Lonely Planet review for Quark Expeditions
Murmansk is the starting point for July and August cruises to the North Pole and Arctic islands, an experience where passengers see dramatic seascapes and scenery and, with luck, a good deal of Arctic wildlife. Book well in advance (many agencies include flights from Helsinki or Moscow to Murmansk in their packages). Voyages last around two weeks to the North Pole itself or to Franz Josef Land or Novaya Zemlya and Severnaya Zemlya.
The ships are fitted out for passengers and some of the profits go towards the upkeep of Russia's icebreaker fleet.