Latitude 90° north and around 430 miles from the nearest landmass… Who amongst us hasn’t at one time or another dreamt of one day travelling to the very end of the world?
A theatre of dreams, myths and human and technological exploits, but also, and since ancient times, of tragedy, the North Pole has always fascinated and intrigued.
How many are the explorers who’ve attempted to reach the Geographical North Pole? Credit must finally go to Jean-Louis Étienne, who in 1986 became the first person to reach the North Pole alone, on skis.
The ability to stand at the very top of the world lures travelers to the North Pole, which is considered by many as “terra incognita,” the unknown land.
The closest permanent inhabited place is Alert, Nunavut, which is about 800 kilometres (508 miles) from the North Pole. Icebreaker and helicopter are the standard means of getting to the North Pole (this will change as you scroll down to Option Three on the list). There’s an otherworldly quality to the North Pole – where every direction you look is south. To reach the North Pole is to stand in awe of the immensity of the universe.
I hereby present you THREE options to help you explore North Pole in an adventure of a lifetime. The journey and the experience is not only unique and exclusive, but also transformational.
North Pole Cruises by Quark Expeditions: The Pioneers, and till date the only option to cruise to the North Pole (but this changes in 2021).
Lars Wikander and Mike McDowell, the cofounders of Quark Expeditions, took the first group of commercial travelers to the North Pole in 1991. That inaugural, game-changing expedition—the first-ever tourism transit of the Northeast Passage—set Quark Expeditions on a course that today puts them at the forefront of polar exploration.
In 2021, Quark Expeditions marks 30 years of taking passengers to this northernmost point on the globe, and on their amazing voyages.
Experience the thrill of the most powerful nuclear icebreaker on the planet crushing through thick, multi-year pack ice as it pushes toward 90° North.
Enjoy a riveting helicopter tour over the icy Arctic Ocean; discover the remarkable sights of Franz Josef Land; observe the majestic creatures who make their home in this breathtaking yet fragile land; and experience a dreamlike hot air balloon ride over the surreal Arctic landscape, an activity offered by no other polar operator.
Join them on this exhilarating journey, venture to a part of the globe few have ever seen, and come to understand why the North Pole has, for centuries, stirred the minds and hearts of explorers and adventurers alike.
The Itinerary: 14 Days Ex Helsinki (Price Starting USD 31995 per person on twin share)
For 2021 Arctic Season they operate 14 days trip from/to Helsinki on-board their expedition ship “50 years of Victory” departing in June, since the ideal season
is June and July (stretching to early August) when the sun shines for 24-hours, providing optimal viewing opportunities.
Standing at 90° North
Reaching the very top of the planet Earth is for many travelers a much-anticipated moment and, consequently, incredibly emotional. Some people are overcome with the realization that they’re standing in a place – at the very top of the world – where only a privileged few have been able to set foot. (Only about 1,000 people per year travel to the North Pole.) It’s no wonder that travelers toast their arrival at the North Pole with a glass of champagne.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
A tethered hot-air balloon (that rises 30 metres above the ice) enables North Pole visitors to get a bird-s-eye view of the snow-capped ice ridges, massive crevices, turquoise melt pools and ice-covered terrain that stretch beyond the horizon. Floating over the top of the world in silence is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
50 Years of Victory’s dedicated helicopter enables North Pole visitors to soar above the vast icy landscapes and truly appreciate the magnitude of the seldom-visited North Pole.
The Polar Plunge is scheduled once during each voyage. Throughout the journey, the Expedition Leader and Captain constantly monitor conditions in order to choose the optimal time and location. The Polar Plunge sometimes takes place onshore or, in many cases, from the gangway or Zodiac.
En route visit to Franz Josef Land
Their North Pole itinerary includes a visit to the hard-to-reach Russian archipelago of Franz Josef Land, which is about 900 kilometres from the North Pole—but 3,000 kilometres from Moscow. This remote group of 191 heavily-glaciated islands forms the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia and lies entirely within the Arctic Circle.
The archipelago was first spotted by the Norwegian sealers in 1865, but the islands weren’t reported until 1873, by an Austro-Hungarian expedition team who named the area after Emperor Franz Joseph. The archipelago was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1926.
