Charter flight from Germany* to Tromso
Tromso/Norway, departure 20.00 hrs
Cruising off North Cape
Relaxation at sea
The time has come to write expedition history again. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is adding another chapter to its story with a new pioneering feat that combines Franz Josef Land with north-east Spitsbergen for the very first time. A challenging route to extremely remote regions – and perhaps also a journey of self-discovery. Your course northwards starts with cruising off North Cape.
North-east Spitsbergen (Cape Lee, Palanderbukta, Alkefjellet, Torellneset, Isispynten, Storoya, Kvitoya)
Cape Lee gives you an insight into the life of former trappers and might even offer glimpses of reindeer. The flexible course heading north is determined by the untouched wilderness. Weather and ice conditions permitting, your ship will sail through the narrow Freeman Sound and unlock the door to further adventures with a passage through the Hinlopen Strait. If a Zodiac landing is possible in Palanderbukta, you can get a feel for the isolation on a hike through the sparse tundra. The Alkefjellet cliffs come alive with thousands of breeding thick-billed murres. Walrus herds like to lie on the flat sandbanks of Torellneset, where you can watch the creatures from a respectful distance. The crew of the HANSEATIC inspiration are always sounding out new ways to explore real uncharted territory with you – and this adventure is no exception. Will it be possible to make the first landing in Isispynten on the remote south-east side of Nordaustlandet? Storoya is another difficult-to-reach place, where you can see many Arctic terns. The most remote island in the archipelago is Kvitoya. Sometimes the odd polar bear will stray here, but humans are a rare sight. You will now join the few to have ventured here – previous visitors include the members of Andrée’s expedition in the 19th century, who are remembered by a memorial.
Relaxation at sea
Franz Josef Land/Russia (Champ Island, Wilczek Land, Apollonov Island, Rudolf Island, Wilczek Island, Hall Island, Bell Island)
Icy, isolated and remote – a thrilling expedition lies ahead on Franz Josef Land in the Arctic Ocean. The group of islands in the Russian Arctic is unfamiliar and out of reach for most people, but you will explore the archipelago in depth with the HANSEATIC inspiration. Champ Island reveals a geological wonder as you land with the Zodiacs and see the geodes – massive perfectly spherical stones measuring up to 3 m (9.8 ft) in diameter. Visit a former Soviet Arctic station dating back to the 1930s when you land in Tikhaya Bay. Cruising off Rubini Rock will reveal the striking basalt rocks where kittiwakes and thick-billed murres breed between colourful lichens. The glaciated south-east coast of Wilczek Land makes for a spectacular contrast. Apollonov Island is known for the walruses that often rest on its beach. The animals weigh around 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) and make an impressive sight, even from a respectful distance. Only the pack ice and the Arctic Ocean now lie between you and the North Pole as you reach the northernmost destination on your expedition, Rudolf Island. The Payer-Weyprecht expedition landed on Wilczek Island in 1873, having discovered the archipelago. Now you too will follow their footsteps ashore. Massive glacier fronts, interrupted by protruding mountain plateaus, shape the terrain. The weather and ice will determine the course and guarantee unforgettable expedition experiences – including on Hall Island with Cape Tegetthoff. Here and throughout the cruise, you might be lucky enough to spot polar bears. The Zodiacs will take you to rocky needles created by volcanic activity and delicate carpets of moss with the yellow flowers of Arctic poppies. Bell Island takes its name from a bell-shaped mountain. Would you have expected to find the oldest building in the archipelago here? A wooden house built in 1881 in the vast wilderness of stone is a small sign of the civilisation to which you will return with many memories from this grand Arctic premiere.
Relaxation at sea
Longyearbyen/Spitsbergen/Norway, arrival 6.00 hrs
Charter flight from Longyearbyen to Germany*
* Approximately six months before departure, you will be informed at which German airport the charter flight will take off and land.
---- The ice conditions determine the course here (see map)
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, as well as 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.