unique stone spheres at Champ Island
out for walruses, rorquals and elusive bowhead whales
for hunting polar bears on pack ice and on land
at the frozen landscape of Franz Josef Land – 85 per cent of
which is glaciated
DATES / RATES
Rates are listed per person in USD
|Start Date||End Date||Stateroom Triple||Stateroom Twin||Balcony Stateroom C||Balcony Stateroom B||Balcony Stateroom A||Superior Balcony Stateroom||Junior Suite||Captain's Suite|
|Jul 24, 2021||Aug 07, 2021||11,300||12,700||14,200||14,400||14,600||15,800||18,700||21,500|
Rates are listed per person in USD
|Start Date||End Date||(Starting from)|
Balcony Stateroom A
|Jul 24, 2021||Aug 07, 2021||11,300||14,600||21,500|
1: Kirkenes. Embark the Greg Mortimer
in Kirkenes, Norway, where you will be met by a representative of
Aurora Expeditions to commence a tour of Kirkenes prior to boarding the
Greg Mortimer late afternoon.
tour of Kirkenes starts with a drive to the Russian border to learn
about the significant historical events that have occured in this area.
Afterwards, continue to the mining community at Bjørnevatn,
discovered in the 1860s and holding the largest iron reserve in Norway.
The proliferation of mines in the area were home to many people during
the fighting and liberation at the end of World War II. At Mount
Storfjellet, enjoy marvelous views of the area before ending your tour
with a visit to the Borderland Museum, different to traditional war
museums by focusing on the effects of war on people rather than
exhibiting war paraphernalia. Learn about the Soviet prisoners of war,
deported teachers and many other fascinating, seldom-heard stories.
to the pier for embarkation, where you’ll have time to settle
into your cabin before our important briefings
sailing overnight into Russia, we stop in Murmansk to undergo
formalities required to enter Russia. During clearance procedures, you
will have the opportunity to go on a city tour of Murmansk, as well as
the choice between visiting Lenin, the world's first nuclear
icebreaker, or the Museum of Murmansk Shipping Company (MSCO).
City Tour and the First Nuclear Icebreaker
the Palace of Culture, Memorial of the Defenders of Kola Land,
Savior-on-Waters Complex Memorial and a visit to the Orthodox Church.
Continue to the icebreaker.
historic icebreaker Lenin is the world’s first civilian
nuclear-powered vessel. Built for use in waters that are continuously
covered by ice, these ships are significantly more powerful than their
diesel-powered counterparts. Lenin was launched in 1959 and served for
30 years plying the ice-covered waters of the Northern Passage.
Converted to a museum, visitors are now able to experience a guided
tour to see the inner facilities of the icebreaker including the
bridge, where the nuclear reactor was kept.
City Tour & Museum of the Museum of Murmansk Shipping Company
is a unique and fascinating Russian city situated on the north coast of
Kola Peninsula. Murmansk is the largest city in the world above the
Arctic Circle with a population of approximately 350,000 people.
this excursion, visit the Palace of Culture, Memorial of the Defenders
of Kola Land, Savior-on-Waters Complex Memorial and a visit to the
Orthodox Church. Continue to the Museum to the Museum of Murmansk
Shipping Company (MSCO) for a guided tour.
Museum was opened in 1977 and covers the history of Arctic exploration,
particularly the development of the Northern Passage known in Russia as
“The Great Northern Sea Route”. There are great
exhibitions of historic photographs, a portrait gallery of polar
captains, nautical devices, displays of ship bells, a model of a
nuclear reactor and a fascinating collection of micro model ships.
recommended to wear comfortable shoes for the excursion. A reasonable
level of fitness is required as some uphill walking, narrow stairs and
200 steps to climb at the Monument to the Defenders of the Kola land.
Women are advised to cover their heads during the visit to the church.
