Russian Arctic, Spitsbergen – Franz Josef Land

Russian Arctic, Spitsbergen – Franz Josef Land

From USD $6,700


This ambitious expedition into the 192-island archipelago of Franz Josef Land gives you the opportunity to spot such exotic Arctic wildlife as polar bears, Greenland whales, and an assortment of seal and seabird species, while also visiting the remains of historic 19th-century expeditions.

Trip Name
Russian Arctic, Spitsbergen - Franz Josef Land
Vessel Type: Polar Class Expedition Ship Length: 107.6 metres Passenger Capacity: 170 Built: 2019 Hondius is the first-registered Polar Class 6 vessel in the world, meeting the latest and highest Lloyd’s Register demands for ice-strengthened cruise vessels. Hondius also exceeds the requirements of the Polar Code as adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), allowing you to enjoy the polar regions as much as possible while impacting them as little as possible. Upon completion, Hondius will be the most flexible, advanced, innovative ice-strengthened vessel in the polar regions. It is optimized for exploratory voyages that provide you the utmost first-hand contact with the Arctic and Antarctica. Hondius offers high-quality accommodation for 170 passengers in six grand suites with balconies (27 square meters, 291 square feet), eight junior suites (19 to 20 square meters, 205 to 215 square feet), eight superior cabins (20 to 21 square meters, 215 to 226 square feet), 11 twin deluxe cabins, (19 to 21 square meters, 205 to 226 square feet), 14 twin window cabins (12 to 14 square meters, 129 to 151 square feet) as well as 28 twin porthole cabins, two triple porthole cabins, and four quadruple porthole cabins that vary in size from 12 to 18 square meters, or 129 to 194 square feet. The passenger capacity certificate for Hondius is 196 persons. One deck consists of a large observation lounge and separate lecture room, which are reserved for a wide variety of interactive workshops, exhibitions, and performances particular to Hondius. Though elegantly designed in stylish mid-century modern décor, this vessel holds true to Oceanwide’s distinctive cozy and informal atmosphere.  It is our philosophy to keep sea time short so that we can focus instead on fast, effective access to shore and near-shore activities. To give you the maximum contact with the nature and wildlife you traveled so far to see, we employ a tough fleet of rigid-hull inflatable Zodiac boats that guarantee swift and safe landing operations for the passengers. Hondius has two separate gangways and a sheltered indoor Zodiac embarkation platform that can also be used for special outdoor activities, such as kayaking.   Our top priority is taking advantage of every wildlife and terrain opportunity as it occurs. To keep our itineraries flexible itineraries and our response time rapid, Hondius is equipped with advanced stabilizers and two main engines capable of powering the vessel up to 15 knots. But Hondius sacrifices no warmth to achieve its keen polar edge: You will have 72 crew and staff members (including expedition and hotel staff) at your service while on board, ensuring that what little time you do spend on the ship you will spend comfortably entertained.


