Russian Arctic Islands Explorer

from £10600
excluding flights *
15, 21 nights Jul


Follow in the footsteps of early Arctic explorers and voyage to Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya, two of the most isolated and icy archipelagos in the Russian High Arctic. From the mountains of Novaya Zemlya to the remote wildlife sanctuary of Franz Josef Land, these are rugged and essentially uninhabited landscapes that few have ever experienced. With unlimited wildlife viewing opportunities combined with talks detailing the history, science and exploration of the area, this really is a unique adventure.


  • Exploring a rarely visited region of the Russian Arctic
  • Encountering iconic wildlife such as polar bears and walrus
  • Visiting Novaya Zemlya where the earliest Arctic explorers stayed
  • Learning about the region’s storied history

What's Included

  • Pre- and post-expedition hotel accommodation in Helsinki
  • Flights between Helsinki, Finland and Murmansk, Russia
  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • Shore landings & Zodiac cruises
  • Experienced Expedition Team
  • Presentations on board

Full description

Contact our Arctic specialists now
worldwide team lauren shorney 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 £10,900
22 Jul 2020 * 22 days Ocean Adventurer £15,600

* This is a longer itinerary as the voyages explorers the Kara Sea as well as Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land. Exploring the Kara Sea: Leaving Novaya Zemlya behind the voyages continues east to the Kara Sea, the westernmost Asian sea off Siberia. This area is a great habitat for arctic wildlife. Weather conditions allowing there are several sites and small archipelagos along the Siberian coast to explore include Russky Island, Troynoy Island and Cape Chelyuskin.

2021 Departures - prices are per person, based on a twin cabin

Departure Duration Vessel Activities Price from
19 Jul 2021 * 16 days The Greg Mortimer £10,600
03 Aug 2021 ^ 16 days The Greg Mortimer £10,600

* Starts from Kirkenes and finishes in Murmansk ^ Starts from Murmansk and finishes in Kirkenes Activity Key:

What's Included

  • Pre- and post-expedition hotel accommodation in Helsinki
  • Return flights between Helsinki, Finland and Murmansk, Russia
  • 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 »


  • Flights between Helsinki, Finland and Murmansk, Russia (Ocean Adventurer only)
  • One pre and post expedition night in Helsinki (Ocean Adventurer only)

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

Itinerary and Vessel

Itinerary and Vessel

The Russian Arctic Islands Explorer - 16 days

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 and 4: At Sea

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

Days 5 to 7: Exploring Novaya Zemlya

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

Day 8: At Sea

Leaving Novaya Zemlya behind the voyages continues north to Franz Josef Land. Enjoy a presentation, reminisce about your journey with your shipmates, relax in the lounge while swapping stories and photos or enjoy the solitude of the sea.

Days 9 to 12: Exploring Franz Josef Land

This remote group of 191 islands, many covered in ice, 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. Weather and ice conditions will shape our exploration, but we do hope to explore historical sites, remote seabird colonies and walrus haul-out at some notable destinations, such as Cape Flora, Cape Norway, Bell Island and Tikhaya Bukta. Polar bear encounters are also possible.

Days 13 to 14: At sea

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

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 and crew before catching your charter flight back to Helsinki for a final night. You can either relax in your hotel or explore the city.

Day 16: Helsinki

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


  • 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 above sample itinerary is based on the 16-day voyage on the Ocean Adventurer. Other departures may vary in duration and routing, ie alternative embarkation or disembarkation ports, or do not include the pre-voyage hotel night. Please contact us for specific details.

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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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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