Aurora Expeditions Pushes the Boundaries of Arctic Exploration

Article excerpt

THIS year Aurora Expeditions will be visiting Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land on its 14 day Voyage to the End of the Earth cruise, departing from Murmansk on September 8.

With only one other voyage being run to this region in 2012, Aurora Expeditions is the only asmall ship'' tour operator visiting this undiscovered region of the Arctic this year.

An area shrouded in secrecy, the ability to visit the far reaches of the Russian Arctic is almost impossible for most.

Aurora Expeditions Akademik Shokalskiy carries a maximum of 54 passengers, providing intimate exploration of this region.

The Novaya Zemlya archipelago comprises one large island and many small, stretching 1000km in an elongated crescent between the Barents and Kara seas.

A veritable feast of wildlife and history, it is the easternmost point in Europe and remains one of Russia's most restricted regions; which is why so few operators have permission to travel there.

Whereas Franz Josef Land is an archipelago of 191 ice-covered islands, the planet's last major landmass to be discovered and the modern day realm of the polar bear.

The remote northerly location of these stunning archipelagos supports diverse and prolific wildlife, reinforced by the creation of national parks in 2009.

The privileged few who take this voyage will explore the shore and Zodiac cruise around these islands of fascinating beauty and history, witnessing spectacular displays of bird and wildlife. …

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