Expedition Route

Once all the expedition participants arrive in Kirkenes, in the northernmost reaches of Norway, we will board our ship, the Akademik Fyodorov, which will carry us around the Arctic, reaching latitudes of nearly 86 degrees north – almost to the top of the world!

Looking at a map doesn’t quite have the same effect as looking at a globe. The polar regions are distorted on a flat map, and also, it’s just not the places that we are used to seeing. The map below shows the route that we will be taking aboard the ship Akademik Fyodorov.

To get a better sense of what region is displayed on this map, imagine this:
…the 20degree longitude line extending to the northern coast of Norway and eastern Europe
…the 80degree line extending through the middle of India
…the 170degree line extending through the easternmost region of Asia and the middle of the Pacific Ocean

It’s almost half the globe!


Look closely or click on the map, and you can see our schedule by looking at certain locations marked with dates.

The map’s legend refers to the water’s depth, and the other icons show the expedition’s route and research activities. Wondering what the difference is between a meteo buoy and an ice-mass buoy? Stay tuned to the expedition, and learn more from the scientists onboard!

Here is a full view of the places along the expedition route. Can you match the places in the map above to the route shown by the arrows below?

globe arrow

Take a closer look at the places we’ll be seeing (or at least sailing around)!

Franz-Josef Land

Laptev Sea

East Siberian Sea



For now, even though we’re not there yet, have a look at the map and photos below. Each photo’s caption gives its latitude and longitude. Find the corresponding locations on the map below, and click to see videos of what those places look and sound like. (I’ll tell you later about these places using all the senses – the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feel. And I’ll post our own videos of these places!)


This archipelago is covered over 60% in glaciers, and is home to polar bears, reindeer, and seabirds. These are really high latitudes! I can't wait to see what we will learn about this beautiful place! What do you think we could learn here? Comment on this blog and let me know!


At 80 degrees north latitude and 20 degrees east longitude is Svalbard, an archipelago 60% of which is covered with glaciers. It’s home to polar bears, reindeer, and lots of seabirds. Depending on our route we may not get close too this area, but maybe we will see some of these animals?

Bell Island2184_RJ

At roughly 82 degrees north latitude and 60 degrees east longitude, we will come near a group of islands that is only accessible over a few weeks in the summer by ship. If you want to visit the islands, you’ll need a special permit from Russia.


At 82 degrees north latitude and 130 degrees east longitude, it will be wide open ocean. With normally below freezing temperatures, it is frozen over most of the year, and is partially clear in August and September. Sadly, there is less and less ice each year, so we definitely want to understand this place.


Check out this satellite image of 80 degrees north latitude and 160 degrees east longitude. Here we’ll almost be to the other side of Asia. The East Siberian Sea is home to severe climate conditions, low water salinity, massive ice fields throughout most of the year, and is one of the least researched areas of the Arctic Ocean. Good thing we’re going there.

Post your question or comment below, and I will reply!

12 Responses to Expedition Route

  1. angel arbelo says:

    hello I am from leomhs MS.Gilbert class I wanted to ask you a question.

    what could happen if the ice freezes around your boat ?

    • lindsay says:

      Dear Angel, our ship is built to be able to crack through ice about 2 feet thick. If we need to, we could always move backward or to the side a little bit, to maneuver our way out the way we came. But even if you do get stuck (which has happened in previous expeditions, you would just let the ice carry you along until you can break free. But we’ll be fine. This ship has been to the North Pole! :)

  2. Boden says:

    Hi, this is Boden from Mrs. Arnow’s class in Boulder, CO. I’d like to know, How many expeditions has the ship taken? And how do you re fuel?

    • lindsay says:

      Hi Boden, this ship has been running expeditions since the mid or late 1980s, and each year it makes one expedition to Antarctica, and at least one each year to the Arctic. It’s the official ship to support polar research for Russia. This ship has even been all the way to the North Pole! We will not need to stop to refuel the ship on this expedition (and we’re out for 5 weeks), but for longer trips, it would go back to a port to refuel as needed.

  3. Derlin says:

    Hello Lindsay it’s me again! Because of the ice and freezing conditions I’m sure the area doesn’t have the most pleasant seas. I was wondering around which area was it toughest to sail across? Also how often do you experience turbulent weather and other hazardous conditions?

    • lindsay says:

      Hi Derlin! Actually you are catching me now coming off of the rockiest part of the expedition – 12 foot waves! I was looking out my window a couple days ago at the waves, watching the ship sway, and the water actually swooshed up over the window! Some people’s tummies and heads were not happy that day. I didn’t get sick, but I didn’t feel great either. But when we’re traveling through ice, it’s noisy and sometimes bumpy, but it’s stable. As for the weather, we have had clouds nearly every day, which is common here at this time of year (it was really exciting when it was sunny one day), and snow sometimes. But it’s been good overall!

      • Derlin says:

        Wow I can’t imagine how difficult it may be dealing with all those conditions but I’m sure that all the exciting adventures and journeys make up for it :) thanks again for your time!

        • lindsay says:

          Dear Derlin, a lot of things here are very challenging, because there is so much to learn, experiment with, and do, but it is all so interesting, and there are so many stunning views to see, that every second is worth it! (Even the moments where your head doesn’t feel exactly right when the ship is swaying in the waves.)

  4. Ernesto Almeida says:

    Dear Lindsay,
    How do the levels of salinity in the waters of the arctic ocean differ from the levels of salinity in the beaches of Miami.

    • lindsay says:

      Hi Ernesto, the waters near Miami are salty and warm, and represent the beginning of the Gulf Stream which moves through the Atlantic and headed northeast to the Arctic Ocean. The water becomes colder, but the salinity doesn’t really change.

  5. Anthony Barreto says:

    Hello Lindsay, i know its a silly question but have you seen any other boats or human activity over in the artic ? thank you

    • lindsay says:

      Hi Anthony, it is not a silly question at all! We have not seen any other ships that I know of since we’ve been on the expedition, so it has just been our one ship in the great big ocean, for the last 5 weeks! (I’m sure there are probably a couple others somewhere, but we haven’t seen them.)

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