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Tromsø is the point of departure for our expedition. But before that, why not spending some time to explore the city and enjoy its breath-taking views on top of the Fløyfjellet Mountain. If you go to the Polar Museum, they will tell you more about the great explorers who ventured into the sea up North!
On board of the ship, you will then land at Sørøya, the Norway’s fourth largest island. The island is rocky and mountainous, allowing you to get into the highest points should you want to challenge yourself and be a bit more adventurous. The tallest mountain is called Komagaksla and is 2,162 ft high. You could do some hiking around the area and observe the wilderness and uniqueness of this part of the world.
Now you will land in Russia, most particularly in Murmansk – the youngest city in the country. It was created in 1915 during the first world war for military purposes. Indeed, Allies were shipping military supplies to support Russia at that time. Nowadays, the city is still what we call a port city and remain an important place as it is set to be the Russian terminus of the Arctic Bridge, which will link Russia to Canada. It is said that the bridge will serve as a major trade route between North America, Europe and Asia.
Crossing the Barents Sea will take about 2 days. This will be a great opportunity to review the highlights of the voyage. The expedition team will brief you before to land in the Franz Josef Land.
Once in the Franz Joseph Land archipelago, the Captain and his crew will decide where would be the most appropriate landing spot. It will most likely depend on the ice floe and weather conditions. The archipelago regroups 191 islands and covers a vast area of 16,134 square kilometres.
The flora varies between islands, and with the low temperatures, the vegetation grows only on stones. However, you could find Artic poppy which is usually on Heiss Island. Otherwise, the archipelago has different species such as saxifrage, alpine foxtail or buttercups. The islands have rich biodiversity of rare marine mammals: you could spot Artic fox, the majestic Polar bear, but also the harp seal or the remarkable walrus.
As you are heading back to Murmansk, you will cross the Barents Sea which was named after Willem Barents attempted to find the Northeast Passage. Take those 2 days to relax and digest the great adventure you went through for the past days.
In Murmansk, you will have more time to visit the city. More specifically, you could go and see the Alyosha monument – a 35.5 metres (116 ft) gigantic statue that has been built in memory of soldiers that gave their lives in World War 2 during the Arctic campaign. If you wish to know more about the area, the submarine Kursk and the Saviour on the Waters would probably be something to look at.
As you return from the Franz Joseph Land Archipelago and Murmansk, you will stop by Skarsvåg, a small village located along the Northern coast in Norway. It is the world’s northernmost fishing village. The plateau in North Cape is a popular tourist attraction where you can enjoy a picturesque view on the horizon. From the cape, you should watch the midnight sun that gives you the impression to observe the sun lying onto the water. A memorable and unique moment.
Time is flying, and it is already the end of your trip. Fortunately, you will bring along exceptional memories from a unique experience. If you think about it, you did sail at the top of the world!
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