Franz Josef Land

Part of the Russian National Park, the archipelago of Franz Josef Land consists of 192 largely glaciated islands


Currently we do not have any Franz Josef Land cruises available.

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Franz Josef Land Sites, Species, and Experiences

The archipelago of Franz Josef Land is to Russia what Svalbard is to Norway: Both island groups offer excellent Arctic scenery, adventurous outdoor activities, and a good chance of seeing iconic species like polar bears and walruses - alongside a wide range of marine mammals and seabirds.

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Map of Franz Josef Land

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Franz Josef Land FAQ

Franz Josef Land is located between the islands of Svalbard to the west and the islands of Severnaya Zemlya to the east. A Russian archipelago of 192 islands lying around 81° north, Franz Josef Land is largely glaciated and surrounded by ample sea ice.

Other than its wildlife, which includes such animals as polar bears, walruses, and several species of whale, seal, and seabird, Franz Josef Land’s small human population is entirely composed of scientific, national park, and military personnel.

We visit Franz Josef Land in the summer, when coastal temperatures range from 0°C (32°F) to 3°C (37°F).

Located around 81° north, Franz Josef Land is mostly glaciated and surrounded by a considerable amount of sea ice.

We visit sites that represent some of the most scenic, historic, wildlife-rich areas in the Franz Josef Land archipelago: the Russian base Nagurskoye on Alexandra Land Island, the walrus haul-out site at Apollonov Island, Nansen and Johansen’s overwintering hut on Jackson Island, the seabird nesting cliffs of Rubini Rock on Hooker Island, and the historic (and bird-filled) Cape Flora on Northbrook Island, among many others.

In Franz Josef Land, you have the chance to see many of the iconic species associated with the Arctic wilderness: polar bears, walruses, harp seals, Greenland whales, Brünnich’s guillemots, and much more.

Though we can never guarantee any one species will make an appearance, these animals and others are all possible sightings in this rich Arctic archipelago.