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The Northeast Passage with Wrangel Island

Northeast Passage Cruise

Summary : Sail from Norway to Alaska via the Northeast Passage, the legendary maritime route that is covered by ice for much of the year. Aboard L’Austral, you will navigate the Arctic seas, meandering between the Siberian archipelagos - a voyage in search of little-known lands, rich in countless natural wonders. Murmansk, one of the world’s northern-most cities, will be the first port of call. You will then reach Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya, magnificent natural sanctuaries that are part of the Russian Arctic National Park. A little further east, the immense polar desert of the Northern Land Archipelago, as well as the exceptional biodiversity of the New Siberian Islands, will offer you pure moments of wonder. You will finally reach Chukotka, one of the most isolated regions in the world. Covered with immense brightly colored tundra, the region is home to various villages - an opportunity for you to share a few moments of the inhabitants’ life. Before arriving in your disembarkation port of Nome, you will discover Wrangel Island’s biodiversity. It is unique in the world, like a real record of the earth’s last ice age.

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Paris, Fance / Tromso, Norway

Fly from Paris to Tromso and transfer to the ship to embark the vessel. Settle in to life on board as your voyage begins.

Day 2
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3
Murmansk

Along the coastline of Kola Bay, in the Barents Sea, discover Murmansk, the world’s largest city located above the Arctic Circle. Time seems to stand still in these parts, which are subjected to extreme cold and plunged into darkness for several weeks. Between its former warehouses, the vestiges of the port’s significant commercial and military activity during the past century, and its Stalinist architecture, the city presents an austere silhouette at first sight. This characteristic is in total contrast with the majestic beauty of the surrounding landscapes made up of the hills overlooking the Murmansk fjord.

Day 4
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 5 – 7
Franz Josef Land

Lost in the heart of the Russian Arctic, Franz Josef Land rises up, imposing and majestic, out of the icy waters of the Barents Sea. The volcanic archipelago was named in honor of the Austrian-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and offers up sumptuous landscapes sculpted by glacial erosion. Particularly difficult to reach because of the ice floe and still completely unknown until 150 years ago, this group of islands remains relatively unexplored today. Home to extremely rich wild life, it was declared a natural sanctuary and is today part of the Russian Arctic National Park.

Day 8
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 9
Novaya Zemlya

North of Siberia, discover Novaya Zemlya, whose name means “new land” in Russian. Bordered by the Barents and Kara Seas, this mountainous archipelago, an extension of the Urals, is home to very rich polar fauna despite its particularly harsh climatic conditions. Moreover, the far north of the region is part of the Russian Arctic National Park, a veritable Arctic sanctuary with many polar bears and walruses. In these parts, you’ll also be able to admire majestic glaciers, including the impressive Severny Island ice cap, which covers almost 40% of this spit of land.

Day 10 – 11
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 11
Northern Land Archipelago

Identified and mapped only at the beginning of the 20th century, Severnaya Zemlya (Northern Land) is the last archipelago to be discovered in the world, at this time. Located near the northern coast of Russia, but protected by a thick ice floe, the site is particularly difficult to reach and relatively unexplored. An immense polar desert made up of many glaciers and huge rocky expanses, this group of islands offers exceptional landscapes and possesses the largest glacial expanse in the country. As you approach the coastline, admire the silent ballet of the icebergs.

Day 12 – 13
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 13 – 14
Day 15
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 16
Chukotka

Located between the glacial Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, on the eastern point of Russia, Chukotka is one of the world’s most isolated regions. Made up of vast plains of tundra, which take on magnificent colors in summer, the region is the kingdom of the Chukchi, a nomad people that has now settled. Present on these lands for millennia, they are one of Eastern Siberia’s oldest communities and still live from hunting and fishing today.

Day 17 – 19
Wrangel Island

Imagine a natural island that is mostly mountainous and, for the rest of its landscapes, alternates between vast tundra plains and areas of great lakes, lagoons and cliffs. Welcome to Wrangel, the most important hotspot of Arctic biodiversity. Situated between the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea, the island was named after the Russian explorer Ferdinand von Wrangel. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island is a rare, precious and very ancient ecosystem with unique vegetation, as well as an exceptional fauna: it is home to the majestic polar bear and the vast majority of the Russian Arctic’s walrus population. The island also holds traces of the last mammoths and is home to several endemic species.

Day 20
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 21 – 22
Chukotka

Located between the glacial Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, on the eastern point of Russia, Chukotka is one of the world’s most isolated regions. Made up of vast plains of tundra, which take on magnificent colors in summer, the region is the kingdom of the Chukchi, a nomad people that has now settled. Present on these lands for millennia, they are one of Eastern Siberia’s oldest communities and still live from hunting and fishing today.

Day 23
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 24
Chukotka / At Sea

Located between the glacial Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, on the eastern point of Russia, Chukotka is one of the world’s most isolated regions. Made up of vast plains of tundra, which take on magnificent colors in summer, the region is the kingdom of the Chukchi, a nomad people that has now settled. Present on these lands for millennia, they are one of Eastern Siberia’s oldest communities and still live from hunting and fishing today.

Day 25
Nome, Alaska / Seattle, Washington

Disembark the vessel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Seattle.

Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.

Travel Insurance:
ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.

Included:
One-way flight Paris/Tromso; one-way flight Nome/Seattle; transfers between the airport/ship; shipboard accommodations; parka; gear on loan (boots); Wi-Fi onboard ship; all meals onboard ship; 24-hour room service; most beverages onboard ship; gratuities onboard ship. Butler service is included for guests staying in Deck 6 Suites. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare other than listed as included; any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones included; visa and passport fees; travel insurance; personal expenses such as onboard medical consultations and drug prescriptions, spa, laundry and hair salon; premium alcohol; fuel surcharge may apply.


Photos: © Servane Roy-Berton, © Nathalie Michel

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