Russian Arctic, Spitsbergen - Franz Josef Land

Experience the wildlife, terrain, and history of Eurasia’s northernmost archipelago

Cruise route
Title: Russian Arctic, Spitsbergen - Franz Josef Land
Dates:
Tripcode: HDS11-23
Duration: 12 nights
Ship: m/v Hondius
Embarkation: Longyearbyen
Disembarkation: Longyearbyen
Language: English speaking voyage, Language assisted voyage
More about: Arctic cruises
Svalbard cruises
Franz Josef Land cruises
 
Itinerary

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per AECO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with AECO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed of our vessel is 10.5 knots.

This ambitious expedition into the 192-island archipelago of Franz Josef Land gives you the opportunity to spot such exotic Arctic wildlife as polar bears, Greenland whales, and an assortment of seal and seabird species, while also visiting the remains of historic 19th-century expeditions.

Day 1: The start of your Arctic adventure

We set out from Longyearbyen at 16.00 hours, hoping to get some initial sightings of local seabirds and marine life along the way.

Days 2 & 3: Sailing the Spitsbergen ice edge

The next two days we spend sailing eastward, exploring the ice edge north of Spitsbergen. Here we might see seals, whales, seabirds, and even polar bears.

Day 4: First sights of Franz Josef Land

Today we approach the Russian base Nagurskoye on the Franz Josef Land island of Alexandra Land. We can see the base from the ship, but we are not permitted to land there. After getting clearance from Russia, we will welcome on board four guides from the Russian Arctic National Park. Later in the day, we aim to make our first landing on the southern part of Arthur Island. We have a fair chance of spotting polar bears here and elsewhere in Franz Josef Land.

Day 5: Historic expeditions on Rudolf Island

The goal is to sail to Rudolf Island, the northernmost island of the Franz Josef Land archipelago. Here we hope to land near an abandoned Russian station in Teplitz Bay, seeing some reminders of the Italian and American expeditions here around the turn of the 19th century. We will try to land at Cape Fligely, the northernmost landmass in Eurasia, but may also change the order of these visits.

Day 6: Walrus haul-outs and Cape Norvegia

After sailing south, we will reach Apollonov Island, a large haul-out site for walruses, which you might be able to see from our Zodiacs. At Cape Norvegia on Jackson Island, our aim is to visit the site where Nansen and Johansen spent the winter after leaving the m/v Fram in 1895. Later we will sail southeast by Ziegler Island, then continue south through narrow but spectacular straits.

Day 7: Geological wonders and historic expeditions

Today we land at Cape Tirol, located on the northeast coast of Wiener Neustadt Island in the Austrian Straight. This cape was named during the Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition of 1872-74, whose leader, Julius von Payer, climbed the cape. Later at Champ Island at Cape Trieste, we plan to make excursions among enormous spherical stone formations, after which we hope to circumnavigate Hall Island, a landmass largely covered by an ice dome. Later in the evening, we’ll sail by the eastern tip of Cape Frankfurt.

Day 8: Franz Josef Land’s first-seen location

At the southern tip of Hall Island, we aim to land at Cape Tegethoff. This was the first piece of Franz Josef Land to be seen by explorers, specifically the Austro-Hungarian Expedition, who spotted the cape from their ship, Tegethoff, in 1873. The American Wellman Expedition of 1898-99 later stayed here, too, and the remains of their octagonal cabin can still be seen. Later in the day, we plan to sail through the narrow Negri Channel between Hall Island and McClintok Island, then sail by the coast of Alger Island, where the American Baldwin-Ziegler Expedition had its main camp in 1901-02. This beautiful area is surrounded by mountainous islands boasting impressive glacier fronts.

Day 9: Cliffside seabirds and Arctic marine life

Early in the morning, we arrive at Rubini Rock on Hooker Island’s Tikhaya Bay. Along this impressive cliff face, you can see colonies of seabirds, such as Brünnich’s guillemots, black guillemots, little auks, fulmars, and kittiwakes. You might also see bearded seals, harp seals, or Greenland whales in this area.

Next we sail to Cape Flora on Northbrook Island, an important site in the history of polar exploration. More than a century ago, several expeditions had their bases here, and on the cliffs behind Cape Flora are large colonies of Brünnich’s guillemots. It is exciting to witness the younger birds trying to glide from the ledges to the sea.

At Günther Bay, we may take a Zodiac cruise near an important haul-out site for walruses. If landing at Cape Flora is difficult due to sea swell and permission, we will try to land at Bell Island, near Eira Lodge, the station of 19th-century British explorer Benjamin Leigh Smith.

Day 10: Back to Nagurskoye and Spitsbergen

In the morning, we will return to Nagurskoye. Here our four guides from Franz Josef Land National Park will leave the ship, after which we’ll sail west to Spitsbergen.

Day 11: The Seven Islands of northern Svalbard

In the northernmost area of the Svalbard archipelago lies an island group known as Sjuøyane, which translates to “Seven Islands.” Here we plan to land at the rugged island of Phippsøya, where you may be able to see more walruses.

Day 12: Incredible Krossfjorden scenery

Today we sail into Krossfjorden in the main island of Spitsbergen, where you’ll pass through staggeringly scenic alpine mountaintops, active glaciers, and rich vegetation.

Day 13: Journey’s end in Longyearbyen

We finally return to Svalbard’s principal town, where you will disembark the vessel, taking home priceless memories of friends made, wildlife encountered, and a once-in-a-lifetime Arctic adventure.

 

m/v Hondius

Hondius is the first-registered Polar Class 6 vessel in the world, optimized for the most innovative exploratory voyages throughout the Arctic and Antarctica. Full ship info »

Cabins & Prices

Quadruple Porthole

  • 2 portholes
  • 2 upper & lower berths
  • Small sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin

Complete cabin

30400 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sorry, cabin is not available

Sharing berth

7600 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Sorry, berth is not available

Triple Porthole

  • 2 portholes
  • 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths
  • Small sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin

Complete cabin

27900 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sorry, cabin is not available

Sharing berth

9300 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Sorry, berth is not available

Twin Porthole

  • 2 portholes
  • 2 single beds
  • Small sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe

Complete cabin

21800 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sorry, cabin is not available

Single cabin

18530 USD

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

Sorry, cabin is not available

Sharing berth

10900 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Sorry, berth is not available

Twin Window

  • 1 window
  • 2 single beds
  • Small sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • Please be aware that the view from some windows might be partially obstructed due to the design requirements of the ship

Complete cabin

23400 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sorry, cabin is not available

Single cabin

19890 USD

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

Sorry, cabin is not available

Sharing berth

11700 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Sorry, berth is not available

Twin Deluxe

  • 2 windows
  • 2 single beds
  • Sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Refrigerator
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Bathrobe
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe

Complete cabin

25200 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sorry, cabin is not available

Single cabin

21420 USD

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

Sorry, cabin is not available

Sharing berth

12600 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Sorry, berth is not available

Superior

  • 2 windows
  • 1 double bed
  • Sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Refrigerator
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Bathrobe
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe

Complete cabin

28200 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sorry, cabin is not available

Single cabin

23970 USD

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

Sorry, cabin is not available

Junior Suite

  • 1 double window
  • 1 double bed
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Refrigerator
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Bathrobe
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe

Complete cabin

30200 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sorry, cabin is not available

Single cabin

25670 USD

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

Sorry, cabin is not available

Grand Suite with private balcony

  • 1 double window
  • 1 double bed
  • Sofa
  • Private balcony
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Refrigerator
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Bathrobe
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe

Complete cabin

34800 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sorry, cabin is not available

Single cabin

29580 USD

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

Sorry, cabin is not available
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