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Greg Mortimer - Franz Josef Land Explorer

15 Days FROM AUD 11,900


Explore the stark yet beautiful Franz Josef Land, the world’s northernmost archipelago, which sits high in the Russian Arctic, 900 kilometres from the North Pole. Sail across the Barents Sea with opportunities to spot whales, maybe even the elusive bowhead whale, before entering the Russian Arctic National Park and a world that few have been lucky enough to experience. Watch for polar bears and walrus on land and ice, visit the historic huts of Nansen, photograph the stone spheres at Champ Island and cruise alongside spectacular bird cliffs where colonies of kittiwakes, little auks and other seabirds can be found. This is a rare opportunity to discover this remote yet fascinating part of the Arctic.


Optional Activities : Kayaking, Photography


Travel Style: Expedition Cruise

Location: Russian Arctic, North Pole

Ship: Greg Mortimer

Flights: We offer a range of flight options to meet your cruise. Contact us today to discuss.


  • You will discover the world's northernmost archipelagos, Franz Josef Land is truly a place of incredible beauty and a deeply enriching experience. 

  • You will have the chance to spot incredible wildlife such as walrus, whales and of course the legendary polar bear. 

  • Witness the spectacular phenomenon of the bird cliffs where countless species hang to jagged rocks providing an ethereal wildlife experience.


Arrive in Kirkenes, Norway, located on the border with Russia. Join a pre-arranged half day excursion or activity prior to boarding the Greg Mortimer late afternoon. Airport transfers will be included if arriving on preferred flights into Kirkenes. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings. Sail the scenic Bokfjord to reach the Barents. Sea on our way to Murmansk in neighbouring Russia.

Embark - Kirkenes

After sailing overnight into Russia, we stop in Murmansk, to undergo formalities to enter Russia. During clearance procedures, we may go on a city of Murmansk visiting the monument to the soldier of WW2 and also the first nuclear icebreaker Lenin.


Over the next two days at sea, enjoy informative and entertaining lectures from our expert expedition team including naturalists, historians and geologists. Time and weather permitting, we may cruise along the coast of Novaya Zemlya on day 4, to have a first glimpse of the tundra of the high Arctic, we may even try a landing in the tundra or a zodiac cruise in front of our first glacier. Fingers crossed!

At Sea - Day 3 & 4

Franz Josef Land is a stark yet beautiful world of glaciers, mosses and lichens. Approximately five million sea birds nest on the archipelago every year, with the thick-billed guillemot accounting for approximately 20%. Other seabirds such as fulmar, kittiwake, Brünnich's guillemot, black guillemot and little auk are common throughout the archipelago. On the flat tundra, nest other species such as: common eider, purple sandpiper, Arctic skua, glaucous gull, ivory gull, Arctic tern and snow bunting. Franz Josef Land is home to two Arctic giants – the Polar bear and the walrus. There is also a population of Arctic fox, which typically have their territories near seabird habitats. The waters of Franz Josef Land are visited by whales, including humpback, bowhead, narwhal, and white beluga whale. Walrus, ringed seals, bearded seals and an amazing species of mammals, choose Franz Josef Land and the water areas around it as their home. While there are many exciting places we can choose to visit over the following week, weather, wind, and sea-ice conditions will determine our itinerary in Franz Josef Land.

Franz Josef Land - Day 5 to 11

The return crossing of the Barents Sea offers some good opportunities to encounter whales, perhaps the elusive bowhead whale if we’re lucky, and certainly plenty of opportunities to photograph sea birds.

At Sea - Day 12 & 13

Back in Murmansk for clearance procedures before continuing to Kirkenes.


Arrive in Kirkenes in the morning, farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to the airport is
included in the cost of the voyage.


Pricing & date

Greg Mortimer - Franz Josef Land Explorer from AUD 11,900
Departing Ending Duration
12 Jul 2020 26 Jul 2020 15






Important Information

  • Shipboard accommodation
    All meals on-board
    All scheduled landings/excursions
    Group transfer to/from airport to ship in Longyearbyen 
    Group sightseeing tour on arrival in Longyearbyen (Pre-voyage) 
    Group lectures by expedition leaders/team
    English speaking expedition team
    Captain's welcome and farewell drinks including four-course dinner
    Complimentary expedition polar jacket
    Complimentary use of gumboots
    Personalised photo book
    Port and landing fees


    Airfares to and from embarkation and disembarkation city 
    Visa and passport fees (if applicable) 
    Travel insurance
    Beverages (other than tea & coffee) 
    Laundry and personal expenses

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request, contact us for more details.

  • Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions.

  • Departure date, seasonality and availability.


Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

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