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Walrus in the Arctic

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

Example 16 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Adventurer (Sea Adventurer)
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Follow in the footsteps of early Arctic explorers! During the 16-day Jewels of the Russian Arctic voyage aboard Ocean Adventurer sail to 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.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Helsinki, Finland
Day 2 : Murmansk, Russia | Embark
Days 3-4 : At Sea
Days 5-7 : Exploring Novaya Zemlya
Day 8 : At Sea
Days 9-12 : Exploring Franz Josef Island
Days 13-14 : At Sea
Day 15 : Murmansk | Disembark | Fly to Helsinki
Day 16 : Helsinki, Finland

Highlights

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

Ship

Ocean Adventurer (Sea Adventurer)

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Novaya Zemlya archipelago A view of Helsinki, the largest city in Finland. Franz Josef Land scenery Walrus in the Arctic A mother polar bear and her young relax on the Arctic landscape Helsinki Cathedral illuminated at dusk overlooking Senate Square

Day 1 Helsinki, Finland

Your journey begins in Helsinki, renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences. Explore museums, galleries and restaurants, relax at a Finnish sauna or wander the vibrant Design District before retiring at your hotel. 

Day 2 Murmansk, Russia | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
After having your breakfast, head to the airport and board the private charter flight to Murmansk, Russia. Once aboard, get acquainted with the ship and crew and settle in for your voyage north.

Day 3-4 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Spend two days sailing through the Barents Sea. Learn about the storied history and politics of the region, its fascinating wildlife, geology, ecology and climate, and the incredible sights before exploring them yourselves. Watch out for seabirds, such as kittiwakes, skuas and fulmars soaring above your ship. Whale and seal sightings are also possible in this biologically diverse sea.

Day 5-7 Exploring Novaya Zemlya

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
During these three days, explore the largest of the Eurasian Arctic archipelagoes, the rarely visited Novaya Zemlya. This seemingly long, narrow island actually consists of two main islands, Severny (northern) and Yuzhny (southern), separated by the imposing Matochkin Strait.  Explore Inostrantseva Bay that provides breathtaking panoramic views of the pristine Arctic wilderness. You can also cruise by Zodiac 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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bid farewell to Novaya Zemlya as you 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 the polar library or simply spend some time on deck, admiring the sea.

Day 9-12 Exploring Franz Josef Island

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
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 your exploration, but you can 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.

Day 13-14 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
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.

Day 15 Murmansk | Disembark | Fly to Helsinki

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

Day 16 Helsinki, Finland

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

Ocean Adventurer (Sea Adventurer)

Helsinki

Deals

Complimentary Transfer Package
Arctic Savings - Book before September 30, 2019 and receive free 1 night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Helsinki, round trip group charter air from Helsinki to Murmansk, airport to ship transfers and 1 night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Helsinki. Select departures only. Valid for cabin types - Superior, Deluxe, Suite and Owner's Suite. Contact us for details.
Applies to Jul 9, 2020 departure

Per person starting at
$9,995
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
Select a Date
Triple
Averaging 128 sq. ft. (12 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths and one upper berth. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
Select a Date
Lower Deck Twin
Averaging 133 sq. ft. (12 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Lower Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
Select a Date
Main Deck Twin with Porthole
Averaging 118 sq. ft. (11 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
Select a Date
Main Deck Twin with Window
Averaging 139 sq. ft. (13 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and two windows with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
Select a Date
Superior
Averaging 142 sq. ft. (13 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Upper Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
Select a Date
Deluxe
Averaging 160 sq. ft. (15 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Upper and Captain’s Decks, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
Select a Date
Suite
Averaging 215 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Captain’s Deck, it has windows with exterior views and private facilities. Cabin 403 has a bathtub; other Suites have shower stalls.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
Select a Date
Owner's Suite
Averaging 290 sq. ft. (27 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Bridge Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.

- Standard Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate. The supplement for a Premium Cabin is 2 times the shared rate.

Insurance: Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person is included. Travelers should have a minimum US$50,000 (or equivalent) of emergency medical coverage prior to embarkation. It is recommended that you and all members of your party have comprehensive travel insurance covering trip cancellation, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage, and repatriation. Contact us for details.

*MANDATORY TRANSFER PACKAGE INCLUDES:
• 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 the charter flight

This fare includes:

• 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
• Official Quark Expeditions® 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
• Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person
• Russian invitation letter for visa application provided after final payment

This fare does not include:

• Mandatory Transfer Package*
• International airfare
• Arrival and departure transfers in Helsinki
• Passport and visa expenses
• Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
• Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
• Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
• Excess-baggage fees on international flights
• Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
• Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
• Phone and Internet charges
• Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
• Additional overnight accommodation

Important Reminder: Russian visas are required for tourists from most countries. See your country’s Russian consulate or embassy for details. A measure of flexibility is something everyone must bring to a polar expedition.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Kassandra Miller
Kassi M

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