Norway and the Trappers' Port
Norway has an incredibly long coastline, stretching from 58° to 71° N. This rugged shoreline features a diverse landscape, from lush fjords to steep mountains, islands, skerries, and Arctic wilderness.
We begin our adventure in Tromsø, the starting point for so many expeditions and trapper adventures, which you can learn about at the fascinating Polar Museum. Take time to enjoy the town's old wooden buildings and modern Arctic Cathedral before embarking on MS Spitsbergen.
The next morning, we take you ashore at Sørøya, a beautiful island close to Hammerfest. Using our small explorer boats, we will discover the local landscape.
We call at the Russian harbor of Murmansk. The port here is strategically important for both military and trade vessels and dominates life in the town.
Franz Josef Land - Remote islands, mighty glaciers and pure wilderness
We set sail northwards. For the next two days, the air will become steadily cooler, and we may experience some polar fog as warm waters and cold air meet before we arrive at Franz Josef Land.
We will spend five days exploring the world´s northernmost archipelago. This is expedition sailing at its most authentic. Our route and landing sites are heavily dependent on weather and ice conditions, and our experienced Captain and Expedition Team will take advantage of the conditions at hand to seize opportunities that arise.
The islands are composed of basalt rocks cut by dramatic glaciers, majestic mountain formations, deep fjords, buzzing bird cliffs and endless arctic tundra with diverse flora and fauna.
Cape Flora, named for the flowers that bloom here at the foot of a bird cliff, is where Nansen unexpectedly met Jackson, thereby ensuring his rescue. At Calm Bay we can marvel at the hardiness of Russian meteorologists who survived five years here without re-supply. Rubini Rock is a magnificent bird cliff we aim to cruise along. At Cape Triest we may go ashore and see the Devil's Marbles geological phenomenon.
We sail well above the 80th parallel and place you closer than 600 nautical miles from the Geographical North Pole. Explore rarely-visited historical sites of the Arctic. Among a large variety of plants and wildlife are seals, thousands of seabirds and the Arctic fox. Look out for walrus hauled out on lonely beaches. The polar bear population in the area is thought to be around 3,000, spread between here and Svalbard, so we have excellent chance to see these magnificent predators.
Following our days of exploration in Franz Josef Land, we make our way back to Murmansk.
Returning to Norway
The next day, you will find yourself at the northernmost point of the European mainland. The North Cape has been an exciting adventure destination for travelers for centuries. Many travelled great distances over land to take in the view and stand atop the steep cliff 1,007 feet above the Arctic Ocean marking the end of the continent.
After our adventure to the ice, we say farewell in Tromsø, where we started our expedition.