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Tailored from £8,250 per person excl. flights

14 days Longyearbyen, Svalbard Archipelago, Franz Josef Land

Cross the wild Barents Sea as you head towards the top of the world and the Russian waters of Franz Josef Land. Enter a world of islands, 24hr daylight, floating sea ice and magical wildlife.

This 14-day trip is available in July and August. With just a few trips taking place in a window of favourable conditions, it is essential to book early to avoid disappointment.

Starting from the town of Longyearbyen, on the island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard Archipelago, the ship sails along the west coast of the island before entering the Barents Sea. Large swathes of ice may well appear to block the route, but for modern ships with advanced navigation it is not a problem, however it did prove challenging for early explorers to this region and their wooden boats.

Look out for whales and seals in these nutrient rich waters before arriving at the Franz Josef Land archipelago. After a quick stop at a military base cum immigration into Russian waters you have the following days to explore this inaccessible and pristine area of the high arctic, before turning south again and journeying back to Longyearbyen

What's included:

  • Cruise ship accommodation (full board)
  • Tea, coffee and snacks
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac trips
  • Rubber boats and snowshoes to borrow
  • All necessary transfers
  • All necessary taxes and fees
  • Complimentary parka jacket
  • Welcome and farewell cocktails

Call us on +44 117 313 3300 to start planning your holiday, we’re looking forward to hearing from you


Trip Itinerary

Days 1-2: Longyearbyen

Day 1- Arrival at Spitsbergen and overnight in Longyearbyen

Included before your cruise is an overnight at The Radisson Blu Polar Hotel in Longyearbyen, allowing you to recover from your international flights and to explore this historic town should you wish. We recommend a visit to the excellent Svalbard Museum to learn about the history of the area and its plants and animals, it is also a great spot to find books and maps of the region to inform the rest of your journey and as a wonderful memento of the trip.

Although you might not expect it of such a remote town, it has some wonderful restaurants and we can recommend the best spots to try some of the local cuisine, fresh seafood is likely to be on the menu and perhaps reindeer

Day 2- Morning in Longyearbyen and board the ship
Day 2- Morning in Longyearbyen and board the ship Listing Image

You have the morning to relax and explore Longyearbyen further, including picking up any last-minute gear for the cold that you might have forgotten. For lunch perhaps try the world’s most northerly pizzas or kebabs.

This afternoon you will be transferred to the pier and board your vessel which will be home for the next 12 nights. A complimentary expedition parka will be waiting for you on board as well as waterproof boots in your size, to borrow.

After meeting the crew, the expedition staff and an introductory briefing enjoy your first meal aboard before setting sail from Longyearbyen through Isfjorden, one of the largest fjords in Svalbard.

Home for this memorable cruise is a luxury small ship, catering for just 114 passengers, it was completely renovated in 2017 giving it a fresh modern feel and it is one of the most capable and maneuverable crafts available.

Accommodation is in seven different types of suite from the triple suites up to the lavish owners suite. Communal area include a restaurant, bar, library, gym, outdoor bistro, club lounge and a presentation lounge and Wi-Fi is included-. Kayaking is also available on this voyage for an extra cost but places are limited so make sure to book in advance and let us enquire about availability at the time of booking. 

Days 3-4: Svalbard Archipelago

Day 3-4: Cross the Barents Sea
Day 3-4: Cross the Barents Sea Listing Image

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings at any point as you make your way along the west coast of Spitsbergen. Any notable sightings will be announced over the ships tanoy, so wherever you are you won’t miss out. There is chance you will see walruses, a number of different whale species, seals, polar bears and certainly sea birds.

Reaching the southern tip of the island of Spitsbergen you round the Sorkapp and embark on an adventure across the Barents Sea. This wild, ice laden sea is very nutrient rich and you may see humpback, fin and bowhead whales as well as perhaps harp seals and polar bears on the ice systems that crisscross the area.

The Franz Josef Archipelago is in Russian Waters, therefore upon reaching the area the ship must anchor at Cambridge Bay to clear immigration at the military base of Nagurskoye.

Days 5-11: Franz Josef Land

Days 5-11- Explore Franz Josef Land
Days 5-11- Explore Franz Josef Land Listing Image

Over the following days the schedule and the route of the cruise will depend on the local weather and ice conditions.

The entire area belongs to the Russian Arctic National Park and it is one of the most remote nature sanctuaries anywhere on the planet, reserved for the lucky few who venture this far north. Sea ice awaits and at this time of year it can be found everywhere, allowing for potential sightings of walruses and polar bears on the glaciers and ice caps.

Between the islands, channels and fjords might be home to harp and bearded seals as well as mythical arctic specialties such as the beluga whale, narwhal and the endangered bowhead whale. Zodiac trips allow you more maneuverability in this environment and for excursions to land for walks led by experienced guides.

Days 12-13: Svalbard Archipelago

Days 12-13: Head back to Svalbard
Days 12-13: Head back to Svalbard Listing Image

Each expedition to Fran Josef Land is unique so after an incredible adventure to this region it is time to cross the Barents Sea once again towards Svalbard.

Wildlife sightings continue and the 24 hour daylight allow for wildlife watching at any time of day, from the panoramic viewing decks or perhaps from the windows of your room.

Depending on the time and conditions on your particular voyage you may visit the South Spitsbergen National Park or the North Isforden National Park. They are both spectacular areas geographically and for the wildlife which they contain, you may glimpse endemic Svalbard reindeer, Arctic foxes and flocks of migratory seabirds such a Atlantic puffins, little auks and Brunnich’s guillemots. 

Arrive back into Longyearbyen for a final night on board with your fellow passengers, staff and crew which you have come to know well and share incredible memories with.

Day 14: Longyearbyen

Day 14: Depart Svalbard

A transfer is included from the port back to the airport or to the town centre should you wish to extend your stay on Spitsbergen- how about a dog sledding trip or a snowmobile adventure?

Talk to the team

Find out more and tailor your perfect trip with the help of
our specialist team on +44 117 313 3300

Why Wayfairer

The operator that leads this expedition is a member of both the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). 

They are committed to the further development of polar conservation and support of related scientific research. As such, on every voyage they strive to leave as small a footprint as possible through a range of measures. For example they actively encourage participation in the expeditions by naturalists and scientists, therefore offering a platform from which they can pursue important and vital work as well as providing a forum where they can voice a unique understanding of some of the most fragile and remote ecosystems on the planet.

Why Wayfairer Franz Josef Land Expedition

Call us on +44 117 313 3300 to start planning your holiday, we’re looking forward to hearing from you