To travel by powerful icebreaker into the forbidden reaches of the far north is a journey like no other. To stand on the bridge of this mighty machine as it plunges deep into the polar icecap is a truly awe-inspiring experience that leaves the voyager with memories to last several lifetimes.
Even the most vivid and lucid descriptions cannot do full justice to powerful imagery of a first-hand experience. We’ve all read accounts of the early explorers and even seen breathtakingly realistic recreations on the big screen, but until you’ve been there, it is all a merely a dream.
In our thirty years of designing adventure expeditions for the modern traveller, our Arctic explorations continue to draw unprecedented interest, and for good reason. Try to imagine 24,000 horsepower thrusting the 12,000 tonne vessel against the otherwise unyielding polar ice cap. The hardened steel hull, nearly thick, literally crushes the dense ice pack beneath its irresistible weight. The noise of this conflict is incredible as ice, sometimes up to [??] metres thick, splits apart amid sharp, artillery-like cracks, grudgingly giving way to the progress of the determined Kapitan Khlebnikov.
The Kapitan Khlebnikov has become the flagship of polar cruises. Capable of carrying 112 passengers, it has racked up an impressive list of feats at both ends of the world, including the first vessel to carry passengers on a circumnavigation of Antarctica and the farthest south by any vessel.
During the brief frenzy of the northern summer, the Kapitan Khlebnikov will run four superb journeys for Adventure Associates encompassing Russia’s seldom visited and remote Far East, vast Greenland, Amundsen’s Route through the unforgiving Northwest Passage and Canada’s high Arctic. The most difficult decision you will have to make is which journey to embark on.
Each journey has its own unique benefits and features.
Explore the archaeology, culture and natural history of Russia's Far East - a remote world on the edge of the Arctic pack ice. Only a fully classed icebreaker is powerful enough to tackle these ice-choked waters. Thrill at historic sites of early exploration, visit some of the world's most northerly peoples, and be among the few to ever have visited Wrangel Island, a world famous nature reserve surrounded by the formidable ice of the East Siberian Sea. Our program is scheduled at the height of summer, the best time to appreciate the wildlife and wander across the tundra.
The quest for a Northwest Passage that would connect the great Atlantic and Pacific Oceans began in the 16th century. This remarkable voyage of exploration will bring alive the endeavors of those who charted the Arctic: Sir John Franklin, Leopold McClintock, Roald Amundsen and many more who faced the challenging climate and ice pack on their quests of discovery. The Kapitan Khlebnikov navigates ice-choked channels, narrow straits and little-explored waterways on this exciting cruise of exploration.
The High Arctic
Explore the High Arctic of Canada and Greenland, a region of towering mountains, glaciers and protected fjords surrounded by dense pack ice. On this unique voyage, made possible only by our polar-class icebreaker, you call at some of the world's northernmost communities and explore 4,000-year-old archaeological sites. This is the land of the Inuit explored by Sir John Franklin, Robert Peary, Otto Sverdrup and Adolphus Greely. We also keep watch for polar bears, musk ox, Arctic hare and the elusive walrus that inhabit this icy paradise.
TANQUERAY FJORD, ELLESMERE ISLAND
This unique voyage will take you to the stunning glaciers and valleys of Tanquary Fjord, explore the coasts of Ellesmere Island, and call on some of the most remote communities in the world. During the brief summer months, the vegetation here is transformed as saxifrage, Arctic cotton and Arctic willow flourish. We venture to within some 500 miles of the geographic North Pole, and look forward to first-hand sightings of polar bears, musk ox herds, Arctic hares, seals, and the elusive walrus that inhabit this icy paradise.
The crowning jewel in any northern polar journey is a voyage to the North Pole itself. In order to achieve this feat, we employ the absolute pinnacle of icebreaker technology, the immensely powerful and sophisticated, Yamal.
With a displacement of 23,000 tons and a mind-boggling 75,000 total horsepower, the Yamal is one of a very few elite vessels capable of undertaking such a journey.
Assisted by constantly updated satellite ice maps and visual inspections by helicopter, the Yamal often attains speeds of 12 knots amongst the treacherous polar ice flows, reaching the North Pole in about three days.
Not simply an ice-crushing exercise, you will experience shore excursions by either or both helicopter and zodiac in Franz Joseph Land as well as time ashore in Spitsbergen.