Twenty years in the making, 50 Years of Victory is the first Arktika-class icebreaker to have a spoon-shaped bow, capable of breaking through ice up to 2.5 meters (9.2 feet) thick! This is one of the world’s largest, most-powerful nuclear icebreakers. 50 Years of Victory, which is equipped with an onboard helicopter, is a ship unlike any other and is able to go where other vessels cannot.
50 Years of Victory is a working ship that spends nine months of the year keeping Siberian shipping lanes open for merchant vessels. During the Arctic summer the ship – with fine dining amenities, well-appointed cabins, library, bar, lounge and presentation spaces – carries travelers safely throughout the Arctic.
Staff & Crew 140
Length 494 feet, 150.7 meters
Breadth 98 feet, 30 meters
Draft 36 feet, 11 meters
Propulsion 2 nuclear reactors, 74,000 horsepower
Ice Class LL1 (the highest rating possible)
Cruising speed 18 knots in open water
Lifeboats 4 fully enclosed
- Multi purpose sports court
- Victory bar
- Polar boutique
- Nuclear Powered Engine
- Medical Clinic
- Dinning Room
Cabins and suites are outfitted with the essential amenities you’ll need to feel comfortable throughout your voyage.
- TWIN: At 149 sq. ft. (13.8 sq. m)
- MINI SUITE: From 225 sq. ft. (21 sq. m)
- SUITE: From 257 sq. ft. (21 sq. m)
- VICTORY SUITE: At 303 sq. ft. (28 sq. m)
- ARKTIKA SUITE: From 314 sq. ft. (29 sq. m)
Showers and Toilets: Each cabin has a private bathroom with shower, toilet and wash basin.
Founded in 1988, PONANT is now the benchmark for a new style of luxury cruises.
They are the World Leader of Luxury Expeditions and has been sailing the seas for more than 30 years and is currently the only cruise line to sail under the French flag. In 2021 Ponant is launching it’s newest ship Le Commandant-Charcot, which is the World’s First Luxury Ice-Breaker (Electric Hybrid Propelled by Liquefied Gas).
With Le Commandant-Charcot, PONANT has imagined and envisaged the cruise voyage of tomorrow. The latest addition to the fleet will take you following in the footsteps of the great polar explorers in refined surroundings complete with the kind of luxury services never before offered in the farthest reaches of the southern and northern hemispheres.
The indoor swimming pool, the conservatory, the panoramic restaurant, the Blue Lagoon outdoor restaurant, the Main Lounge, the Observation Lounge, the lobby… Each of the common areas has been designed to both convey French-style discreet luxury and arouse wonder and amazement.
The common thread running through all their designs is the desire to allow the light to penetrate and open everything up the extraordinary polar landscapes and scenery.
This very first hybrid-electric polar exploration ship powered by LNG has been designed with the greatest attention to detail in terms of safety and respect for the environment.
The Itinerary: 16 Days From Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen – Reykjavík and Vice Versa (Departures in July and August 2021). Price Starting from Euro 24010 Per Person Twin Share
90° north latitude! The objective of this exceptional cruise is the geographic North Pole, a mythical point covered by ice floe all year round, 700 km away from any emerged land; it has fascinated generations of explorers and, to this day, very few people have reached it.
Leaving from Spitsbergen, the cruise through sumptuous landscapes that constantly change depending on the movements of the ice and the luminosity lends itself perfectly to the observation of fauna, which is particularly rich at this time of year.
Le Commandant-Charcot will then start to move through the pack ice in the direction of the Holy Grail of all polar explorers: the North Pole! Beware though, as the ice floe is constantly drifting, you too must keep moving if you want to remain on our planet’s most northernmost point…
– Be among the few people in the world who have reached the Geographic North Pole!
– Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with the naturalists.
– Hiking opportunity.
– Landscapes: ice floes, icebergs, polar ice cap… In Spitsbergen, jagged mountains, steep-sided valleys, sheer cliffs, huge glaciers.
– Wildlife: polar bears, Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, Arctic terns, walruses, seals, whales.
Designed to sail to the edge of the poles, hovercraft, which work as well on land as they do on sea, will take you to the most hard-to-reach places. Their unique propulsion system will ensure that you can explore the ice floe in total safety, regardless of ice and weather conditions.
