Not many have the chance to visit a place from where they have only one direction to follow: south! And this happens at the North Pole, along with many other extraordinary things that you can only experience here, during an once-in-a-lifetime trip that will take you to the top of the world.
North Pole is more than just ice, snow and Santa Claus. It’s actually a fascinating destination for numerous expedition voyages that bring curious tourists in one of the less known lands in the world. Many of you probably didn’t even know that the North Pole has four seasons and it’s not actually the coldest place on the planet. However, don’t bring your swimsuit in the summer! It’s true that there are six months of daylight and six months of darkness, but the temperatures do vary according to season. The coldest place in the world is actually the South Pole, where the temperatures reach even – 76 degrees F.
It’s not very easy to get to the North Pole, especially if you don’t have magical reindeers, but it’s possible. Most expeditions start from Longyearbyen, in the Svalbard islands, and then, after a plane and helicopter ride, end at the North Pole. On the way, tourists will stop and visit the Russian polar research station. However, there are journeys that start from Helsinki, with a flight to Murmansk, from where passengers embark on an icebreaker that will take them to the heart of the North Pole. Either way, if there is the will to visit the North Pole, there is definitely a mean, ready to make their dream come true.
While your journey will be dotted with extraordinary appearances of polar bears enjoying life in the wilderness, as they should, walruses and arctic foxes, don’t expect to find penguins at the North Pole. They live at the other Pole. If you decide to get on board an icebreaker to reach the North Pole, expect a few days of ice breaking before actually getting to stick the sign pole into the ice, which, by the way, it’s not official, but it’s a great opportunity for a cool photo. Along the way, you will get to take part at interesting discussions about the North Pole and its history and relax on the icebreaker.
Once you actually reach the North Pole, you will feel a sudden rush of adrenaline flooding your body and the need to celebrate. Yes, call your mom and dad, take as many photos as you want, open your arms and thank the Universe! Do whatever you need to make this moment memorable! Champagne is usually involved too. If the weather is generous, some tour operators offer passengers the chance to fly above the pole in a hot air balloon and even plunge in the waters around the pole. Go for it!
On the way back, you will get to visit the Franz Josef Land, a group of 191 islands and the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia. Cape Flora will be on the itinerary, as well as the remains of three arctic expeditions that ended tragically. Depending on weather, this is where you can cruise beneath imposing cliffs and spot seabird colonies, as well as take a helicopter ride to view the fantastic scenery from above.
Another thing that might surprise you during your visit at the Arctic Circle is that you can actually find hot springs here. They are situated outside Fairbanks, in Alaska, and open daily to visitors who want to relax in their waters. That’s a cool way to get hot at the North Pole, isn’t it?!
To make things a bit complicated, I need to tell you that there are actually two definitions of North Pole. One talks about a terrestrial North Pole, with polar ice caps and all, while the other defines the magnetic north pole, which is actually a magnetic phenomenon. So, make sure you visit the right one!
From what you’ve read, it’s obvious that the North Pole is more than a thin ice sheet floating above the sea. No real traveler would say no to such adventure, especially if they will want to tell their grandchildren stories about how they crossed the world from one end to the other.