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Arctic for Explorers

Rarely visited today yet significant in the history of polar exploration, Franz Josef Land is worthy of its legendary reputation.

This extraordinary expedition to Franz Josef Land is as unique and authentic as the place itself. Starting in Longyearbyen in the Norwegian territory of Svalbard, we cross the icy, wildlife-rich Barents Sea to the Russian High Arctic. In Franz Josef Land we discover unparalleled landscapes, wildlife, and history in one of the wildest and most remote corners of the Arctic.

Back in Svalbard we have the opportunity to explore beautiful fjords and islands on the northwestern coast of Spitsbergen. Here we seek the full range of Arctic wildlife in one of the world’s most impressive polar desert environments.

Please Note: 14 August, 2017 Departure is 16 days long - you will spend 1 extra day exploring Franz Josef Land.
04 July, 2018 to 18 July, 2018 Make a booking request for Arctic for Explorers, departing on 04 July, 2018

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Triple Classic £ 7311 GBP pp
23 square meters (250 square feet); 2 twins (convert to a King) and a sofa bed; picture window; private facilities.
view cabin photo
Main Deck Suite £ 10006 GBP pp
20 square meters (215 square feet); two twin or a King Size bed; minimum two portholes; private facilities.
view cabin photo
Classic Suite £ 10622 GBP pp
23 square meters (250 square feet); two twin or a King Size bed; picture window; private facilities.
view cabin photo
Superior Suite £ 10930 GBP pp
22 square meters (235 square feet); two twin or a King Size bed; picture window overlooks on outside walkway; private facilities.
view cabin photo
Deluxe Suite £ 12239 GBP pp
26 square meters (277 square feet); two twin or a King Size bed; private balcony; private facilities.
view cabin photo
Premium Suite £ 13317 GBP pp
33 square meters (353 square feet); two twin or a King Size bed; private balcony; private facilities.
view cabin photo
Owner’s Suite £ 17706 GBP pp
40 square meters (437 square feet); separate living room; King Size bed and sofa bed (can accommodate a teenager); private deck; jetted bathtub.
view cabin photo
18 August, 2018 to 01 September, 2018 Make a booking request for Arctic for Explorers, departing on 18 August, 2018

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Triple Classic £ 7311 GBP pp
23 square meters (250 square feet); 2 twins (convert to a King) and a sofa bed; picture window; private facilities.
view cabin photo
Main Deck Suite £ 10006 GBP pp
20 square meters (215 square feet); two twin or a King Size bed; minimum two portholes; private facilities.
view cabin photo
Classic Suite £ 10622 GBP pp
23 square meters (250 square feet); two twin or a King Size bed; picture window; private facilities.
view cabin photo
Superior Suite £ 10930 GBP pp
22 square meters (235 square feet); two twin or a King Size bed; picture window overlooks on outside walkway; private facilities.
view cabin photo
Deluxe Suite £ 12239 GBP pp
26 square meters (277 square feet); two twin or a King Size bed; private balcony; private facilities.
view cabin photo
Premium Suite £ 13317 GBP pp
33 square meters (353 square feet); two twin or a King Size bed; private balcony; private facilities.
view cabin photo
Owner’s Suite £ 17706 GBP pp
40 square meters (437 square feet); separate living room; King Size bed and sofa bed (can accommodate a teenager); private deck; jetted bathtub.
view cabin photo