HOT AIR BALLOON
A flight in a tethered hot air balloon, handled by professionals, will let you take to the skies to admire the infinite crystal-clear panoramas of the Arctic from above.
Using comfortable, ultra-modern, electric snowmobiles, which are silent and meet the most stringent standards, you can access firm land from the ship in order to constantly discover new panoramas. This light and secure activity, accessible to all, will enable you to travel around safely, explore the polar expanses and become intoxicated by these grandiose landscapes, in the company of professional guides.
Diving in polar waters means an exceptional chance to admire an unusual landscape and to meet marine animals in their natural environment. Whether along an iceberg, meeting a magical world with a thousand and one shades of blue, or along a drop-off in search of anemone, soft coral, giant isopods… Diving will provide you with the unique opportunity to penetrate a unique and little-known world.
Try out a practice that dates back to 6,000 years before our era. Faithful companions to the Inuit who made their use widespread in around 1000 AD, sled dogs have also accompanied trappers in the American Far North and explorers on their most extraordinary expeditions. Led with a deft hand by their master and your local guide, they will take you across enchanting decors during a magical ride.
Le Commandant-Charcot is fitted with the most modern oceanographic equipment and all the facilities necessary to accompany a scientific team in its research. Guided by their naturalists and the team of scientists, you will thus have the opportunity to make a direct contribution to the global scientific effort.
Helping scientists to set up a station on the ice floe, deploying an Argos marker buoy or taking water samples: thanks to simple protocols, you’ll be able to discover part of the scientific adventure in the polar regions and contribute to improving the knowledge of biodiversity, marine mammals or glaciology and better understand Climate/Ecosystem/Man interactions.
Le Commandant-Charcot, the world’s first luxury polar exploration vessel. An hybrid propulsion combining liquefied natural gas (LNG) and electric generators.
Le Commandant-Charcot has been designed to minimise the environmental impact of travel in the furthest latitudes.
For the design and decoration of Le Commandant-Charcot, PONANT commissioned two internationally renowned architecture agencies, the studio of Jean-Philippe Nuel and Wilmotte & Associés.
The atmosphere of the ship is designed to be in harmony with the environment. The approach is contemporary creates a warm and elegant setting. Particular care is taken with the details and the choice of materials: stone, wood and leather. Lines are fluid, in coherence with a maritime signature and in perfect harmony with the light palette.
Length: ………………………………………………………………… 150 m
Width: ……………………………………………………………………. 28 m
Draught: ………………………………………………………………… 10 m
Ice Class: ………………………………………………………………… PC2
Propulsion: ………………………………… LNG & Hybrid Electric
Shipyard: ……………………………………………………………… VARD
Classification: ……………………………………….. Bureau Veritas
Flag: …………………………………………………………………… French
Crew members: ………………………………………………………. 190
Onboard expedition Zodiac® dinghies: ……………………. 16
Staterooms and Suites: …………. 135 (including 31 suites)
Panoramic Restaurant: ………………………………………………. 1
Grill Restaurant: …………………………………………………………. 1
Pool area: …………………………………………………………………… 2
(Indoor Pool and winter garden, Outdoor Pool)
Spa, Sauna, Fitness room: …………………………………………. 1
Public areas & Amenities:
LOBBY 177 sq.m / 1905 sq.ft – Reception/concierge desk, expeditions
desk, Hospitality & Travel Manager office, boutique, image & photo desk
• Main Lounge 302 sq.m – 3250 sq.ft and 28 sq.m – 301 sq.ft – Cigar
lounge – Afternoon tea, lounge, live music on selected evenings.
• Panoramic Bar and Lounge 400 sq.m – 4305 sq.ft – Capacity: 88
• Open-air Bar
• Gastronomic Restaurant 484 sq.m – 5209 sq.ft – Capacity: 284
Elegant main dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner serving
French and international cuisine, fine wine cellar.
