Russian Arctic

Spitsbergen - Franz Josef Land

11 NIGHTS/12 DAYS

Start/Finish: Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Price from €6,050
2022 departures
Hondius: 1st August, 12th August 

This ambitious expedition into the 192-island archipelago of Franz Josef Land gives you the opportunity to spot such exotic Arctic wildlife as polar bears, Greenland whales, and an assortment of seal and seabird species, while also visiting the remains of historic 19th-century expeditions.

A map of the RUSSIAN ARCTIC Spitsbergen - Franz Josef Land polar expedition cruise, PolarWorld Travel

POSSIBLE ROUTE MAP

A photograph of a Polar bear walking on the pack ice in Franz Josef Land, Russia, taken on a PolarWorld Travel polar expedition cruise
 A Polar bear walking on the pack ice inFranz Josef Land
A  photograph of  Cape Fligely, Franz Josef Land, Russia,  the northernmost landmass in Eurasia, taken on a PolarWorld Travel polar expedition cruise
 Cape Fligely, the northernmost landmass in Eurasia
A photograph of walrus at  Apollonov Island, Franz Josef Land, Russia, taken on a PolarWorld Travel polar expedition cruise
 Walrus haul-out at Apollonov Island
A photograph of enormous spherical stone formations at Cape Trieste, on Champ Island, Franz Josef Land, Russia, taken on a PolarWorld Travel polar expedition cruise
Enormous spherical stone formations at Cape Trieste, on Champ Island 
A photograph of Rubini Rock, Hooker Island, Franz Josef Land, Russia. The rock is the eroded neck of a former volcano and now forms an impressive bird cliff. Taken on a PolarWorld Travel polar expedition cruise.
Rubini Rock, Hooker Island is the eroded neck of a former volcano and now forms an impressive bird cliff 
A photograph of Brünnich's guillemots on ledges on Rubini Rock, Hooker Island, Franz Josef Land, Russia, taken on a PolarWorld Travel polar expedition cruise
Brünnich's guillemots on ledges on Rubini Rock, Hooker Island
A photograph of  Bell Island seen from the British Channel, Franz Josef Land, Russia. Taken on a PolarWorld Travel polar expedition cruise.
 Bell Island seen from the British Channel
A photograph of  a polar bear watching walrus on Phippsøya, in the  Seven Islands (Sjuøyane), Svalbard, taken on a PoalrWorld Travel polar expedition cruise
A polar bear watches walrus on Svalbard's the rugged island of Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands (Sjuøyane)
A photograph of James Cresswell Director of GeoWorld Travel & PolarWorld Travel sitting on a large concretion on Champ Island, Franz Josef Land, Russian Arctic
James on Champ Island, FranzJosef Land
To make a booking, or to ask any questions you have about the voyage and its suitability for you, please contact us. James has guided on this voyage before and will be happy to discuss all aspects of the trip with you.

Possible Itinerary

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per IAATO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with IAATO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed of our vessel is 10.5 knots.

Day 1: The start of your Arctic adventure
We set out from Longyearbyen at 16.00 hours, hoping to get some initial sightings of local seabirds and marine life along the way.

Days 2 & 3: Sailing the Spitsbergen ice edge
The next two days we spend sailing eastward, exploring the ice edge north of Spitsbergen. Here we might see seals, whales, seabirds, and even polar bears.

Day 4: First sights of Franz Josef Land.
Today we approach the Russian base Nagurskoye on the Franz Josef Land island of Alexandra Land. We will the Russian base at Nagurskoye from the ship, but we will not land there. After getting clearance from Russia, we will then welcome on board four guides/ inspectors from the Russian Arctic National Park. Later in the day, we aim to make our first landing on the southern part of Arthur Island. In the Arctic archipelago of Franz Josef Land, polar bear sightings are likely.

Day 5: Historic expeditions on Rudolf Island
The goal is to sail to Rudolf Island, the northernmost island of the Franz Josef Land archipelago. Here we hope to land near an abandoned Russian station in Teplitz Bay, seeing some reminders of the Italian and American expeditions here around the turn of the 19th century. We will try to land at Cape Fligely, the northernmost landmass in Eurasia, but may also change the order of these visits.

Day 6: Walrus haul-outs and Cape Norvegia
After sailing south, we will reach Apollonov Island, a large haul-out site for walruses, which you might be able to see from our Zodiacs. At Cape Norvegia on Jackson Island, our aim is to visit the site where Nansen and Johansen spent the winter after leaving the m/v Fram in 1895. Later we will sail southeast by Ziegler Island, then continue south through narrow but spectacular straits.

Day 7: Geological wonders and historic expeditions
Today we land at Cape Tirol, located on the northeast coast of Wiener Neustadt Island in the Austrian Straight. This cape was named by the Austro-Hungarian Tegthoff Expedition and was climbed by its leader, Julius von Payer, in spring of 1874. On Champ Island at Cape Trieste, we plan to make excursions among enormous spherical stone formations, after which we aim to sail by the coast of Alger Island, where the American Baldwin-Ziegler Expedition had its main camp in 1901-02. This beautiful area is surrounded by mountainous islands boasting impressive glacier fronts.

Day 8: Cliffside seabirds and Arctic marine life
Early in the morning, we arrive at Rubini Rock on Hooker Island’s Tikhaya Bay. Along this impressive cliff face, you can see colonies of seabirds, such as Brünnich’s guillemots, black guillemots, little auks, fulmars, and kittiwakes. You might also see bearded seals, harp seals, or Greenland whales in this area. Next we sail to Cape Flora on Northbrook Island, an important site in the history of polar exploration. More than a century ago, several expeditions had their bases here, and on the cliffs behind Cape Flora are large colonies of Brünnich’s guillemots. It is exciting to witness the younger birds trying to glide from the ledges to the sea. At Günther Bay, we may take a Zodiac cruise near an important haul-out site for walruses. If landing at Cape Flora is difficult due to sea swell and permission, we will try to land at Bell Island, near Eira Lodge, the station of 19th-century British explorer Benjamin Leigh Smith.

Day 9: Back to Nagurskoye and Spitsbergen
In the morning, we will return to Nagurskoye. Here our four inspectors from Franz Josef Land National Park will leave the ship, after which we’ll sail west to Spitsbergen.

Day 10: The seven islands of northern Svalbard
In the northernmost area of the Svalbard archipelago lies an island group known as Sjuøyane, which translates to “seven islands.” Here we plan to land at the rugged island of Phippsøya, where you may be able to see more walruses.

Day 11: Incredible Krossfjorden scenery
Today we sail into Krossfjorden in the main island of Spitsbergen, where you’ll pass through staggeringly scenic alpine mountaintops, active glaciers, and rich vegetation.

Day 12: Journey’s end in Longyearbyen
We finally return to Svalbard’s principal town, where you will disembark the vessel, taking home priceless memories of friends made, wildlife encountered, and a once-in-a-lifetime Arctic adventure.

Our Green Promise

The carbon footprint logo
We purchase carbon offsets through Carbon Footprint

If you book this Expedition Cruise through us we will pay your Carbon Offset for you and will provide you a Certificate on completion of your expedition.

PER PERSON CARBON DIOXIDE GENERATED BY THIS EXPEDITION
 = *.* T
Calculated at
 https://co2.myclimate.org/en/cruise_calculators/new

It is your responsibility to book your travel to and from the start and finish of the expedition. This is normally a flight. If you would like to carbon offset this cost please use our carbon offset calculator here.