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30 nights
from £16995

Expedition to the Northeast Passage

A voyage in the wake of Great Explorers from Tromso to Nome aboard the MS Bremen

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  • Expedition Cruising
  • Wildlife Tours/ Natural World
  • Franz Josef Land

The sea passage through the Russian Arctic from Europe to Asia was navigated for the first time 140 years ago; it was an exclusion zone until just 30 years ago and remains a pioneering endeavour to this day. Following in the wake of famous explorers into the territory of the icebreakers, the MS Bremen will face the challenges of a spectacular expedition. An experience distinguished by dramatically bizarre landscapes and encounters with polar bears, seals and whales, the Northeast Passage has many entries in the history books and is still an adventure in the present day.

Whilst this itinerary represents a true expedition cruise, we will be travelling in the utmost comfort aboard the MS Bremen. The places visited and the order in which this is achieved will vary depending on wildlife sightings and diversions, such as following a whale that may appear at any time. We will be sailing in one of the world’s most pristine regions witnessing nature in its purest sense, unscathed by the modern world and will be tracing part of a passage that conjures a history at once tragic and inspiring of courage, determination, and superhuman endurance.

You will be joined on board be an expert expedition team. These hand-picked experts are naturalists, historians and ecologists and will share their knowledge and enthusiasm during forays ashore and whilst on board. They will supervise the daily programme, holding talks and briefings throughout the cruise. The expedition team has one aim, to make your trip as enjoyable, relaxing and informative as possible. 

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  

  • Expedition Notes

    MS Bremen - Zodiacs

    This expedition through the Northeast Passage is one of the most difficult cruises to plan and execute. The expedition has been carefully planned using average ice and weather data and closely coordinated with the local Russian authorities. Experience and careful preparation notwithstanding, the actual itinerary therefore depends on the local conditions. Besides ice and weather, these include decisions taken by the Russian authorities, who reserve the right to issue the necessary authorisations only shortly prior to departure and, if necessary, to withhold them entirely. Whilst everything possible will be done to ensure that this cruise can take place as advertised, we would like to inform you of these unusual circumstances and to raise your awareness as to the expeditionary nature of this cruise. Should the authorities, weather or ice have a significant impact on the route, the plan will be to sail through the Northwest Passage instead. If this should happen, we will inform you as quickly as possible. 

    More information

Bremen

Bremen

We are delighted to be working with our German associates, Hapag Lloyd Cruises and the four-star plus vessel the MS Bremen, an expedition ship of a special kind. The vessel accommodates a maximum of 155 passengers along with a qualified expedition team of naturalists who travel ashore with you and also provide informative talks onboard in the comfort of the well designed panoramic lounge. In addition the crew of 100 offer exquisite onboard service. The MS Bremen is small, extremely manoeuvrable and has a shallow draught which allows the vessel to explore regions which bigger ships simply cannot access.

View vessel details

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Tromso, Norway.

Fly by scheduled flight via Oslo arriving into Tromso this evening. Transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 2 - Tromso

Enjoy a morning at leisure before transferring to the MS Bremen this afternoon and sailing this evening.

Day 3 - North Cape Cruising

People once believed that the North Cape marked the end of the world, today it marks the beginning of our expedition. We will cruise pass the famous cliffs before heading to Russia.

Day 4 - Murmansk, Russia

Arrive in Murmansk, the largest city north of the Arctic Circle and a military exclusion zone until 1991. Today we will complete our customs and immigration formalities into Russia and have time to explore Murmansk on a choice of optional excursions before we sail later today.

Days 5 & 6 - Barents Sea

For centuries, the Northeast Passage has fired the imagination of pioneering spirits, from the early explorations by the naval powers England and Holland in the 16th century to the first successful passage by the Swede Adolf Erik Nordenskjöld between 1878 and 1879. The days at sea will be in the shadow of the golden age of Arctic explorers thanks to the exciting expert presentations; the endeavours of Willem Barents will be brought to life as you cruise through the Barents Sea.