• Grill Restaurant – Lido 320 sq.m – 3444 sq.ft – Outside capacity Grill: 62
Outside capacity Lido: 70 – Inside capacity: 150 Casual eating venue
for breakfast, buffet lunch and themed dinner
RECREATION / RELAXATION
• 16 Zodiac®
• Fitness & Beauty Corner: Fitness room: Elliptic, running machines,
bicycles… Beauty Corner: Hairdresser, Massage rooms, Sauna, SnowRoom, Nail Shop.
• Pool area: Indoor Pool and winter garden – Outdoor Pool
• Theatre: Capacity: 270-276 – Main show room for conferences and
live entertainment on selected evenings – State-of-the-art audio and
• Leisure area: Public areas – Library – Medical centre
With just 135 staterooms, all with balconies, including 68 suites with their own private terraces, the Le Commandant Charcot is fully in keeping with the PONANT philosophy: to provide a rare and exceptional ambiance for every passenger welcomed onboard and reinforce the feeling and sense of sailing on a private yacht.
- OWNER’S SUITE (115 sq.m +186 sq.m private terrace with hot tub – Balneo bathtub) /
(1237 sq.ft +2002 sq.ft private terrace with hot tub – Balneo bathtub)
- 4 DUPLEX SUITES (94 sq.m + 26 sq.m private terrace with hot tub – Balneo bathtub) / (1011 sq.ft + 279 sq.ft private terrace with hot tub – Balneo bathtub)
- 9 PRIVILEGE SUITES (48 sq.m + 12.5 sq.m private balcony – Balneo bathtub) / (516 sq.ft + 134.5 sq.ft private balcony – Balneo bathtub)
- 50 PRIVILEGE STATEROOMS (28 sq.m + 5 sq.m private balcony) / (301 sq.ft + 53 sq.ft private balcony)
- 17 PRESTIGE SUITES (40 sq.m + 10 sq.m private balcony) / (430 sq.ft + 107 sq.ft private balcony)
- 71 PRESTIGE STATEROOMS (20 sq.m + 5 sq.m private balcony) / (215 sq.ft + 53 sq.ft private balcony)
A historic endeavour. Never in history has an airship landed on the North Pole.
Route from Svalbard to 90° north. A 36-hrs expedition to one of the most
inaccessible place on Earth in the revolutionary Hybrid Airship: the Airlander.
OceanSky takes you on a pioneering expedition to land on the North Pole, as the first hybrid aircraft in history. A limited amount of tickets will be available for the true Pioneers of the world.
Journey to the North Pole with Robert Swan as Expedition Leader. Robert is a climate activist, arctic explorer and the first person to reach both the North and South Pole by foot.
The expedition will show that travel and transport by air can be sustainable. Lighter-than-air technology can supply humanity with ultra-efficient means of mobility, and operate in areas without infrastructure and civilization.
OceanSky was founded in 2014 after many years of research and investigation in the lighter than air sector. The management and founders have a substantial background in the aviation industry. This includes creating, starting and developing several airlines, developing and expanding market segments within the aviation industry and developing new concepts and groundbreaking technology developments.
Itinerary: Expeditions launching in 2023/2024 (Trip duration is 36 Hrs). Prices starts SEK (Swedish Krona) 900,000 (approximately USD 94,200) per person twin share
A two-way trip from Svalbard to the North Pole and back in the world’s largest flying vehicle – The Airlander 10.
OceanSky offers a unique itinerary to land with a hybrid aircraft on the North Pole. The crew and expedition leader have been handpicked for their Arctic experience, knowledge about the exceptional flying conditions of the North and prior work in exceptional high-end experiential travel.
Start point: Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Their staff will be there to welcome you.
The route and altitude will depend on the weather conditions and they will update you with the latest Arctic weather forecasts. They will then host a safety briefing before takeoff and the pilots will brief you about the selected route.
Longyearbyen is the world’s northernmost settlement of any kind with more than 1,000 permanent residents. From there they go north. Since they are looking for favorable tailwinds and also taking into account the chances of spotting polar bears, whales and rare wildlife, every route will be unique.
They aim to take the most scenic route northbound from Svalbard. Admire the view as they fly north over arctic icebergs towards one of the most remote places on the planet. Sit back and relax, enjoy the cuisine of our award-winning chef.
Once landed on the North Pole, you explore the landscape and terrain with their excellent guide. Their Expedition leader will educate climate and nature of the Arctic region and the ever-changing environment of the physical North Pole.
