Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Russian Icebreaker Brings Fuel To Nome Alaska

I was just reading this article about plans for a Russian tanker, capable of plowing through 4 feet thick ice, to bring heating oil, gasoline and diesel to Nome. A huge storm kept the last fuel barge to Nome from making port. The way things stand now, fuel shortage could be a real problem within a couple of months. If things go as planned, the Russian tanker should be in Nome by the end of December.

This article made me think of a trip that is on my bucket list: the North Pole. Several companies offer this trip but the actual logistics is the same no matter what company you book with. The trip starts in Helsinki and then you take a charter flight to Murmansk, Russia. There you board the ship "50 Years of Victory" and set sail for the North Pole. On the way back, the ship passes the islands and archipelagos of the Russian Arctic, hoping to see polar bears, walruses and arctic birds.

A very expensive trip, with fares ranging from about $22,000 to over $30,000 per person, all shore excursions, by helicopter, are included.

However, as if this isn't expensive enough, there is plenty that is not included, such as the mandatory charter round trip flight between Helsinki and Murmansk, bar and beverage charges on board and (discretionary) tips.

Next time I have a spare $60,000, I'll think about booking this trip.

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