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Picture above: Glacier in Franz Josef Land in the Russian Arctic (photo © Vladimir Melnik / dreamstime.com).


cruising on an icebreaker to Franz Josef Land and the North Pole

One of the truly remote corners of the Russian Arctic is Franz Josef Land (Zemlya Frantsa Iosifa). It was only discovered in 1873, when Austro-Hungarian explorers aboard their wooden hull steamship Tegetthoff chanced upon this land of majestic cliffs, mountains and glaciers. The islands were named in honour of Austrian emperor Franz Josef.

Nowadays, each summer some six hundred intrepid travellers get the chance to visit this Arctic wilderness where polar bears and white whales still roam free.

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