- Starts at: Anadyr
- Ends at: Anadyr
- Duration: 15 Days / 14 Nights
In a world where pristine, remote and unspoilt are words often bandied about and not always accurate, Wrangel and Herald Islands between the Chukchi and East Siberian Sea are all of these and can be found in an area that few have even heard about. Above the Arctic Circle, the journey passes through the narrow Bering Strait, west along the Chukotka coastline before crossing the De Long Strait. Met by a landscape of glaciers formed in the last ice-age, the Reserve of Wrangel Island is a haven for a plethora of polar bears, the world’s largest population of Pacific walrus. Reindeer, musk ox and snow geese can be found inland. Look out to sea and there lies the feeding grounds of the Grey whale before it heads back to Baja, Mexico. Over 400 plant species are a naturalist’s dream. The abundance of these glorious remote Islands have to be seen to be believed.
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All expedition members will arrive in Anadyr; depending on your time of arrival you may have the opportunity to explore Anadyr, before getting to know your fellow voyagers and expedition team on board the Kapitan Khlebnikov. We will depart when everybody is on board.
At sea today, there will be some briefings and lectures. There is also a chance for some ‘birding’ and cetacean watching and settling into ship life. Later this afternoon we plan to Zodiac cruise some spectacular bird cliffs in Preobrazheniya Bay.
Sea conditions permitting, we will land at Cape Dezhnev early this morning. The north-eastern most point of the Eurasian continent, it is sometimes possible to see the coast of America from this remote and lonely outpost. A few nautical miles to the west of Cape Dezhnev we visit Uelen Village, the most northeastern village in Russia. The population is predominantly Chukchi and the village is one of the largest centres for traditional Chukchi and Inuit art in the world. We’ll be entertained by villagers and visit the bone-carving workshop during our visit.
This small island was once an important Russian Polar Research Station, and one of a number dotted across the Arctic. Near the derelict buildings are some of the most spectacular bird cliffs in the Arctic where puffins, guillemots and gulls can be observed and photographed up close.
Ice and weather conditions permitting, we will spend the next few days on Wrangel Island and we will also attempt to include a visit to nearby Herald Island. There are many landings that we can make to search out wildlife, wild flowers and Arctic landscapes. Polar Bears will be high on our list of animals to see and with a little patience we should be rewarded with a number of encounters. Musk Oxen and reindeer were introduced to the island in 1975 and 1948, though reindeer numbers are low. We also have a chance to visit Dragi Harbour where the survivors of the Karluk, which was crushed by ice in 1914, scrambled ashore and lived until they were rescued. Wrangel Island is a Russian Federal Nature Reserve of international significance and importance, particularly as it is a major Polar Bear denning area. Also, each summer thousands of birds migrate here to breed including Snow Geese, Snowy Owls, skuas, Arctic Terns, Ross’s, Sabine and Ivory Gulls.
Bounded by narrow sand ridges with numerous lagoons and inlets, this area offers plenty of places to land and explore this extensive coastline. We will be on the lookout for whales, walrus and other wildlife. We will see Chukchi villages whose residents survive in an unforgiving climate, hunting seals and whales just as their ancestors did.
Early morning we will pass the Diomede Islands, sometimes called Tomorrow Island and Yesterday Isle because they straddle the International Date Line. Here Russia and America are separated by only 2.3 nautical miles of ocean. We will remain in Russian territory as we cruise south past the islands. Later this afternoon we make an expedition landing on the Chukotka coast, our last chance to enjoy the wildlife and tundra landscape.
Relax as we sail across Anadyrskiy Bay towards Anadyr.
After breakfast it will be time to say our farewells. There will be a complimentary transfer to the airport or to a central downtown hotel.
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Included in the price of this voyage:
Pre/Post cruise transfers, all on board ship accommodation, meals and all expedition shore excursions.
Not included in the price of this voyage:
- All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities. International/domestic flights, visas and travel insurance.