Passports And Visas
A valid passport is required for all international travel. While it is not necessary for citizens of the United States to obtain a visa to enter Finland and Norway, a visa and other paperwork are required to enter Russia. Cost for a 30-day visa is $131.
You can find flights to the North Pole through American, Norwegian, British, or Australian guide services, flying out of Longyearbyen, or Russian tour groups, flying from Moscow. All tours land on the blue ice runway at the Russian research base, Ice Station Borneo, located at 89°N.
North Pole in a Day - This tour is open to people of “any age and any health condition.” You fly from either Moscow or Longyearbyen to Ice Station Borneo. From there, you board a helicopter and fly about 40 minutes to the North Pole. You are allowed about two hours on the ground to take pictures, build a snowman, or “hug the terrestrial axis” – a pole that Russian tour operators install in the ice for that purpose. You then return to Borneo for lunch, champagne, and your return flight. Cost: $17,600 to $18,000.
Overnight at Borneo - You fly to Ice Station Borneo and, weather permitting, you immediately board a helicopter and fly to the North Pole where you spend about two hours on the ground. You return to Borneo for a celebratory dinner, spend the night in heated tents (sleeping on bunks and mattresses), and then fly home the next morning. Cost: $18,500.
Two Days at Borneo - You fly to Borneo, immediately take a helicopter to the Pole, spend 2 hours there, return to Borneo, and stay for two more days at the ice station. You will live in heated accommodation tents, sleep in bunks with mattresses, eat good food and socialize with other tourists and adventurers. Cost: $18,900 to $19,500.
Overnight at the Pole - You fly to Borneo, spend the night, and then fly by helicopter to the North Pole. Once there, your guides will set up camp and everyone will help cook an evening meal on camp stoves. There will be champagne and hot drinks, along with warm sleeping bags, provided by the guide service. The next morning, a helicopter will return you to Borneo where you will have lunch, and then leave by plane for home. Cost: $23,300 to $24,000.
Six-day Visit - This British-sponsored trip flies from London to Longyearbyen to Ice Station Borneo. You take a helicopter directly to the North Pole, stay an hour, and then return to Borneo where you relax at the Ice Station for four more days, socializing and sightseeing before returning by plane to London. Cost: $24,000.
Over Land – Ski Trips
3-hour Ski to the Pole - You fly to the Borneo Ice Station, have lunch and dinner in the dining tent, and sleep in heated “accommodation tents” (with bunk beds). The next day, you have a 35-minute helicopter flight to within 3-5 km of the Pole. Your group skis “slowly” for 3 hours to the North Pole where you set up camp and spend the night. The next day, a helicopter picks you up and returns you to Borneo for a champagne lunch, followed by your plane flight back to Longyearbyen. Cost: $24,750 to $26,800.
2-day Ski to the Pole - Your first day is spent at the Borneo Ice Station, getting used to your equipment and skis. You will sleep in expedition tents, but will be close to Borneo where you can pop in for a hot cup of tea in the dining tent, if you’d like. The next day, a 30-minute helicopter flight takes you within 10-15 km of the North Pole. Your group will ski about 6-7 hours, set up camp, and sleep in tents on the ice. The next day, you’ll continue to ski, reaching the Pole by afternoon. You camp there overnight, make a satellite phone call to a loved one, build a snowman, etc. and you’re picked up the next day and flown, by helicopter, back to Borneo for a champagne dinner. You leave that evening by plane, for Longyearbyen. Cost: $27,250.