Looking for pioneering destinations? Then this cruise is a must. Archaic islands, on which few people other than explorers have set eyes. A highlight for expedition enthusiasts with a passion for polar regions.
Charter flight from Germany** to Tromso
Tromso/Norway, departure 20.00 hrs
Cruising off North Cape
Relaxation at sea
Murmansk/Russia, from 7.00 to 18.00 hrs
Finally back on the programme: explore Franz Josef Land in depth on this expedition far away from civilisation. This region in the Russian Arctic is inaccessible to most people. Many pioneering expeditions of the 19th century began in Tromso - and this is where the gateway to the Arctic Ocean will open for you too. Look forward to a warm welcome in Russia as you explore Murmansk* or visit a nuclear-powered icebreaker*.
Relaxation at sea
The HANSEATIC spirit will venture in the footsteps of Willem Barents and head for the deep bays of the rugged, elemental pair of islands that make up Novaya Zemlya. You can now experience that pure expedition feeling when you land here with the Zodiacs. Seemingly endless tundra is framed by striking mountains. Mighty glaciers meet the sea with towering faces of ice. Impressive cliffs provide breeding sites for thousands of Arctic seabirds. The feeling of exploration soars with each nautical mile as the HANSEATIC spirit presses further north. A breathtaking world awaits at the edge of the ice fields, which lay undiscovered until the end of the 19th century.
Franz Josef Land
Icy and isolated, surreal and remote - a thrilling expedition lies ahead in the Arctic Ocean around Franz Josef Land. You may even discover something about yourself along the way. Explore the island group in exceptional detail with the HANSEATIC spirit. The archipelago was discovered in 1873 by the Austro-Hungarian North Pole expedition led by Payer and Weyprecht, which stepped ashore on Wilczek Island; 150 years later, you will make that very same step. Massive glacier fronts, interrupted by protruding mountain plateaus, shape the terrain. The weather and ice will determine our course and ensure that you enjoy an unforgettable sense of expedition - 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. The glaciated south-east coast of Wilczek Land makes for a spectacular contrast. Apollonov Island is known for the walrus colony that often rests on its beach. The animals weigh around 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) and make an impressive sight, even from a respectful distance. The most northerly destination for your expedition is Rudolf Island. Now, only the pack ice and the Arctic Ocean lie between you and the North Pole. The Zodiacs will take you to a popular magnet for geologists on Champ Island: massive, perfectly spherical stones with diameters of up to 3 m (9.8 ft). Can you solve the puzzle of the geodes? 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. 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 and snow is a small sign of civilisation - and is one of the lasting memories to take home from Franz Josef Land.
Relaxation at sea
Murmansk (official stop)
Cruising off Hornoya/Norway
Your days of exploration in Norway are filled with the spirit of Fridtjof Nansen, the famous explorer and zoologist, as you watch the large seabird colonies while cruising off Hornoya. Find out about 19th-century polar expeditions and the history of trade with Russia at the museum in Vardo.
Skarsvag, from 8.00 to 14.00 hrs
Tromso/Norway, arrival 5.00 hrs
Charter flight from Tromso to Germany**
* 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 take off and land.
Important note on this expedition: This expedition is a very demanding cruise to plan, organise and sail. It is characterised by great natural experience in an extremely remote region. All of our experience and careful preparation notwithstanding, the actual itinerary heavily depends on the local conditions. A change in itinerary may become necessary, primarily due to the weather and ice but also perhaps due to official guidelines. We will, of course, do everything in our power to ensure that this cruise takes place as advertised, but wish to inform you of the expeditionary nature of this cruise and the flexibility this requires. The captain will decide on the best possible alternative depending on local conditions.
---- The ice conditions determine the course here (see map)