Franz Josef Land Explorer 15 DaysAboard: Greg Mortimer
This excellent itinerary offers the rare opportunity to discover the remote and fascinating islands of the Franz Josef Land archipelago as well as the stunning coastlines of Svalbard. Aboard the brand new polar vessel the Greg Mortimer, you will sail from Longyearbyen across the Barents Sea to a world that few people have been lucky enough to visit. Watch for Polar bears, whales, walrus and seals in the Russian Arctic National Park, and enjoy long walks across the tundra to explore the geological oddities and spectacular landscapes of the area. Exploring by Zodiac you will get up close to spectacular bird cliffs and visit fascinating historic huts of explorers like Fridtjof Nansen. Throughout your voyage the sheer abundance of wildlife, birdlife and scenic sights will delight, and with optional activities like kayaking available this is truly an adventure of a lifetime.
- Experience the wonderful regions of Franz Josef Land and Svalbard in one itinerary!
- Fascinating geological sites including the mysterious stone spheres of Champ Island
- Watch for polar bears and other Arctic wildlife including whales, seals and walrus
- Zodiac beneath towering bird cliffs
- Visit historical sites including Nansen's winter camp at Cape Norway
- Kayaking option
- Photo workshop
- Full board accommodation on board ship with daily breakfast,
lunch and dinner including house wines, beers and soft drinks, afternoon
tea and snacks
- Pre-voyage group tour of Longyearbyen
- Group transfers to and from ship
- Captain's Welcome and Farewell drinks including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
- Pre-dinner drinks including canapes and bar snacks
- Zodiac landings and excursions
- Programme of expert lectures
- Loan of rubber boots
- Complimentary 3-in-1 polar jacket
So much to experience
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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.
With a lifetime of unforgettable nature and adventure based travel under his belt, Simon shares his passion, enthusiasm and hands-on experience to help create the perfect itinerary for every client.
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.
Zoe’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.
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Your Arctic adventure begins in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Svalbard. Arrive independently and join the included group sightseeing tour of this unique Arctic town, before heading to the port to board your ship. Embarkation will begin in the late afternoon and you can take the time to settle into your new surroundings as the ship sails out of Isfjorden.
As your captain steers the ship through the Barents Sea towards the Russian Far East and the Franz Josef Land archipelago there will be excellent opportunities for wildlife sightings. Spend some time in one of the many observation areas to look out for sea birds and whales following the ship and enjoy informative and entertaining talks around the wildlife, history and geology of the remote wilderness areas that you are about to visit.
Franz Josef Land
Day 4 of your adventure marks your arrival in the Russian Arctic wilderness of the Franz Josef Land archipelago. Made up of 191 islands, 85% of the archipelago is dominated by gigantic tidewater glaciers and towering icebergs, so make sure to always have your camera on hand for that perfect ice scenery picture. Exploring by Zodiac we will make landings on the central-most islands including Bell Island and Champ Island where the mysterious stone spheres are a sight to behold. You will be on a constant look out for wildlife including Polar bears and the elusive bowhead whale, as well as sailing below the towering cliffs hosting massive nesting colonies of seabirds such as guillemots, dovekies and kittiwakes. Each day your captain will choose the best areas to visit for scenic and wildlife opportunities and other landings we expect to make include Prince George Land and Alexandra Land.
After your exhilarating time in Franz Josef Land we clear Russian customs and your ship will head back towards Svalbard across the Barents Sea. Spend time on deck watching for more wildlife and enjoy the presentations and lectures from your onboard experts.
Your ship will sail around Svalbard’s stunning northwest coast where Arctic wildlife abounds. Weather and ice conditions will dictate the exact itinerary here but you can expect to make some landings as we head back towards Longyearbyen. Thanks to the nutrient-rich Gulf Stream, temperatures on the rugged west coast are relatively mild, ideal for the many Atlantic puffins and thick-billed murres that fill the cliffs. You will enjoy a fantastic farewell dinner and as your ship cruises through Isfjorden in the early morning of Day 15 your exciting Arctic adventure will come to an end. After disembarkation a transfer will be provided to the airport, or to downtown Longyearbyen if you wish to stay on to experience more of this unique town.
A view from Above
The brand new (2018-19) “Greg Mortimer” is a purpose-built expedition vessel capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, and has been built to world-class polar standards. The Greg Mortimer redefines expedition cruising for the future, utilising the ULSTEIN X-BOW, a cutting edge nautical technology which allows for gentle travel and motion at sea, reduced vibrations, improved comfort and safety on board, virtual anchoring, lower fuel consumption and lower air emissions. Robust, powerful, and built with passengers’ comfort and safety at the forefront of design, the Greg Mortimer features a modern ice-strengthened hull at ice class 1A, four sea-level launching platforms for fast and efficient access to Zodiacs, a custom-built activity platform, the most up-to-date and concise safety features including the latest ‘return to port’ technology, and has been built to meet and exceed the strict environment standards of the Polar Code, for non-intrusive and low-impact voyages. For exceptional at sea wildlife and scenery viewing opportunities the ship has custom-built hydraulic platforms offering unobstructed views, an indoor observation lounge, side viewing platforms and an outdoor top deck which allows for 360-degree views. With space for 120 passengers the ship has 80 well designed staterooms with en-suite bathrooms, ranging from porthole to balcony categories, a large dining room/restaurant with family style dining, a spacious lecture room, a well stocked library, Wellness Centre complete with gym equipment, sauna and spa, a multimedia room and a fully-stocked medical centre.
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