Discover the exquisite wilderness of the Russian Arctic on this 16-day exploration.
From watching a glittering glacier calve into Inostrantseva Bay to sailing across the icy, wildlife-filled Barents Sea, a voyage around the archipelagos of Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land is the adventure to end all adventures. Starting and ending in Helsinki, this journey will take you to see some of the Russian Arctic’s most fascinating wildlife, geology and ecology. Polar bear encounters are a real possibility and there will be plenty of opportunities to spot walrus, seals, whales and wide variety of seabirds – both nesting on the icy cliffs and soaring above your ship.
- Physical rating
- Min 8
- Group size
- Min 1, Max 132
Why you'll love this trip
Visit Eurasia’s largest Arctic Archipelago, the striking and diverse Noyaua Zemlya.
Get up close to the stunning glacier of Inostrantseva Bay.
Search for polar bears, walrus and other wildlife in Franz Josef Land.
Explore the extraordinary mix of Eastern and Western influenced architecture of Helsinki.
Is this trip right for you?
On this itinerary, you'll be travelling aboard the Ocean Adventurer
Meals IncludedThere are no meals included on this day.
Special InformationNo arrival transfer is included but the joining hotel is an airport hotel so easily reached on your arrival.
- Breakfast (2)
- Lunch (2)
- Dinner (2)
Boasting one of the most picturesque glaciers in the entire archipelago, Inostrantseva Bay provides breathtaking panoramic views of pristine arctic wilderness. If conditions allow, you 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 northwest 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.
- Breakfast (3)
- Lunch (3)
- Dinner (3)
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 small hut are still here today, along with a memorial marking the event.
Exploring Tikhaya Bukta (Calm Bay), the site of an abandoned weather station on Hooker Island, will feel like stepping 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.
The Stolichky and Appolonov Islands offer plentiful walrus encounters, as the lumbering giants can be found hauled out here. If ice and weather are in your favour, we’ll explore the area by Zodiac, at a safe distance, to view these pinnipeds of the Arctic in their natural habitat.
- Breakfast (4)
- Lunch (4)
- Dinner (4)
- Breakfast (2)
- Lunch (2)
- Dinner (2)
Meals15 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 13 dinners
TransportExpedition cruise ship, Plane, Zodiac
AccommodationExpedition Cruise ship 13 nights, Quality hotel 2 nights
Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of 20% of the full voyage cost (before any discount). The balance is due 120 days before departure.
If a booking is cancelled 120 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.
If a booking is cancelled between 119 days and departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.
Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a Polar voyage.
There are strictly enforced luggage allowances on the charter flights included in this voyage. Please see packing list for details.
Your voyage is operated by our sister company, Quark Expeditions. All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.
Essential trip information
Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.View Essential Trip Information