Rarely visited today yet significant in the history of polar exploration, Franz Josef Land is worthy of its legendary reputation.
This extraordinary expedition to Franz Josef Land is as unique and authentic as the place itself. Starting in Longyearbyen in the Norwegian territory of Svalbard, we cross the icy, wildlife-rich Barents Sea to the Russian High Arctic. In Franz Josef Land we discover unparalleled landscapes, wildlife, and history in one of the wildest and most remote corners of the Arctic.
Back in Svalbard we have the opportunity to explore beautiful fjords and islands on the northwestern coast of Spitsbergen. Here we seek the full range of Arctic wildlife in one of the world’s most impressive polar desert environments.
*Please note: Cruises in 2019 start and end in Longyearbyen (Svalbard), but do not include exploration of Spitsbergen.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Longyearbyen – Spitsbergen (Svalbard)|
20 July 2020 – 2 August 2020
1 August 2020 – 14 August 2020
13 August 2020 – 26 August 2020
|DURATION||14 days/13 nights|
|PRICES per person|
AU$14,295 Triple Suite
Cruise rates are quoted per person and based on passengers sharing a cabin. Single supplement: 1.7 for Main Deck and Classic, Superior Suite; 2 for Deluxe, Premium and Owner’s Suite.
|GROUP SIZE||110 Guests|
|Destination||Franz Josef Land|
Welcome to Longyearbyen, the Arctic adventure capital of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard and starting point of our expedition. After arriving via scheduled commercial flight, you are free to explore this small but fascinating settlement. Be sure to see the excellent Svalbard Museum and enjoy the shops, cafes and restaurants in the town center. Your hotel for the night has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the voyage.
Embarkation in Longyearbyen
In the afternoon we welcome you aboard the expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit; transfers from the hotel are included. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home-away-from-home for the extraordinary adventure to come. The long days of summer sunlight illuminate our surroundings as we slip our moorings and sail into a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as we sail through Isfjorden on our first evening is spectacular and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.
Across the Barents Sea
From Isfjorden we proceed straight to Franz Josef Land across the Barents Sea. Presentations and workshops by our expert staff prepare us for what lies ahead.
In these far northern latitudes, it is possible to encounter sea ice even in summer. Along the way, we’ll remain vigilant for sightings of ice-dependent marine mammals such as the elusive bowhead whale, various Arctic seal species, and the majestic polar bear.
Exploration of Franz Josef Land
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. As such, our route and exploration opportunities in Franz Josef Land are heavily dependent on weather and sea ice. Our experienced captain and expedition leader decide our best route and continually adjust plans as opportunities warrant in this wild and remote corner of the Arctic.
Between obligatory initial and final calls at the Russian polar station Nagurskoye in Cambridge Bay we are free to explore the many waterways and islands of this unique Arctic wilderness.
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 seabirds such as guillemots, dovekies, and kittiwakes. We’ll take advantage of the 24-hour daylight to exploit every opportunity for wildlife viewing.
Franz Josef Land is dominated by glaciation, which covers 85% of the archipelago. Immense tidewater glaciers and glittering icebergs provide a stunning backdrop to our voyage. 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 our 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.
Our primary focus during this expedition is the exploration of the Russian archipelago of Franz Josef Land. However, the number of days spent there depends on ice conditions. Final daily programs are subject to change and the decision of the captain and expedition leader.
Back to Svalbard
Following our week of exploration in Franz Josef Land, we cross back through the bountiful waters of the Barents Sea and then along the coastal islands of the Svalbard Archipelago. From panoramic open decks, enjoy Arctic landscapes and wildlife sightings. Bountiful inshore and offshore waters are home to walrus and a wide variety of whales.
The crossing also gives our expedition team the opportunity to offer a final presentation or two in the Oceanus Lounge.
Disembarkation in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
After breakfast we say farewell in the town of Longyearbyen, where we started our expedition. We provide a transfer to the airport, or to the town center if you plan to spend more time here. As you look back on your wonderful experience, you may already be looking forward to your next incredible adventure to the ice!
The islands and fjords of the High Arctic closely guard some of the world’s most unique and magical sea kayaking opportunities. Experience calving glaciers in Svalbard, cathedral-like icebergs in Greenland, or labyrinthine expanses of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, all from our sturdy and
stealthy sea kayaks. Join us for an unscripted kayaking adventure as we explore rugged coastlines and remote waters that very few people have ever paddled.
Sea Kayak Club is typically offered on voyages that include High Arctic destinations such as Greenland, Svalbard (Spitsbergen), Franz Josef Land, or a combination of these thrilling places.
