Taking a trip to the North Pole is a dream of many, but only a few can achieve it. People assume that an expedition to the North Pole is impossible, but although it is not an easy course, the journey can still be undertaken. Around five trips to the North Pole take place annually, and only 1000 people reach this part of the world every year.
Despite being known as the home of Santa Claus, the Pole does not belong to anyone or have any economic value. This unique destination is covered by nothing but a sheet of shifting ice. Situated on the surface of the Arctic Ocean, there are neither permanent habitations nor an official marker.
The Pole is situated about 700 miles from the nearest island. When you make it to 90 degrees North, you’ll find yourself standing over an ocean that is 13,000 feet deep.
If you are truly adventurous and want to achieve your ultimate travel goals, the North Pole must be on your list.
How to get to the North Pole
Although the North Pole is not accessible for most of the year, you can still travel in June and July as the ice during these months is thinner. In April, helicopter rides to the North Pole are available. During the Arctic summer, which starts in June and lasts until September, people can travel by boat or an icebreaker through the Arctic Ocean.
1. By Air
During April, the Arctic night ceases, but the winter ice remains strong. The air trip usually starts from Longyearbyen in the Svalbard Islands. It continues onto the pole with a combination of a helicopter and a plane. Booking a charter flight from Canada is also possible.
The ride stops at the Russian polar research station and Borneo (Borneo), a temporary Russian base set up every year, situated at about 89°N.
Alternatively, an affordable option is to fly on sightseeing expeditions that use long-haul aircraft. It starts from the UK or Germany and overflies Norway, Svalbard, and the North Pole itself. Although you won’t land anywhere, the aircraft or helicopter will fly low over the area of interest.
Various companies offer air packages to the North Pole, catering to various styles of trips such as standard, premium, honeymoon, and more.
2. By sea
Yamal, the nuclear-powered Russian icebreaker, and 50 Years of Victory, the icebreaker, are the only two commercial sea vessels that make regular trips to the North Pole. These ships generally depart from Murmansk, a city in Russia, and spend at least two weeks in the Arctic Ocean during the Summer.
50 Years of Victory is the largest icebreaker and has 64 cabins classified into five categories. Yamal has 50 cabins and is complete with suites and private bathrooms, fine dining, a gym, a library, and more.
On a sea expedition, you will be crossing the North Pole boundary and various lines of longitude.
3. Going overland
A North Pole marathon that occurs at the Barneo station can help you visit the North Pole. You will be supported throughout your entire trip, but certain health requirements must be met.
Joining polar races to the Magnetic North Pole, like the Polar Challenge and the North Pole Race, will give you a real taste of a proper Arctic expedition. These races begin in the northern Canadian region of Nunavut and spread along 300 miles, crossing frozen oceans and a few islands.
Reasons you should visit the North Pole
But why should you spend money and take the trouble to travel to a place that has nothing but ice? One of the reasons is that the North Pole is quickly changing due to the effects of climate change. Thus, making it to the top of the world is one of the rarest and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
Travellers who have visited the North Pole swear by its vastness and diverse nature. There are a few insights and activities that can only be experienced at the North Pole.
Here are the reasons you must consider adding the North Pole to your itinerary:
1. A land of Adventurous explorers
Visiting the North Pole allows for endless shore landing opportunities, as there are 191 unpolluted islands inside the Arctic Circle. The explorers who visited the pole and built huts in the 19th and 20th centuries still stand strong on Jackson Island, Alger Island, Bell Island, and more.
2. Witness the article circle by riding a helicopter or a hot air balloon
Massive cracks, crevices, ice ridges, and melting pools surround the frozen Arctic Ocean. Soaring 30 metres high above the natural and beautifully carved North Pole will offer a new perspective during your trip.
Although this activity is optional, it is an exclusive and unique experience you can enjoy.
3. Wildlife and whale watching
50 Years of Victory has open windows, a large deck area, and an open bridge that allow for fascinating wildlife viewing. After the expedition leader announces a whale sighting, the passengers can view and photograph it from the decks.
Although sightings of the iconic polar bear are unpredictable, it still makes for an exciting venture. You can see other animals like Arctic foxes, Caribou, Reindeer, Musk ox, Ringed seals, walruses, and many more.
4. Incredible travel achievement
Expeditions specifically organised for that purpose are the only means to access the North Pole. Its status as one of the least visited destinations adds to its desirability. While the place is remote, you can still enjoy an exhilarating adventure, whether it is soaking in the midnight sun, witnessing the Northern Lights, or silently reflecting.
Even with limited options, you can visit the North Pole by thoroughly researching and planning. It is not your typical destination, as the trip takes a long time and can be out of your comfort zone.
However, if you want to absorb the true spirit of adventure and wander over a land that is truly different from others, the North Pole makes for a special vacation.
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