Day 1 – Embark the Greg Mortimer in Kirkenes
Arrive in Kirkenes, Norway, located on the border with Russia. Join a pre-arranged half day excursion or activity prior to boarding the Greg Mortimerlate afternoon. Airport transfers will be included if arriving on preferred flights into Kirkenes. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings. Sail the scenic Bokfjord to reach the Barents Sea on our way to Murmansk in neighbouring Russia.
Day 2 – Murmansk
After sailing overnight into Russia, we stop in Murmansk, to undergo formalities to enter Russia. During clearance procedures, we may go on a city tour of Murmansk visiting the monument to the soldier of WW2 and also the first nuclear icebreaker, Lenin.
Days 3-4 – At Sea
Over the next two days at sea, enjoy informative and entertaining lectures from our expert expedition team including naturalists, historians and geologists. Time and weather permitting, we may cruise along the coast of Novaya Zemlya on day 4, to have a first glimpse of the tundra of the High Arctic. We may even try a landing in the tundra or a zodiac cruise in front of our first glacier (at a safe distance).
Days 5-11 – Franz Josef Land
Franz Josef Land is a stark yet beautiful world of glaciers, mosses and lichens. Approximately five million seabirds nest on the archipelago every year, with the Brünnich’s guillemot accounting for approximately twenty per cent of the population. Other seabirds such as fulmar, kittiwake, black guillemot and little auk, are common throughout the archipelago. On the flat tundra, nest species such as: common eider, purple sandpiper, arctic skua, glaucous gull, ivory gull, arctic tern and snow bunting can be seen. Franz Josef Land is home to two arctic giants – the polar bear and the walrus. The waters of Franz Josef Land are visited by whales, including humpback, bowhead, narwhal and white beluga whale. Possible landings may include Prince George Land, Alexandra Land, Bell and Mabel Island, Champ Island and Cape Flora (Northbrook Island).
Days 12-13 – At Sea
The 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.
Day 14 – Murmansk
Back in Murmansk for clearance procedures before continuing to Kirkenes.
Day 15 – Kirkenes
Arrive 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.
*Itinerary and map are a guide only. Itinerary is subject to ice and weather conditions.