Travelling into the Arctic Circle was once only a reality for intrepid explorers and fanatical researchers. Now, this once in a lifetime experience is accessible to travellers of all ages and experience.

The ex-Russian “research” vessel, Akademik Sergey Vavilov, is the perfect vessel to explore this remote region. The ice-strengthened hull and crew of 40 sailors will give you comfort to no end as you crunch your way through awe-inspiring icy depths.  The Vavilov was built in Finland, like many exploration ships, the 6,000-ton vessel was constructed to take people to the sorts of places where civilisation was not meant to go.

Once you spot your first glacier you will realize there is something dreamlike and stunningly bleak about the landscape. The Arctic’s summer offers endless days with the midnight sun.

 The top deck enjoys 360-degree views of a day without end, a limitless sky and a seemingly endless sea. Idling a few moments away in viewing deck with a warming hot chocolate is exceptionally relaxing.  It is also the perfect spot for monitoring the distance for any unusual colours.

 The Arctic, the world’s smallest and shallowest ocean, is rich in marine and bird life. The holy grail of such trip is spotting the ultimate hunting predator; the polar bear.

If you are exceptionally fortunate you will spot one catching and feasting on its prey. The sheer delight of spotting a bear is a once in a lifetime experience, but observing as the bear enjoys a freshly caught feast is momentous. Once captured, the bears urgency is evident, perhaps the next meal could be some time away, once finally satisfied the bear wonders into the distance. The lucky birds that have patiently waited swoop to tidy up the leftovers of their unexpected chow. Afterwards you are left feeling that you have witnessed something very few people can ever say they have had the privilege of observing.

The Vavilov has a large restaurant, which can serve all of the boats residents at once, the four on board chefs serve up tasty dinners for the hungry passengers tired from an exciting and memorable day. Once dinner in the restaurant is complete, most of the boats population head to the bar, firstly to enjoy the stunning endless sun but secondly to be served an impressive gin and tonic anciently chilled with glacier ice. At a mere 40,000 years old this ice is almost older than that pesky clump of ice hidden in the dark reaches of your deep freezer, but with full assurance it tastes as pure as Arctically possible.

Unconventional Conventions are chartering The Vavilov for the 7th and last time to explore the Arctic Circle and host a combined medical and dental conference from 21 June 2015 – 6 July 2015.

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Dr Gary Kilov (1:42)
Dr Asha Nair (1:31)
Dr Ralph Audehm (1:11)
Dr Diana Hart & Dr Roger Scurr (1:39)