Conquering the Arctic: How to Get to the North Pole and What You Can See There
A place where coordinates do not exist and in all directions – only the south, where white reigns supreme in nature, and under your feet, wherever you stand, only drifting ice and several kilometers of crystal clear and cold ocean under it, the North Pole is one of the most hard-to-reach points of our planet.
Such exclusivity simply could not hide from the attention of meticulous tourists and travel agents hurrying to help them (and to their profit) – the North Pole is today the undisputed favorite of travelers with “inquiries”. And there is a reason for this fanaticism: you can surf the planet far and wide, but if you have not stood at one of its two main “navels”, then you have not seen everything yet.
But the North Pole is not just a showcase. It is here that you understand the greatness of our planet so unfairly hammered by civilization, the power of unconquered nature, and the ringing sound of absolute silence. Therefore, today we will tell you what’s at the North Pole and what you can do in this magical place.
Where Is the North Pole?
Formally speaking, the North Pole is a virtual point through which the Earth’s axis of rotation passes, located in the central part of the Arctic Ocean. Along with the South Pole, this is one of two iconic points for our planet, practically the crown of the world. How big is the North Pole? In total, it is almost 2 million square kilometers. In general, there is nothing to the north of the North Pole since you are heading south. Exact North Pole coordinates are difficult to establish since the concept of geographic longitude is absent here because all meridians converge at the pole. And the formal coordinates of the North Pole, by which the tourist “credit” is determined – stood at the pole – 90 ° north latitude. Likewise, there is no time zone here, so travelers who arrive at the Pole enjoy the exclusive privilege of living at home time.
Among the amazing features of the North Pole are polar day and night for six months, when the sun either does not set below the horizon or, on the contrary, does not appear for six months. And it is here that you understand the significance of the Pole Star for travelers of all times and peoples – at the North Pole, it is exactly at its zenith.
North Pole Climate
The best time for north pole tourism is from April to September. Most cruises leave there in June-July.
The air temperature at the North Pole in summer (which coincides with the Russian one, since it is the same hemisphere) is about 0 ° C, no matter how surprising it may seem. The surrounding Arctic Ocean does not cool below -2 ° C and serves as a thermostat for land. On some days, the temperature can rise to +2 ° C or drop slightly – up to -2 …- 4 ° C. Even in spring the temperature does not drop below -10 ° C.
In winter, it is from -25 ° C to -45 ° C, but tourists should not worry about this, since the winter months are “busy” by professional researchers and extreme travelers.
What Is on the North Pole
According to one Arctic explorer, at the North Pole, you look inward. And this is very similar to the truth, north pole scenery monotonous landscape of eternal ice, snowy plains stretching beyond the horizon and not a single settlement in the terrestrial north pole for the next seven hundred kilometers – all this makes you look philosophically at the world and the place of man in it.
However, for more pragmatic tourists, there are also “clues” for the eyes. The most important thing is that the only official owners of these territories are polar bears. They do not go directly to the center of the North Pole, but within a radius of 50 km, it is quite possible to meet a couple. With a certain amount of luck, seals, arctic foxes, and polar birds can also be seen.
And in the North Pole, everyday life is extremely interesting. Barneo Polar Camp, consisting of modest tents, a legendary pole indicating the distances to popular world capitals, an unusual but well-established infrastructure – a dining room, toilets, etc. – all this creates a unique atmosphere of an exceptional place on the planet.
Types of Tours to the North Pole
In terms of ways of arriving at the North Pole, the top of the Earth is practically no different from other tourist destinations in the world. Getting to the north pole can be by the ocean – onboard an icebreaker, flying to the north pole is also possible by landing from a helicopter or by land – by skiing or dog sledding.
Things to Do in the North Pole
Learn Interesting Stories from Tour Guides
While driving to the north pole of the expedition vessel, the guides talk about interesting facts related to the Arctic, about the north pole station, and the landing sites for travelers. You will learn how and at what time the Pomors discovered certain Arctic islands. Expedition guides will tell you more about what is in the north pole, the climate, flora, and fauna of the Arctic.
Explore New Uncharted Shores
Almost all tours to the North Pole involve landing on the coastal part of the islands. They get to the shore with the help of the inflatable boats “Zodiac “, which are distinguished by their strength and reliability. On some shore tours, you can not only get to know the cultural heritage of the Arctic but also visit meteorological and research stations. And in Tikhaya Bay on Hooker Island, you can even send a postcard by visiting your local post office.
Observe Untouched Wildlife
The routes to the North Pole are laid in such a way that you can see the most interesting places, be able to observe animals and birds. Landings are organized depending on the weather and ice conditions. Under favorable conditions, you can explore the coast, sail on boats along the glacier and watch the passing icebergs.
The shores offer a breathtaking panoramic view of the unspoiled arctic nature. You can make discoveries without leaving the ship. The open decks are a great place to watch sea birds accompanying the vessel: kittiwakes, skuas, fulmars. If you are lucky, you may see a whale or a seal, which usually appears completely unexpectedly.
Meet the Locals
If you are still wondering what is at the North Pole, then how about an excursion to the place of residence of the indigenous peoples who inhabit the coastal part of the Arctic? One of them is a settlement of reindeer herders in Chukotka, near the village of Egvekinot.
Popular North Pole Places
Due to the vast territories, it is simply impossible to explore the entire Arctic. But still, there are places accessible for people to visit. Arctic tourism is not massive, but it occupies a stable niche. The number of tourists visiting the islands and archipelagos of the Arctic is growing every year.
There are 192 islands here, the most visited of which are Champa, Galla, Norbruka, and others. Tikhaya Bay is also popular: it keeps the memory of the era of Arctic exploration. On the most popular routes in the Arctic, you will find islands with bird colonies, walrus rookeries, and even whales.
Reminder for Tourists
The most important rule is that tours to the North Pole must be booked a year or six months before departure. It is possible later, but there may not be places, and if they are available, the trip will have to be paid for immediately, and not in installments. So if you are lucky enough to find a suitable tour in the north pole, then take this trip seriously, because, perhaps, this is the journey of your whole life.
What else should you remember and what rules should you follow when visiting a specially protected natural area? We will tell you below.
Travel Itinerary Subject to Change
Do not be surprised if the actual course of the expedition differs from the declared program. Arctic weather conditions are variable, so activities and durations can also vary. Where and when to go, the captain and the team of the expedition decide. However, tourists need not worry: a 24-hour polar day will allow them to enjoy all the beauties of the Arctic and get a lot of impressions;
Can You Walk on the North Pole?
Considering that the North Pole is a frozen ocean, walking is quite dangerous. Therefore, it is better not to go to unknown places on your own, as you risk falling into ice water.
There Will Be Experts and Experienced Instructors on the Journey
They will share knowledge about the nature of the polar region and historical information. And you will not be lost with them – professionals in their field know how to survive even in harsh conditions;
Special Conditions and Additional Services Are Possible
If the tour involves long hiking or skiing, spending the night in the homes of indigenous people, you need to bring personal hygiene items, an individual first aid kit, repellents, warm clothes, and a personal sleeping bag. More complete recommendations are given by managers depending on the specifics of the tour.
Now you know what’s in the North Pole and we advise you to take a closer look at this incredible place and go for one of the brightest journeys in your life.
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