Read time – 3 minutes
This guest post is by Hans Lagerweij, who travelled on our special 20 July 2017 Journey to the North Pole. Hans is an adventure travel veteran who has worked for our sister company Quark, who operate our polar voyages.
This special departure will have something a little different to offer.
Journey to the North Pole
Since I joined the company as President in 2010, Quark Expeditions’ North Pole voyages have always fascinated me. First, there is the ship – unlike any other vessel in the polar regions.
The 50 Years of Victory was the world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker until this year when the Arktika was launched. With an incredible 74,000 horsepower, Victory can break through 3-meter-thick multiyear ice at the same speed as a regular expedition cruise ship goes through the water.
North Pole Voyages
Then there is the itinerary itself – unlike any other voyage on offer. All North Pole voyages start in the city of Murmansk, Russia. Though the city will never win a prize for its beauty, it’s fascinating to realize that 300,000 people live here above the Arctic Circle, making it the largest city this far north of the circle.
From this embarkation point, the voyage heads straight to the 90 degrees north. Upon arrival at the pole, we celebrate with a champagne toast, and if conditions allow, we have a barbeque, take balloon rides and maybe even do the polar plunge.
On the return south, we visit the unique archipelago of Franz Jozef Land. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, fascinating history and wildlife, such as polar bears, whales and walrus.
In the summer of 2017, Quark added an additional program to the July 20 departure. The first North Pole Summit: Breaking Ice. Breaking Barriers, featuring seven international thought leaders who will join the voyage to share their unique perspectives on everything from climate change and environmental issues to how to pursue your dreams.
Travelling on any polar voyage with Quark Expeditions voyages brings a rare global perspective to all those who participate. Quark’s passengers hail from over 50 countries, represent different age groups, and faiths: Quark is a truly global citizen.
What binds us is our passion and quest for discovery and exploration as well as a shared passion for the unique natural environments that our planet offers.
Personally, I am looking forward to being a part of this special North Pole voyage this summer, for the thrill of the destination, but also a passion for the programme and taking part in these important discussions.
Browse voyages to the North Pole and the Arctic below and plan your expedition.