Poseidon Expeditions uses the Russian icebreaker 50 Years of Victory for all its North Pole cruising. Powered by two nuclear reactors and with one of the most powerful icebreaking hulls ever built, the ship can break though ice up to 9 feet thick.
As a former Russian scientific vessel, it is anything but sexy but offers everything you need for a pure expedition cruise to the top of the world, including cabins with private bathrooms (some even with a bathtub); a main dining room; aft lounge for lectures, presentations and socializing; a front lounge for a drink with a view; and even a gym, plus two saunas and a heated swimming pool.
The ship also has an open bridge policy, so you can sit with the captain and ask questions as you sail around the North Pole. You'll even get to take a tour of the ship's engine room. Exploring is done by Zodiac boats.
Cabins are split across four decks; all can fit just two people despite some rooms having sofa beds in addition to beds. The bottom Bow Deck features 14 151-square-foot standard twin rooms, each able to hold two people on one twin bed and one sofa bed. The rooms come with a bathroom with shower, TV with DVD player and windows that open.
On the Bridge 1 Deck are seven standard twins, plus four mini-suites, two junior suites, one grand suite and four Arktika suites. Bridge 2 Deck has 18 standard twins, two junior suites and two Arktika suites. And Bridge 3 Deck has six standard twins, two mini-suites, an Arktika suite and the ship's only Victory suite.
Mini-suites are 237 square feet in size and can hold two cruisers. Each room has a bedroom and separated sitting area with sofa bed, private bathroom with shower, TV with DVD player, mini-fridge and windows that open.
Junior suites are 258 square feet and can hold two cruisers in the same layout as the mini-suite.
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The two grand suites are 280 square feet and can hold two people in the same layout as the mini-suite and junior suite.
The ship's sole Victory suite is 301 square feet and features a large bedroom, sitting room with sofa bed, private bathroom with bathtub, mini-fridge, TV with DVD player and windows that open.
The Arktika suites differ from the Victory suite only in that they are larger (355 square feet) and also feature a coffee maker.
50 Years of Victory has an elevator to help passengers with mobility issues get from one deck to another.