic pack ice is an experience you’ll never forget. Just as memorable is the option of 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 the ship’s 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.

Overnight on the ship


Day 7:
North Pole Visit (B, L, D)

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 the ship’s hot air balloon to commemorate this great moment (this is an optional activity ($495 pay on aboard) and is highly weather dependent).

Overnight on the ship


Day 8:
Southbound in the Arctic Ocean (B, L, D)

On your return voyage you can sit back and relax. As you head farther south you may get lucky and spot polar bears hunting for seals.

Overnight on the ship


Day 9-10:
Franz Josef Land (B, L, D)

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, the ship’s crew will launch the Zodiacs and cruise beneath towering cliffs to explore remote seabird colonies. The ship’s helicopter will provide aerial sightseeing options, and the Zodiacs will transfer you to seldom-visited landing sites.

Overnight on the ship


Day 11-12:
Southbound at Sea (B, L, D)

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.

Overnight on the ship


Day 13:
Disembarkation in Murmansk. Fly to Helsinki (B)

Returning to Russia’s most northerly city, it will be time to bid farewell to your ship. You’ll be transferred to the airport for your charter flight to Helsinki, Finland to enjoy one final night with your newfound friends.

Overnight in Helsinki hotel (likely downtown area)

Day 14:
Trip Ends with Transfer to Airport. (B)

After breakfast, your trip officially comes to an end. Airport transfers are NOT included or available from the ship company. You can simply arrange a taxi with the hotel desk. The ship anticipates your hotel will be located in downtown Helsinki area (exact hotel details provided by the ship soon after booking). An extra night hotel can be arranged for you as well if you like (subject to availability). Please contact us for details.


Important Information



This is a locally guided GEC trip that joins other travelers, booked through GECtravel and other companies, on ship owned by an independent company. This trip is open for anyone to join. You can sign up as a solo traveler* OR join with a spouse, friends or other family members. All are welcome!
*Solo Travelers: You're in luck! No mandatory single supplements. We provide free roommate matching (subject to availability) - unless, of course, you'd prefer a single room (please Contact Us for single room options and prices).


There are only 128 passengers on this ship, so therefore this tour is subject to VERY limited availability. Therefore, please DO NOT purchase your airfare or any personal travel requirements until you receive a written confirmation from GEC guaranteeing departure and confirming the booking of your space with the ship.

This voyage offers optional activities (such as hot air ballooning, etc.) which are arranged and paid for on board and are subject to weather conditions and availability.

A high-quality water/wind proof winter expedition parka with zip out fleece lining is provided the aboard ship (typically the first evening on the ship) and is yours to keep after the expedition! Rubber boots will be loaned to you for the duration of the cruise. We will provide you with a full and comprehensive packing list prior to departure (along with a very detailed dossier with all important information).

There is a strict luggage limit of 44 lbs (20 kg) checked luggage and 11 lbs (5 kg) cabin baggage on the flights between Helsinki and Murmansk. Should you have additional luggage, it can be stored at the hotel in Helsinki. There is NO option to pay for additional luggage.

Prices are based on a standard twin share room/cabin that has one lower berth with a curtain and a sofa that is converted to a bed each night by the ship’s housekeeping crew. The private facilities are en suite, with a shower. The exterior window opens. The TV is connected to CCTV system. The DVD player is attached to the TV. You may borrow CDs from the ship’s library. If you have 2 people traveling, upgrades may be available as well at an additional cost (please Contact Us for options and prices). If you do not mind being paired up with a roommate of the same gender, then we will match you up at no additional charge. NOTE: all rooms, room types, and roommate matching subject to availability as dictated by the ship company when we confirm your booking.

All prices are land/ship only. You are responsible for making your own international flight arrangements between your home city and the start/end locations and for arriving at the designated departure location as per the itinerary. However, your international flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you receive a written guarantee from GEC that the trip is guaranteed to go and that your space is booked and confirmed by the ship company. If you would like to discuss international flight options, please contact us at info@GECtravel.com or 617.645.7689

Costs are based on current group prices, permit fees and transportation costs and will be revised in case of any enhancements by the Govt, ship company and/or transportation authorities. Once you book your trip and we confirm your space with the ship, specific cancellation policies apply. See terms and conditions for complete details, which can be viewed during checkout or by clicking here.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months following the last day of the tour.

Russian visas are required for tourists from most countries. This voyage requires double-entry Russian visas. The ship company will provide a Russian Invitation Letter to you after full payment is received to use when applying for your Visa. See your country’s Russian consulate or embassy for details.

IMPORTANT NOTE: 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.

Trip ID: EU1229
PRICING
Pricing not available at this time. Please e-mail us at reservations@gectravel.com or call us at 1 (888) Trip Find.

Price Includes
  • 14-day ship-based expedition to the North Pole
  • Ship Based Expedition Leaders
  • Group helicopter flightseeing as per the itinerary
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on Board
  • Beer, wine and soft drinks during lunch and dinner
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Russian invitation letter for visa application provided after final payment
  • A waterproof winter expedition parka with zip out fleece liner - yours to keep after the expedition!
  • Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • Formal and informal presentations by ship Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
  • Photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
  • Comprehensive predeparture materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • 11 nights in standard twin share room/cabin that has one lower berth with a curtain and a sofa that is converted to a bed each night by the ship’s housekeeping crew. Possible upgrades are available for those booking 2 people together. Please contact us. All rooms and roommate based on availability given by the ship company at time we book your space with them.
Price Does Not Include
  • International airfare between your home country and Helsinki, Finland per itinerary
  • Airport transfers to/from hotel at start/end of itinerary
  • Helicopter flying time in excess of that offered for the group
  • Passport and visa expenses**
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned
  • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
  • Travel insurance (details)
  • Excess-baggage fees on international flights
  • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
  • Phone and Internet charges
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
  • Additional overnight accommodations
  • On-board hot air balloon option at the North Pole
  • Ship’s Mandatory Transfer Package Which Includes:
    - One night’s pre- and post-expedition hotel accommodation in Helsinki with breakfast
    - Round-trip flights from Helsinki to Murmansk
    - Transfers to and from the ship
  • **NOTE: Russian visas are required for tourists from most countries. This voyage requires double-entry Russian visas. The ship company will provide a Russian Invitation Letter to you after full payment is received to use when applying for your Visa. See your country’s Russian consulate or embassy for details.
Group Leader
  • Ship Based Expedition Leaders
Number of Days
  • 14 days, 13 nights
Accomodation Included
  • 11 nights aboard a very comfortable ice-breaker expedition ship and 2 nights in hotel in Helsinki, Finland
Transportation Included
  • Expedition Icebreaker Ship
  • Ship-based Helicopter for Aerial tours
  • Zodiac for shore excursions
  • Private transfer bus
Meals Included
  • All meals on ship and breakfast at hotels
Seasonal Info
  • Season is extremely limited to June and into early July. It's the Arctic Ocean, therefore pack to dress in layers so you are prepared for rapid weather changes. Waterproof pants (with warm under layers), waterproof gloves, and a wool hat and socks are a necessity (and don't forget, you will receive a free water/wind proof winter parka with a zip out fleece lining from the ship that is yours to keep after!). We will provide you with a full and comprehensive packing list prior to departure (along with a very detailed dossier with all important information). Average daily temperatures in mid-season are between 20 and 35 Fahrenheit (-4 and +2 Celsius), however wind conditions can make it seem colder. It is common that you will experience daytime temperatures below freezing and definitely at night. That said, the ship is nice and toasty and has great views from inside as well as on deck.


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