Polar Snorkeling Franz Josef Land

Franz Josef Land is one of the most remote places in the Arctic, with a true high arctic climate and over 85% of the land is covered in ice. While many glaciers worldwide are rapidly decreasing, some glaciers in Franz Josef Land are still growing! These enormous glaciers carving through the ice-capped islands create a scene of otherworldly beauty, totally different from any other Arctic destination you might have visited before. During this time of year we expect to find lots of sea ice on our way north, which increases our chances of seeing polar bears, walrus and other polar animals! At this latitude we also have the advantage of 24-hour daylight, allowing us to make the most of every opportunity for wildlife viewing, visiting the islands and polar snorkeling.

Day: 

Days 1-4 From Longyearbyen to Franz Josef Land

Our expedition starts in Longyearbyen, Svalbard! A hotel night prior to your voyage is included in the price of this itinerary. After breakfast you will have some time to explore the Arctic town before boarding the ship in the afternoon. When leaving Longyearbyen, the ship will sail through Isfjorden, one of the largest fjords in Svalbard and bustling with wildlife. We head south along the beautiful coast of Svalbard towards the infamous Barents Sea. It's worth spending some time out on deck as we are likely to encounter whales in this area. It will take us approximately 2 days to cross these icy waters before we reach our High Arctic destination.

Days 5-6  Entering Russia - When we reach Russian waters, we sail directly to the remote military base at Nagurskoye for immigration clearance. Russian immigration officers will come on board the ship while we are at anchor in Cambridge Bay, which happens to be a great place for spotting marine mammals! Once all guests have received the stamps in their passport you have officially entered the vast polar wilderness of Franz Josef Land, one of the most inaccessible nature sanctuaries on our planet with less then 1000 visitors each year!

Days 7-13  Snorkeling Franz Josef Land

We expect to spend approximately 7 days in Franz Josef Land during which we attempt to do 2 snorkeling trips per day. This means you will have plenty of time to explore unique snorkeling locations where nobody has ever been before! Marlynda Elstgeest, founder and CEO of Waterproof Expeditions, will show you the very best that Franz Josef Land has to offer both below and above the surface.  Please note that all activities are strongly depending on ice and weather conditions and subject to the decisions of the Expedition Leader and the Captain of the vessel.

As with all polar expeditions, our itinerary and route will be determined by the weather and ice conditions. At this time of year, we expect to find sea ice almost everywhere. This can prevent us from accessing certain islands, but might also open up opportunities to visit locations where no person has ever set foot on land! This makes each trip to Franz Josef Land a-one-of-a-kind adventure.

We will definitely try to make our way to historical sites such as Cape Norway and Cape Flora. The ruins, monuments and crosses found here are the remains of incredible events in polar exploration history. Other fascinating locations we hope to visit are Champ Island, which is littered with mysterious stone spheres, and the amazing basaltic columns of the Rubini Rock seabird colony.

Franz Josef Land is a great place for spotting polar bears. The abundance of sea-ice creates the perfect environment for them to hunt for seals. Arctic foxes are especially abundant on the islands and in the icy fjords we might also see harp seals and bearded seals.

The wildlife guides are always on duty to point out marine mammals and Arctic seabirds in this vast frontier of ice and water. Out here we are likely to spot several types of whales such as bowheads, belugas or even narwhal. The mountain and cliffs are the perfect places to find huge colonies of migratory seabirds including guillemots, little auks, northern fulmars and ivory gulls. At the time of our voyage, the Arctic flora should be particularly abundant since this is the peak of the blooming season.

Day 14  Disembark Longyearbyen

 

Country: 
Region: 
Details: 

Franz Josef land creates a mystical vibe of history and exploration and is still unknown to many. We are now offering the incredible opportunity to be one of the first to snorkel in these unexplored waters around this remote Russian archipelago! In partnership with the luxury expedition vessel MV Sea Spirit, we bring our exclusive Waterproof Expeditions Snorkel Operation onboard and create our special Polar Program for a small group of adventurers.

Date: Jul 9-22, 2021

Prices: $11,795 (triple cabin)

$15,895 (main deck suite)

$16,975 (classic suite)

Early bird offer - sign up by Oct 31, 2020 for 15% off