Home » Greg Mortimer: Franz Josef Land Explorer ex Kirkenes
Experience a rare chance to discover the wondrous islands of Franz Josef Land on our inaugural Franz Josef Land voyage. From Murmansk, cross the Barents Sea to a world few have seen. Enter the Russian Arctic National Park and watch for polar bears, whales, walrus and seals. Enjoy long tundra walks and geological oddities. Get up close to spectacular bird cliffs and visit fascinating historic huts of explorers like Fridtjof Nansen.
Duration: 16 Days
Arrive in Kirkenes, Norway, located on the border with Russia.Join a pre-arranged half day excursion or activity prior to boarding the Greg Mortimer late afternoon. Airport transfers will be included if arriving on preferred flights into Kirkenes. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings. Sail the scenic Bokfjord to reach the Barents Sea on our way to Murmansk in neighbouring Russia.
After sailing overnight into Russia, we stop inMurmansk,to undergo formalities to enter Russia. During clearance procedures,we may go on a city of Murmansk visiting the monument to the soldier of WW2 and also the first nuclear icebreaker Lenin.
Over the next two days at sea, enjoy informative and entertaining lectures from our expert expedition team including naturalists, historians and geologists.
Novaya Zemlya archipelago was once an important nuclear research site during the cold war, and today only a few places in the north are accessible to visitors. These islands offer stunning rugged Arctic landscapes-enormous extinct volcanoes, jagged cliffs and the most isolated mountain range in the Baltic Sea. For wildlife lovers, Novaya Zemlya boasts a great variety of flora and fauna, many of which are on the brink of extinction. We hope to visit Inostrantseva Bay, which has one of the most picturesque glaciers in the entire Novaya Zemlya archipelago. The bay offers breathtaking panoramic views of Arctic wilderness. The fog can be quite thick here and the swell can be high, but we will attempt to launch our Zodiacs to explore the bay and photograph the stunning icy landscape.
If we’re able to land, we will enjoy hiking along the coastline and observe some of the endemic species of Arctic flora and fauna. Just north of the northern tip of Novaya Zemlya Archipelago is Oransky, a group of several small inshore islands, located within the Russian Arctic National Park established in 2009. The islands themselves are not inhabited by humans, but remnants of early hunting activity are visible. At the nearby Zhelania Cape, situated at the northeastern-most tip of Northern Island a manned weather station was operated as well as a military base,but both were closed in the 1990s. On Oransky Islands Brünnich’s guillemots, black-legged kittiwakes, glaucous gulls, black guillemots, Atlantic puffins and great skuas can be found breeding. You may get a chance to see a massive walrus rookery, various species of whale, and the Novaya Zemlya reindeer. If we’re very lucky we may also see polar bear, and the ones found at Novaya Zemlya are considered to be a genetically unique sub-species.
Franz Josef Land is a stark yet beautiful world of glaciers, mosses and lichens. Approximately five million sea birds nest on the archipelago every year, with the thick-billed guillemot accounting for approximately 20%. Other seabirds such as fulmar, kittiwake, Brünnich's guillemot, black guillemot and little auk are common throughout the archipelago. On the flat tundra, nest other species such as: common eider, purple sandpiper, Arctic skua, glaucous gull, ivory gull, Arctic tern and snow bunting. Franz Josef Land is home to two Arctic giants –the Polar bear and the walrus. There is also a population of Arctic fox, which typically have their territories near seabird habitats. The waters of Franz Josef Land are visited by whales, including humpback, bowhead, narwhal, and white beluga whale. Walrus, ringed seals, bearded seals and an amazing species of mammals, choose Franz Josef Land and the water areas around it as their home.
While there are many exciting places we can choose to visit over the following week, weather, wind, and sea-ice conditions will determine our itinerary in Franz Josef Land. A sample of some of the places where we may land, hike, photograph or view spectacular wildlife and scenery include: Bell and Mabel Island, Cape Flora - Northbrook Island, Geographers bay (Prince George Land), Tikhaya Bukta (Hooker Island), Rubini Rock, Cape Tegethoff (Hall Island), Cape Triest, Champ Island, Sarko Passage - Newcombe sound, Cape Norway (Jackson Island), Cape Fligely and Teplitz Bay (Prince Rudolf island), Walrus Haulout at Stolichky or Apollonov Island.
The return crossing of the Barents Sea offers some good opportunities to encounter whales, perhaps the elusive bowhead whale if we’re lucky,and certainly plenty of opportunities to photograph sea birds.
Arrive in Murmansk in the morning, farewell your expedition team, crew and fellow expeditioners as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to downtown Murmansk or the airport is included in the cost of the voyage.
|19 Jul 2021 - 03 Aug 2021|
|Aurora Stateroom||$17900 AUD||Save up to 25%. Subject to availability|
|Balcony Stateroom||$20000 AUD||Save up to 25%. Subject to availability|
|Balcony Suite||$22400 AUD||Save up to 25%. Subject to availability|
|Junior Suite||$26400 AUD||Save up to 25%. Subject to availability|
|Captain's Suite||$30400 AUD||Save up to 25%. Subject to availability|
Located on deck 3 , Room size: 23.2m², Twin or double bed, Private en-suite bathroom , Porthole window, Desk area, Closet space, Sofa bed (can sleep 3rd passenger in select cabins) , Room-controlled thermostat, Safe for storing valuables, 42" flat-screen TV
Located on deck 4, 6 and 7, Room size: 16.5-20.7m², Private balcony, Twin or double bed, Private en-suite bathroom, Floor to ceiling window,Desk area Closet space, Room-controlled thermostat, Safe for storing valuables, 42" flat-screen TV
25.4sqm - 26.1sqm, located on deck 4, private balcony (9.1sqm-10.8sqm), double bed, private ensuite bathroom, full-size window, desk area, closet space, room-controlled thermostat, safe and 42-inch flat-screen TV.
30.1sqm, located on deck 7, private balcony (14.3sqm), double bed, private ensuite bathroom, full-size window, desk area, closet space, room-controlled thermostat, safe, 42-inch flat-screen TV and separate lounge area.
35.9sqm, located on deck 4, private balcony (10.4sqm), double bed, private ensuite bathroom, full-size window, desk area, closet space, room-controlled thermostat, safe, 42-inch flat-screen TV and separate lounge area.
21.4sqm, 3 single beds, private ensuite and porthole window. Includes desk area, closet, room controlled thermostat and 42 inch flat screen TV.