Cruise Franz Josef Land: Discover the Wild Arctic Under the Midnight Sun

Cruise Franz Josef Land: Discover the Wild Arctic Under the Midnight Sun

Be one of the few people in the world to cruise the luminous world of the Midnight Sun as it hovers over the Arctic Circle. If this experience is on your Bucket List (and if it’s not, it should be), cross it off with a flourish on MIR’s Special Journey to Remote Franz Josef Land – a unique group tour to the northernmost archipelago on earth, isolated Franz Josef Land.

Special Journey to Remote Franz Josef Land

Contact us today to join this one-time only 2018 special departure
to remote Franz Josef Land – call 111-111-1111 or email us.
Space is filling fast!

See bearded seals on an excursion by Zodiac to explore Franz Josef Land. Photo credit: Jonathan Zaccaria

Lazy bearded seals pay no attention to travelers on an excursion by Zodiac 
Photo credit: Jonathan Zaccaria

The Franz Josef Land Islands: Secluded and Under-ExploredLocated far above the Arctic Circle, some 470 miles away from the Eurasian mainland, the 191 islands that make up Franz Josef Land are some of the most secluded and under-explored locales on earth.

Discovered only 150 years ago, the volcanic, glaciated archipelago was once an important stopping point for famous polar explorers making the dangerous (and often deadly) passage to the North Pole. In August 2016, as a spectacular explains, the Russian government included these remote islands in the Russian Arctic National Park, or zapovednik.

Photo and exploration opportunities abound on the islands of Franz Josef Land. Photo credit: Jonathan Zaccaria

Uncanny sea and sky on the islands of Franz Josef Land
Photo credit: Jonathan Zaccaria

Your Unmatched View of the Midnight SunMost people have never experienced the Midnight Sun – you have to be close to the Arctic Circle, the imaginary line where the sun doesn’t set on the summer solstice, nor rise on the winter solstice. There’s not a lot of land above the Arctic Circle, but there’s plenty of ocean.

Travel pioneers travel from the cruise ship aboard  Zodiac to explore the nooks and crannies of Franz Josef Land. Photo credit: Jonathan Zaccaria

Travel pioneers board Zodiacs to explore the bays and inlets of Franz Josef Land
Photo credit: Jonathan Zaccaria

A toast to the Franz Josef Land. Photo credit: Jonathan Zaccaria

A toast to the Midnight Sun, illuminating the ocean surrounding Franz Josef Land
Photo credit: Jonathan Zaccaria

More Than Just Your Average Cruise ShipAnd where there’s ocean, there are cruise ships. But not just any cruise ship can venture into these icy waters. Specially strengthened hulls make the smaller-scale Arctic vessels capable of negotiating seas that are normally dotted with floating sea ice or icebergs calved from Arctic glaciers.

(click on small square photos to see a larger version) 


A view of Franz Josef Land from the deck. Photo credit: Jonathan Zaccaria

Spotting sea life from the deck, with a blue glacier backdrop
Photo credit: Jonathan Zaccaria

Fantastic Views and FjordsEnjoy fantastic views of rugged icebergs and glacier-capped peaks as you cruise north through the Barents Sea. Make a stop at the Russian polar station Nagurskoye in wildlife-rich Cambridge Bay. Explore the spectacular fjords and narrow channels of western Spitsbergen, where glaciers calve and Arctic fox lurk in the tundra vegetation.

Walk in the footsteps of famous polar explorers in Franz Josef Land. Photo credit: Anthony Smith

Walk in the footsteps of famous polar explorers in Franz Josef Land
Photo credit: Anthony Smith

Walk in the Footsteps of Famous Polar ExplorersFranz Josef Land also offers visitors the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of famous polar explorers at well-preserved historical sites. Expert lecturers help you imagine the unimaginable at far-flung monuments, crosses and the lonely remains of emergency dwellings.


Special Journey to Franz Josef Land with Jill Worrall. Photo credit: Poseidon Expeditions

Breaking the ice with polar bears
Photo credit: Poseidon Expeditions

Photo-Ready Wildlife: Walrus, Polar Bears, Puffins and MoreMake landfall by Zodiac or kayak to discover the vast array of wildlife that this area plays host to, from colonies of walrus to the mightiest hunter of the north, the polar bear.

Special Journey to Franz Josef Land with Jill Worrall. Photo credit: Poseidon Expeditions

Take a kayak excursion to be as silent as a seal
Photo credit: Poseidon Expeditions

Bearded Seals in Franz Josef Land. Photo credit: Jonathan Zaccaria

A bearded (and mustachioed) seal
Photo credit: Jonathan Zaccaria


You can take advantage of the 24-hour daylight and explore the cliffs around the islands, which are host to enormous nesting colonies of auks and migratory seabirds – including some rare species.


Puffins in Franz Josef Land. Photo credit: Anthony Smith

A pack of puffins
Photo credit: Anthony Smith


Tour Leader: Jill WorrallOn this adventurous journey, you’ll join Tour Leader , international tour operator and award-winning travel writer, who’ll enhance the voyage with her expertise and humor. 

Puffins in Franz Josef Land. Photo credit: Anthony Smith

Puffins play leapfrog
Photo credit: Anthony Smith

Cruise to Franz Josef Land with Jill Worrall and MIR

MIR has 30 years of travel experience to Russia, with affiliate offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Siberia offering on-the-ground support, and tour managers that clients rave about. MIR’s full service, dedication, commitment to quality, and destination expertise have twice earned us a place on National Geographic Adventure’s list of “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.”

MIR makes it easy to discover incredible destinations in first-class style aboard the 114-passenger Sea Spirit, which is ideally suited to explore remote, out-of-the-ordinary destinations while providing her guests with a high level of comfort and service.

Special Journey to Remote Franz Josef Land

Contact us today to join this one-time only 2018 special departure
to remote Franz Josef Land – call 111-111-1111 or email us.
Space is filling fast!

Photogenic iceberg in Franz Josef Land. Photo credit: Poseidon Expeditions

Sky-borne ice crystals over cold waters create an eerie halo 
Photo credit: Poseidon Expeditions

Top photo: Closing in on the snout of a glacier in Franz Josef Land. Photo credit: Poseidon Expeditions

PUBLISHED: March 21, 2017

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