All Russia’s North Pole cruises rescheduled to 2021

The three tourist voyages in July and August with Russia’s powerful nuclear icebreaker “50 Let Pobedy” will not take place due to the COVID-19 situation (Courtesy of Poseidon Expeditions)
Tour operator Poseidon Expeditions is now reaching out to travel partners and guests with reservations for the tours from Murmansk to the North Pole offering re-bookings.

“National travel bans and border restrictions related to COVID-19 have continued to shed uncertainty on our ability to operate scheduled Arctic cruises during this 2020 summer season. This has affected all areas of operation, and has necessitated that we now postpone and reschedule all the departures in the Arctic through the end of September 2020 to the following 2021 Arctic season,” Poseidon Expeditions writes in the update.

“For the North Pole, the situation is currently dictated by a travel ban issued by the Russian Federation affecting foreigners wishing to visit Russian territory,” says spokesperson Steve Wellmeier in an e-mail to the Barents Observer.

Optimism for 2021 summer season

Wellmeier is optimistic about the 2021 summer season, saying 90% of the passengers with reservations for the 2020 season are ok with moving the bookings to next year.

Dates for next year’s two-weeks voyages are set to July 10, July 21 and August 1.

By June 11, a total of 3,760 COVID-19 infections have been detected in the Murmansk region, of which 1,120 are currently being treated, regional authorities informs. 41 people with the virus have been hospitalized in the last 24 hours.

With a daily increase of more than 8,000 cases, Russia’s total registration of people infected by the virus passed 500,000 on Thursday, according to the official data.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Scrapped 2020 cruise season will cost communities in Nunavut, Canada almost $1 million, Eye On The Arctic

Finland: Jump in, the water’s (mostly) fine in Finland, study finds, Yle News

Iceland: Iceland and Greenland implement COVID-19 testing for travellers, Eye On The Arctic

Norway:  Entire season in jeopardy for Svalbard expedition cruising, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian Arctic shipping could follow this new route, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Extra billions to SAS – but with stricter climate requirements, Radio Sweden

United States: ‘A little frustrating’: Northwest Canada tours, Alaska cruises cancelled this year, CBC News

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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