Explore Franz Josef Land
With a backdrop of dramatic glaciers, scree slopes and turquoise sea ice, Franz Josef Land is an awe-inspiring sight to behold. Cruising through the frigid waters of the High Arctic you’ll reach your final destination, Franz Josef Land, a protected nature sanctuary and part of the Russian Arctic National Park since 2012. Home to a myriad of polar wildlife, from rare whales and walruses, to seals, seabirds and polar bears, this truly is the Arctic at its wildest and most remote.
After a necessary stop at the Russian polar station Nagurskoye in Cambridge Bay, you’ll spend the next week exploring the waterways and islands of this fascinating Arctic landscape. Taking advantage of the ‘land of the midnight sun’, you’ll explore the many islands that are home to thousands of nesting seabirds and explore the edge of the ice where polar bears stalk the resident seal and walrus populations. Heading further inland, you can follow in the footsteps of many famous polar explorers as you come across memorials, monuments, crosses and the remains of dwellings that hark back to the days of Benjamin Leigh Smith and Frederick George Jackson. Marvel at the mysterious stone spheres on Champ Island and discover Tikhaya Bukhta, currently a Russian ranger station but once a major base for polar expeditions. Due to the dynamic nature of the weather and sea conditions in the Russian High Arctic, your experienced captain and expedition leader will tweak and adjust your itinerary to ensure you have the most enriching and unforgettable experience in Franz Josef Land.