Arctic for Explorers itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1: Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Welcome to Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard and starting point of our expedition. After arriving via scheduled commercial flight service, you are free to explore this fascinating Arctic settlement. Be sure to see the excellent Svalbard Museum and take advantage of quality shopping and dining opportunities in the town center. Your hotel for the night has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the voyage.
Day 2: Embarkation in Longyearbyen
In the afternoon we welcome you aboard the luxury expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savor the anticipation of your Arctic dreams coming true as we slip our moorings and sail into a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as we sail through Isfjorden on our first evening is spectacular and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.
Days 3-4: Across the Barents Sea
From Isfjorden we proceed forthwith around Svalbard and east to Franz Josef Land across the Barents Sea. In these far northern latitudes it is possible to encounter sea ice any time of the year. All along the way we remain vigilant for sightings of ice-dependent marine mammals such as the elusive bowhead whale, various Arctic seal species, and the majestic polar bear.
Days 5-11: Exploration of Franz Josef Land
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. As such, our route and exploration opportunities in Franz Josef Land are heavily dependent on weather and sea ice. Our experienced captain and expedition leader decide our best route and continually adjust plans as opportunities warrant in this wild and remote corner of the Arctic. Between obligatory initial and final calls at the Russian polar station Nagurskoye in wildlife-rich Cambridge Bay, we are free to explore the many waterways and islands of this unique Arctic wilderness. The archipelago, part of the Russian Arctic National Park since 2012, is a nature sanctuary. Polar bears and other quintessential High Arctic wildlife—such as walruses and some rare whale species—can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Franz Josef Land. Scree slopes and cliffs around the islands host enormous nesting colonies of migratory seabirds such as guillemots, dovekies, and ivory gulls. We’ll take advantage of the 24-hour daylight to exploit every opportunity for wildlife viewing. Franz Josef Land is also home to some interesting geological features, such as the mysterious stone spheres on Champ Island. Collectors of geographical extremes may take note that Cape Fligely on Rudolf Island is the northernmost point of land in the Eastern Hemisphere. Franz Josef Land also offers visitors the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of famous polar explorers at well-preserved historical sites. The journals of explorers such as Julius von Payer, Benjamin Leigh Smith, Frederick George Jackson, and Fridtjof Nansen come alive at Cape Norway, Cape Flora, Eira Harbour, and Cape Tegetthoff. Memorials, monuments, crosses and the remains of dwellings are testimony to incredible historical events that are further illuminated by our expert lecturers. Tikhaya Bukhta is currently a Russian Arctic National Park ranger station occupying Soviet-era research buildings and was also a major base for polar expeditions. Nearby the fascinating columnar basalt cliffs of Rubini Rock are home to thousands of nesting seabirds.
Days 12-13 : Along the Coasts of Svalbard
Following our week of exploration in Franz Josef Land, we cross back through the bountiful waters of the Barents Sea and then along the coastal islands of the Svalbard Archipelago. From panoramic open decks, enjoy Arctic landscapes and wildlife sightings. On ice floes and on fast ice, several species of seals watch vigilantly for polar bears, which can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Svalbard. Bountiful inshore and offshore waters are home to walrus and a wide variety of whales. The crossing also gives our expedition team the opportunity to offer a final presentation or two in the Oceanus Lounge. Weather and timing permit, we’ll launch our Zodiacs to have a closer look at at wildlife as we head back to Longyearbyen
Day 14: West Spitsbergen
After a technical stop in Longyearbyen, we explore the spectacular fjords and coasts in the western part of Svalbard. This area contains some of the archipelago’s most impressive scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities abound. Deep fjords and narrow channels are flanked by jagged snowy mountain peaks. Immense tidewater glaciers calve icebergs into turquoise waters. Fields of flowering tundra are home to grazing reindeer and Arctic fox, always on the hunt. The whole area is alive with migratory birds, including some rare species, taking advantage of summer’s fecundity in 24-hour daylight. Among the historic sights, there are remnants of whaling camps, coal-mining operations, trappers’ cabins, staging areas for historic attempts to discover the North Pole, and the ruins of a WWII weather station
Day 15: Disembarkation in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
After breakfast we say farewell in the town of Longyearbyen, where we started our expedition. We provide a transfer to the airport, or to the town center if you plan to spend more time here. As you look back on your wonderful experience, you may already be looking forward to your next incredible adventure to the ice!
Please Note:
Itinerary, landings and all other activities during the cruise depend strongly on ice and weather conditions and are subject to the decisions of the Expedition Leader and the Captain of the vessel. Encounters with any mentioned wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

