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Mysterious natural round stones of Franz Josef Land

Franz Josef Land

Example 16 Day Cruise aboard Sea Spirit (PO)
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Be a part of this incredible 16-day Arctic expedition through Franz Josef Land & Svalbard on the m/v Sea Spirit. This journey includes islands rarely visited by other expedition ships, offering an unparalleled Arctic voyage of a lifetime.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Day 2 : Embarkation in Longyearbyen
Days 3-4 : Across the Barents Sea
Days 5-11 : Exploration of Franz Josef Land
Days 12-13 : Back across the Barents Sea
Days 14-15 : Exploration of Svalbard
Day 16 : Disembarkation in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Highlights

  • Explore the many waterways and islands of this unique Arctic wilderness
  • Take advantage of 24-hour daylight for wildlife-viewing opportunities
  • Visit historical sites: memorials, monuments, crosses & dwelling remains
  • View and ponder the mysterious stone spheres on Champ Island

Ship

Sea Spirit (PO)

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Mysterious natural round stones of Franz Josef Land Novaya Zemlya archipelago Franz Josef Land scenery View of Longyearbyen Zodiac boats bring you closer to the majestic Arctic landscape

Day 1 Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Welcome to Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard and starting point of your expedition. After arriving via scheduled commercial flight service, you are free to explore this fascinating Arctic settlement. Be sure to see the excellent Svalbard Museum and take advantage of quality shopping and dining opportunities in the town center. Your hotel for the night has been pre-arranged and is included in the price of the voyage.

Day 2 Embarkation in Longyearbyen

In the afternoon board the luxury expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savor the anticipation of your Arctic dreams coming true as the ship slips its moorings and sails into a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as you sail through Isfjorden on the first evening is spectacular and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.

Day 3-4 Across the Barents Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
From Isfjorden proceed around Svalbard and east to Franz Josef Land across the Barents Sea. In these far northern latitudes it is possible to encounter sea ice any time of the year. All along the way remain vigilant for sightings of ice-dependent marine mammals such as the elusive bowhead whale, various Arctic seal species, and the majestic polar bear.

Day 5-11 Exploration of Franz Josef Land

  • Ship
  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
Between obligatory initial and final stops at the Russian polar station Nagurskoye in wildlife-rich Cambridge Bay, explore the many waterways and islands of this unique Arctic wilderness in whatever way best suits the conditions encountered. The archipelago, part of the Russian Arctic National Park since 2012, is a nature sanctuary. Polar bears and other quintessential High Arctic wildlife, such as walruses and some rare whale species, can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Franz Josef Land. Scree slopes and cliffs around the islands host enormous nesting colonies of migratory seabirds such as guillemots, dovekies, and ivory gulls. Take advantage of 24-hour daylight to exploit every opportunity for wildlife viewing.

Franz Josef Land is also home to some interesting geological features, such as the mysterious stone spheres on Champ Island. Collectors of geographical extremes may take note that Cape Fligely on Rudolf Island is the northernmost point of land in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Franz Josef Land also offers visitors the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of famous polar explorers at well-preserved historical sites. The journals of explorers such as Julius von Payer, Benjamin Leigh Smith, Frederick George Jackson, and Fridtjof Nansen come alive at Cape Norway, Cape Flora, Eira Harbour, and Cape Tegetthoff. Memorials, monuments, crosses, and the remains of dwellings are testimony to incredible historical events that are further illuminated by expert lecturers.

Tikhaya Bukhta is currently a Russian Arctic National Park ranger station occupying Soviet-era research buildings and was also a major base for polar expeditions. Nearby the fascinating columnar basalt cliffs of Rubini Rock are home to thousands of nesting seabirds.

Day 12-13 Back across the Barents Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
After your amazing time in Franz Josef Land cross back through the bountiful waters of the Barents Sea. Presentations and workshops by expert staff, as well as a range of onboard recreation facilities, ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent. Seabird viewing and whale sightings can be enjoyed from panoramic open decks as well as exterior stateroom windows and balconies.

