A Visit from a Russian Icebreaker — Franz Josef Land

Toward the end of our cruise, this 75,000 horsepower, Russian nuclear icebreaker on lease to the company that ran our trip met up with us.  The I/B 50 Years of Victory is making three trips this year to the North Pole.  It offers 124 people the chance to actually go to the North Pole and then fly over it on the ship-based helicopter.

We came bow to bow with the ship as their passengers and staff greeted our passengers and staff.  Many of the crew on our ship knew many of the crew on the icebreaker as they have worked on both our ship and the icebreaker.

Our captain went out in front of the bridge to greet the “50 Years of Victory”.

(Photo courtesy of ship’s photographer.)

Cabins on this 13-day trip start at $29,950 per person.  I won’t be doing this one!

The only settlement that existed in Franz Josef Land is at Cape Norvegia on Hooker Island.  It was a former Russian research station.  It existed from 1913-1960.  Now the only people in Franz Josef Land is the military base on Alexander Land Island and a few people who are on Hooker Island during the short summer renovating the old research station.

I mailed my grandson a post card from here.  Something I started when he was in kindergarten and have continued.  He is going to be in the 8th grade this year.  He’s organized all of them into a loose leaf binder.  The rangers also had hot tea brewing for us here, as well.

One of the highlights of the trip was the polar plunge.  Water temperature was 30 degrees Fahrenheit.  Twenty-one intrepid folks got a rope around the waist before diving or jumping into the Arctic Ocean and then quickly, very quickly, returning to the zodiac and up the ladder to the ship.

No….I wasn’t one of them!

One more blog post and I’ll wrap up this trip.  Thanks for reading.




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1 Response to A Visit from a Russian Icebreaker — Franz Josef Land

  1. Bill McDonald says:

    Great stuff Ron – Soooo very interesting – thank you for including me

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