The time has come to write history on one of the world’s most challenging nautical routes. The Northeast Passage is a journey that any true explorer should pursue at some point in their lives. Even in the 21st century this remains a pioneering feat, perhaps even a journey into the self.
Scheduled flight from Germany to Seattle
Overnight stay with breakfast
Scheduled flight to Anchorage
Journey to Seward/Alaska/USA
Seward/Alaska/USA, departure 18.00 hrs
Relaxation at sea
Aleutian Islands/Alaska (Popof Island*** , Unalaska Island)
Although we plan this legendary passage with care, the actual itinerary depends on the weather and ice. This approach will be richly rewarded with natural experiences in the untamed wilderness and traces of historic expeditions. From Alaska, the volcanic chain of the Aleutian Islands extends into the Pacific in a wide arc – the starting point for thrilling weeks of expeditions. Perhaps you will hear the cry “Whale spotted!” in the waters. You will be able to observe these giants of the ocean particularly well from the deck, before landing at Popof Island for a hike. Feel the wonder of creation when, with a little luck, stunning bald eagles soar over Unalaska Island, the capital of the Aleutian Islands.
St. Paul Island/Pribilof Islands***
Relaxation at sea
Crossing the International Date Line (one day will be lost), beginning of the Northeast Passage adventure – from the Bering Strait to the Barents Sea
Chukchi Peninsula/Bering Strait/Russia (Provideniya, Cape Dezhnev )
The adventure of the Northeast Passage begins as you cross the International Date Line. Write your own story of discovery on thrilling expedition days. On the Chukchi Peninsula, for example, home to whales, seabirds and seals. In seldom-visited Provideniya, you will learn what life is like for people here in the far east of Russia when you go ashore with the experts and visit the small museum. At Cape Dezhnev, the most north-easterly point of the Eurasian landmass, Russian history speaks for itself. It may be possible to walk to a monument to the pioneer Semyon Dezhnev, the first to round the cape in 1648.
Chukchi Sea (Kolyuchin Island , three days on Wrangel Island )
Feel a deep connection to pioneers such as Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld and Willem Barents as your cruise continues through the Chukchi Sea. The rocky coast and steep cliffs of Kolyuchin Island rise from the icy Arctic Ocean. The excitement on board will grow when Wrangel Island appears on the horizon. Will the ship manage to traverse the often thick belt of drifting ice around this UNESCO World Heritage Site? The HANSEATIC inspiration will spend three days showing you the most spectacular aspects of these magnificent natural surroundings. On rides and landings with the Zodiacs, you can really experience this raw natural beauty. You might spot walruses on the coasts, and walks on the tundra will give you the chance to take in the fantastic mountain massifs and spot reindeer in the vast, silent landscape. You will probably also be able to watch polar bears from a respectful distance in a Zodiac or on deck.
Siberia (Medvezhy Islands, New Siberian Islands) and cruising through the East Siberian Sea and the Laptev Sea
In the East Siberian Sea, you will join the small group of seafarers who have made it to this region. Vitus Bering is said to have discovered the Medvezhy Islands on his second Kamchatka expedition in 1740. Land with the Zodiacs and enjoy impressive sights here – and also on the New Siberian Islands, where exciting insights into the early years of polar exploration await you. In 1893, researcher Fridtjof Nansen allowed his ship to freeze here in order to reach the geographic North Pole by using the natural ice drifts of the Arctic Ocean. You may be able to observe rock ptarmigans and reindeer on these little-researched islands. After cruising through the Laptev Sea, the HANSEATIC inspiration can take full advantage of its status as a small expedition ship with the highest ice class.
The answer will ignite your pioneering spirit: new terrain! On Isachenko Island, an abandoned station tells of the lonely life of researchers at the end of the earth – with luck, you’ll also see some polar bears here.
Vast tundra welcomes visitors to Uyedineniya Island. It is said that, upon discovering the island in 1878, Norway’s Edvard Holm Johannesen dubbed it “Solitude Island”. Does it live up to its name? Find out for yourself if Neptune allows us to land.