Days 7 to 14 - Novaya Zemlya, Franz Josef Land & Severnaya Zemlya

As Barents circumnavigated Novaya Zemlya in 1596 on his search for the Northeast Passage, his ship became trapped in the pack ice and the crew was forced to spend the winter there. Following in his wake, the MS Bremen will call at the deep bays of this raw, primeval island. In geological terms, it is almost identical to the Urals, as it is a northern continuation of this ancient mountain range which was formed when Europe and Siberia collided. Subject to weather conditions, we will take the Zodiacs and explore on land whilst thousands of seabirds brood on the steep cliffs. The Captain and crew can react flexibly, allowing us to observe intense natural spectacles. They are always seeking out the most incredible experiences and all with consideration for the ice and weather. Whilst exploring the Arctic Ocean in 1873, the pioneers of the Austro-Hungarian Polar Expedition happened upon new land which they named after their emperor: Franz Josef Land. Their first sight was today’s Cape Tegetthoff on Hall Island, whose rocky peaks may also have pointed them towards adventure. The explorers first set foot on Wilczek Island, which is now home to the grave of their engineer Otto Krisch. Witness the mystery of the geodes, perfect stone spheres up to three metres in diameter, on Champ Island. Hooker Island also promises intense expedition experiences. Enjoy an unforgettable visit to an abandoned Russian Arctic station from the 1930s or view the bird-inhabited cliff known as Rubini Rock up-close. Besides the imposing cliffs and basalt columns, the island is also home to the largest seabird colony in the archipelago. Only a few people have seen these coasts – the same goes for the almost semi-glacial islands of Severnaya Zemlya inhabited by polar bears, Arctic foxes, Arctic hares, walrus and seals.

Days 15 to 21 - Siberia

As we cruise the Siberian coast, the MS Bremen can take full advantage of its status as a small expedition ship with the highest ice class. Only in this way can it manage to pass through the eye of the needle in the Northeast Passage: Cape Chelyuskin, located between Bolshevik Island and the mainland, is known for frequently being blocked by ice. From here the course will be determined by the weather and ice, although there is great scope for exploration in the Zodiacs and sightings of a number of rare seabirds. The same goes for the New Siberian Islands: they are the habitat for reindeer, wolves, snow grouse and lemmings. In 1893, the researcher Fridtjof Nansen allowed his ship to freeze in order to reach the geographic North Pole by using the natural ice drifts of the Arctic Ocean. These little-researched islands give exciting insights into the “adolescence” of polar exploration. The Medvezhy Islands in the East Siberian Sea are famous as a polar bear nursery. They are an icy habitat where the kings of the Arctic bring their cubs into the world. But an even more impressive conservation area for polar bears lies before you, as well as the secrets of a legendary island.

Days 22 to 25 - Chukchi Sea & Wrangel Island

The excitement on board rises as we hope to traverse the often thick belt of drifting ice around Wrangel Island. Here, using our Zodiacs, we uncover the most spectacular aspects of nature on a grand scale. Numerous bird species nest on the coasts and walks on the tundra will give us the chance to take in the fantastic mountain massifs and spot musk oxen and reindeer in the vast, silent landscape. Kolyuchin Island on the edge of the Chukchi Peninsula also offers overwhelming animal observations. The Zodiacs can take us to large bird-inhabited cliffs with thousands of thick-billed murres, black guillemots, kittiwakes, horned puffins and glaucous gulls. With a little luck we will see lots of walruses gathering on the protruding cliffs.

Days 26 to 29 - Chukchi Peninsula, Bering Strait & Nome

The Chukchi Peninsula is a natural paradise for whales, seabirds and seals. On Cape Dezhnev, the most northeasterly point of the Eurasian landmass a walk will lead you to a monument to the pioneer Semyon Dezhnev, the first to traverse the cape in 1648. In Lorino, you can gain fascinating insights into the everyday life and nomadic traditions of the Chukchi people who survive by hunting and breeding reindeer. Fascinating encounters also await you on seldom-visited Provideniya, located in the extreme east of Russia, when you go ashore with the experts and visit the small museum. It will be time to celebrate when the MS Bremen sets sail for Alaska as we will have successfully traversed the Northeast Passage. We will cross the International Date Line as we sail to Nome arriving in the late afternoon for an overnight mooring.

Day 30 - Nome to Vancouver, Canada

Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our specially chartered flight to Vancouver. On arrival transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 31 - Vancouver to London

Spend the day in Vancouver to explore at your own pace. This afternoon we will transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Day 32 - London

Arrive this morning.

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER - SAVE £1000 PER PERSON
Prices per person based on double occupancy
10 August 2018 to 9 September 2018
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
Category 1 Twin cabin with porthole £17995 £16995
Category 2 Twin cabin with panorama window £19995 £18995
Category 3 Twin cabin with panorama window £21995 £20995
Category 4 Twin cabin with panorama window £23495 £22495
Category 5 Twin cabin with panorama window £25495 £24495
Category 6 Twin cabin with balcony £28995 £27995
Category 7 Suite with balcony £35995 £34995
Category 5 For sole use £30995 £29995

Tour Reference Code: SCBR100818

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel between London and Tromso and Vancouver to London, charter flight from Nome to Vancouver, 28 nights aboard the MS Bremen on a full board basis, overnight accommodation in Tromso and Vancouver on a bed and breakfast basis, mini-bar with soft drinks in your cabin restocked each day, Zodiac excursions, expedition team including onboard lectures, transfers, landing fees, gratuities to crew, port taxes, airport taxes, loan of waterproof boots and parka during cruise.
Not Included: Travel insurance, optional shore excursions, Russian visa, US visa.