PHOTOGRAPHY is a
The Polar Regions are perhaps the most photogenic on earth, with countless beautiful scenes presenting themselves every day. Endless expanses of ice, beaches crowded with seals or penguins, sunsets over unbroken horizons, starlit skies, and even the majestic northern lights – they
all present fantastic photographic opportunities – and in order to make sure that you come home with some spectacular images we offer you the chance to learn and practice your photography alongside an experienced professional.
Our 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.
M/V Sea Spirit
Like some of the birds we see in the Arctic and Antarctica, our m/v Sea Spirit is migratory and follows the sun, northbound in the summer and southbound in the winter, always ready for spontaneous discoveries — a pod of whales, a family of polar bears or a glaciated mountain vista. She is highly maneuverable and capable of navigating the narrow fjords of East Greenland and entering the small bays of Spitsbergen.
Onboard, we create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for all our guests. They are united by one goal — to have a memorable wilderness experience and to become real polar adventurers. We believe that first-hand travel to such places makes one an ambassador for conservation, and helps strengthen our resolve to protect these natural environments for future generations.
|Length||90.6 meters (297 ft.)|
|Beam||15.3 meters (50 ft.)|
|3||21 M² (226 FT²)||PICTURE WINDOW|
|Averaging 21 square metres/226 square feet, these staterooms have two twins and a comfortable sofa bed. The twins also convert to a King, if desired. Located on Oceanus Deck, these suites have a picture window, two wardrobes and en suite facilities. Amenities include: in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control, and hair dryer.|
|2||23 M² (248 FT²)||PORTHOLES|
|Averaging 23 square metres/248 square feet, Main Deck cabins are equipped with either two twins or a King Size bed. They are located on the Main Deck with a minimum of two portholes for exterior views. Amenities include: en suite facilities, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD individual temperature control and hair dryer.|
|2||21 M² (226 FT²)||PICTURE WINDOW|
|Averaging 21 square metres/226 square feet, these cabins are located on the Oceanus Deck. They feature a picture window, two wardrobes and a choice of either two twin beds or a King Size bed. Amenities include: en suite facilities, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control and hair dryer.|
|2||20 M² (215 FT²)||PICTURE WINDOW|
|Superior Suites are located on the Club Deck. Averaging 20 square metres/ 215 square feet, these cabins feature two twin beds or a King Size bed. The picture window overlooks an outside walkway on the Club Deck. Amenities include: en suite facilities, walk-in closet or wardrobe, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control, hair dryer.|
|2||24 M² (258 FT²)||PRIVATE BALCONY|
|The Deluxe Suites with balconies are located on the Sports Deck. Averaging 24 square metres/ 258 square feet means plenty of room. Choose from either two twin beds or a King Size bed. A sliding glass door leads to a private balcony. These suites feature a walk-in closet or wardrobe. Amenities include en suite facilities, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control, and a hair dryer.|
|2||30 M² (323 FT²)||PRIVATE BALCONY|
|The Premium Suites are located on the Sun Deck. Averaging a generous 30 square metres/ 323 square feet, with two twin beds or a King Size bed. Access the private balcony by a sliding glass door. Amenities include: en suite facilities, lounge area, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control, and hair dryer.|
|2||43 M² (463 FT²)||PRIVATE DECK|
|Super-spacious (43 square metres/ 463 square feet) elegant suite on the Sun Deck. Designed forentertaining, the Owner’s Suite has a separate living room with game and meeting area. A BOSE stereo system provides background music, or watch videos on the HD plasma TV. Sliding glass doors lead to a private deck. Refresh in the jetted bathtub in en suite facilities. Slumber in the King Size bed. A sofa bed can accommodate a third person.|
How to Book
To ensure your place on this exciting adventure, please contact us to reserve a place 02 6355 2022 or , then complete the Adventure Associates Booking Form and return to us with your AUD per person deposit.
|Deposit required per person:||20% in AU$ per person|
|Balance due:||90 days prior to departure|
|If booking within 89 days of departure:||Full payment must be made.|
Reservations are established when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and Booking Form. Travel insurance is strongly recommended at the time of booking.
Cancellations must be advised in writing to Adventure Associates. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, coach and tour operators, hotels and other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable charges will apply.
|More than 150 days prior to departure||AU$ 1000 per person|
|Between 149 and 90 days prior to departure||Full loss of deposit per person|
|Between 89 and 76 days prior to departure||75% of tour cost per person|
|On or within 75 days prior to departure||No Refund|
If the cancellation charge is more than your advance payment you remain liable for the difference. For these and other reasons mentioned above you are strongly recommended to take out Travel Insurance. Once the tour has departed there will be no refund for any unused portions of the trip.