The Russian Archipelago of Franz Joseph Land
Closed during the Cold War, these rugged glacial islands can now be explored
The remote Arctic archipelago of Franz Joseph Land has only been available for exploration since the 1990s. Following the Second World War, the Soviet Union placed great importance on Franz Joseph Land as a military asset, treating it as "an unsinkable aircraft carrier" in the Arctic ocean.
Interesting facts about Franz Joseph Land
Our expert guide says: 'The geography of Franz Joseph Land is stunning, with over 80& of the landmass being covered in glaciers. Reaching the archipelago is by no means guaranteed, as ice conditions can prevent all vessels except nuclear-powered ice breakers from making it across this part of the Barents Sea. If you do make it, then a sighting of the endangered bowhead whale will have made the effort worth it.'