NORWAY MURMANSK FRANZ JOSEFS COUNTRY
SAIL NORTH OF 80° TO THE RUSSIAN ARCTIC — Tromsø – Murmansk – Franz Josef Land – Murmansk – Skarsvåg – Tromsø
The remote Franz Josef’s land has always been attractive to hard-hitting adventurous. Now you can put your legs on the ice where Nansen and Johansen spent their winters. Look for polar bears that wander around in their natural habitat and experience the cold Arctic winds from the North Pole a few miles away.
Norway and the port of catchers
Norway has a long coastline, ranging from 58 ° to 71 ° N. This weathery coast has a varied landscape, from lush fjords to steep mountains, islands, shores and arctic wilderness. We start in Tromsø, as more adventurers have done before us. At the fascinating Polar Museum you get detailed descriptions of life in the Arctic and the catching people’s approach. Take the time to explore the city, the old wooden houses and the famous Ishavs Cathedral before boarding MS Spitsbergen. The next morning we will land on Sørøya, a beautiful island near Hammerfest. Using small boats we explore the local area.
We arrive at the exotic Russian port city of Murmansk. The harbor is strategically important for both the military and merchant vessels, and therefore dominates much of the cityscape.
Franz Josef’s land – remote islands, mighty glaciers and everlasting wilderness
We are sailing northwards. Over the next two days, you will feel the air gradually getting colder. As we approach the land of Franz Josef, we may experience polar skate due to cold air that meets hot water.
For five exciting days, we will explore the northernmost archipelago of the world. This is an expedition on its most authentic. How the route will be and where we stop along the way depends on weather and ice conditions. Our captain and expedition team has full control over this and ensures that we take full advantage of all the opportunities nature has to offer.
The archipelago consists of basaltic rocks, dramatic glaciers, majestic rock formations, deep fjords, rocks with screaming birds and an endless Arctic tundra with a diverse birdlife and wildlife.
Kapp Flora is named after the flowers that bloom at the foot of the rock where Fridtjof Nansen unexpectedly supported Frederick George Jackson and was rescued. In Calm Bay we can see the hardy Russian meteorologists who survived five years in this climate, without supplies. We also hope that we will sail along the amazing birdwatch Rubini Rock. If the weather is on our side, we will land in Cape Triest where you can admire the geological phenomenon Devil’s Marbles.
We sail well above 80 ° N, closer to 600 nautical miles from the North Pole. Along the way you can explore historical sites that are rarely visited and a rich Arctic plant and wildlife – including seals, seabirds and polar reefs. Pay particular attention to the walrus, which is usually located on secluded beaches. The polar bear also wanders between this area and Svalbard. With an ingredient of nearly 3000, there should be a great chance that we will see one of these spectacular predators with their own eyes.
After some exciting days in Franz Josef’s country, we return to Murmansk.
Back to Norway
The next day we arrive at the northernmost point of the European mainland. Nordkapp has been an attractive destination for centuries. Many travel across long distances to stand on the cliff that marks the end of the continent, 307 meters above the North Sea.
After a fantastic adventure, we are back in Tromsø, and take good leave where the exciting expedition started.
Our expeditions go to places where the items belong. Safety is important, therefore weather, wind, sea and ice conditions can change the itinerary. The captain determines the final itinerary along the way. Therefore, each and every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique, and the description on this page is just an indication of what you can experience.
August 29 and September 12, 2019
There adventurers before us have started
The expedition begins, as the big expeditions often do, in Tromsø. Before boarding MS Spitsbergen, take the time to explore the city. Tromsø has many great attractions, but is also perfect for those seeking you away from the big city and want to experience the wilderness. One way to do this is to take the mountain lift up to the top of the Fløyfjellet (420 moh) and enjoy the wonderful view of the city, mountains and fjord. Also visit the Polar Museum to get some extra inspiration before starting the adventure at sea. Here you can learn more about the region’s expedition history and those who waved the troubled cold and ice in search of new discoveries.
Walk in beautiful landscape
Sørøya is the fourth largest island in Norway. It has an exposed and wild coastline, a lot of wilderness, but few inhabitants. We land on this street-free and scenic island to visit one of the established fishing communities here. If weather permits, there are opportunities for a short hike up the terrain to enjoy the view.
Welcome to Russia! Murmansk is a young city, founded in 1916, and the largest city north of the Arctic Circle. Murmansk first and foremost arose from the need for a port in the North Sea, and the marine industry is as dominant as today.
