Small Group Safari

Franz Josef Land Explorer

An epic journey to the rarely visited Russian High Arctic. Sail from Svalbard across the icy Barents Sea to Franz Josef Land in search of polar bears, walrus and the elusive bowhead whale.

Duration 16 days
Price From $9,994
When Jul - Aug
Destination Svalbard & Russia

Safari Overview

Journey on an extraordinary expedition far beyond Svalbard, where you can follow in the footsteps of legendary polar explorers. Watch majestic polar bears hunting on the pack ice as you sail the Barents Sea and keep your binoculars out in hopes of spotting the bowhead whales that call this stretch of ocean their home. Discover unparalleled landscapes, seascapes dotted with beluga, minke and humpack whales, and experience the midnight sun from the bow of the M/V Sea Spirit. A land of contrasts that is a photographers dream, Franz Josef Land will have you snapping away to capture bird cliffs, glaciers, lush tundra and vast polar deserts.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Be one of only a handful of people to have ever visited the remote Russian High Arctic and navigated the Barents Sea.
  • Go in search of polar bears hunting on the pack ice.
  • Watch out for endangered bowhead whales.
  • Walk in the footsteps of legendary polar explorers.

Walk in the footsteps of polar legends as you search for polar bears and other Arctic wildlife.

Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Longyearbyen

Today is the first day of your adventure. You will arrive into Longyearbyen and transfer to your hotel for the night. Take some time to head out and explore the museums, restaurants and shopping that Longyearbyen has to offer.

Day 2

Longyearbyen - Svalbard

This afternoon, embark the Sea Spirit and take some time to settle in and explore your new floating home. Set sail through Isfjorden and thanks to the polar nights you are free to choose to find a spot on deck and watch for whales, or just relax in the bar and get to know your fellow passengers.

Overnight: M/V Sea Spirit B, D

Days 3-4

Across the Barents Sea

From Isfjorden, you’ll be heading east towards Franz Josef Land across the Barents Sea. This far north, it’s possible to encounter sea ice at any time of year, and where there is ice, there are often polar bears. You will have time to enjoy the ship, spend time with the on-board experts, or grab your binoculars and scan the horizon in the hope a bear appears.

Overnight: M/V Sea Spirit B, L, D

Days 5-11

Exploration of Franz Josef

The adventure really begins now, as each day will be planned based on current weather and sea conditions. Your experienced captain and expedition leader will adjust plans and make the most of every possible opportunity to head out and find wildlife, or explore well preserved historical sites. Highlights may include stops at the Russian Polar Station at Cambridge Bay, the mysterious stone spheres on Champ Island, the fascinating columnar basalt cliffs of Rubini Rock – home to thousands of nesting seabirds, and walking in the footsteps of the original polar explorers at Cape Norway, Cape Flora, Eira Harbour and Cape Tegetthoff. On top of this, keep your eyes peeled for polar bears and walruses as well as guillemots, dovekies and ivory gulls nesting on the cliffs around the islands.

Overnight: M/V Sea Spirit B, L, D

Days 12-13

Back across the Barents Sea

Heading back across the Barents Sea, watch out for whales and enjoy a series of presentations and workshops from the expert staff. Relax on the panoramic open decks or in the Jacuzzi, grab a book from the library, or sweat it out in the on board gym.

Overnight: M/V Sea Spirit B, L, D

Days 14-15

Exploration of Svalbard

Travel back towards the Norwegian Arctic to continue your exploration of Svalbard. As the itinerary and daily activities change to suit the weather and sea conditions there are a number of options for you to discover. Your expedition leader will take advantage of every possibly opportunity to head ashore as you sail magnificent fjords and immense tidewater glaciers.

Overnight: M/V Sea Spirit B, L, D

Day 16

Longyearbyen - Depart

After breakfast, say your goodbyes as you disembark the Sea Spirit and begin your journey home.

Trip Details

Small Group Trip

This is a small group, set departure on board the 114-passenger M/V Sea Spirit. You will travel in style on this luxurious all-suite ship, making various landings throughout your time in the Arctic. Each departure is led by seasoned professionals who will make sure you are in the best locations for optimum wildlife experiences.

dates & Prices

 2018 Trip Dates   Price 
 July 4 - 18  From £7,295 per person sharing 
 August 18 - September 1  From £7,295 per person sharing

 2019 Trip Dates   Price 
 August 1 - 14  From £7,595 per person sharing 
 August 13 - 26  From £7,595 per person sharing
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Your Next Steps

Talk to one of our specialists for further details on our Svalbard safaris.

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