Jewels of the Russian Arctic: Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya

Arctic Cruises

Starting from $9,995

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Follow in the footsteps of early arctic explorers and visit two of the most isolated, icy archipelagoes in the Russian High Arctic. From the mountains of Novaya Zemlya to the wildlife sanctuary of Franz Josef Land, these are rugged and essentially uninhabited landscapes that few have ever experienced. There’s no shortage of amazing adventures in these remote regions, where ice-capped peaks soar majestically out of the water and polar bears wander in their natural environment.

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Special Offer

Free Transfer Package when you book by June 15, 2019!
Also if you pay in full, receive an additional 10% off!

• Valid on new bookings only
• Not available for group bookings
• Cannot be combined with other offers
• TravelWild reserves the right to limit, change or discontinue this offer without notice

 

Starting from $9,995

Rates & Dates Prices are per person and shown in USD.

TripleLower Deck TwinMain Deck Twin PortholeMain Deck Twin WindowSuperiorDeluxeSuiteOwner's Suite
Jul 9, 2020 - Jul 24, 2020$9,995
 
$11,995
 
$13,495
 
$14,495
 
$15,995
 
$17,495
 
$18,995
 
$20,495
 

Itinerary

Day 1: Helsinki, Finland

Your arctic adventure begins in Helsinki, renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences. If you arrive early, explore the many museums, galleries and restaurants, relax at a Finnish sauna or wander the vibrant Design District before retiring at your included hotel.

Day 2: Embarkation in Murmansk, Russia

After breakfast, we will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Murmansk, Russia. Once aboard, get acquainted with the ship and crew and settle in for your voyage north.

Days 3-4: At Sea

As we sail through the Barents Sea, your Expedition Team will prepare you for the adventures that await. Learn about the storied history and politics of the region, its fascinating wildlife, geology, ecology and climate, and the incredible sights you will soon explore. Staff will keep a lookout for seabirds, such as kittiwakes, skuas and fulmars soaring above your ship. Whale and seal sightings may also be possible in this biologically diverse sea.

Days 5-7: Exploring Novaya Zemlya

The largest of the Eurasian arctic archipelagoes, the rarely visited Novaya Zemlya (“New Land”) is the third-largest wilderness area in Europe. This seemingly long, narrow island actually consists of two main islands, Severny (northern) and Yuzhny (southern), separated by the imposing Matochkin Strait. As we explore Novaya Zemlya, expect a new adventure every day. Each expedition will be unique, depending on the weather and ice, but a few landing sites we strive to visit include Inostrantseva Bay, the Oransky Islands, Cape Zhelaniya, Cape Spory Navalok and Russkaya Gavan. Boasting one of the most picturesque glaciers in the entire archipelago, Inostrantseva Bay provides breathtaking panoramic views of pristine arctic wilderness. If conditions allow, we may explore ashore, or Zodiac cruise along the face of the glacier, at a safe distance, possibly witnessing the wonders of calving ice. Encounters with Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres) are likely, owing to a small colony in the coastal cliffs. To the northwest side of Severny Island are the Oransky Islands. Wildlife abounds here, with a variety of animal and plant life to be discovered, Walrus have been sighted here on many previous expeditions. Coming across a walrus haul-out is unforgettable. These giant pinnipeds of the Arctic create a raucous as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline. Encounters with whales and seabirds are possible, as well as polar bears, a genetically distinct subpopulation here. A significant site in polar exploration, Novaya Zemlya also offers a number of opportunities for you to trace the footsteps of famous explorers and reflect on the region’s history.

Day 8: At Sea

Bid farewell to Novaya Zemlya as we cruise farther north to Franz Josef Land. There are several activities to keep you engaged while at sea. Attend presentations by your Expedition Team, relax in our polar library or simply spend some time on deck, admiring the sea.

Days 9-12: Exploring Franz Josef Land

This remote group of 191 islands, many covered in ice, forms the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia and lies entirely within the Arctic Circle. A nature reserve, it is part of the Russian Arctic National Park. Weather and ice conditions will shape our exploration, but we do hope to explore historical sites, remote seabird colonies and walrus haul-out at some notable destinations, such as Cape Flora, Cape Norway, Bell Island and Tikhaya Bukta. Polar bear encounters are also possible. On Jackson Island, Cape Norway is where Norwegian explorers Fridtjof Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen wintered from 1895 to 1896. The conditions were astonishingly difficult, but they survived until the summer and continued their journey south. The remains of their small hut are still here today, along with a memorial marking the event. Exploring Tikhaya Bukta (Calm Bay), the site of an abandoned weather station on Hooker Island, will feel like stepping back in time. There is plenty to discover as you wander the ruins, immersed in Russian polar history, and you may even be able to send a postcard from the post office! The Stolichky and Appolonov Islands offer plentiful walrus encounters, as the lumbering giants can be found hauled out here. If ice and weather are in our favor, we’ll explore the area by Zodiac, at a safe distance, to view these pinnipeds of the Arctic in their natural habitat.

Days 13-14: At Sea

As your arctic expedition winds down you have a couple of days to sail through this wildlife-rich sea, where whales of various species are often seen. Take in a presentation, reminisce about your incredible journey with your shipmates, relax in the lounge while swapping stories and photos or enjoy the solitude of the sea. Expedition staff will be on hand to answer any remaining questions and spot wildlife.

Day 15: Disembarkation Murmansk and Fly to Helsinki

Returning to Russia’s most northerly city, you’ll have time to bid farewell to your Expedition Team and crew before catching our group charter flight back to Helsinki, where you will have one more night in this exquisite city.

Day 16: Helsinki

After breakfast, spend time exploring more of the Finnish capital or catch your homeward-bound flight.

Ocean Adventurer

Ocean Adventurer

Deckplan & Cabin Photos

Highlights

  • Explore this rarely visited region of the Russian Arctic
  • Encounter iconic arctic wildlife, such as polar bears, walrus and seabirds
  • Explore glaciated Novaya Zemlya, where the earliest Arctic explorers overwintered
  • Visit significant sites at Franz Josef Land and learn about the region’s storied history

Included

  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board
  • Beer and house wine during dinner
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
  • Photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • Expedition parka to keep
  • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle
  • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
  • Comprehensive onboard materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Russian invitation letter for visa application provided after final payment

MANDATORY TRANSFER PACKAGE:

Package Cost: $1,995 per person

  • One night’s pre- and post-expedition hotel accommodation in Helsinki
  • Round-trip flights from Helsinki to Murmansk
  • Transfers to and from the ship in Murmansk
  • Transfers between the airport and hotel in Helsinki in conjunction with charter flight
 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of expedition cruising, itineraries are subject to change due to weather, ice conditions, natural and cultural events, wildlife viewing opportunities and other logistical considerations. In general, a ship's crew will endeavor to complete the itinerary provided, but the ultimate decision lies with the ship's captain and expedition leaders.

 
 
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