Top of the World North Pole Cruise

Written by Anna Schneider
Last updated on 23rd Aug 2018
north pole cruise, Russia tour

Get on board for the ultimate North Pole adventure. Nothing compares to experiencing the untamed grandeur of the Arctic quite like seeing its majestic landscapes unfold from the deck of a state-of-the-art nuclear icebreaker. Imagine endless expanses of ice under the polar midnight sun. Pristine waters teeming with marine life. Prowling polar bears in the tundra. This is Mother Nature at her breathtaking best.

From Murmansk, Russia, you’ll embark the icebreaker 50 Years of Victory for a roundtrip voyage to the earth’s geographic North Pole. Our mighty vessel will plough its way through the frozen Arctic Ocean on a cruise that literally circumnavigates the globe in a matter of days. In addition to the exhilaration of cruising to the very apex of the earth, passengers will have the extraordinary privilege to land, via helicopter, on the scarcely visited Russian Arctic archipelago of Franz Josef Land, a remote wilderness home to an incredible abundance of wildlife.

NORTH POLE CRUISE HIGHLIGHTS

  • After 7 days of cruising from Murmansk, we’ll arrive at the geographic North Pole, the place where all meridians meet and the only direction is south. To celebrate our successful mission to the top of the world, we’ll ceremoniously drop anchor and disembark on a sturdy stretch of ice for the ‘International Round Dance’ – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to literally walk around the world!
  • Franz Josef Land: Weather permitting, we’ll spend two days exploring this uninhabited archipelago, one most pristine Arctic habitats on earth. Made up  of192 islands, glaciers cover 85% of the land, carving out a spectacular terrain of steep valleys, caves and pinnacles

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Franz Josef Land and Svalbard Cruise

Written by Anna Schneider
Last updated on 27th Aug 2018
Franz Josef Land cruise Arctic Cruise Russia

This extraordinary Franz Josef Land cruise is as unique and authentic as the place itself. Franz Josef Land, part of the Russian Arctic National Park, is a nature sanctuary. Starting in Longyearbyen in the Norwegian territory of Svalbard, the Sea Spirit cruise ship crosses the icy, wildlife-rich Barents Sea to the Russian High Arctic. This remote wilderness is home to a variety of wildlife, including polar bears. In the surrounding icy waters, it is possible to spot seals, walruses, and the elusive bowhead whale. The archipelago also hosts an abundance of nesting Arctic seabirds such as the rare ivory gull.

Franz Josef Land and Svalbard Cruise Trip Highlights:

  • Upon our arrival in Franz Josef Land, we’ll spend a week exploring this uninhabited archipelago. We’ll navigate the shallow waters of the isles by Zodiac and make as many on-shore landings as possible. Made up of 192 islands, glaciers cover 85% of the land, carving out a spectacular terrain of steep valleys, caves and pinnacles
  • Our mission during our time in Franz Josef Land is to observe (sometimes at an extremely close range) the iconic Arctic animal species that call the islands home, including polar bears, walruses, beluga whales and narwhals

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Reindeer Migration with the Nenets in Yamal

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 23rd Aug 2018
Reindeer herders migration Nenets of Yamal Peninsula, Russian Festivals

As the world gets smaller, there’s a desire to travel further – and there are few places as enchantingly far away as the Yamal Peninsula. This cultural tour transports you deep into Siberia’s isolated Arctic region. ‘Yamal’ means ‘edge of the world’ in the language of the indigenous Nenets. The Nenets of Yamal carve out a unique way of life, seemingly at the limits of human tolerance. Each spring, the Nenets migrate from winter pastures on the Russian mainland to the summer pastures in the Arctic Circle, a one-way journey of up to 1,000km. This is your chance to experience a small part of this epic journey alongside these extraordinarily resilient people. This is a remarkable extraordinary opportunity to get to know one of the world’s last true nomadic reindeer herders through their eyes.

Reindeer Migration TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Salekhard is the only city in the world located right at the Polar Circle. Among the highlights on our tour of the city is the Shemanovskiy Yamal-Nenets District Museum, which includes an exhibition on mammoth remains found in the region
  • From Salekhard, we’ll board an all-terrain vehicle for a drive for up to six hours over the frozen surface of the River Ob to Yar-Sale village. The river is the only way to access the village – either by boat in summer or by driving the ice in winter

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Lake Baikal Photography Expedition

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 22nd Aug 2018
Lake Baikal Photography Tour

This Lake Baikal Photography Tour will grant intrepid photographers the honour of focusing their lenses on some of Siberia’s most famously beautiful frozen landscapes. Summer sees the bulk of tourist activity in the area, but it’s in winter that the most devoted photographers make the pilgrimage, hoping to capture once-in-a-lifetime images of the natural world at its most powerful and surreal.

