The High Arctic
In high summer we embark on our exciting icebreaker voyages to the High Arctic and the North Pole encountering the wildlife that lives in this harsh, cold environment and following the fascinating history of pioneering explorers. Our most northerly shore landing is at 90° North - the top of the world.
You will witness extraordinary and breathtaking scenery whether your route takes in the north west coast of Greenland and Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic or a crossing of the Barents Sea in the Russian Far East to Franz Josef Land.
Franz Josef Land, an archipelago of 191 islands in Russia’s far north, was only discovered in the late 1800s and remains relatively unexplored to this day. Situated between 80.0° and 81.9° North, it is the most northerly group of islands associated with Eurasia. On and around its stunning flat-topped islands you will see polar bears, walrus, arctic fox, seals and belugas and many different seabirds.
For a memorable highlight to your voyage, take to the ship’s helicopter for a dramatic aerial view of the ship crushing its way through the Arctic Ocean pack ice.
“I came home deeply satisfied with this trip - despite delays due to weather and cracks in the ice runways. We snowmobiled, dog sledged, visited fascinating Arctic museums and explored caves under glaciers. I fell in love with Svalbard. Again I am reminded that it’s the wonderful characters you meet that make these adventures so memorable. ”
Clewin Hughes, North Pole express – Barneo Ice Camp, April 2016
“I found the ‘adventure’ both rewarding and educational and also met some interesting people, especially among the English-speaking Chinese and Russian passengers. Once again thank you for putting the trip together for me and therefore making it a resounding success.”
Peter Wright, the North Pole (for Peter’s full account and more photos see trip reports)
“A brilliant holiday! Franz Josef Land must be the ultimate Arctic experience.”
Barbara Forrai and Margaret Dykes, Franz Josef Land, August 2012
“As Marion promised, I attach a copy of the log from our recent trip to Franz Josef Land. The photos in the log illustrate the quality of the polar bear encounters! Dense sea ice is definitely the place to see bears at close range, and we couldn’t have got into the middle of it without an icebreaker. In one twenty-four hour period we had fourteen bear encounters. Often with two in view at the same time. (That 14 count involved some repeat visits by the same bear, who seemed fascinated by the ship).”
Grant Hutchison and Marion McMurdo, Franz Josef Land, July 2011