AUGUST 2020: NOVAYA ZEMLYA AND FRANZ JOSEF LAND

 

03 – 23 August 2020

A unique chance to explore a very seldom visited region of our planet, we will go where almost no Westerner has set foot, in Novaya Zemlya, one of the most mysterious and unknown lands on the globe. And to Franz Josef Land, a spectacular archipelago in the Russian high arctic. We will sail along the wild and primordial coasts characterized by huge glaciers and protected bays. We will go in search of the mighty Whales that spend the summer in these rich waters, we will visit sea birds colonies, we will visit colonies of Walruses and we will ecounter the mighty Polar Bear, and the curious Arctic Foxes. We will land in historical places of the polar exploration, Ice Harbor in Novaya Zemlya, where the expedition of Barents wintered, Teplitz Bay in Franz Josef Land where the Duke of Abruzzi placed his base camp and Cape Norway where Nansen spent the winter after trying to reach the north pole on board the legendary Fram. Also, if the conditions will allow us, we will touch two important geographical points, the easternmost and the northernmost point of Europe. All accompanied by an expert guide, Piero Bosco.

PROGRAM

03   August
Flight to Arkhangelsk (not included).
Transfer to the hotel (for passengers traveling on group flights).
Overnight at the Hotel Novotel Arkhangelsk**** or similar.

04   August
City tour of Arkhangelsk. In particular we will visit the headquarters of the Russian Arctic National Park and the regional museum, institutes that hold findings of the great historical expeditions that discovered the polar archipelagos of the Barents Sea, among them also rare pieces belonging to the expedition of the Duke of Abruzzi and Willem Barents.
After the visit we will embark and start sailing.
The MV Professor Molchanov, ice strengthenedvessel with a great history in the polar cruises tourism business, is now part of the fleet of the Department of Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring of the Russian Federation and will be at the complete and exclusive use of our group. The ship is 70 meters long and offers comfortable and spacious cabins of different types, can accommodate up to 50 passengers.
Is not yet confirmed but there are concrete possibilities to have on board some scientists/students of the Arctic Floating University of Arkhangelsk, they will carry out field research making our expedition even more interesting (the researches will not interfere in any way on our program which has absolute priority over scientific needs).
After the visit we will embark and start sailing in the White Sea.
Overnight on board.

05-07   August
Left the White Sea we will enter the Barents Sea and will continue north-east towards Novaya Zemlya, trying to make the most of the sea currents that go up along the island from south to north.
Overnight on board.

08   August
Today in the afternoon we should reach the north eastern coasts of Novaya Zemlya. This island has always been one of the most mysterious and unknown lands on the planet, where tourists are a real rarity, it will be a great emotion to see what few have seen! Most of this region is closed to tourists, only the northernmost part, included in the territory of the Russian Arctic National Park, is accessible to visitors.
Overnight on board.

09-11   August
The sea, ice and winds conditions will determine the order and feasibility of our visits, which however include: Inostrantsev Bay, Ivanov Bay, the Oranskiye islands, Zhelaniya Cape, Flissingsky Cape and Ledyanaya Gavan.

Inostrantsev Bay
This spectacular fjord is home to the Inostrantsev Glacier, one of the most important in Novaya Zemlya. It originates from the Severny Isalnd ice cap and its front extends over three kilometers. Sailing among the floating ice and observe the calving from the glacier is a unique sight but we will certainly keep an eye on the coast in search of Polar Bears and Seals, in the vicinity there is a small colony of Brunnich’s Guillermots.

Ivanov Bay
Wide bay characterized by tundra vegetation and gentle hills, perfect for a walk after the days at sea. Will allow us to fully enter the magical atmosphere that only such extreme regions can offer.

Oranskiye Islands
These small islands located off the northern coast of Novaya Zemlya are a real paradise for Walruses that are present here in large numbers, but not only, also Polar Bears and many Seabirds love this area rich in animal life.

Zhelanya Cape

Very important geographical point as it separates the Barents sea from the Kara sea. It was visited in 1595 by the expedition of Willem Barents who discovered the Svalbard islands. During the Second World War the Soviet polar station was destroyed by the Nazis during a military operation. Today an automatic weather station is still operating and some abandoned buildings remain.

Flissingsky Cape
The easternmost point of Europe. Characterized by a steep cliff, this cape overlooking the Kara’s sea was named by Barents after the Dutch city of Vlissingen.

Ledyanaya Gavan

One of the mythical places we will visit during this expedition. The members of Barents’ expedition in 1596 were forced to spend the winter here in simple shelters built with beached timber and then reach the continent the following summer aboard small boats built from parts of their ship. Barents died during that crossing.

