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North Pole as a Travel Destination
April 23, 2008 15:55

Not so long ago a new tendency appeared in tourism: instead of having a rest in a noisy crowd at a hot beach people seek quietness and isolation, seek those few places on the planet where mobile phones do not work, where there are no artificially created things, and where no one can draw you away from enjoying wild nature.

The North Pole is that very place kingdom of the snow, ice and silence. It might seem that there is nothing to do here: it is an absolutely inane space without animals or any excursion objects. However, it gives people a special feeling of being at the top of the planet and conquering the world which is literary under your feet.

This place has always been a desired destination to reach. Nowadays it is easy to get to the North Pole from Moscow within 12 hours, including transfers and the time between the flights. It takes four hours to get to the Svalbard archipelago, then two hours to get to the Russian Barneo field camp which is located 150 kilometres away from the North Pole. Barneo camp annually opens in early April and for a month-time becomes the main scientific and tourist centre in the Arctic. In April here the weather is rather mild for these latitudes only 25-30 C below zero. It is also possible to go to the North Pole at the end of summer in August, but only by an icebreaker.

Visa is not needed to visit this land which means that it is possible to start getting ready for the trip any time, but there might be a problem with buying plane tickets due to a considerable number of people are willing to get to the North Pole and they normally book the tickets in advance.

Travel to the top of the world is usually combined with excursions around the other Arctic places, for instance, around the Svalbard archipelago. Here travellers can enjoy the northern flora and fauna, white bears and other animals, fancy rocks and red sandstone soil. Here it is also possible to buy one of the most expensive and traditional North Pole souvenirs white bears skin the cost of which is roughly equal to the cost of the trip.

Every April around 500 people visit the North Pole. The Russian station is the only in these latitudes, but the number of foreign tourists here is higher than the number of Russian ones: up to 80% of all guests are scientists and travellers from abroad. Now tourism in the North Pole is developing. The majority of travellers visiting this place are scientists, skiers, sportsmen, and various showmen going to the North Pole with a purpose of self-advertising.

However, in perspective the Association of Polar Explorers together with tour operators to send up to 2500-3000 tourists to the North Pole. Though, this destination will hardly ever become a most visited one due to the prices for the tours start from US$10 thousand. According to the tour operators, tourists usually do not buy such tours themselves it is normally a present for a jubilee or some other special occasion made by colleagues or relatives.


Lavrentyeva Natalya


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