Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land - 14 Cruise

Venture on this 14-day expedition to two of the most fascinating Arctic archipelagoes: Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land. Start in Spitsbergen, which is a must for those who want to see the Arctic in all its wildness and splendor, but your main goal is the remote and rarely visited Russian High Arctic island chain of Franz Josef Land. The uninhabited islands were closed to foreigners during the Cold War, but now their "moon craters" and breathtaking vistas beckon adventurous travelers from all over the world.

Day 1

    Embark in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

    Longyearbyen is the main settlement of the Norwegian Spitsbergen archipelago. This Arctic town is located at 78° north: one of the world's northernmost communities. It has approximately 2,000 inhabitants and is a modern town with a wide range of facilities such as a supermarket, outdoor shops, several pubs and hotels.

    Day 2

      14th of July Glacier, Krossfjord, Spitsbergen

      Plan to take a Zodiac tour to the sparkling 14th of July Glacier at Krossfjord. Weather permitting, you may land right on the glacier for an unparalleled walking tour.

      Day 3

        Victoria Island

        Explore Victoria Island and its large population of walruses. Naturalists are not the only creatures attracted by these Arctic animals - polar bears visit the area frequently for a "walrus dinner." You can hope to meet them both here while cruising nearby on Zodiac.

        Day 4

          Bell Island / Cape Flora, Nordbrook Island, Franz Josef Land

          Expect to reach Franz Josef Land archipelago this morning. A landing is planned for Bell Island to visit the house built by the 1881 Lee Smith Expedition.

          Continue to learn about the fascinating history of Arctic discoveries during your landing at Cape Flora on Nordbrook Island, first claimed the by Lee Smith Expedition in 1880. The group was forced to winter on this island after their steam yacht, "Aira," was crushed by ice and sank near the coast. Later, the Jackson expedition (1894-1897) dwelled here longer than any other, and made a major contribution to the exploration of the archipelago. Several memorials have been erected on the island to commemorate such daring Arctic explorers. Finally, birders take note, an enormous seabird colony finds its home on the cliffs towering over the southern side of Cape Flora.

          Day 5

            Tikhaya Bay, Hooker Island, Franz Josef Land

            Today explore Tikhaya Bay on Hooker Island. There is an imposing cliff in the bay, known as the famous Rubini Rock. The rock is the home to thousands of sea birds, which you can attempt to approach. Caution is key in order to watch kittiwakes and other Arctic birds without disturbing them. Weather permitting, you may go ashore to visit a derelict polar station in the bay.

            Day 6

              Cape Norway, Hooker Island, Franz Josef Land

              During the night, your ship sails to Cape Norway on Jackson Island. Between 1895 and 1896, Nansen and Johansen wintered here for over 7 months after a failed attempt to conquer the North Pole.

              Day 7

                Stolichky and Appolonov Islands, Franz Josef Land.

                Your expedition activities on the islands of Stolichky and Appolonov are highly dependent on weather and ice conditions. If you are lucky to have favorable conditions, plan to take a Zodiac trip near the islands. The main attraction of the islands are their walrus rookeries. Your Zodiac drivers do their best to get to as close as possible.

                Day 8

                  Cape Heller, Wilczek Land Island, Franz Josef Land

                  Today plan a landing at Cape Heller on Wilczek Land Island. In 1899, two sailors, members of the Welle expedition, wintered there while waiting for a group attempting to conquer the North Pole. As everywhere on Franz Josef Land, this locale is prime for witnessing Polar bears and sea mammals.

                  Day 9

                    Champ Island, Franz Josef Land

                    Placed in the very center of the archipelago like a diamond in a precious tiara is the magnificent Champ Island. The landscape here is majestic, featuring cliffs and the island chain's tallest ice-capped mountains. Here, you can also see a truly unique natural wonder: perfectly spherical stones up to 3 meters in diameter, found nowhere else in the world.

                    Day 10

                      Alger Island / Cape Tegetthoff, Hall Island, Franz Josef Land

                      At Alger Island, plan to land at the wintering place of the American Arctic expedition headed by A. Baldwin. If the weather is calm, join a Zodiac craft and dodge drifting icebergs in order to admire the view and to take pictures of these majestic giants from sea level.

                      If time permits, your ship might spend the evening at Cape Tegetthoff, Hall Island. The island sights are impressive and include huge cliffs resembling dorsal fins of gigantic sharks submerge into the depths. The remains of the wooden structures built by the Wellman expedition of 1898 add colors to the panorama.

                      Day 11

                        Kvitoya Island, Spitsbergen

                        If the weather is on your side today, you can try landing on Kvitoya Island. It is almost completely ice-covered and belongs to the Northeast Svalbard Nature Reserve. On the ice-free parts there are moss beds which can add vibrant color to this often white landscape. Arctic terns and other birds breed here. Polar bears and walrus are also frequent visitors in this area.

                        Day 12

                          Sjuoyane Islands, Svalbard

                          If the weather and ice conditions allow, your ship may attempt a landing in the region of Sjuoyane Islands. Here you may visit the island of Rossoya, the northernmost point of Norway.

                          Day 13

                            Lagoya / Phippsoya, Spitsbergen

                            In the morning, plan to visit Lagoya, a flat island off the northwestern coast of Nordaustland in Svalbard that is covered with glacial moraine and rocks of every size and type. An uninhabited island, Lagoya is perfect for walrus to haul out and rest at its shore. At times they look like a field of rocks.

                            Also plan landing at Phippsoya in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Here you find yourself at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. The island is named after the English explorer Constantine John Phipps, who commanded two bomb vessels on an expedition to Svalbard in 1773. Polar Bear inhabit this region, along with Walrus and Ivory Gull. You may sit for several hours in the pack ice, taking in your spectacular surroundings.

                            Day 14

                              Disembark in Longyearbye, Spitsbergen

                              Your adventure ends in the port of Longyearbyen. Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for flight home.
                               Triple ClassicMain Deck SuiteClassic SuiteSuperior SuiteDeluxe SuitePremium SuiteOwner
                              2015-Jul-03$6,980$7,980$9,980$11,780$13,080$14,380$16,280
                              5% OFF
                              Explorer Savings - Book this departure and save 5%. Additionally, receive $250 in airfare!
                              2015 : Jul 3
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                              These special offers are applicable only to new bookings.
                              Discounts are subject to availability, so contact us for more details.
                              Travel Insurance:
                              All passengers are covered by a medical travel insurance policy to the value of 100,000 EURO 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. Solo travelers can obtain the Twin Standard Cabin for 1.7 the posted rate. All additional categories can be reserved at twice the posted fare.

                              Included:
                              - Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation
                              - Group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation
                              - Shipboard accommodation
                              - All scheduled landings/excursions
                              - Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team
                              - All meals on board throughout the voyage
                              - Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily
                              - Expedition parka
                              - A pair of rubber boots on loan for shore landings
                              - 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

                              Not included:
                              - Airfare
                              - Visa and passport fees (if applicable)
                              - 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
                              Places
                              Arctic, Europe, Norway, Longyearbyen, Phippsoya, 14th of July Glacier, Kvitøya
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