Spitsbergen & Franz Josef Land 14 daysAboard: Sea Spirit
An exciting and unique expedition taking you to two of the Arctic’s most fascinating groups of islands. Aboard the luxury vessel M/v Sea Spirit you will travel to the most remote and rarely visited Russian High Arctic archipelago - Franz Josef Land, where 7 days of exploration will take you up close to polar bears, walruses and a myriad of Arctic birds. Following in the wake of famous Arctic explorers you will observe the magnificent “moon” landscapes of the islands and see the mysterious stone spheres of Champ Island, before returning to the spectacular scenery of the wildlife paradise that is Spitsbergen.
- Polar bears and other mammals
- Myriad birdlife
- Rarely visited Franz Josef Land
- Unique geological features
- Spectacular Svalbard scenery
- Kayaking option available
- One night's hotel pre-voyage
- Group transfers to and from ship
- Full board accommodation on ship
- All zodiac landings and excursions
- Programme of lectures by expert guides
- Expedition parka
- Loan of rubber boots
- All port fees
So much to experience
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All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Your adventure will begin in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Svalbard archipelago. You are invited to arrive at a time that is convenient to you and spend the day exploring this remote settlement. Accommodation tonight is included as part of your package.
Embark and set sail
In the afternoon you will be transferred to the port to board the luxury polar vessel M/v Sea Spirit. Make yourself comfortable in your new surroundings as your ship sails into the wilderness through Isfjorden. Spectacular scenery abounds and with virtually 24 hour daylight at this time of year, we can already be on the lookout for marine mammals.
Crossing the Barents Sea
We sail around the coast of Spitsbergen and the Svalbard Archipelago and cross the Barents Sea, east towards Franz Josef Land. Enjoy onboard presentations about the adventures that lie ahead and keep a lookout on deck for Bowhead and other whales, and even polar bears.
Islands of Franz Josef Land
We clear Russian immigration at Nagurskoye and are then free to explore this wildlife and scenery rich archipelago. Our itinerary is heavily dependent on ice and weather conditions, and your experienced captain and expedition leader will decide the best route and continually adjust plans as opportunities warrant in this wild and remote corner of the Arctic. You can expect to see polar bears, rare whales, walrus and other marine mammals as well as massive nesting colonies of seabirds including guillemots, little auks and the threatened ivory gull. With close to 24 hours of daylight, there are lots of opportunities for wildlife viewing.
There are also interesting geological features, such as the stone spheres on Champ Island and basalt cliffs of Rubini Rock, as well as memorials of the many polar expeditions that passed this way. Franz Josef Land is dominated by glaciation, which covers 85% of the archipelago. Immense tidewater glaciers and glittering icebergs will provide a stunning backdrop throughout your voyage.
After an exciting week of exploring Franz Josef Land you will cross back through the bountiful waters of the Barents Sea and then along the coastal islands of the Svalbard Archipelago. Again, the focus will be heavily upon wildlife viewing and you can hope to see polar bears and other mammals and birds throughout these days. The scenery on Spitsbergen is spectacular, with sharp mountain peaks and calving glaciers, and we will sail into deep fjords and narrow channels looking out for polar bears, walrus and seals on the ice floes and reindeer and Arctic fox on the flowering tundra. In open water, there are several species of whale to be spotted and on land the remnants of human habitation in the form of long abandoned whaling, mining and trapping camps.
Upon return back into Longyearbyen, a transfer to the airport or to the town center will be provided. You may wish to spend some further time here and if so, be sure to see the excellent Svalbard Museum and take advantage of the quality cultural and dining opportunities in this fascinating Arctic settlement.
A view from Above
Sea Spirit is a high-quality purpose-built Antarctica expedition ship with en-suite accommodation for up to 114 passengers. Recently refurbished, all suites and cabins have windows, satellite phone access, flat-screen TV and DVD player and king size or twin beds and a number also have private balconies. There is a passenger lift, spacious dining room, lounge, Polar library, bar, shop, gym and hot tub. The ship has plenty of open deck space and an open bridge policy. A 10mb communications access card is included in every voyage.
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Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Arctic, Russia adventure for you.
Amy’s abiding love of adventure travel has taken her to some of the most incredible wildlife-rich places on Earth. Her vast experience and genuine desire to share her knowledge makes her an outstanding and invaluable person to help you organise your wildlife adventure trip.
Simon’s deep passion for and first-hand knowledge of a vast range of destinations all over the world gives him the ideal skills to help you create a truly unforgettable wildlife inspired adventure to the most exciting places on the planet.
Mike lives and breathes adventure travel and has a wealth of experience in some of the most exciting and inspirational destinations in the world. His expertise and first-hand experience afford him the skills to help build holidays to remember.