36 HOURS EXPEDITION
Transfer from the Hotel
Afternoon takeoff from the North Pole
Evening takeoff from Longyearbyen
15:OO – 19:OO
Panoramic Arctic sightseeing and wildlife spotting**
Airborne cocktail, dinner and introduction*
Airborne dinner, selected and prepared by our chef
Airborne polar breakfast
Evening cocktail and Arctic expedition lecture*
Landing on the North Pole
Landing at Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Arctic expedition leader instruction, security brief and outdoor activities
Breakfast on-board and debrief*
Polar Lunch in the snow
This sounds all too exciting, but we need answers and clarity on lot of parameters, since this has never been done in the past. Below compilation of Q&A will help you navigate through the process and help you visualise what to expect from this once in a lifetime experience.
HOW LONG IS THE FLIGHT AND TOTAL DURATION OF THE TRIP?
The flight from Svalbard to the North Pole and then back to Svalbard will be 36 hours, plus 1 hour before departure for boarding and 1 hour after for debriefing.
WHERE DOES THE JOURNEY BEGIN?
The adventure begins and ends in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, governed by the Kingdom of
HOW MANY NIGHTS ON-BOARD?
On OceanSky’s itinerary there will be 2 nights on-board for the flight from Svalbard to the
North Pole and back to Svalbard.
HOW LONG WILL WE STAY AT THE NORTH POLE?
We will land on the North Pole 09:00 in the morning and we will take-off again 15:00, so it
will be six hours on the North Pole. However, this might be different to specific chartered
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE NORTH POLE?
The arctic expedition leader will start with an instruction and a security brief. Then there will be outdoor activities and a polar lunch in the snow at noon.
You will learn how to survive in the Polar Regions and how the pioneers of discovery learned how to endure the harsh conditions of Arctic and managed to reach their goals.
You will first hand be told the stories of these pioneers, why they did it, how they did it and how you can survive in the most challenging climate on earth.
WHAT MAKES A HYBRID AIRCRAFT FLY?
OceanSky’s first experience will be performed in the Airlander 10, which is a hybrid aircraft.
A hybrid aircraft derives its lift from a combination of aerodynamic lift (like an aeroplane),
lifting gases (like an airship) and vectored thrust (similar to a helicopter).
Airlander generates up to 40% of its lift from aerodynamics by the passage of air over the hull and the remainder from buoyant lift from the helium. At lower speed and closer to the ground, vectoring engine power is used to provide additional lift and maneuverability for take-off, landing and ground handling.
So, in other words, the Airlander is a combination between an airship, an airplane and a
helicopter. What makes Airlander so efficient is that it uses the lifting gas helium to offset its weight, meaning the Airlander becomes very light compared to a conventional airplane. Its lightness makes it efficient.
WHEN WILL WE SEE AN AIRLANDER 10 FLYING?
Actually the first full size prototype was flying already in 2012. Back then under military flag.
However, in 2016 and 2017, the Airlander was test flown inside the Civil Aviation framework of EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency).
The OEM is working towards the type certified production aircraft. They are anticipating
aircraft in service from the early 2020s, with test flying to begin at some point before that.
The exact timeline is dependent on a variety of factors including orders, certification, and
build progress. OceanSky’s North Pole expedition is set for take-off 2023 or 2024.
WHERE WILL I STAY ON-BOARD THE HYBRID AIRSHIP?
The great hull you see in the pictures and videos are where the containment of the helium is. More than 90% of the volume of an airship is used for containing the lifting gas. The
passenger gondola is below the big round hull. The gondola is around 250m2 and holds the cockpit, living space and all the Horizon Cabins, which we call the private suites you as a passenger will be sleeping in.
HOW BIG IS THE CABIN?
The private Horizon Cabin overall area measures approximately 10m2, of which includes a
shower and bathroom and a small wardrobe.
HOW MANY CABINS ARE ON-BOARD?
There are 8 cabins on-board, each for 2 guests.
HOW MANY CREW MEMBERS ONBOARD?
There are 7 crew-members on-board, and could be one extra expedition leader/translator for certain charter flights. 4 of the 7 are pilots.