  • All Decks

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}

Bremen

We are delighted to be working with our German associates, Hapag Lloyd Cruises and the four-star plus vessel the MS Bremen, an expedition ship of a special kind. The vessel accommodates a maximum of 155 passengers along with a qualified expedition team of naturalists who travel ashore with you and also provide informative talks onboard in the comfort of the well designed panoramic lounge. In addition the crew of 100 offer exquisite onboard service. The MS Bremen is small, extremely manoeuvrable and has a shallow draught which allows the vessel to explore regions which bigger ships simply cannot access.

 
  • MS Bremen
    MS Bremen
  • Suite
  • Cat 6 Cabin
  • Cat 6 - Twin Cabin
  • Panorama Lounge
  • Restaurant
  • Gym
  • Panorama Lounge
  • Library
  • Zodiacs in Kamchatka
  • Viewing Deck
  • MS Bremen - Seafood Buffet on deck
  • Your Cabin/Suite

    The MS Bremen’s cabins offer 18 square metres of floor space and the spacious suites measure 24 square metres. Cabins on Deck3 feature portholes and all other cabins have a panoramic window. The cabins and suites on Decks 6 and 7 have balconies. All of the cabins and suites feature individual climate control and are furnished with a seating area and table, a dressing table with hairdryer, wardrobe, safe, telephone, flat screen TV, DVD player, radio and leading lamp. Non-alcoholic beverages are free of charge from the mini bar and these are refilled daily. All cabins have an en-suite bathroom with shower and the suites have a bathtub. Bathrobes are provided in every cabin/suite for your convenience. Depending on the satellite reception you will receive an excerpt from a newspaper every morning with the most important international news. Guests in suites are provided with a range of high-quality cosmetic items including bath salt, massage sponge and body lotion. In addition to the bowl of fruit served on a daily basis (also in the cabins on Deck 6), passengers staying in a suite receive a bottle of champagne and canapés on the day of embarkation.

  • Your Space

    Facilities onboard include a single seating restaurant, a club with bar, lounge with panoramic windows, well-stocked library, sundeck with heated seawater swimming pool, fitness room, sauna, hair salon and beauty parlour, a small hospital and a boutique. There are several computers with internet access and all cabins and public areas have Wi-Fi connection (extra charge for use). Guests will have the opportunity to visit the bridge whenever the local regulations allow by prior arrangement with the officer on duty. Bridge officers will be happy to provide you with information regarding the course, position of the ship and other nautical questions.

  • Your Dining

    Experience indulgence at the highest level. Highly trained chefs will surprise you every day with their skill and attention to detail. Diversity as well as classic delicacies will be available for every meal, whether you are enjoying a quick breakfast or a relaxed evening meal. When the weather is good, you are very welcome to have breakfast on the Lido deck and at lunchtime there is always the choice between a buffet and a la carte menu.

  • Life Onboard

    After incredible, breathtaking experiences ashore and by Zodiac, you will be welcomed back to a comfortable and well run ship. Life onboard is about comfort and quality service. There is no dress code and the atmosphere is always personal. On all Zodiac excursions, you will be accompanied by experienced experts who will add much to your exploration. These onboard experts are worldly-wise, highly qualified, captivating, entertaining and passionate about their area of expertise. They have extensive knowledge coupled with vast experience. You will be able to take advantage of their individual specialism during exciting lectures onboard, rides and landings with the Zodiacs and, of course, in personal conversations.

  • For your comfort

    Whilst onboard, you are able to make use of wellington boots and parka jackets, meaning you do not need to travel with them. The vessel is equipped with stabilizers and is a registered Ice Class E4, and thus the MS Bremen can sail where other ships would have to turn back. The crew of 100 will ensure your journey is comfortable and offer the highest quality of service. There is a hospital onboard and a helicopter deck in case of any medical emergencies. A lift services all decks.

  • Deck plans
    • All Decks

      {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}

Expedition Notes

This expedition through the Northeast Passage is one of the most difficult cruises to plan and execute. The expedition has been carefully planned using average ice and weather data and closely coordinated with the local Russian authorities. Experience and careful preparation notwithstanding, the actual itinerary therefore depends on the local conditions. Besides ice and weather, these include decisions taken by the Russian authorities, who reserve the right to issue the necessary authorisations only shortly prior to departure and, if necessary, to withhold them entirely. Whilst everything possible will be done to ensure that this cruise can take place as advertised, we would like to inform you of these unusual circumstances and to raise your awareness as to the expeditionary nature of this cruise. Should the authorities, weather or ice have a significant impact on the route, the plan will be to sail through the Northwest Passage instead. If this should happen, we will inform you as quickly as possible. 

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