In April, Vacations To Go's chairman and CEO, Alan Fox, made the once-in-a-lifetime journey to the North Pole. Below are his reports about the Expedition.
Trip Report, April 7: En Route To The North Pole
On March 20 of this year, the sun rose for the first time at the North Pole, chasing away the long winter night. There was no one there to enjoy that frigid dawn, just a sheet of ice and snow, floating on the Arctic Ocean and stretching to the horizon.
A few Days later, a handful of Russians parachuted from the sky within 50 miles of the pole. Food, tents and a bulldozer (for leveling and ice runway) also were dropped by parachute. In a short time, that barren and inhospitable place (average temperature this time of year, 30 degrees below zero) was capable of sustaining life.
The Russians call their temporary home Barneo, and they have built and occupied a floating camp like this every year since 2002. It is operated by the 169-year-old Russian Geographical Society and welcomes scientists and explorers from around the world.
For three weeks only, Barneo's 13th incarnation will serve as a research station and the base camp for small groups of travelers who fly in from Norway en route to The North Pole. This week, I'll be among them, traveling with the help of U.S.-based PolarExplorers, which contracts space at the camp and has been guiding expeditions to the North and South poles for 20 years.