Day 14-15 Exploration of Svalbard

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
After a technical stop in Longyearbyen, begin your exploration of Svalbard. Explore the spectacular fjords, coasts, and islands in the northwestern part of Svalbard. This area contains the archipelago’s most impressive scenery and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife-viewing opportunities. Deep fjords and narrow channels are flanked by jagged snowy mountain peaks. Immense tidewater glaciers calve icebergs into turquoise waters. On ice floes and on fast ice several species of seals watch vigilantly for polar bears, which can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Svalbard. Fields of flowering tundra are home to grazing reindeer and playful Arctic fox. Bountiful inshore and offshore waters are home to walrus and a wide variety of whales. The whole area is alive with migratory birds, including numerous rare species, taking advantage of summer’s fecundity in 24-hour daylight.

To complete the Arctic experience also explore sites rich with history. The area of exploration contains the historical remnants of whaling camps, coal mining operations, trappers’ cabins, staging areas for historic attempts to discover the North Pole, and the ruins of a WWII weather station. Human habitation in this area can be found only at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town that is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers. This is one of the world’s most northerly settlements, complete with museum, gift shop, and post office.

Day 16 Disembarkation in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast say farewell in the town of Longyearbyen, where you started. A transfer is provided to the airport or to the town center if you wish to spend more time here. As you look back on your wonderful experience in Svalbard, you may already be looking forward to your next incredible adventure to the ice!

Sea Spirit (PO)

Per person starting at
$8,995
Triple Classic accommodations on board the Sea Spirit
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Triple Classic
250 square feet; 2 twins (convert to a King) and a sofa bed; picture window; private facilities.
Main Deck accommodations on board the Sea Spirit
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Main Deck Suite
215 square feet; 2 twin or a King Size bed; minimum 2 portholes; private facilities.
Classic Suite accommodations on board the Sea Spirit
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Classic Suite
250 square feet; 2twin or a King Size bed; picture window; private facilities.
Superior Suite accommodations on board the Sea Spirit
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Superior Suite
235 square feet; 2 twin or a King Size bed; picture window overlooking outside walkway; private facilities.
Deluxe Suite accommodations on board the Sea Spirit
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Deluxe Suite
277 square feet; 2 twin or a King Size bed; private balcony; private facilities.
Premium Suite accommodations on board the Sea Spirit
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Premium Suite
353 square feet; 2 twin or a King Size bed; private balcony; private facilities.
The luxurious Owner's Suite accommodations on board the Sea Spirit
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Owner's Suite
437 square feet; separate living room; King Size bed and sofa bed; private deck; jetted bathtub.

Notes

Travel Insurance:
All passengers are covered by a medical travel insurance policy to the value of US 100,000 which includes medical emergency evacuation and reparation for the cruise portion of the tour only. Additional insurance is strongly recommended.

Solo Travelers:
All rates posted are per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement: 1.7 for Main Deck and Classic, Superior Suite; twice the posted price for Deluxe, Premium and Owner's Suite.

PLEASE NOTE: For this trip a Russian visa is required. See your country’s Russian consulate or embassy for details.

This itinerary is for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions. Your experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. 

Included Features:
  • 1 pre-voyage hotel night
  • Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation
  • Group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation
  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All meals on board throughout the voyage
  • Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily
  • All scheduled landings/excursions (question to appropriate weather and ice conditions)
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by your experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team
  • Expeditions parka
  • Rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise
  • Welcome and Farewell cocktails
  • All port fees
  • Pre-departure materials
  • Digital Voyage Log
  • Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a maximum benefit of US 100,000 per person (for those 85 years of age and younger)

Not included:
  • Airfare
  • Visa and passport fees. For this trip Russian visa is required. See your country’s Russian consulate or embassy for details.
  • Luggage and trip cancellation insurance
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and telecommunication charges
  • Staff gratuities

PLEASE NOTE: In case fuel price increases significantly fuel surcharge may be applied for all bookings.

Included

  • 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Change & customize to make it yours.
Jenna F

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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
Lisa Bridge

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