CAN I GET A TICKET FOR THE FIRST FLIGHT? ONE OF THE FIRST FLIGHTS?
Yes, it is possible. ADVENTURE ticket holders will be invited to upgrade to PIONEER
status on a later date. This includes the option to upgrade to the inaugural flight.
WHAT IS “PIONEER” PACKAGE?
Our PIONEER clients are the very first 100 travellers that join OceanSky to land on the North Pole in the first season. The PIONEER flights are the first 10 expeditions to the North Pole with OceanSky, including the inauguration flight.
The PIONEER reservations will be released on a later date. Only ADVENTURER ticket
holders will be given the opportunity to upgrade to PIONEER status. Get your ticket and
more info will come for the PIONEERS.
WHAT IS “ADVENTURER” PACKAGE?
Our ADVENTURER clients are the travellers that join OceanSky to land on the North Pole
during the first season but after the maiden voyage and after the 100-CLUB of PIONEERS on the first 10 expeditions, so from the 11th expedition and onwards all the ADVENTURERS will be on-board.
IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT?
Minimum age for booking is 18. There will be a few selected family-friendly departures that allow children of 11+ years on the expedition.
TALK TO ME ABOUT SAFETY?
The most critical phase of flight in aviation is take-off and landing. Imagine landing in 20kts instead of 120kts. Lower speed means improved safety.
Furthermore, the Airlander is designed and manufactured to the same standards of safety as every other aircraft. Airlander will have an EASA type certificate, and the OEM is approved by EASA to design and build aircraft.
Equally, in operations, OceanSky is subject to the same regulations as any other airline operating under the European commercial aviation framework. Aviation is regarded as having the most advanced safety culture of all transport modal industries.
WHO ARE THE GUESTS WHO BOOKED SO FAR?
They place the highest regards in confidentiality and keep their sensitive client lists private. But to say some things that unite their clients, they are:
- Shepherds of the earth, who are showing great passion, some are famous names and
world famous in their field
- High level officials
- Celebrities and influencers
- Companies and organisations that do good things for the world
- In general, the invitations go out to individuals and companies that are showing the will to explore and push the boundaries and find new ways of supporting and creating change.
HOW DO I GET AN INVITATION?
In order to apply for an invitation, please contact Experiential Travel Journeys Pvt. Ltd. based out of New Delhi, India and you do have to make them understand why you should be invited to take part of this historic endeavour. Then give them a few days to process your request.
OceanSky has selected Airlander 10 as our preferred aircraft. The Airlander 10 is unlike any other aircraft. It is the world’s largest flying vehicle and it uses innovative technology to combine the best characteristics of fixed-wing airplanes, helicopters and static lift by helium. The combination creates a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft with abilities to explore the Arctic in a completely new way.
Width: 43,5 m (143 ft)
Height: 26 m (85 ft)
Length: 98 m (321 ft)
Volume: 38,000 m3
Endurance: 3 days
Altitude: up to 10,000 ft (3.000 m)
Typical speed: 20-60 knots (37-111 km/h)
Payload capacity: up to 10.000 kg (22,050 lbs)
Passengers on the Airlander 10 can enjoy luxurious, private en-suite bedrooms and horizon-to-horizon views in the aircraft’s Infinity Lounge. The Altitude Bar will offer drinks with the ultimate view, and guests can enjoy fine dining in the skies.
Compared to an airplane cabin the quality of air inside our non-pressurized cabin is of much higher quality in every sense. Breathe easy, sleep deep. Easier on your eyes and skin and your taste buds savour food and wine better.
The possibilities of design and choices of materials set new standards for excellence in air travel.
OceanSky flies up to 6000ft on the passenger version of Airlander 10. This is about 2000 meters and therefore there is no need for a pressurized cabin.
An unpressurized cabin gives you the possibility to have amazing panorama windows and glass floors. Things that wouldn’t be possible in a jet aircraft. OceanSky will normally fly between 1000ft and 3000ft, and the only reason to climb higher is to catch a more favorable wind, as the wind turns clockwise when ascending.
VIDEO ON THEIR 2016 TEST FLIGHT:
– Amit Kalsi, Private Travel Designer