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Franz Josef Land & Svalbard

Arctic Cruise

Summary : Discover Franz Josef Land Archipelago! These remote islands of the Arctic are home to majestic polar bear, fascinating geological formations, and recounts and artifacts from historic expeditions. Observe Svalbard's beautiful glaciers and labyrinthine expanses of sea ice. Watch for whale, reindeer, arctic fox, walrus and much more on this trip of a lifetime with an included photography program. Along the journey, your team of expert guides and lecturers will provide context to the sites and bring alive the region's remarkable natural history.

Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins


Prices from
$999,999,999 to $0

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Day 1
Longyearbyen, Norway

Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard and starting point of your expedition. You are free to explore this fascinating Arctic settlement at your leisure with your hotel for the night included in the price of the voyage.

Day 2
Longyearbyen / Embark

In the afternoon, board your luxury expedition ship. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Sail into a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as you sail through Isfjorden on the first evening is spectacular as you keep an eye out for marine mammal encounters.

Day 3 – 4
At Sea

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
Franz Josef Land Archipelago

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 explore every opportunity for wildlife viewing. All activities here are strongly dependent on ice and weather conditions. The list of possible landings includes:

Champ Island:
The landscape of Champ is amazing - ice-capped cliffs, the highest on Franz Josef Land, on which thousands of birds find their shelter. Discover the unique nature phenomenon of perfect spherically shaped stones ranging from 3 mm to 3 m in diameter. How did they form?

Bell Island:
Named after the bell-shaped mountain which dominates the island and is a symbol of the whole archipelago, visit the well-preserved house built by the members of the Expedition in 1880.

Cape Flora:
Famous for its thick carpets of mosses of deep red, green and yellow, the towering cliffs at the southern part of Cape Flora are home for the huge sea birds colony. Arctic foxes are also frequent guests here.

Tikhaya Bay:
Visit an abandoned station that was in operation from 1929 to 1959. It was the first soviet research base and the northernmost one in the world. The site is well preserved. Tikhaya Bay is also famous for its huge cliff Rubini Rock which is a shelter for thousands of sea birds.

Alger Island:
If weather permits, cruise aboard a zodiac among drifting icebergs. Here you have a good chance for a polar bears sighting.

Cape Tegetthoff :
A favorite for photographers, huge cliffs resembling a shark’s dorsal fin submerged in the sea.

Day 12 – 13
At Sea

After your amazing time in Franz Josef Land, cross back through the bountiful waters of the Barents Sea. The lectures by invited speakers prepare you for meeting with the unique Arctic wildlife and awesome landscapes of Spitsbergen. Seabird viewing and whale sightings can be enjoyed from panoramic open decks as well as exterior stateroom windows and balconies.

Day 14 – 15

All activities strongly depend on ice and weather conditions. Among the places you may visit include: Ny Ålesund, Krossfjorden, Glacier of 14th of July, Signehamna, Lillehoekbreen, St. Jonsfjorden and Alkehornet.

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 explore sites rich with history such as 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
Longyearbyen, Norway

Disembark in the morning after breakfast and transfer to the airport.


Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.

Bilingual Departure: English/German

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage including medical, evacuation, cancellation and trip interruption. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.

Kayaking Option:
Space is limited. Sign up at the time of booking to secure your spot. You must book your spot before you join the vessel for your voyage. Weather permitting, sea kayakers will have the opportunity to paddle through scenic Arctic waterways. Participants must be at least 18 years old, in good health, have appropriate physical fitness, and have previous kayaking experience.

Photography Program: Included in price
An expert photographer will be on hand to answer your questions and give advice, both in the form of on-board lectures and workshops on shore. Explore the key elements of photography in a fun and relaxed setting, with plenty of opportunities for questions and feedback. Learn how to see light in a new way and experiment with the techniques of composition and framing.

1 pre-voyage hotel night in Longyearbyen; group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation; group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation; shipboard accommodations; Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a maximum benefit of US $100,000 per person (for those 85 years of age and younger); scheduled landings/excursions; meals on board ship; coffee/tea station 24 hours on ship; welcome and farewell cocktail on ship; a pair of rubber boots on loan for shore landings; expedition parka (yours to keep); port fees; pre-departure materials; digital Voyage Log. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; visa and passport fees; luggage, medical and trip cancellation insurance; excess baggage charges; soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those mentioned as included; kayaking; personal expenses such as laundry and telecommunications charges (telephone, faxes, and internet); gratuities to shipboard personnel; fuel surcharge may apply.

Photos © Poseidon Expeditions

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