Next year 2011, Quark Expeditions will celebrate its 20th anniversary by returning to the Arctic area. In 1991, two of its expeditions included one of the North Pole and the first ever passenger transit of the Northeast Passage. From June 23 to July 7, 2011, the cruise line will journey back to the North Pole and through the Northeast Passage July 10 to September 13, 2011.
Quark's first Arctic expedition cruise to the North Pole was onboard the nuclear-powered icebreaker, Sovetsky Soyuz. Next year, 50 Years of Victory will take passengers to 90°N. A sister ship, Victory can produce 75,000 horsepower, having reduced a six-day transit to four and a half on her maiden voyage to the North Pole.
Thirty years ago, passenger travel of the Northeast Passage was not possible as foreign visitors were forbidden to sail the freight route through the Russian Arctic. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Quark acquired Sovetsky Soyuz to sail the northern route from Europe to Asia. In 2011, Kapitan Khlebnikov, Quark's flaship ship will take guests through the Northeast Passage.
Guests can embark on one of three segments of the cruise. Segments are schedule from 21 to 28 days of the total 66-day circumnavigation. The staging point for the circumnavigation and the Northeast Passage is Anchorage, Alaska. The Northeast Passage will disembark in Murmansk, Russia, and the full circumnavigation will disembark in Anadyr, Russia. During the trip, travelers will have the chance to visit Spitsbergen, Greenland, and the Canadian Arctic's Northwest Passage.