Because the Borneo Ice Station is a Russian station, Russian guide companies take advantage of its blue ice runway and relatively “civilized” accommodations, offering a unique variety of North Pole experiences. North Pole Adventures, under the management of director Sergei Insarov, sponsors the following one-of-a-kind events.
- $14,750 per person – One Day Group Trip (10 to 40 people)
The price covers all expenses Moscow to Moscow, with a choice of intermediate points along with way: Murmansk, Archangelsk, Vorkuta, Norilsk, Khatanga, or the archipelagos. This is not your choice, though – the organizers choose the stop-off points, depending on weather and convenience factors.
You will be flown to the ice station and then, if all goes well, you will continue by helicopter to the North Pole. Your “guides” will use a GPS to locate the Pole, drive a stake (“terrestrial axis”) into the ice at that location, surround it with flags representing all participants of the current tour, and then photograph you “hugging” the axis. You will then be served vodka, champagne, sandwiches, vegetables, and fruit. They caution, “Everything but vodka freezes quickly, so toasts should be short.” After 2 to 4 hours, you return to the ice base, board your plane, and immediately leave for Moscow where you’ll have a banquet and be awarded a North Pole visitation certificate. However, NP Adventures mentions that delays at the ice station can occur for various reasons, in which case you will be accommodated in warm tents, and tea, coffee and hot food will be made available.
Hot Air Balloon Festival - Swedish engineer and explorer, Salomon Andrée’s ill-fated 1897 attempt to reach the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon was commemorated 100 years later, when the first North Pole Hot Air Balloon Festival was held. Every April since then, balloon teams gather at the Pole from all over the world. Sponsors are often sought for these flights – company logos are attached to balloons which are photographed flying over the Pole, anchored securely to the terrestrial axis. The fee covers your expenses from Moscow to Moscow, and ideally, this is a one day visit to the Pole, although you may have to wait at the ice base for good weather. Cost: $14,750 per person + $14,750 per balloon
North Pole Honeymoon Trip – For a truly unique honeymoon experience, this trip covers your Moscow to Moscow expenses and offers double-occupancy in a tent either at the North Pole or at the Borneo Ice Station for any length of time between April 10-25. “Food, drinks, and privacy” are included in the cost. If you’d like this experience but are not married or married before 2007, the cost is $29,500 (per couple) for a one week stay. Cost: $14,750 (per couple) for April 2008 newlyweds; $16,200 if married earlier in 2008; $26,500 if married in 2007.
Other Opportunities For $14,750
Ice Sculpture Festival – Cost covers all expenses Moscow to Moscow. You and other sculptors will stay 3 to7 days at the North Pole. Ice and snow blocks will be pre-cut for you, and you may choose the location for your sculpture. Accommodations are warm tents and dinners. At the end of the week, a new group of tourists arrives, and will photograph your sculpture “for posting on the Internet!” Returning from the North Pole, your plane will stop in the Russian town of Khatanga, where you are asked to participate in group ice sculpture projects for the local population.
Pilot the Pole – You and nine other passengers take turns at the controls of a Antonov-2 biplane for a 5-minute “around the world” flight, supervised by an NP Adventures co-pilot.
Booze at the Pole – North Pole Adventures calls this their Plus-minus 40 Degrees trip, “for those who can appreciate hard drinks not freezing even at minus 40 degrees Centigrade.” Your group will be flown from Moscow to the Borneo Ice Station and then on to the North Pole, where you will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to drink as much vodka as you possibly can at the top of the world. Pickled cabbage and other vodka-appropriate snacks are served. Your “guides” will then help you back onto the helicopter for what may prove to be a truly nauseating 40-minute flight back to Borneo. Once there, you vomit copiously, board your plane, and return to Moscow, with a world-class hangover and a sheepish grin on your face.
All European Polar Weekend – Advertised for “Europeans and people all over the world,” this promises to be a highly social polar experience. You and 154 others leave in a big jet from Frankfurt, Germany. Passengers are then shuttled, by helicopters, to the Pole and back. Much vodka is served, many pictures are taken, and the terrestrial axis is enthusiastically hugged.
Fly For Free!
North Pole Adventures proves its creativity and we’ll-try-anything nature by offering free passage to the North Pole to anyone who can provide them with at least ten full-paying customers.