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High Arctic Odyssey
High Arctic Odyssey

Severnaya Zemlya, Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land

New
High Arctic Odyssey
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Group size
to 132 person
Duration
20 days

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
29 July 2021
  • 29 July 2021
End date:
17 August 2021
11 606 EUR

The largest, the northernmost and the most difficult to access. In this expedition you will explore 3 archipelagos of the Russian Arctic: Severnaya Zemlya, Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land. If as a child you read the novel "Two captains" by Soviet author Veniamin Kaverin and have always dreamed of following in the footsteps of its characters, lets join our cruise.

New
High Arctic Odyssey
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Group size
to 132 person
Duration
20 days

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
29 July 2021
  • 29 July 2021
End date:
17 August 2021
11 606 EUR

Experiences you'll have

Expedition to the Russian Arctic Islands

Have you read the novel "Two captains"? Did you know that it is based on the true story of the Arctic Explorer Vladimir Rusanov, whose expedition went missing in 1912? It is believed that it was Vladimir Rusanov who became the discoverer of the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago. These places are still almost uninhabited, and tourists get here only when traveling along the Northern sea route.

The cost of the cruise depends on the selected type of cabin, there are discounts up to 25% for early bookings. See the details in the "Accommodation" section.

Highlights of the journey:

  • you will visit three of the most remote Arctic archipelagos at once — Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land
  • make sea trips on Zodiac boats, sailing as close as possible to polar bears, walruses and whales
  • find yourself at the "edge of the world", landing at Cape Chelyuskin — the northernmost point of Eurasia
  • follow the footsteps of the great Arctic explorers
  • explore places where there are no more than 200 tourists a year

 

Watch the video which was shot during an arctic expedition to Severnaya Zemlya — this hard-to-reach archipelago remained undiscovered until 1913. The crew sailed the 16.2-metre expedition yacht Apostle Andrey, looking for wildlife and hiking magnificent regions where no human had ever set foot:

 

 

Photo by Sergey Dolya

Itinerary

The journey begins in Murmansk, where you should travel to on your own. We are ready to help with the purchase of air tickets, if necessary, leave a comment in the application.

 

Here is the general plan of the expedition, the route may change depending on the weather and ice conditions.

Day 1 The start of the expedition

You will be met at the airport of Murmansk. In the afternoon you will board an expedition ship, get acquainted with the crew and settle in for your voyage north.

Days 2-3 At Barents Sea

Today you will sail through the Barents Sea, named for the great Dutch explorer Willem Barents, who led two expeditions to Novaya Zemlya in the 1590s. Your expedition team will prepare you for the adventures that await. Learn about the storied history and politics of the region, its fascinating wildlife, geology, ecology and climate, and the incredible sights you will soon explore. Expedition staff will also keep a lookout for the seabirds, such as kittiwakes, skuas and fulmars, soaring above your ship. Whale and seal sightings may also be possible in this biologically rich sea.

Days 4-6 Exploring Novaya Zemlya

The largest of the Eurasian arctic archipelagoes, the rarely visited Novaya Zemlya (“New Land”) is the third-largest wilderness area in Europe. This seemingly long, thin island actually consists of two main islands, Severny (northern) and Yuzhny (southern), separated by the imposing Matochkin Strait. These islands are pure, rugged arctic beauty at its best — massive extinct volcanoes, jagged ice cliffs and the most isolated mountain range in the Barents Sea.

 

As we explore Novaya Zemlya, expect a new adventure every day. Each expedition will be unique, depending on the weather and ice, but a few landing sites we strive to visit include Inostrantseva Bay, the Oransky Islands, Cape Zhelaniya, Cape Spory Navalok and Russkaya Gavan.

 

Boasting one of the most picturesque glaciers in the entire archipelago, Inostrantseva Bay provides breathtaking panoramic views of pristine arctic wilderness. If conditions allow, we may explore ashore, or Zodiac cruise along the face of the glacier, at a safe distance, possibly witnessing the wonders of calving ice. Encounters with Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres) are likely, owing to a small colony in the coastal cliffs.

