Admire tundra vegetation like saxifrages, buttercups, chickweeds and mountain sorrell in the Novosibirskie Islands and discover large walrus haulouts on Belkovsky Island. Have your in-suite binoculars on hand while crossing the Kara Sea. Nearby Nordenskjold Archipelago, is named for Adolf Erik Nordenskjold, leader of the 1878-80 Vega Expedition, the first to navigate the North East Passage. The islands are popular with Arctic terns, purple sandpipers, herring gulls, sanderlings and other waders. Explore Isachenko Island in the Kirov Island group.
In Severnaya Zemlya, ‘Northern Lands’, explore the last territorial discovery on Earth, with walks up to glaciers, Zodiac cruising, stand-up paddle-boarding and kayaking in iceberg-laden fjords and sightings of Brant geese, snow buntings and Arctic skuas, always with an eye out for polar bears. At Novaya Zemlya, largest of the Eurasian Arctic archipelagos, admire its glistening ice cap, massive walrus haulouts, bird cliffs bristling with Brunnich’s guillemots, kittiwakes and glaucous gulls. Zodiac cruise for views of calving glacier fronts, bearded seals and swimming polar bears, or hike to spectacular vistas.