This winter passengers can follow in the footsteps of the great Arctic adventurers and set sail aboard the Arctic Explorer in Northern Sweden, an icebreaker vessel that can cut through ice more than a foot and a half thick, before walking on the frozen sea and taking a dip in the sea to complete this unforgettable Arctic adventure.
Offered for the first time this winter by Off the Map Travel, the ship casts off from Piteå, just a hundred kilometres south of the Arctic circle in Sweden. The captain then ventures out into the frozen Bay of Bothnia, passing picturesque neighborhoods lined with riverside villas and gardens before reaching the open sea where the great rivers that run from the mountains in the west to meet the sea.
The 37 meters long, four hundred metric tons of steel, that makes up the Arctic Explorer, then ploughs through the vast white landscape that stretches out as far as the eye can see as it breaks the ice ahead of the ship at speeds approaching five knots.
Jonny Cooper, Arctic travel expert and founder of Off the Map Travel says; “This is an experience that makes you feel like a true Arctic pioneer. Other than the rumble of the diesel engine and the excited chatter of its passengers, the only other sound is of the frozen surface giving way and ice blocks being crushed against the hull of the boat. You are making tracks where none have made tracks before.”
After sailing a hundred meters out, the Arctic Explorer turns back towards the mainland and in a vast bay covered by ice, the icebreaker stops. A gangplank is dropped, landing on the ice with a thud, and passengers disembark to walk on the thick sea ice.
In the trail behind the icebreaker, the waters mix with great blocks of ice broken away by the icebreaker. Passengers make their way to a point 65 feet behind the boat, for the chance to take a dip in the ice-cold water. After a full safety briefing, those taking part are dressed in survival suits, allowing only their hands to get wet, each suit is attached to a guide, before lowering themselves into the freezing waters.
“The highlight of this trip differs for everyone. For some it’s feeling like and Arctic adventurer breaking through pristine sea ice; others love the walk on the frozen sea; and for the adventurous ones, it’s the thrill of bathing in waters left by the Arctic Explorer,” adds Off the Map Travel’s Jonny Cooper.
This tour will be running twice a week from December to April and will be operating a guided transfer from Luleå or Brändön Lodge from December to April.
As with any itinerary from Off the Map Travel, every itinerary can be tailor-made to fit the wishes and requirements of any guest. As an example, a 3-night, 4-day itinerary costs from £1549 per person based on two adults sharing a Cabin at Brandon Lodge on a full board basis to include breakfast, lunch and 3-course dinner daily. This includes transfers to and from Lulea Airport, an amazing experience on the Icebreaker Cruise in Pitea and also a 2-hour drive your own dog sledding experience. Other activities are available on request. International flights are not included.
For those wanting to get the first opportunity to board the Arctic Explorer, guests are advised to contact Off the Map Travel. To do this visit www.offthemap.travel; call +44 (0) 800 566 8901; email firstname.lastname@example.org