3-4: At Sea and Novaya Zemlya
the next two days at sea, enjoy informative and entertaining lectures
from our expert expedition team including naturalists, historians and
geologists. We will cruise along the coast of Novaya Zemlya to have our
first glimpse of the tundra of the high Arctic. Novaya Zemlya was once
an important nuclear research site during the cold war and today, only
a few places in the north are accessible to visitors. These islands
offer stunning rugged arctic landscapes - enormous extinct volcanoes,
jagged cliffs and the most isolated mountain range in the Baltic Sea.
Time and weather permitting, we will attempt to launch our Zodiacs to
explore the Oransky Islands late on Day 4. Fingers crossed!
north of the northern tip of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago is Oransky,
a group of several small inshore islands located within the Russian
Arctic National Park established in 2009. The islands themselves are
not inhabited by humans, but remnants of early hunting activity are
visible. At the nearby Zhelania Cape, situated at the northeastern-most
tip of the Northern Island, a manned weather station was operated as
well as a military base, but both were closed in the 1990s. On Oransky
Islands, Brünnich’s guillemots, black-legged
kittiwakes, glaucous gulls, black guillemots, Atlantic puffins and
great skuas can be found breeding. You may get a chance to see a
massive walrus rookery, various species of whale and the Novaya Zemlya
reindeer. If we're very lucky, we may also see polar bear, and the ones
found at Novaya Zemlya are considered to be a genetically unique
5-11: Franz Josef Land
Josef Land is a stark yet beautiful world of glaciers, mosses and
lichens. Approximately five million sea birds nest on the archipelago
every year, with the thick-billed guillemot accounting for
approximately 20%. Other seabirds such as fulmar, kittiwake,
Brünnich's guillemot, black guillemot and little auk are
common throughout the archipelago. On the flat tundra nest other
species such as: common eider, purple sandpiper, Arctic skua, glaucous
gull, ivory gull, Arctic tern and snow bunting. Franz Josef Land is
home to two arctic giants – the polar bear and the walrus.
There is also a population of Arctic fox, which typically have their
territories near seabird habitats. The waters of Franz Josef Land are
visited by whales, including humpback, bowhead, narwhal, and white
beluga whale. Walrus, ringed seals, bearded seals and an amazing
species of mammals, choose Franz Josef Land and the water areas around
it as their home.
there are many exciting places we can choose to visit over the
following week, weather, wind, and sea-ice conditions will determine
our itinerary in Franz Josef Land. A sample of some of the places where
we may land, hike, photograph or view spectacular wildlife and scenery
and Mabel Island
remains of an empty cabin built in 1880 by British explorer Benjamin
Leigh Smith can be found on Bell Island. On Mabel island offers an
opportunity to get close to a little auk colony as the birds nest
between the rocks on the slope above the beach where the Zodiacs land.
Flora - Northbrook Island
in an unglaciated area in the Southwest of Northbrook Island, Cape
Flora is one of the most famous historical site in Franz Josef Land
because it is one of the most accessible locations in the archipelago
and often served as a base for polar expeditions in the late 19th and
early 20th centuries. Cape Flora features some of the most beautiful
tundra in Franz Josef Land, but landings on the rocky beach, which is
prone to swell from the Barents Sea can often be tricky. Cape Flora is
where Benjamin Leigh Smith’s vessel Eira was shipwrecked in
1881, after being trapped in pack ice.
Bay (Prince George Land)
George is the largest and longest island of the Franz Josef
Archipelago. Most of the island is covered in large glaciers and ice
domes, such as the Brusilov Ice Dome - the highest point of the island.
A landing at Geographers Bay allows for a hike up one of the ice domes
to stretch our legs and to enjoy the wonderful views over the
archipelago, as Prince George Island is not fully glaciated.
It’s also a great spot for enjoying the typical flowers of
the north Arctic tundra.
Bukta (Hooker Island)
Bay was a major base for polar expeditions, and where a team of
meteorologists from the Russian Sedov station were marooned at the
beginning of the Second World War. It was also the location of a
meteorological station between 1929 and 1963. The remains of the old
Russian station is worth visiting and after thousands of rusting
barrels were found and cleared here five 5 years ago, the station now
resembles a ghost town or a living museum. You will also find here the
world’s northernmost (Russian) post office!
