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Franz Josef Land Explorer, 12 Day

12 Days FROM USD 6,700


Experience the mysterious and rugged beauty of the Russian Arctic on this 12 day voyage to Franz Josef Land. Franz Josef land is an incredible archipelago compromising of 192 islands. Following in the footsteps of historic explorers you will travel into this largely untouched archipelago. This adventure gives you the unique opportunity to see exotic Arctic wildlife including polar bears, walrus, Greenland whales, and an assortment of seal and bird species. At Rudolf island - the northernmost in the peninsula you will find ghostly abandoned Russian stations. At Cape Norvegia you will zodiac cruise close to walrus haul out. From cliffside birdlife to the occasional whale breach, each expedition on this voyage will be unique and into the unknown.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACOWFJ

Travel Style: Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Location: Russian Arctic - Franz Josef Land

Ship: Hondius

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


  • Experience a beautiful amalgam of rugged beauty and deep exploration mystery as you explore one of the most remote corners of the Arctic.

  • Undertake a number of incredible expedition experiences - zodiac cruise near walrus haul outs, land on rocky shores at the wake of abandoned research stations and cruise near impressive cliff faces home to a number of hardy seabirds.


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

Arrival and Embarkation in Longyearbyen

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.

Spitsbergen Ice Edge - Day 2 to 3

Today we approach the Russian base Nagurskoye on the Franz Josef Land island of Alexandra Land. We will the Russian base at Nagurskoye from the ship, but we will not land there. After getting clearance from Russia, we will then welcome on board four guides / inspectors from the Russian Arctic National Park. Later in the day, we aim to make our first landing on the southern part of Arthur Island. In the Arctic archipelago of Franz Josef Land, polar bear sightings are likely.

Franz Josef Land

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.

Rudolf Island

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.

Cape Norvegia

Today we land at Cape Tirol, located on the northeast coast of Wiener Neustadt Island in the Austrian Straight. This cape was named by the Austrian-Hungaryan Tegthoff Expedition and was climbed by its leader, Julius von Payer, in spring of 1874. On Champ Island at Cape Trieste, we plan to make excursions among enormous spherical stone formations, after which we aim to 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.

Cape Tirol

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.

Franz Josef Exploration

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


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

Seven Islands of Northern Svalbard

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.


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.

Disembarkation in Longyearbyen

Pricing per person & dates

Franz Josef Land Explorer, 12 Day from USD 6,700
Departing Ending Duration
01 Aug 2022 12 Aug 2022 12
12 Aug 2022 23 Aug 2022 12

Important Information

  • All accommodation on board vessel
    All meals whilst on board
    All shore excursions and activities by zodiac
    Guiding and lectures by experienced expedition team
    Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes
    Comprehensive pre-departure material


    International airfare
    Pre and post land arrangements
    Travel insurance
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable) 
    Excess baggage fees and items of a personal nature

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

  • Please note this itinerary may be subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions.

  • Departure date, seasonality and availability.



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