trip
Plan your active adventure.View relaxed booking conditions.
1
Discovery and Cruising
Activities
  • 12 days cruising plus optional kayaking and photography workshops
Accommodation
  • 12 Nights aboard Sea Spirit
  • 1 night hotel in Longyearbyen
Meals
  • 12 Dinners
  • 11 Lunches
  • 13 Breakfasts

14 Days$10695USD

Hit the trails with confidence

Flexible Cancellations
Stress free booking, learn more about our flexible terms

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: PEJ

Trip highlights


  • Enter the Russian Arctic National Park
  • Unrivalled opportunities to spot Polar Bear
  • Search for bowhead whales
  • Visit fascinating historical huts
  • Above the Arctic Circle– only 600 miles from the North Pole

Set high above the Arctic Circle in the Russian Arctic National Park, Franz Josef Land is a remote cluster of 191 uninhabited, ice-covered islands. Sailing from Longyearbyen in Svalbard, we begin our voyage aboard the Sea Spirit, and head across the Barents Sea towards this remarkable archipelago. Fringed with towering sea cliffs, these glacier-clad islands and surrounding ice floes provide sanctuary for the seabirds, walrus, whales and polar bears we'll be keeping watch for. Explorers have been drawn to this remote area for centuries, searching for both the North Pole and a maritime route to the east. Our own explorations take us to historic huts and abandoned research stations, as we fill our days with zodiac cruises, wildlife encounters, tundra walks and informative talks with our experienced crew. In true expedition style, weather and pack ice will dictate our movements.


Welcome to Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Svalbard and starting point of our Arctic expedition. At the Longyearbyen airport, you will be greeted by our staff and transferred to a quality hotel, which has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the itinerary. You will then be free to explore the charming, walkable town center. We recommend starting your discovery of the High Arctic at the excellent Svalbard Museum, where you can also purchase hard-to-find polar books and maps. Afterward, you can enjoy an excellent dinner at one of Longyearbyen’s many delightful restaurants. If you are still awake at midnight, you will notice the sun has not set. In fact, the sun will not set for the entire duration of our time in Svalbard and Franz Joseph Land.

Meals:  Nil

After breakfast at your hotel, the morning is yours to enjoy Longyearbyen. Take in the views of icy fjords and glaciated mountains surrounding this historic coal-mining town. Take advantage of shopping for souvenirs or some last-minute necessities such as cold-weather gear. Just remember, you will soon receive your very own parka to keep and waterproof boots to borrow on board the ship. For lunch, Longyearbyen offers quick and easy meal options including the most northerly pizzas and kebabs in the world. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the pier where we will warmly welcome you aboard the deluxe expedition vessel M/V Sea Spirit. Get settled in your spacious suite and explore the ship that will be your comfortable home during the extraordinary adventure to come. Once underway, a full schedule of events kicks off with informative briefings and introductions from your expedition staff. After the first of many delicious dinners on board, step out onto the open decks to admire the gorgeous scenery in endless evening light as we pass through the wildlife-rich waters of Isfjorden, one of the largest fjords in Svalbard.

Meals:  B,D

From Isfjorden, we sail south along the beautiful western coast of Spitsbergen before rounding Sørkapp to enter the wild Barents Sea. During our northeastward crossing to Franz Josef Land, we are likely to encounter large swaths of sea ice. Such conditions were the bane of early explorers in wooden sailing ships. But for us, with the benefit of an ice-strengthened ship and advanced navigation systems, the ice is a welcome opportunity for finding harp seals and polar bears. These cold, nutrient-rich waters are also home to numerous whale species, including humpback whales, fin whales and endangered bowhead whales. Our veteran wildlife guides are on duty around the clock to point the way to marine mammals and Arctic seabirds in this vast frontier of ice and water. Sometime during the second day of sailing, we expect to see the massive ice dome of Alexandra Land come into view through the icy mists—our first sighting of the enigmatic Franz Josef Land archipelago.

