Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Russian High Arctic: Franz Josef Land

The name of the game is exploration, with 6 or 7 full days of unconstrained Arctic sailing across the Barents Sea into Franz Josef Land. On this 13- or 14-day Russian High Arctic: Franz Josef Land exploration voyage, sail roundtrip from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, aboard the 114-guest Sea Spirit and explore the world’s northernmost archipelago located about 600 miles from the North Pole—where polar bears rule the Arctic ice in high concentration.

The goal is authentic Arctic cruising, following in the footsteps of polar legends like Julius von Payer, Benjamin Leigh Smith, Frederick George Jackson and Fridtjof Nansen. Franz Josef Land is 85% covered in glaciation and home to geological intrigues such as the mysterious stone spheres on Champ Island and the fascinating basalt cliffs of Rubini Rock. Since 2012, the Franz Josef Land archipelago has been part of the Russian Arctic National Park, a nature sanctuary. Polar bears, walruses, rare whale species and enormous colonies of seabirds like guillemots, dovekies and kittiwakes make their home here. During 14 days of sailing with 24-hour daylight the opportunities to spot wildlife feel never ending.

Not only are the frigid waters teeming with marine mammals and fish, the arctic landscape is glittering with icebergs and tidewater glaciers. Sailing the Russian High Arctic is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness ice-dependent mammals like polar bears, walruses and whales, as well as engage in the history of courageous explorers who forever changed the landscapes of polar exploration.

Sailing aboard the 114-guest Sea Spirit is like floating aboard a fine hotel that is highly maneuverable and capable of navigating narrow bays and icy channels. Add the luxury of incredible amenities, a generous crew, expert leaders and onboard photography lessons and this Russian High Arctic: Franz Josef Land voyage is complete. AdventureSmith Explorations’ award-winning crew has personal experience sailing in the Arctic and can recommend the best itineraries to suit your travel interests and timeline.

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s Arctic cruises.