Rock (Hooker Island)
impressive basalt cliffs create the best bird cliffs in the archipelago
housing more than 100,000 birds comprising of mostly Brünnich
guillemot, but also kittiwake and little auks. The bird cliff lies just
off Calm Bay and is perfect for Zodiac cruises. The island is a
volcanic plug, the central remains of conical volcano.
Tegethoff (Hall Island)
place of the first landing in 1873 by Austro-Hungarian expeditioners
Julius Von Payer and Karl Weyprecht after the Tegethoff sunk in 1873.
Beautiful basalt rocks and bird cliff rookery of guillemot, gulls,
kittiwake and little auks.
Triest, Champ Island
Island is famous for the incredible stone spheres (geodes), commonly
called “Devils Marbles” with sizes ranging from
tennis balls to boulders that are three metres in diameter! These rocks
are a unique geological feature that can be found only in the Arctic
regions. Keep a look out for walrus in the water or hauled out on the
Passage - Newcombe sound (Nansen archipelago)
glaciated landscape featuring an enormous glacier front with a lot of
sea Ice. It’s one of the best spots to marvel at glaciers,
ice and perhaps polar bears!
Norway (Jackson Island)
place where the famous Norwegian explorers Fritjoj Nansen and Hjalmar
Johansen spent the winter of 1895-96 after returning from their attempt
to reach the North Pole. We can see the remains of the stone hut built
by the men including a big log that was used as a makeshift roof. A
commemorative plaque provides marks this event where the men survived
the winter until the following summer, when they resumed their journey
Fligely (Prince Rudolf Island)
81° 51’N, this is the northernmost point of Eurasia,
where we can cruise along the ice edge and perhaps get a glimpse to the
North Pole in clear weather conditions.
Bay (Prince Rudolf Island)
old abandoned Russian meteorological station is located here
– it was once the northernmost weather station in the world.
The bay is often chock full of ice but provides a marvellous
opportunity to enjoy the northernmost zodiac cruise!
Haulout at Stolichky (Stoliczka) or Apollonov Island
can be found everywhere on the sea ice in the Franz Josef archipelago.
We hope to visit one of the established haul-out sites to observe them
on land. Polar bears can be seen almost everywhere on, or between the
islands. We may see some on land but we hope to find them on the pack
Ice, their natural habitat. Seeing polar bears is a highlight of a
voyage to Franz Josef Land and can happen at any moment. We will change
the itinerary in case we encounter one or more bears, maximising every
opportunity spending time observing the king of the Arctic!
12-13: At Sea
return crossing of the Barents Sea offers some good opportunities to
encounter whales, perhaps the elusive bowhead whale if we’re
lucky, and certainly plenty of opportunities to photograph sea birds.
in Murmansk for clearance procedures before continuing to Kirkenes.
15: Disembark Kirkenes
in Kirkenes in the morning, farewell your expedition team and fellow
passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a
newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to the
airport is included in the cost of the voyage.
Greg Mortimer (Luxury Expedition, 120-guests)
Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the Greg Mortimer is built to world-class polar standards. It is designed in close consultation with expedition specialists, taking advantage of Auroras more than 25 years of experience.
(Click image to view Ship details)
transfer and Kirkenes city tour on Day 1 prior to embarking Greg
sightseeing tour of Murmansk on Day 2
transfer from ship to airport in Kirkenes on Day 15
accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
house wine and soft drinks with dinner
Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house
cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
lectures and guiding services from expedition team
access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult)
3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
use of muck boots during the voyage
surcharges, permits and landing fees
or domestic flights, unless specified
not mentioned in the itinerary
arrival or departure taxes
visa, reciprocity and vaccination charges
insurance or emergency evacuation charges
and meals not included in itinerary
excursions not included in the itinerary
items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic
beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry
services, personal clothing, additional medical expenses such as
medication, gratuities, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges
Kayaking: USD 1,150
on wildlife, our environment, history and destinations: Free
and mammal spotting: Free