Russian High Arctic Explorer

from £9900 excluding flights

  • 14, 15, 21 nights
  • Jul
01737 214 250
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Enquire Now worldwide team jo cooper bw

One of our specialists

Meet Jo C

4 Arctic cruises

7 Continents visited

20 Species of whales & dolphins seen

Watching walrus from a Zodiac

Russian High Arctic Explorer

from £9900 excluding flights

  • 14, 15, 21 nights
  • Jul

Customers rate Discover the World

Average score 4.9/5

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Highlights

In pictures
Cape Tegetthoff, Franz Josef Land

Venture into the Russian Arctic to explore remote islands

Little auks and polar bear, Franz Josef Land

Enjoy shore landings in wildlife-rich Franz Josef Land

Abandoned hut in Russian Arctic

Explore volcanic outcrops of Novaya Zemlya

Explore remote islands in the Russian Arctic

Cruise through the ice floes of the remote Kara Sea

Abandoned hut in Franz Josef Land

Uncover a fascinating history of polar exploration

Male walrus hauled out on beach

Encounter wildlife from walrus to abundant seabirds

Why this trip...

alaska mountain reflection istk immersive exploration white

Immersive exploration

Immerse yourself in your surroundings on a true exploration of remote and spectacular areas

discover the world escorted holiday group whale fjord iceland expertly guided white

Expertly guided

In-depth knowledge and expertise will enrich your experience on this trip

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No surcharge guarantee

When you book we guarantee there will be no price increases or additional fees to be paid

Overview

Join a thrilling voyage through the Barents Sea, to the uninhabited coastlines and ice-cloaked archipelagos of the Russian High Arctic. In the midst of this mysterious and starkly beautiful landscape you'll encounter sights rarely seen by even the most intrepid of adventurers. From the ancient mountains and breathtaking glaciers of Novaya Zemlya, to the wildlife rich islands of Franz Josef Land and the icy waters of the remote Kara Sea, discover an awe-inspiring Arctic wilderness like no other.

During your voyage you'll uncover the rich and dramatic history of early Arctic explorers, observe a wealth of wildlife such as whales, seals, muskox, walruses and polar bears, and, on the longer itineraries, maybe even have the chance to set foot on the remote islands of Severnaya Zemlya.

The first port of call, conditions permitting, is the little-visited Novaya Zemlya, comprising two rugged and mountainous main islands separated by the Matochkin Strait. Calving glaciers and extinct volcanoes provide a striking backdrop for Zodiac cruising and hikes ashore, whilst plentiful wildlife provides the soundtrack. Perhaps better known is the more northerly archipelago of Franz Josef Land, a protected nature reserve that forms part of the immense Russian Arctic National Park. A wealth of Arctic wildlife can be found on and around the archipelago's 191 islands, including walrus and polar bears, as well as a huge variety of seabirds.

Conditions permitting, the 22-day voyages will also attempt to push eastwards into the Kara Sea - a region known for its ice floes, scattered with islands where research scientists carry out their work with polar bears for company. The goal will be to reach Severnaya Zemlya, the world's most recently discovered major territory, unseen until 1913 and largely unexplored until the 1930s. These pristine islands feature some spectacular glaciers, made all the more special as so few people have had the privilege to witness them first-hand.

Itinerary

Day 1 arrive in Helsinki, Finland

Your adventure begins in Helsinki, Finland's capital city renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences

Your adventure begins in Helsinki, Finland's capital city renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences

Day 2 fly to Murmansk, Russia and embarkation

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for a private charter flight to Murmansk in Russia. From here you will be taken to the ship for embarkation.

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for a private charter flight to Murmansk in Russia. From here you will be taken to the ship for embarkation.

Days 3-4 at sea

Sail through the Barents Sea, named after the great Dutch explorer Willem Barents, who led two expeditions to Novaya Zemlya in the 1590s. The expedition team will teach you about the intriguing history and politics of the region, its wonderful wildlife, the geology, ecology and climate of the area and let you know what lies ahead over the next two weeks.

Sail through the Barents Sea, named after the great Dutch explorer Willem Barents, who led two expeditions to Novaya Zemlya in the 1590s. The expedition team will teach you about the intriguing history and politics of the region, its wonderful wildlife, the geology, ecology and climate of the area and let you know what lies ahead over the next two weeks.

Expedition ship on board lecture - Quark

Days 5-7 Novaya Zemlya

The largest of the Eurasian Arctic archipelagos, this rarely visited land mass is the third-largest wilderness area in Europe. Consisting of two main islands, Severny (northern) and Yuzhny (southern) which are separated by the imposing Matochkin Strait, these islands are the definition of rugged Arctic beauty with massive extinct volcanoes, jagged ice cliffs and an isolated mountain range in the Barents Sea. If weather and ice conditions allow, landing sites may include Inostrantseva Bay, the Oransky Islands, Cape Zhelaniya, Cape Spory Navalok and Russkaya Gavan.

