I'm aware that annually there's a North Pole marathon, and that would be one way of getting up there, if exhausting.

What other options exist to get there, preferably economically (the marathon costs are mildly frightening and extremely prohibitive without sponsorship - €11,900).

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April 5 Arrive at Spitsbergen (Norway)
April 6 Fly to North Pole Camp & 90N
April 7 North Pole Marathon
April 8 Return to Spitsbergen (Norway)
April 9 Return to Homeland

6 Answers 6


An other alternative is to fly to Longyearbyen in Svalbard and then use the chopper service to visit North pole from around 15000 Euros. This is cheaper than the cruise trip.


I've actually just written a book called 'How to Get to the North Pole' so may be able to help.

The first thing to note is that there are several different north poles. The one most commonly referred to is the Geographic North Pole but if you consider the Magnetic North Pole as a viable alternative then that opens up a couple of other options.

The North Pole Marathon doesn't actually take place -at- the north pole - it is run at the temporary Barneo station nearby - but a helicopter flight to the pole is included in the package.

bchetty's recommendation of flying to Longyearbyen in Svalbard and booking a flight north is probably the most economical option, though very similar in cost to the marathon.

'Last Degree' trips in which you ski the final ~65 miles to the North Pole are likely the cheapest way to reach the pole under your own steam; earning your visit a little more than just being dropped off.

For a similar cost, you can get a longer expedition to the Magnetic North Pole, in one of the organised races such as The Polar Challenge or North Pole Race.

Finally, the cheapest method of -seeing- the North Pole would be to book a pleasure flight over the top for a view from the window. Not the same thing as actually going there but if your priority is low cost then this could be a compromise.

P.S. There's a free overview of my book available on my website which has more information if it's useful: http://thenextchallenge.org/2010/11/how-to-north-pole/


There are some companies that offer trips to the north pole on ice breakers. They're not very economical, though. Here's one of several that came up on Google:

Quark Expeditions

The 2013 trip takes about two weeks and costs €29,600 EUR not counting your expenses to get to Helsinki and get home again from Helsinki afterwards.

  • 4
    I can however recommend Quark. They've carried me across both the Arctic and Antarctic Circles.
    – Fomite
    Sep 21, 2011 at 5:29

Some companies offer trips to the North pole. For example Hauser Exkursionen. This is a well established company that offers all kind of excursions from the north pole, to the Mount Everest or a desert.

Unfortunately the information is in German, but I think it is possible to understand a little bit of it.

Hauser Exkursionen

However, as you can see, it is very pricey. For a 16 days trip you pay ~31 000 Euros.

Usually the excursions take place in April as VMAtm already said, so the next possibility will be on April 2012.


I can't say for sure about the prices, as all the touristic expeditions are made in April - the safest time to travel there, and currently all the companies can't say anything about prices (you know, crisis, and so on).

The best option (according to the website quality and feedback from tourists) for you is Polar Expeditions Ltd., London, UK, but still can't find any info about prices. Other variant, The North Pole Adventures, is a partnership between Russian and American companies.


A trip to the North Pole will not be "economical," BY DEFINITION. Hence, you might have a hard time finding one that meets your needs. That's only partly because going there is inherently expensive.

In most "civilized" parts of the world, there is the potential for cheap "deals," because the "full cost" has already been paid by someone ELSE. That is, a home owner in some city might allow you to use an empty guest room for "free" (or a nominal amount) because the rest of the family has already paid for the house. A restaurant might have free or cheap leftovers for people, because its regular clientele has paid for their food, etc. "Cheap" public transportation (and other amenities such as museums) are state-subsidized.

At, and on the way to the North Pole, there are NO other "natural" users to share these costs, so the handful of users (as a group) have to bear the full costs on their own. The marathoners may get a "deal" from companies who want to sponsor them. But they are basically in the position of paying for the trip to the North Pole by "working" their way. Unless you can offer some kind of "endorsement," scientific, or other value for your trip there, it's unlikely that anyone would be interested in helping you defray your costs.

How does one get to the North Pole? If you have $50,000 to go solo (or even $10,000 to go in a group) to spend on guides, transportation, etc., plus food, fuel, and other supplies for all of the above, be my guest. But that doesn't seem to be your situation.

  • 3
    Are the costs you state purely guesstimates or are they based on something you know/heard/etc? Sep 20, 2011 at 17:12
  • @hippitrail: That was a rhetorical point. But others had more reliable estimates of 31,000 Euros, a bit less than half of the $100,000. (And even the Euro figure assumes some "buying in bulk," so it could cost $100,000 going solo.) I was trying to give order of magnitude; more than $10,000, less than $100,000. But the real gist of my answer was you can't get "subsidies" in the North Pole as you could in a city.
    – Tom Au
    Sep 20, 2011 at 17:18
  • Well the marathon one gets you there for 11,000 or so Euros, so that's quite a bit less....
    – Mark Mayo
    Sep 20, 2011 at 22:08
  • @MarkMayo: That's what I meant by "working your way through." Because you WILL work. (But save 20,000 Euros.)
    – Tom Au
    Sep 21, 2011 at 0:30
  • 3
    -1 This answer confuses a lot of things while providing no actual information and the estimate is actually one or two orders of magnitude off.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 27, 2013 at 12:09

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