Trip Highlights:

  • Climb to the top of Khoboy Cape for a breathtaking panoramic view showing the true scale of Siberia’s “inland sea”. The cape contains a labyrinth of grottoes where sunlight dances off ceilings jagged with icy stalactites
  • Khorin-Igri Bay: an ideal spot to photograph the natural phenomenon of frozen bubbles under Lake Baikal, rising to the surface in perfect discs suspended in the clear, dark water
  • Budun Cape is a rugged natural monument surrounded by shard-like ice mounds. An unreal sight with a huge variety of shapes, lines and geometry allowing for some creative perspectives

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Wrangel Island Cruise - An Arctic Expedition

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 23rd Aug 2018
Wrangel island cruise expedition with polar bear, Wrangel island tour

Cruise to Wrangel Island, an area 140km off the northeast coast of Siberia, separated from northern Alaska by the Chukchi Sea. For 10 frozen months of the year, this lonely wilderness is completely cut off from the outside world. Reaching Wrangel and braving its polar climate is not for the faint of heart. Only the most dedicated nature lovers make the journey – but the rewards are without parallel. There is simply no better destination than to meet the wild denizens of the Arctic up-close, virtually undisturbed by human interference, and in numbers that will simply astound you.

Wrangel Island Expedition Cruise HIGHLIGHTS

  • Whale Bone Alley is the name given to a beach on Yttygran Island in the Bering Sea. Landing on the beach, you’ll take in the haunting atmosphere of this ancient site, where gigantic whalebones appear to sprout out of the ground, stretching along the coast for nearly half a kilometre
  • Uelen, the most northeasterly village in Russia, home to a predominantly Chukchi population. The village is one of the foremost centres for Chukchi and Inuit art. On our visit, we’ll be entertained by local folklore and a visit to the bone-carving workshops

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Kamchatka Photography Expedition

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 22nd Aug 2018
Kamchatka Bears, Kamchatka photography tour

On this 2-week Kamchatka photography tour designed especially for landscape, nature and wildlife photography enthusiasts. Stay on the shores of the iconic Kurilskoye Lake and take part in some of the best brown bear photo opportunities as the bears gorge themselves during the annual salmon run. Hike to the summits of some of Kamchatka’s active volcanoes for thrilling shots of steaming vents, acid lakes, and smoking craters. Your aim is to return to “Earth” with images of alien landscapes and wild nature worthy of the pages of National Geographic. Our Kamchatka photography tour suits all the professional and amateur photographers, as well as active and adventurous travellers. No prior mountain climbing experience is required, but a decent level of fitness is strongly recommended.

Kamchatka Photography Tour HIghlights

  • Brace yourself for a bone-rattling journey on a Russian 6WD all-terrain vehicle on a road tracing the western coast of Kamchatka (complete with river crossing) to isolated Pauzhetka village. Pauzhhetka is a tiny settlement between the Sea of Okhost and Kuril Lake, surrounded on all sides by towering volcanoes
  • Fly to Kurilskoye Lake via helicopter for a two day shooting and photo workshopping season among the brown bears who gather at the lake in large numbers during the salmon season To get the best chance of heart-stopping close encounters and amazing photos ops, we’ll watch the bears on land and on boat, staying overnight in log cabins close to the lake shore
  • Russkaya Bay Cruise: Set sail from the capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and explore the wildlife-rich waters of Russkaya Bay and the Starichkov Island seabird capital. Try your hand shooting marine mammals including whales and seals and enjoy a lunch of freshly caught seafood

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Lake Baikal Ice Adventure

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 5th Sep 2018
Lake Baikal Ice Adventure

Our Lake Baikal Ice Adventure tour takes place during late February and March. The beginning of spring in the Baikal region, at this time of year, the temperature climbs above zero, but the surface of the lake is still largely frozen, covered by solid winter ice so clear you can see rocks and other objects at the bottom of the lake as far as 40m below. During spring, Baikal receives few visitors compared to the summer high season, allowing you to feel an inspiring sense of isolation and communion with undisturbed nature during this handcrafted 6-day tour. Be amazed by the frozen beauty of the world’s oldest and deepest lake and experience real-life walking on water. We’ve included a few activities exclusive to the cooler months such as ice skating, ice rafting and ice golf to add a sprinkle of spills and thrills to this thoroughly enjoyable adventure.

Lake Baikal Ice adventure Highlights

  • Embark on an over-ice expedition by 4WD to Olkhon Island, the largest of Lake Baikal’s islands and the centre of shamanic energy for the Buryat people. Spend two nights on the island and discover pristine beaches, craggy capes and untouched Siberian forests 
  • While on Olkhon Island, participate in a round of special activities for Baikal’s ‘ice travellers’. Take your pick from ice golf, tube riding or ice skating, or just head out on to the ice for a once-in-a-lifetime photo shoot! 

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About 56th Parallel

56th Parallel is a travel company specialising in providing packaged tours and travel services in Russia.

Our goal is to redefine travel to Russia, focusing on creating the most rewarding experiences, which help travellers unfolds the soul of this exciting destination.

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