Arctic for Explorers reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Please Note: *
Itinerary, landings and all other activities during the cruise depend strongly on ice and weather conditions and are subject to the decisions of the Expedition Leader and the Captain of the vessel. Encounters with any mentioned wildlife cannot be guaranteed.
Day 15: Disembarkation in Longyearbyen, Svalbard *
After breakfast we say farewell in the town of Longyearbyen, where we started our expedition. We provide a transfer to the airport, or to the town center if you plan to spend more time here. As you look back on your wonderful experience, you may already be looking forward to your next incredible adventure to the ice!
Day 14: West Spitsbergen *
After a technical stop in Longyearbyen, we explore the spectacular fjords and coasts in the western part of Svalbard. This area contains some of the archipelago’s most impressive scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities abound. Deep fjords and narrow channels are flanked by jagged snowy mountain peaks. Immense tidewater glaciers calve icebergs into turquoise waters. Fields of flowering tundra are home to grazing reindeer and Arctic fox, always on the hunt. The whole area is alive with migratory birds, including some rare species, taking advantage of summer’s fecundity in 24-hour daylight. Among the historic sights, there are remnants of whaling camps, coal-mining operations, trappers’ cabins, staging areas for historic attempts to discover the North Pole, and the ruins of a WWII weather station
Days 12-13 : Along the Coasts of Svalbard *
Following our week of exploration in Franz Josef Land, we cross back through the bountiful waters of the Barents Sea and then along the coastal islands of the Svalbard Archipelago. From panoramic open decks, enjoy Arctic landscapes and wildlife sightings. On ice floes and on fast ice, several species of seals watch vigilantly for polar bears, which can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Svalbard. Bountiful inshore and offshore waters are home to walrus and a wide variety of whales. The crossing also gives our expedition team the opportunity to offer a final presentation or two in the Oceanus Lounge. Weather and timing permit, we’ll launch our Zodiacs to have a closer look at at wildlife as we head back to Longyearbyen
Days 5-11: Exploration of Franz Josef Land *
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. As such, our route and exploration opportunities in Franz Josef Land are heavily dependent on weather and sea ice. Our experienced captain and expedition leader decide our best route and continually adjust plans as opportunities warrant in this wild and remote corner of the Arctic. Between obligatory initial and final calls at the Russian polar station Nagurskoye in wildlife-rich Cambridge Bay, we are free to explore the many waterways and islands of this unique Arctic wilderness. The archipelago, part of the Russian Arctic National Park since 2012, is a nature sanctuary. Polar bears and other quintessential High Arctic wildlife—such as walruses and some rare whale species—can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Franz Josef Land. Scree slopes and cliffs around the islands host enormous nesting colonies of migratory seabirds such as guillemots, dovekies, and ivory gulls. We’ll take advantage of the 24-hour daylight to exploit every opportunity for wildlife viewing. Franz Josef Land is also home to some interesting geological features, such as the mysterious stone spheres on Champ Island. Collectors of geographical extremes may take note that Cape Fligely on Rudolf Island is the northernmost point of land in the Eastern Hemisphere. Franz Josef Land also offers visitors the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of famous polar explorers at well-preserved historical sites. The journals of explorers such as Julius von Payer, Benjamin Leigh Smith, Frederick George Jackson, and Fridtjof Nansen come alive at Cape Norway, Cape Flora, Eira Harbour, and Cape Tegetthoff. Memorials, monuments, crosses and the remains of dwellings are testimony to incredible historical events that are further illuminated by our expert lecturers. Tikhaya Bukhta is currently a Russian Arctic National Park ranger station occupying Soviet-era research buildings and was also a major base for polar expeditions. Nearby the fascinating columnar basalt cliffs of Rubini Rock are home to thousands of nesting seabirds.
Days 3-4: Across the Barents Sea *
From Isfjorden we proceed forthwith around Svalbard and east to Franz Josef Land across the Barents Sea. In these far northern latitudes it is possible to encounter sea ice any time of the year. All along the way we remain vigilant for sightings of ice-dependent marine mammals such as the elusive bowhead whale, various Arctic seal species, and the majestic polar bear.
Day 2: Embarkation in Longyearbyen *
In the afternoon we welcome you aboard the luxury expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savor the anticipation of your Arctic dreams coming true as we slip our moorings and sail into a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as we sail through Isfjorden on our first evening is spectacular and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.
Day 1: Longyearbyen, Svalbard *
Welcome to Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard and starting point of our expedition. After arriving via scheduled commercial flight service, you are free to explore this fascinating Arctic settlement. Be sure to see the excellent Svalbard Museum and take advantage of quality shopping and dining opportunities in the town center. Your hotel for the night has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the voyage.
* = Indicative
Map for Arctic for Explorers
Sea Spirit, the ship servicing Arctic for Explorers

Sea Spirit

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 90 metres

Passenger Capacity: 112

Built / refurbished: 1992 / 2011

Sail aboard the remarkably comfortable Sea Spirit and experience the polar regions in grand style with spacious suites. Sea Spirit accommodates just 112 passengers, all in spacious suites with panoramic oceans views. Think king-size or twin beds, en suites, flat screen TVs and DVDs and internet satellite. Many suites have private balconies, lounge areas, dressing tables

There is a lounge, bistro and bar, hot tub, gym, a state-of-the-art presentation room and stabilisers for smooth cruising.

  • All-suite ship
  • Smallest suite is a spacious 215 square feet.
  • 15 suites have balconies.
  • Owner's Suite is an outstanding 550 sq. feet.
  • Flat Screen TVs and DVD players in every suite
  • Gymnasium and Hot Tub with seating area and Bistro
  • Library/Games Room
  • Open bar
  • Elevator 
  • Every suite has an exterior view

Some cabin plans may vary depending on the cruise, please check for details.

Classic suite - Suites do vary                                      Zodiac dock

Cabin layout for Sea Spirit
• Franz Josef Land, part of the Russian Arctic National Park, is a nature sanctuary. Polar bears, walrus, endangered bowhead whales, and other Arctic wildlife can be spotted anywhere, anytime in and around the archipelago. Svalbard is a similarly protected wilderness where we find flowering tundra and tidewater glaciers. Steep cliffs and scree slopes in both island groups accommodate enormous colonies of nesting seabirds such as dovekies, guillemots, and rare ivory gulls. 24-hour daylight allows us to exploit every opportunity for wildlife viewing in this unique polar ecosystem.

• In Franz Josef Land we encounter a stark and enigmatic landscape steeped in the drama and heroism of early polar exploration. At places like Bell Island, Cape Flora, and Cape Tegetthoff we have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Fridtjof Nansen, Frederick George Jackson, Julius von Payer, and other polar explorers. At Tikhaya Bukhta we find the ruins of a Soviet-era research facility that was also a major base for polar expeditions. Across the archipelago there are monuments, memorials, crosses, and the remains of makeshift dwellings, all testimony to incredible historical events.

• On this voyage we also experience stunning scenery and abundant wildlife in Spitsbergen, Svalbard’s largest island. This classic Arctic destination is home to reindeer, Arctic fox, millions of seabirds, numerous marine mammal species, and a high concentration of polar bears. In this multifaceted landscape of glaciated mountains and coastal plains we also find historical sites and the Arctic research community of Ny Ålesund, complete with gift shop, post office, and museum.
Enquire now about Arctic for Explorers

Travel on the Sea Spirit

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