Day 1: Welcome in Murmansk region
Arrival in Murmansk airport. Meeting a car with driver and transfer to the hotel in the centre of Murmansk city. Dinner on your own in a recommended restaurant. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 2: Embarkation in Murmansk
Breakfast. Depending on leaving time of the ship transfer to the port where you will be welcome aboard of the totally renovated ship "Ocean Adventurer". Get acquainted with the ship and the crew and settle yourself for your voyage to the North.
Days 3 and 4: Sailing on the Barents Sea
As we sail through the Barents Sea, your cruise team will prepare you for the adventures that await. Learn about the storied history and politics of the region, it's fascinating wildlife, geology, ecology and climate, and the incredible sights you will soon explore. Staff will keep a lookout for seabirds, such as Kittiwakes, Skuas and Fulmars soaring above your ship. Whale and seal sightings may also be possible in this biologically diverse sea.
Days 5 to 7: Explore Novaya Zemlya
The largest of the Eurasian arctic archipelagoes, the rarely visited Novaya Zemlya ("New Land") is the third-largest wilderness area in Europe. This seemingly long, narrow island actually consists of two main islands, Severny (northern) and Yuzhny (southern), separated by the imposing Matochkin Strait. As we explore Novaya Zemlya, expect a new adventure every day. Each cruise will be unique, depending on the weather and ice, but a few landing sites we strive to visit include Inostrantseva Bay, the Oransky Islands, Cape Zhelaniya, Cape Spory Navalok and Russkaya Gavan. Boasting one of the most picturesque glaciers in the entire archipelago, Inostrantseva Bay provides breath taking panoramic views of pristine arctic wilderness. If conditions allow, we 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.
Day 8: From Novaya Zemlya to Franz Josef Land
Bid farewell to Novaya Zemlya as we cruise farther north to Franz Josef Land. There are several activities to keep you engaged while at sea. Attend presentations by your Cruise Team, relax in our polar library or simply spend some time on deck, admiring the sea.
Days 9 to 12: Explore Franz Josef Land
This remote group of 191 islands, many covered in ice, forms the most northerly archipelago in Eurasia and lies entirely within the Arctic Circle. A nature reserve, it is part of the Russian Arctic National Park. Weather and ice conditions will shape our exploration, but we do hope to explore historical sites, remote seabird colonies and walrus haul-out at some notable destinations, such as Cape Flora, Cape Norway, Bell Island and Tikhaya Bukta. Polar bear encounters are also possible. 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 our favor, we’ll explore the area by Zodiac, at a safe distance, to view these pinnipeds of the Arctic in their natural habitat.
Days 13 and 14: Sailing on the wildlife-rich sea
As your arctic cruise winds down you have a couple of days to sail through this wildlife-rich sea, where whales of various species are often seen. Take in a presentation, reminisce about your incredible journey with your shipmates, relax in the lounge while swapping stories and photos or enjoy the solitude of the sea. Cruise staff will be on hand to answer any remaining questions and spot wildlife.
Day 15: Disemabarkation Murmansk
Returning to Russia’s most northerly city Murmansk, you’ll have time to bid farewell to your cruise team and crew. Transfer to the hotel in the centre of Murmansk city. Dinner on your own in a recommended restaurant. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 16: Farewell Arctic Russia
After breakfast, depending on the flight to catch spend some time exploring more of World's biggest city above Polar Circle; Murmansk or take part in a (short) city excursion.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of cruise travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your cruise staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.
Level: not applicable.
Group size: From one person
Duration: 16 days