Over 300 people entered our Blog Your Way to the North Pole contest, with more than 44,000 throwing their support behind their 5 favorite entrants.
February 22, 2011 - Congratulations to Giovanni Savaglio. After an enthusiastic and heated contest, he is now Quark's Official Blogger to the North Pole.
Hans Lagerweij, president of Quark Expeditions, was on the selection committee. He commented, "Giovanni touched me with his thought that the unexpected is part of polar travel. That is so true!" Author, professional travel blogger, and selection committee member, Chris Epting, chose Giovanni because of "his earthiness, honesty and ability to paint a picture with words."
We congratulate all the competitors. The competition was keenly contested by many talented bloggers. We thank all who voted for their favorite top 5.
The 20th anniversary North Pole Expedition
Since 1991, Quark Expeditions has specialized in expedition cruising to the Arctic and Antarctica, in ships with ice-strengthened hulls or in icebreakers. The 2011 expedition from June 23 to July 7 begins in Helsinki, Finland, where guests spend the night in a centrally located hotel. On June 24, they are flown from Helsinki to Murmansk, Russia, the homeport of the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet to board 50 Years of Victory. The expedition vessel generates 75,000 horsepower enough to crush through packed ice 10 feet thick.
Reaching the North Pole can take between 4 and 8 days, depending on weather and ice conditions. When the top of the world is reached, guests enjoy a champagne toast and a barbecue on the ice. On the southbound journey, shore landings are made in Franz Josef Land. The uninhabited Russian islands are located 10 degrees from the North Pole and are the natural habitat of magnificent polar bears and ungainly walrus.