The HANSEATIC inspiration follows in the footsteps of Willem Barents as it heads for the deep bays of rugged, elemental Novaya Zemlya. As Barents circumnavigated the island in 1596 on his search for the Northeast Passage, his ship became trapped in the pack ice and the crew was forced to spend the winter there. In geological terms, it is almost identical to the Urals, as it is a northern continuation of the mountain range, which was formed when Europe and Siberia collided. You can now experience that pure expedition feeling when you land here with the Zodiacs.
Cruising through the Barents Sea/Arctic Ocean
Franz Josef Land
Icy and isolated, surreal and remote – your thrilling expedition continues in the Arctic Ocean around Franz Josef Land. The captain and crew will react flexibly, allowing you to observe enthralling natural spectacles. For example, Apollonov Island is known for the walruses that rest on its beach. The animals weigh around 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) and make an impressive sight from a respectful distance. The Zodiacs will take you to a popular magnet for geologists on Champ Island: massive, perfectly spherical stones of up to 3 m (9.8 ft) in diameter. Can you solve the puzzle of the geodes? Bell Island takes its name from a bell-shaped mountain. Few people would expect to find the oldest building in the archipelago here. A wooden house built in 1881 in the vast wilderness of stone and snow is a small sign of civilisation. Your impressions of Russia will make you feel even closer to Julius Payer and Karl Weyprecht – the pioneers of the Austro-Hungarian Polar Expedition. Whilst exploring the Arctic Ocean in 1873, they happened upon the land, which they named after their emperor. They also discovered what is now Cape Tegetthoff on Hall Island. Follow in their footsteps and continue your expedition with spectacular natural sightings.
Cruising through the Barents Sea/Arctic Ocean
Murmansk, from 7.00 to 17.00 hrs
After cruising through the Barents Sea, you will reach Murmansk, the largest city north of the Arctic Circle – and a military exclusion zone until 1991. Here, you can go ashore and explore Murmansk* or uncover the history of the Russian Northern Fleet during a visit to a nuclear-powered icebreaker*.
Cruising off North Cape
Relaxation at sea
People once believed that North Cape marked the end of the world – today, your expedition with the HANSEATIC inspiration will slowly draw to a close here as your many experiences come together to form a whole. The Northeast Passage will no longer be a white dot on your personal explorer’s map – its wealth of experiences will stay with you forever.
Tromso/Norway, arrival 5.00 hrs
Charter flight from Tromso to Germany**
Important note on this expedition: This expedition is a very demanding cruise to organise and sail. All of our experience and careful preparation notwithstanding, the actual itinerary depends on official approvals and rules, the weather and ice conditions, which may make it necessary to change the itinerary. The natural experiences and animal sightings described are possibilities and are not guaranteed. We will do everything in our power to ensure that this cruise takes place as advertised, but wish to inform you of the flexibility this requires. The captain will decide on the best possible alternative depending on local conditions.
* The shore activities are not included in the cruise price and are in the planning stage. Subject to change.
** Approximately six months before departure, you will be informed at which German airport the charter flight will land.
*** The ship’s tender boats will be used (instead of Zodiacs) due to official regulations.
---- The ice conditions determine the course here
The following programmes can be booked.
Please note that our pre- and post-cruise programmes are conducted in German and are charged additionally to the travel package. The prices and conditions for these programmes can be found on the German travel details page and are charged additionally to the travel package. For individual programmes kindly consult your travel agent.
The following programmes are offered in German:
Our popular pre- and post-cruise programmes include a broad spectrum of excursions and are usually accompanied by experienced Hapag-Lloyd Cruises tour guides. Recommended for guests who like to share their experiences with a group of like-minded travellers. Explore specially selected highlights of your holiday destination and enjoy the convenience of group travel – we will take care of the transfers, excursions and overnight stays.