Meals:  B,L,D

Upon reaching Russian waters, we head directly to the extremely remote military base at Nagurskoye for immigration clearance into the Russian Federation. During this process, we will be anchored in Cambridge Bay, one of the best places in Franz Josef Land for spotting marine mammals. For the rest of our time in Franz Josef Land, we will be free to explore the many islands of this dramatic High Arctic wilderness in whatever way best suits the conditions we encounter. As with any true polar expedition, our schedule and route will be shaped by weather and ice. At this time of year, we expect ice conditions to be favorable for maximum exploration. This may give us the chance to visit some of the more far-flung islands in the archipelago. With the advantage of 24-hour daylight, we will make the most of every opportunity for exploration and wildlife viewing, no matter where we may find ourselves in this vast polar wilderness. The entirety of Franz Josef Land belongs to the Russian Arctic National Park, one of the most remote and inaccessible nature sanctuaries on our planet. Ubiquitous glaciers and ice caps create a scene of otherworldly beauty. Polar bears and Arctic foxes are especially abundant in the stark and primeval icescapes of this virgin wilderness. Icy channels and fjords are home to ice-dependent seals, including harp seals, bearded seals and large numbers of walrus. Keen observers may also spot Arctic whales such as bowheads and belugas. Mountainsides and sea cliffs throughout the islands host enormous nesting colonies of migratory seabirds such as guillemots, little auks, northern fulmars, ivory gulls, and many more. For added excitement, this is the time when ravenous gulls are making dramatic raids on seabird colonies. Since its discovery in 1873, Franz Josef Land has been a stage for incredible events in the history of polar exploration. The heroic struggles of Fridtjof Nansen and other famous explorers feel unexpectedly poignant at well-preserved historical sites such as Cape Norway and Cape Flora. Memorials, monuments, crosses and the remains of dwellings are testimony to incredible events that are further illuminated by our polar historians. Additional highlights on our itinerary include Tikhaya Bukhta, a Russian Arctic National Park ranger station occupying Soviet-era research buildings. Here you can talk to station personnel and buy unique souvenirs at the gift shop. We also hope to explore some fascinating geological features, such as the mysterious stone spheres on Champ Island and the amazing basaltic columns at the Rubini Rock seabird colony. Collectors of geographical extremes may also take note that Cape Fligely on Rudolf Island is the northernmost point of land in Eurasia and the Eastern Hemisphere. This exciting Arctic cruise is your chance to explore one of the world’s most intriguing polar environments. Each trip to Franz Josef Land is a one-of-a-kind adventure. Your custom voyage map will reflect an expedition as unique and memorable as this incomparable destination, full of unscripted wildlife encounters and unforgettable discoveries.

Meals:  B,L,D

After our amazing time in Franz Josef Land, we head back across the icy Barents Sea toward Svalbard. Seabird viewing and whale sightings can be enjoyed from panoramic open decks and from the windows or balcony of your suite. Presentations by our expert staff and range of onboard recreation facilities also ensure that these sea days are not idly spent. As we head back toward Longyearbyen, we round the southern tip of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. As time and conditions permit, we may have the opportunity to visit the magnificent South Spitsbergen National Park, a pristine polar wilderness abounding with Arctic animals. The centerpiece of this park is Hornsund, a picture-perfect fjord system where countless mighty glaciers cascade from soaring mountaintops into icy inlets. This is a prime location to spot polar bears and other marine wildlife from the ship. We also have a chance to explore North Isforden National Park. This outstanding protected area is characterized by lush and beautiful landscapes, striking geological features and excellent wildlife-viewing opportunities. Along these virgin coastlines, it is possible to observe endemic Svalbard reindeer and playful Arctic fox romping in flowering tundra meadows. The area also hosts huge flocks of migratory seabirds, including Brünnich’s guillemots, little auks and Atlantic puffins.

Meals:  B,L,D

After filling up at your final buffet breakfast on board, we bid you farewell in Longyearbyen. We provide transfers to the airport or to the town center in case you plan to stay longer in Svalbard. As you look back on your wonderful experience in Franz Josef Land, you may already be planning to your next polar expedition with us. NB* Itinerary is a guide only. Itinerary is subject to ice and weather conditions.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 13 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 13 dinners
  • 1 night hotel accommodation in Longyearbyen on a triple or twin share basis (depending on ship berth configuration chosen)
  • Group transfer from the airport to the hotel on day 1 of itinerary
  • Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation
  • Comfortable cabin accommodation and use of all public areas on cruise
  • Specialist expedition staff
  • All shore excursions from the ship including the use of Zodiacs
  • Lectures, videos, slide and film shows and guide services
  • Medical services. There is a resident medical officer and infirmary on board (charges may apply)
  • Port taxes and port charges imposed by government authorities
  • Complimentary Polar Expedition Parka
  • Rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise
  • Pre-departure information
  • Digital Voyage Log
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport or hotel in Longyearbyen (directly after disembarkation).

  • Air transport and airport transfers before and after the cruises (other than group transfers to and from the ship)
  • Visa, passport and vaccination charges and airport departure taxes
  • Accommodation and meals or other services not included in the ship cruise itinerary
  • Laundry, postage, personal clothing, medical expenses, travel insurance and items of a personal nature such as bar charges, wine and phone calls
  • Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of USD 200,000
  • Customary end of voyage tips

Cabins


Departure dates

* Guaranteed status denotes minimum trip numbers have been met, however the trips operation will be subject to there being no COVID-19 restrictions or other government travel advisories. Please contact us for further information.


Notes

K
Kayak
1
Photography workshops are free of charge on this voyage

Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Total Priceper person from

$10695USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Main Deck SuiteUSD$14695
  • Classic SuiteUSD$15695
  • Superior SuiteUSD$15995
  • Deluxe SuiteUSD$17995
  • Premium SuiteUSD$19695
  • Owner's SuiteUSD$25295
  • Kayaking optionUSD$655
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Franz Josef Land Archipelago trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Videos

Franz Josef Land Best Moments

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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