Location: At sea
The expedition team and their Russian colleagues will prepare you for the next expeditions of the expedition through exciting lectures and information. You will learn a lot about the history of Franz Josef and the rich wildlife. Keep an eye out for ice while sailing even further north. Enjoy the journey to relax in the panoramic lounge or have a workout in the state-of-the-art gym on board.
Archipelago with fascinating history
Place: Franz Josef’s country
It is likely that the pomoros or Norwegian sailors already knew about the land of Franz Josef, but the first registered landing of the archipelago was in 1873, from the sailing ship Admiral Tegetthoff. What they found were wide beaches, hedging birds, polar reefs, polar bears and walrus. We hope to find much of the same on our expedition. The exact order and selections of landings are determined by the captain and our expedition leader. They know the landscape and know how to get the most out of the conditions. Possible places we go ashore on this stretch are:
Belløya is mostly ice-free during the summer months, so we may get the opportunity to help clear the beach for broken fishing gear and other trash that threatens plant and animal life here. Here at Belløya we find the remains of the oldest building in Franz Josef’s land, which was abandoned by a British expedition in 1880. The same expedition also brought a polar bear and handed it to the London Zoo.
Kapp Flora on Northbrook Island lives up to its name, and thousands of seabirds mate and lie and grow on the cliffs here. While we are there, we hope to see the polar bears polarlomvi and crutch. It was on this island Fridtjof Nansen, who survived the winter in a tent against all odds, finally saved a summer day in 1896 after accidentally encountering Frederick George Jackson.
Tikhaya Buchta , or Calm Bay , is the bay where a team of meteorologists from the Russian research station Sedov stranded during the beginning of World War II. They were not saved until 1945! We hope to spend the day here and explore the history, as well as listen for the laughter-like sounds of the Alva birds as they fly to and from their trails in the mountainside.
Rubini Rock is a bird cliff just off Calm Bay, which is perfect to sail around. The cylindrical island with a volcanic crater in the middle is the bird’s eye in the archipelago, and the red basalt walls rise 80 meters from the sea.
Kapp Norway on Jackson Island has a special significance for us, as this was where the Norwegian adventurer Hjalmar Johansen arrived in 1895. With the help of a few stones and a tent he made a simple cabin that he overwintered. Hjalmar Johansen survived the tough conditions and resumed his journey south the following summer.
Kapp Triest on the Champion is best known for Devil’s Marbles, which is a form of geodes. These geological rock formations are formed by the growth of chemicals within the rock layers and can be up to 2 meters in diameter! Also look for walrus along the beach or in the sea as we move towards land in our steep small boats.
Aleksandra land is the westernmost island (if you do not count on the small, remote Viktoria island). The island is the headquarters of the Russian Arctic National Park in which the land of Franconia is part of. During World War II, the Germans attempted to establish a weather station here, but failed.
Location: At sea – the Barents Sea
Willem Barents really tried to find the Northeast Passage when he accidentally discovered our next destination, Svalbard. In 1596 he sailed to Svalbard and called it Spitsbergen because of the pointed mountains. As we sail across the Barents Sea, named after him, you can take the opportunity to relax, enjoy the hot tub on deck or attend an expedition team’s lectures. Perhaps you’ll even finish writing the postcard you started.
World War II History
We arrive Murmansk again and this time you will have more time to explore the city. Alyosha, a 35 meter tall statue of a Russian soldier, rubs over the harbor. It is a memorial to all the Russian soldiers who fought during World War II.
Here you can visit the church of the Savior on the water , with gold plots funded by donations and built in 2002. It is part of a memorial dedicated to seamen from Murmansk who have died in peacetime. Just below you will find the lighthouse monument and parts of the unfortunate submarine “Kursk”, which met its fate in the North Sea in 2000 .
Europe’s northernmost point
Skarsvåg is a small village located north of Magerøya. It is claimed to be the northernmost fishing village in the world. Take an excursion to Nordkapp and feel the feeling of standing at the end of the world. Here you will find a combined museum and restaurant where you can learn more about the historic expeditions of Nordkapp. A panoramic movie takes you through the four seasons and shows the beautiful landscape in all its splendor. Nordkapp is a wonderful place to experience the midnight sun.
The expedition ends
Time went so fast, but all adventures have an end and our adventure ends in Tromsø. We have been where few others have been – just a few hundred kilometers away from the geographic North Pole, the top point of the earth.
- Expedition with the Hurtigruten in the selected air category including auxiliary service
- Windproof and waterproof jacket
- Inland trips with small boats and activities on board and on land
- Professional expedition team holding lectures, as well as taking part in excursions and activities
- Free coffee and tea
- International flights
- Travel and cancellation insurance
- baggage Service
- Optional tips