sea spirit franz josef land cruise

Arctic for Explorers

  • Overview

    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.

    Duration: 15 days
    Passengers: 114 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
    Disembarkation Point: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Longyearbyen, Svalbard;

      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.

    • Day 2 - Longyearbyen, Svalbard; Embarkation Day

      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.

    • Day 3/4 - 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.

    • Day 5/11 - 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.

    • Day 12/13 - Along the coasts of 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. Weather and timing permit, we’ll launch our Zodiacs to have a closer look at wildlife as we head back to Longyearbyen.

    • Day 14 - West Spitsbergen

      After a technical stop in Longyearbyen, we explore the spectacular fjords and coasts in the western part of Svalbard. This area contains some of the archipelago’s most impressive scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities abound.

      Deep fjords and narrow channels are flanked by jagged snowy mountain peaks. Fields of flowering tundra are home to grazing reindeer and Arctic fox, always on the hunt. The whole area is alive with migratory birds, including some rare species, taking advantage of summer’s fecundity in 24-hour daylight.

      Among the historic sights, there are 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.

    • Day 15 - 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!

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your captain and expedition leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Kayaking

    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.

    AUD $655 per person

    Photography

    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.

    Included

    The Polar Bear

    To many people, the polar bear is the Arctic. The sight of such an impressive silky white bear wandering the frozen Arctic seas in search of seals symbolizes the cold, isolated nature of the Arctic so well. Polar bears are marine mammals because they spend so much of their lives away from land. In the high Arctic where there is always some sea ice to travel on, polar bears range over ice floes in the pack ice hunting seals all summer. In some areas (e.g. southern Hudson Bay, southern Svalbard) they are simply forced to come ashore. Polar bears rarely venture inland.

    Franz Joseph Land

    A geographical mystery, even in the new millennium, Franz Joseph Land, mirages played strange games with the minds of the early mapmakers, conjure new islands and towering mountains. Franza Joseph Land is scattered with stories of early explorers, their remains and ruins of a bygone era of exploration. Few people have visited it since. A haven for walrus, Polar bears and large numbers of migratory birds and with ice caps rising straight from the sea, this is one of the last true expedition frontier's left on the planet.

  • Inclusions

    Expedition Gear

    Expedition boots and a custom designed polar expedition jacket are provide on your voyage.

    Transfers & Accommodation

    Transfers to the ship on the day of your embarkation are included to your pre-cruise hotel. Transfers at the end of your voyage are provided to a central location.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - 000 per person
    - Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum of USD$150
    - Digital voyage log
    - Comprehensive pre-departure information
    - Port fees
    - Welcome and farewell cocktails
    - All excursions and lectures (subject to weather conditions)
    - Hot beverages
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Gratuities
    - Internet / Wifi & Phone
    - Laundry
    - Beverages
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - you will need to consult your countries Russian consulate or embassy for details)
    - Visa & Passport fees (A Russian visa is required for this expedition
    - International airfare
  • Map
    Poseidon franz josef land
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    LUXURY EXPEDITION VESSEL: 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.

    Providing spacious suite accommodation of 114 passengers the Sea Spirit at the same time features maneuverability and friendly atmosphere of small ships. The vessel has an ice-strengthened hull, a fleet of Zodiacs, and a set of retractable fin stabilizers for smoother sailing.

    Features & Facilities
    • Luxury accommodation
    • Bar
    • Lounge
    • Presentation Lounge
    • Open Bridge Policy
    • Gym.
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 114
    Crew #: 72
    Ice Class: 1D
    Speed: 15
    Refurbished: 2017
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 1991
    Length: 90m
    Width: 15
    Draft: 4
    Tonnage: 4200
    Registry: Bahamas
    Elec Outlets: 110V / 2 Flat Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability

Triple Suite

18 Aug 2018 - 01 Sep 2018
A genorous Suite with 3 x lower berths and private facilities
AUD $12,895pp
AUD $12,895pp

Main Deck Suite

18 Aug 2018 - 01 Sep 2018
A genorous Suite with twin or king bedding and private facilties
AUD $17,595pp
AUD $17,595pp

Classic Suite

18 Aug 2018 - 01 Sep 2018
A genorous Suite with twin or king bedding and private facilties
AUD $18,695pp
AUD $18,695pp

Superior Suite

18 Aug 2018 - 01 Sep 2018
A genorous Suite with twin or king bedding and private facilties
AUD $19,195pp
AUD $19,195pp

Deluxe Suite with Balcony

18 Aug 2018 - 01 Sep 2018
An extremely comfortable Suite with twin or king bedding, private facilities and a balcony
AUD $21,495pp
AUD $21,495pp

Premium Suite with Balcony

18 Aug 2018 - 01 Sep 2018
An extremely comfortable Suite with twin or king bedding, private facilities and a balcony
AUD $23,395pp
AUD $23,395pp

Owner's Suite with Balcony

18 Aug 2018 - 01 Sep 2018
Among the most sough after Owner's Suites.
AUD $31,095pp
AUD $31,095pp