The largest of the Eurasian Arctic archipelagos, this rarely visited land mass is the third-largest wilderness area in Europe. Consisting of two main islands, Severny (northern) and Yuzhny (southern) which are separated by the imposing Matochkin Strait, these islands are the definition of rugged Arctic beauty with massive extinct volcanoes, jagged ice cliffs and an isolated mountain range in the Barents Sea. If weather and ice conditions allow, landing sites may include Inostrantseva Bay, the Oransky Islands, Cape Zhelaniya, Cape Spory Navalok and Russkaya Gavan.

Glacier in Russian Arctic
IInostrantsev Glacier
Exploring the Russian High Arctic

Day 8 at sea

Leaving Novaya Zemlya behind, the voyage continues north to Franz Josef Land. Enjoy a presentation, relax in the lounge or enjoy the solitude of the sea.

Leaving Novaya Zemlya behind, the voyage continues north to Franz Josef Land. Enjoy a presentation, relax in the lounge or enjoy the solitude of the sea.

Days 9-12 Franz Josef Land

This remote group of 191 islands, many covered in ice, forms the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia. A nature reserve sitting entirely within the Arctic Circle, it is part of the Russian Arctic National Park. Weather and ice conditions permitting, you should get the chance to explore historical sites, remote seabird colonies and walrus haul-outs at some notable destinations, including Cape Flora, Cape Norway, Bell Island and Tikhaya Bukta. Polar bear encounters are also possible.

This remote group of 191 islands, many covered in ice, forms the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia. A nature reserve sitting entirely within the Arctic Circle, it is part of the Russian Arctic National Park. Weather and ice conditions permitting, you should get the chance to explore historical sites, remote seabird colonies and walrus haul-outs at some notable destinations, including Cape Flora, Cape Norway, Bell Island and Tikhaya Bukta. Polar bear encounters are also possible.

Polar bear patrolling the sea ice
Cape Tegetthoff, Franz Josef Land
Walrus

Days 13-14 at sea

Sailing back through this wildlife-rich sea, where whales of various species are often seen, you can enjoy a presentation, reminisce about your journey with your shipmates or relax in the lounge.

Sailing back through this wildlife-rich sea, where whales of various species are often seen, you can enjoy a presentation, reminisce about your journey with your shipmates or relax in the lounge.

Day 15 disembarkation at Murmansk & flight to Helsinki

Returning to Russia’s most northerly city, you will have time to bid farewell to your expedition team, before catching your charter flight back to Helsinki for a final night.

Returning to Russia’s most northerly city, you will have time to bid farewell to your expedition team, before catching your charter flight back to Helsinki for a final night.

Day 16 depart Helsinki

After breakfast, spend time exploring more of the Finnish capital or catch your onward flight.

After breakfast, spend time exploring more of the Finnish capital or catch your onward flight.

Vessel Finder

ocean adventurer exterior view

Ocean Adventurer

An attractive ice-strengthened vessel, the Ocean Adventurer features plenty of outside deck space making this a great choice for a polar adventure.

An attractive ice-strengthened vessel, the Ocean Adventurer features plenty of outside deck space making this a great choice for a polar adventure.

  • Category: Standard
  • Passengers: 132
  • Class: Ice-strengthened
  • Jacket to keep
  • Loan of rubber boots
  • Optional activities available
greg mortimer at sea

Greg Mortimer

Brand new for 2019, the Greg Mortimer is a custom-built expedition ship featuring cutting-edge design, superior comfort and environmentally friendly technology.

Brand new for 2019, the Greg Mortimer is a custom-built expedition ship featuring cutting-edge design, superior comfort and environmentally friendly technology.

  • Category: Deluxe
  • Passengers: 120
  • Class: Ice-strengthened
  • Balcony cabins
  • Sauna
  • Jacket to keep
  • Loan of rubber boots
  • Optional activities available

Select 2-3 vessels to compare.

Optional Activities

Prices and Departures

Price from £9900 excluding flights

Airfares are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

What's Included

  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • Tea & coffee available around the clock
  • All Zodiac transfers, cruising & shore landings
  • Presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers
  • Expedition jacket - yours to keep
  • Loan of rubber boots during voyage
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

2021 Departures

Prices are per person, based on a twin cabin

Departure Duration Vessel Activities Price from
15 Jul 2021 16 days Ocean Adventurer £11,592
24 Jul 2021 * 15 days Greg Mortimer £9,900
28 Jul 2021 + 22 days Ocean Adventurer £15,592

* Starts and finishes in Kirkenes
+ Conditions permitting, the 22-day itinerary will also attempt to cross the Kara Sea and visit Severnaya Zemlya

Activity Icon Key

  • activity diving Diving
  • activity kayaking Kayaking
  • activity snorkelling Snorkelling

NOTES

  • A pre and post-voyage night in a hotel in Helsinki, with a charter flight from Helsinki to Murmansk, is included on voyages aboard the Ocean Adventurer
  • British passport holders will require a double-entry tourist visa for any voyage embarking and/or disembarking in Russia. Your travel specialist will provide further details at the time of booking.
Please contact us for further details and to discuss the options best for you.

Meet our expert

worldwide team jo cooper bw
One of our specialists
Meet Jo C

4 Arctic cruises

7 Continents visited

20 Species of whales & dolphins seen

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