FRANZ JOSEF LAND CRUISES

FRANZ JOSEF LAND

Franz Josef Land, located in the Arctic ocean, in the Barents Sea, is an archipelago consisting of 191 islands. Eighty-five percent of the archipelago is covered by glaciers. The landscapes are stunning and the islands have proven important in historical terms. Birdlife is in an abundance with Northern fulmar, black-legged kittiwake, thick-billed murre, black guillemot, little auk, common eider, purple sandpiper, Arctic skua, glaucous gull, ivory gull, Arctic tern and Snow Bunting.

Three species of seals inhabit the archipelago, harp and bearded being the most numerous. Walrus numbers are recovering (after being hunted close to extinction), they have been internationally protected since 1952 and their numbers have increased to between one and three thousand walruses living in the archipelago.

Minke, humpback and beluga whales are commonly seen around the islands and less commonly orcas and narwhals, with the archipelago being located on the northern edge of their summer range. The archipelago also has a good population of polar bears which it shares with Svalbard.

Arctic Travel Centre

FRANZ JOSEF LAND LUXURY & EXPEDITION SHIPS

EXPEDITION – LUXURY SHIPS

As the name suggests these Antarctic cruise ships are a hybrid of an Expedition Ship and a Luxury Ship. Some are small ships with close to 100 guests and can offer two landings a day and focus on maximising opportunities for exploring as on an expedition vessel but with the added comfort of having larger, more comfortable cabins and common areas. Those with up to 200 guests generally offer one off ship excursion a day (largely due to time factors associated with the IAATO 100 passenger ashore limit) and still have an adventurous soul. Generally cabins are larger or perhaps the ship is newer than an Expedition ship. Meals are a mix of buffet and served courses and the cuisine is of a very high standard.

ICEBREAKER SHIPS

A nuclear powered icebreaker with the power, strength of hull and weight to literally crush a path all the way to the North Pole. With a maximum of 128 guest the 50 Years of Victory is only used for voyages to the North Pole.  On the way back from reaching the top of the world the ship visits the remote archipelago of Franz Josef Land which is home to polar bears, walrus, beluga whales as well as excellent birdlife.

HIGHLIGHTS OF FRANZ JOSEF LAND

WILDLIFE OF FRANZ JOSEF LAND

Polar Bears Franz Joseph Land

Franz Josef Land is made up of 191 islands and covers an area of 16,134 square km. 85% of the archipelago is covered in glaciers. Here you will find seals, harp being the most common, walrus (although their numbers reduced due to hunting they are now protected), polar bears and Arctic foxes.

There have been forty one species of birds documented in Franz Josef Land which are dominated by seabirds: fulmar, kittiwake, Brünnich’s guillemot, black guillemot and little auk. The common eider, purple sandpiper, Arctic skua, glaucous gull, ivory gull, Arctic tern and snow bunting are also found in the archipelago and nest on the tundra.

Franz Josef Land has been declared a marine mammal sanctuary which offers a variety of rare marine mammals. Minke whales, Minke whales, humpback whale, and beluga whales are commonly seen and occasionally orcas and narwhals.

HISTORY OF FRANZ JOSEF LAND

Walrus - Franz Josef Land

Franz Josef land was discovered in 1865. Many explorer’s spent time here whilst trying to sail to the North Pole, one of the most famous was Nansen on-board the Fram (now housed in a museum in Oslo). For many years the Soviet Union closed off the area to foreign researchers and travellers. The Soviet Union opened up the archipelago for international activities from 1990.

GEOLOGY OF FRANZ JOSEF LAND

Franz Josef Land

Franz Josef land was discovered in 1865. Many explorer’s spent time here whilst trying to sail to the North Pole, one of the most famous was Nansen on-board the Fram (now housed in a museum in Oslo). For many years the Soviet Union closed off the area to foreign researchers and travellers. The Soviet Union opened up the archipelago for international activities from 1990.

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To discuss your luxury expedition cruise to Antarctica, The Falkland Islands or South Georgia, South America, Russia and beyond.

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