 

To the east side of Severny Island are the Oransky Islands. Wildlife abounds here, with a variety of animal and plant life to be discovered, Walrus have been sighted here on many previous expeditions. Coming across a walrus haul-out is unforgettable. These giant pinnipeds of the Arctic create a raucous as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline. Encounters with whales and seabirds are possible, as well as polar bears, a genetically distinct subpopulation here.

 

A significant site in polar exploration, Novaya Zemlya also offers a number of opportunities for you to trace the footsteps of famous explorers and reflect on the region’s history.

Days 7-12 Exploring the Kara Sea and Severnaya Zemlya

Say goodbye to Novaya Zemlya as we cruise farther east, exploring the Kara Sea. The westernmost Asian sea off Siberia, the Kara Sea is known as the “ice cellar” of the Arctic, as it is often encumbered by trapped ice floes. There are several sites and small archipelagoes along the Siberian coast we hope to explore, tracing the path of polar explorers searching for the Northeast Passage. 

 

At the tip of the Taymyr Peninsula is Cape Chelyuskin, the northernmost point of the Russian and Eurasian mainland and the site of another active research station. Here, at “the edge of the earth,” we hope to explore on foot.

 

Both Russky Island and Troynoy Island are part of the Great Arctic State Nature Reserve, the largest reserve in Eurasia. Russky Island is the site of a former polar station, established, in part, to monitor navigation along the Northern Sea Route, the Russian section of the Northeast Passage.

 

Troynoy Island is the largest of the Izvesti Tsik Islands, about 90 miles (150 km) off the coast of the Taymyr Peninsula. The island is uninhabited, except for the researchers at the weather station. Home to an ivory gull colony, the island is also frequented by polar bears.

 

Dependent on ice and weather conditions, an exploration of Severnaya Zemlya embodies the true spirit of adventure. Dominated by glaciers and polar desert, the archipelago was not discovered until 1913 and remained virtually unexplored till 1930–32, the last major undiscovered territory on earth.

 

Amongst many possible destinations, we hope to visit a number of glaciers, including the Vavilov Ice Cap and those at Marat Fjord. If conditions are favorable, we may cruise the Red Army Strait, flanked by the massive Academy of Sciences Glacier (which also runs along the eastern shore of Zhuravlev Bay) and the smaller Rusanov Glacier. As one of very few people to ever explore this remote area in depth, you will  want to have your camera ready to capture these amazing sights.

Day 12 At sea

After a rich expedition program of the previous days, you can relax in the cabin, visit the library and exchange impressions with other participants of the trip.

Days 14-17 Exploring Franz Josef Land

This remote group of 191 islands, many ice covered, forms the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia and lies entirely within the Arctic Circle. A nature reserve, it is part of the Russian Arctic National Park. Our exploration of the region is highly determined by weather and ice conditions, but we hope to explore historical sites, remote seabird colonies and walrus rookeries such as Cape Flora, Cape Norway, Bell Island and Tikhaya Bukta. Polar bear encounters are also possible.

 

On Jackson Island, Cape Norway is where Norwegian explorers Fridtjof Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen wintered from 1895 to 1896. The conditions were astonishingly difficult, but they survived until the summer and continued their journey south. The remains of their stone hut are still here today, with a memorial marking the event.

 

Exploring Tikhaya Bukta (Calm Bay), the site of an abandoned weather station on Hooker Island, is a step back in time. There is plenty to discover as you wander the ruins, immersed in Russian polar history, and you may even be able to send a postcard from the post office.

 

Another possible landing site, if time and weather permit, is Cape Tegetthoff on Hall Island, where we hope to visit the Barents memorial. The scenery here is spectacular, and we may be fortunate to view polar bears and Atlantic walrus.

Days 18-19 At Barents Sea

These days the ship will return to Murmansk. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to observe whales and Arctic birds. Expedition guides will summarize the trip and prepare presentations with the best photos.

Day 20 Disembarkation in Murmansk

Returning to Russia’s most northerly city, you will have time to bid farewell to your expedition team and crew before catching the group transfer to the airport of Murmansk.