12-17   August
Left  Novaya Zemlya in the night we will reach Franz Josef Land in the morning. This archipelago is one of the northernmost lands of the planet and holds a unique high arctic fauna composed of Polar Bears, Arctic Foxes, Walruses, Seals, Narvals, Belugas, Whales, Seabirds, the rare Ivory Gulls among them. The territory is characterized by huge glaciers, and mountainous and wild islands surrounded by persistent pack ice.
Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, many expeditions visited these islands, because of their position far north they represented an ideal starting point for explorers who were trying to reach the North Pole. Among the most important we can mention the Austrians Payer and Weyprecht who in 1873 discovered the archipelago, the Norwegian Nansen, the English Jackson and Luigi Amedeo Duke of Abruzzi.
Like in Novaya Zemlya, the conditions of the sea, winds and ice will determine the order and feasibility of our visits that include: Cape Tagethoff at Hall Island, Cape Trieste at Champ Island, Appolonov and Stolichkova Islands, Teplitz Bay and Cape Fligely at Rudolph Island, Cape Norway at Jackson Island, Thikaia Bay at Hooker Island, Bell Island and Cape Flora at Northbrook Island.

Cape Tagethoff
Cape characterized by a spectacular rocky spur takes its name from the ship of the Weyprecht-Payer expedition, which discovered the archipelago by first spotting exactly this point. It is one of the few areas of the island to be ice free and it is possible to disembark. The American Wellmann chose this point to build his base camp during the 1898-99 expedition. If there are no Polar Bears in the area we can explore the long adjacent beach.

Cape Trieste
Along the coasts of the Champ island we will encounter some very large, perfectly spherical, large boulders that are still the subject of debate among scientists to define their exact origin. On this island we will try to disembark at Cape Trieste, a name that recalls the many Italian sailors who were part of the Austrian expedition that discovered the archipelago.

Appolonov and Stolichkova Islands
These small islands and the surrounding pack ice are the perfect habitat for a large number of Walruses.

Teplitz Bay and Cape Fligely
Rudolph island is the northernmost island of the archipelago and therefore the most difficult to reach. If we are lucky we can try a landing at Cape Fligely, the northernmost point of Europe, another important geographical point of this expedition. But the real goal of our navigation is Teplitz Bay, a small bay where the Stella Polare and its crew spent the winter between 1899 and 1900. The following spring, being Luigi Amedeo Duca degli Abruzzi unable to partecipate due to the freezing of a hand , Umberto Cagni led a small skis expedition that reached  86 ° of latitude north beating the previous record of Nansen.

Cape Norway

A place made legendary by Nansen who spent the winter of 1895 here, with his companion Johansen.

Thikaia Bay and Rubini Rock
Very protected inlet surrounded by the glaciers along the coast of Hooker Island. We will visit the remains of the now abandoned Soviet meteorological station where the Little Auks are often present. Back on board we will head to Rubini Rock, one of Franz Josef Land’s largest sea bird colonies. This basalt rock is over 80 meters high and the rock walls are literally covered by over 50,000 nesting seabirds of different species.

Cape Flora
Cape located at the south western corner of Northbrook Island. Due to its southern position it was visited by many of the expeditions that ventured into the archipelago. In the lush tundra Skua are nesting and in the vicinity theer are colonies of Guillermots and Kittiwakes.

Bell Island
The characteristic bell shape makes this small island a unique attraction. The place is famous for the expedition of Benjamin Leigh Smith who here, in 1881, built a small hut still present today.

18  
August
Today, bow to the south, we will leave Franz Josef Land.
Overnight on board.

19-21   August
Sailing in the Barents Sea towards Arkhangelsk. If the conditions are good and we have done a good speed, we will plan an additional landing along the coasts of the Kanin peninsula.
Overnight on board.
22   August
Today we will arrive to Arkhangelsk and disembark from Professor Molchanov.
Overnight at Hotel Novotel Arkhangelsk **** or similar.

23   August
Transfer to the airport (for passengers traveling on group flights).
Flight home (not included).

* This is a real expedition in seldom explored areas and the program could be changed due to ice and weather conditions; it is essential to be flexible.

Included in the price:

– 2 nights at hotel in double room, breakfast included.
Airport transfers (for passengers traveling on group flights).
– Voyage aboard the ship as indicated in the itinerary in a cabin of your choice. 
– All excursions and activities throughout the voyage.
– Three meals a day during the cruise (excluded 3, 22 and 23 August).
– Visa suppotr letter and voucher.
– English speaking guides.

Not included:

 – Flights.
 – Visa expenses.
 – Not indicated meals.

Voyage Map

                                                         PRICE PER PERSON Euro

Quadruple Cabin Shared Services
Triple Cabin Shared Services
Double Cabin Shared Services
Double Cabin Private Services
Superior Cabin Private Services
Suite

7200
7700
8300
8800
9800
11200

 

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