Russian High Arctic Explorer

from £11592
excluding flights *
15, 21 nights Jul


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, via the wildlife rich islands of Franz Josef Land to the icy waters of the remote Kara Sea, here you will discover an awe-inspiring Arctic wilderness like no other.


  • Venture into the little-visited Russian Arctic to explore isolated archipelagos
  • Encounter Franz Josef Lands's abundant wildlife, including polar bears, walrus and seabirds
  • Marvel at the pristine glaciers and volcanic outcrops of Novaya Zemlya
  • Cruise through the ice floes of the remote Kara Sea
  • Uncover a fascinating history of early polar exploration
  • Set foot on the rarely visited islands of Severnaya Zemlya (22-day itineraries only)

What's Included

  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • Shore landings & Zodiac cruises
  • Experienced Expedition Team
  • Presentations on board

Full description

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.

Contact our Arctic specialists now
worldwide team erin glennie bw
Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates *


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

2020 Departures - prices are per person, based on a twin cabin

Departure Duration Vessel Price from (pp)
09 Jul 2020 16 days Ocean Adventurer £11,100
22 Jul 2020 + 22 days Ocean Adventurer £15,800

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

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
19 Jul 2021 * 16 days The Greg Mortimer £10,600
28 Jul 2021 + 22 days Ocean Adventurer £15,592
03 Aug 2021 ^ 16 days The Greg Mortimer £10,600

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

Activity Key:

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 »

What's Not Included

  • 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.
  • 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
Please contact us for full details and to discuss the options best for you.

Itinerary and Vessel

Itinerary and Vessel

Day 1: Arrive in Helsinki, Finland

Your Arctic adventure begins in Helsinki, renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences

Day 2: Flight 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Day 16: Helsinki

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


  • The above sample itinerary is based on the 16-day voyage on the Ocean Adventurer. Other departures may vary in duration and routing, please contact us for specific details.
  • All voyage itineraries are intended as a guideline only - embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy of expedition travel. Actual routes and landings will be dependent on weather, sea and ice conditions. A degree of flexibility is essential in the polar regions!

The Greg Mortimer


Grade: Deluxe

Type: Expedition Ship

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

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Ocean Adventurer


Grade: Standard

Type: Expedition Ship

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

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