Day 1 - Day 1: The start of your Arctic adventure
We set out from Longyearbyen at 16.00 hours, hoping to get some initial sightings of local seabirds and marine life along the way.
Day 2 - Days 2 & 3: Sailing the Spitsbergen ice edge
The next two days we spend sailing eastward, exploring the ice edge north of Spitsbergen. Here we might see seals, whales, seabirds, and even polar bears.
Day 3 - Day 4: First sights of Franz Josef Land
Today we approach the Russian base Nagurskoye on the Franz Josef Land island of Alexandra Land. We will the Russian base at Nagurskoye from the ship, but we will not land there. After getting clearance from Russia, we will then welcome on board four guides / inspectors from the Russian Arctic National Park. Later in the day, we aim to make our first landing on the southern part of Arthur Island. In the Arctic archipelago of Franz Josef Land, polar bear sightings are likely.
Day 4 - Day 5: Historic expeditions on Rudolf Island
The goal is to sail to Rudolf Island, the northernmost island of the Franz Josef Land archipelago. Here we hope to land near an abandoned Russian station in Teplitz Bay, seeing some reminders of the Italian and American expeditions here around the turn of the 19th century. We will try to land at Cape Fligely, the northernmost landmass in Eurasia, but may also change the order of these visits.
Day 5 - Day 6: Walrus haul-outs and Cape Norvegia
After sailing south, we will reach Apollonov Island, a large haul-out site for walruses, which you might be able to see from our Zodiacs. At Cape Norvegia on Jackson Island, our aim is to visit the site where Nansen and Johansen spent the winter after leaving the m/v Fram in 1895. Later we will sail southeast by Ziegler Island, then continue south through narrow but spectacular straits.
Day 6 - Day 7: Geological wonders and historic expeditions
Today we land at Cape Tirol, located on the northeast coast of Wiener Neustadt Island in the Austrian Straight. This cape was named by the Austrian-Hungaryan Tegthoff Expedition and was climbed by its leader, Julius von Payer, in spring of 1874. On Champ Island at Cape Trieste, we plan to make excursions among enormous spherical stone formations, after which we aim to sail by the coast of Alger Island, where the American Baldwin-Ziegler Expedition had its main camp in 1901-02. This beautiful area is surrounded by mountainous islands boasting impressive glacier fronts.
Day 7 - Day 8: Franz Josef Land’s first-seen location
At the southern tip of Hall Island, we aim to land at Cape Tegethoff. This was the first piece of Franz Josef Land to be seen by explorers, specifically the Austro-Hungarian Expedition, who spotted the cape from their ship, Tegethoff, in 1873. The American Wellman Expedition of 1898-99 later stayed here, too, and the remains of their octagonal cabin can still be seen. Later in the day, we plan to sail through the narrow Negri Channel between Hall Island and McClintok Island, then sail by the coast of Alger Island, where the American Baldwin-Ziegler Expedition had its main camp in 1901-02. This beautiful area is surrounded by mountainous islands boasting impressive glacier fronts.
Day 8 - Day 9: Cliffside seabirds and Arctic marine life
Early in the morning, we arrive at Rubini Rock on Hooker Island’s Tikhaya Bay. Along this impressive cliff face, you can see colonies of seabirds, such as Brünnich’s guillemots, black guillemots, little auks, fulmars, and kittiwakes. You might also see bearded seals, harp seals, or Greenland whales in this area.Next we sail to Cape Flora on Northbrook Island, an important site in the history of polar exploration. More than a century ago, several expeditions had their bases here, and on the cliffs behind Cape Flora are large colonies of Brünnich’s guillemots. It is exciting to witness the younger birds trying to glide from the ledges to the sea.At Günther Bay, we may take a Zodiac cruise near an important haul-out site for walruses. If landing at Cape Flora is difficult due to sea swell and permission, we will try to land at Bell Island, near Eira Lodge, the station of 19th-century British explorer Benjamin Leigh Smith.
Day 9 - Day 10: Back to Nagurskoye and Spitsbergen
In the morning, we will return to Nagurskoye. Here our four inspectors from Franz Josef Land National Park will leave the ship, after which we’ll sail west to Spitsbergen.
Day 10 - Day 11: The seven islands of northern Svalbard
In the northernmost area of the Svalbard archipelago lies an island group known as Sjuøyane, which translates to “seven islands.” Here we plan to land at the rugged island of Phippsøya, where you may be able to see more walruses.
Day 11 - Day 12: Incredible Krossfjorden scenery
Today we sail into Krossfjorden in the main island of Spitsbergen, where you’ll pass through staggeringly scenic alpine mountaintops, active glaciers, and rich vegetation.
Day 12 - Day 13: Journey’s end in Longyearbyen
We finally return to Svalbard’s principal town, where you will disembark the vessel, taking home priceless memories of friends made, wildlife encountered, and a once-in-a-lifetime Arctic adventure.
Day 13 - Please Note:
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per IAATO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with IAATO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed of our vessel is 10.5 knots.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
01-08-202212-08-2022USD $6,700Quadruple Porthole
01-08-202212-08-2022USD $8,150Triple Porthole
01-08-202212-08-2022USD $9,550Twin Porthole
01-08-202212-08-2022USD $10,300Twin Window
01-08-202212-08-2022USD $11,050Twin Deluxe
01-08-202212-08-2022USD $12,400Superior
01-08-202212-08-2022USD $13,250Junior Suite
01-08-202212-08-2022USD $15,250Grand Suite With Private Balcony
12-08-202223-08-2022USD $9,550Twin Porthole
12-08-202223-08-2022USD $10,300Twin Window
12-08-202223-08-2022USD $11,050Twin Deluxe
12-08-202223-08-2022USD $12,400Superior
12-08-202223-08-2022USD $13,250Junior Suite
12-08-202223-08-2022USD $15,250Grand Suite With Private Balcony
12-08-202223-08-2022USD $6,700Quadruple Porthole
12-08-202223-08-2022USD $8,150Triple Porthole
01-08-202313-08-2023USD $7,600Quadruple Porthole
01-08-202313-08-2023USD $9,300Triple Porthole
01-08-202313-08-2023USD $10,900Twin Porthole
01-08-202313-08-2023USD $11,700Twin Window
01-08-202313-08-2023USD $12,600Twin Deluxe
01-08-202313-08-2023USD $14,100Superior
01-08-202313-08-2023USD $15,100Junior Suite
01-08-202313-08-2023USD $17,400Grand Suite With Private Balcony
13-08-202325-08-2023USD $7,600Quadruple Porthole
13-08-202325-08-2023USD $9,300Triple Porthole
13-08-202325-08-2023USD $10,900Twin Porthole
13-08-202325-08-2023USD $11,700Twin Window
13-08-202325-08-2023USD $12,600Twin Deluxe
13-08-202325-08-2023USD $14,100Superior
13-08-202325-08-2023USD $15,100Junior Suite
13-08-202325-08-2023USD $17,400Grand Suite With Private Balcony


    • Sail the Spitsbergen ice edge
    • Explore Franz Josef Land
    • Enjoy cliffside seabirds and arctic marine life