New
High Arctic Odyssey
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Group size
to 132 person
Duration
20 days
Start date
29 July 2021
  • 29 July 2021
End date:
17 August 2021
11 606 EUR

Accommodation during the trip

You will travel with "Ocean Adventure" ship – an ice class 1A expedition vessel. In 2017 it was completely re-equipped with the expectation of comfortable accommodation for 132 people. During the reconstruction the ship was equipped with two new Rolls Royce engines and new pitching stabilizers. All cabins have updated the interior and bathrooms. In 2017 the Ocean Adventurer won the Travel Weekly Magellan Award in the small cruise ship category.

 

There are a bar and lounge onboard, a library with a large collection of thematic literature, a gift shop, a small fitness center and a beauty salon. All cabins are air-conditioned and have a bathroom with toiletries, a hairdryer and bathrobes.

 

The cost of the cruise depends on the date of the trip and the selected cabin type:

 

Until September 30, up to 25% discount is available for early bookings:

  • accommodation in a Triple cabin — 14 995 13 495 USD
  • accommodation in a Main Deck Twin Window— 21 495 16 444 USD
  • accommodation in a Superior cabin — 23 495 17 974 USD
  • accommodation in a Deluxe cabin — 23 495 17 974 USD
  • accommodation in an Owner's Suite cabin — 31 995 24 476 USD

 

Types of cabins:

 

Triple cabin (13 sq. m.): located on the main deck, the cabin has two lower and one upper berths, a porthole and a bathroom.

 

Lower Deck Twin cabin (11-12 sq. m.): two lower berths, private facilities and a porthole with exterior views.

 

Main Deck Twin Porthole cabin (11-12 sq. m.): two lower berths, private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views

 

Main Deck Twin Window (13 sq. m.): located on the main deck. It has two lower beds, a window with exterior viewsand a bathroom.

 

Superior cabin (12.5 square meters): located on the upper deck. It has two beds, a window, and a bathroom.

 

Deluxe cabin (15 sq. m.): located on the upper or captain's deck. The cabin has two beds, a sitting area (two armchairs and a table), a window, a desk, a TV, and a bathroom.

 

Suite cabin (20 sq. m.): located on the captain's deck. The cabin has a double bed, a living room (sofa and armchairs), a window, a desk, a TV, and a bathroom.

 

Owner's Suite cabin (22 sq. m.): located on the uppermost deck. The cabin has a large double bed, a living room (sofa, armchairs, TV), panoramic windows, and a bathroom.

 

The price is per person. Payment is made in rubles at the exchange rate of the Central Bank +2%.

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Common questions

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Who will be my guide +

An expedition leader and a team of scientists — experts in the polar region will be with you on the ship and during trips on zodiac boats. They will talk about the flora and fauna of Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land, hold lectures and presentations onboard.

Meals +

The price of the cruise includes full board: breakfast and lunch buffet and a La carte dinner (including beer and home-made wine). You will also have 24-hour access to hot drinks throughout the cruise: tea, coffee and cocoa. Premium alcoholic beverages are paid additionally.

Booking

New

High Arctic Odyssey

Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Group size
to 132 person
Duration
20 days
11 606 EUR
What's included in the price:
  • shipboard accommodation in the cabin of the selected category

  • full board, including hot drinks throughout the day

  • expedition landings on Zodiac boats and excursions according to the program

  • group transfer from the airport to the port and back

  • expedition leader's and the team services 

  • onboard lectures, information materials, photobook of the expedition

  • medical insurance with coverage of emergency evacuation from remote places (in the amount of $500 000)

  • branded expedition jacket, rubber boots for disembarkation during the cruise

  • port dues

Extra charge:
  • airfare to Murmansk 

  • standard health insurance

  • personal expenses (laundry, Internet, communication)

  • tips for the crew (optional)

In the price:
Included Extra charge
  • shipboard accommodation in the cabin of the selected category

  • full board, including hot drinks throughout the day

  • expedition landings on Zodiac boats and excursions according to the program

  • group transfer from the airport to the port and back

  • expedition leader's and the team services 

  • onboard lectures, information materials, photobook of the expedition

  • medical insurance with coverage of emergency evacuation from remote places (in the amount of $500 000)

  • branded expedition jacket, rubber boots for disembarkation during the cruise

  • port dues

  • airfare to Murmansk 

  • standard health insurance

  • personal expenses (laundry, Internet, communication)

  • tips for the crew (optional)

29 Jul 2021, Thu — 17 Aug 2021, Tue
11 606 EUR
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