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DAY 0

Nome, Alaska to Anadyr, Russia

Those departing from Nome, Alaska, should arrive in Nome before midday and preferably the previous night. Your adventure begins with a flight across the Bering Sea and International Date Line, arriving into Anadyr on Day 1 of the expedition.

DAY 1

Explore Anadyr

Board your ship - 'Sprirt of Enderby' or 'Akademik Shokalskiy'

All expedition members will arrive in Anadyr; depending on your time of arrival you may have the opportunity to explore Anadyr, the administrative centre of the Chukotka region, before getting to know your fellow voyagers and crew on board your ship.

As the ship departs you are invited to join the captain, officers and the expedition team on the bridge. The Anadyr estuary is renowned for its Beluga Whales.

 

DAY 2

Anadyrskiy Bay

At sea today, there will be some briefings and lectures. There will also be a chance to relax or enjoy some ‘birding’ with our naturalists and/or settle into ship life. Late this afternoon the ship will be in the vicinity of Preobrazheniya Bay where there are some outstanding ‘Bird Cliffs’ which you will Zodiac cruise before dinner.

 

DAY 3

Yttygran, Nuneangan and Arakamchrchen Islands

Yttygran Island is home to the monumental ancient aboriginal site known as Whale Bone Alley. Whalebones stretch along the beach for nearly half a kilometre. In one location, immense Bowhead Whale jawbones and ribs are placed together in a stunning arch formation.

Gray Whales are frequently seen around the island. After landing at Whale Bone Alley, you will join the Zodiacs on a whale-watching excursion. You will also cruise close inshore of neighbouring Nuneangan Island (Bird Island) where a large number of seabirds nest and walrus can be found.

DAY 4

Cape Dezhnev and Uelen Village

Sea conditions permitting, you 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 you visit Uelen Village the most north-eastern village in Russia. Archaeological work has revealed that walrus, seal and whale hunters have lived here for over 2,000 years. Today the population is predominantly Chukchi and the village is one of the largest centres for traditional Chukchi and Inuit art in the world. You’ll be entertained by villagers and visit the bone-carving workshop during your visit.

DAY 5

Kolyuchin Island

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.

DAY 6 - 10

Wrangel and Herald Islands

Ice and weather conditions permitting, you will spend the next few days on Wrangel Island and will also attempt to include a visit to nearby Herald Island. There are many landings that can be made to search out wildlife, wild flowers and Arctic landscapes.

Polar Bears will be high on the list of animals to see and with a little patience you 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.

You 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 and Ross’s, Sabine and Ivory Gulls.

DAY 11

North Siberian Coast

Bounded by narrow sand ridges with numerous lagoons and inlets, this area offers plenty of places to land and explore this extensive coastline.

You will be on the lookout for whales, walrus and other wildlife. You will see Chukchi villages whose residents survive in an unforgiving climate, hunting seals and whales just as their ancestors did.

DAY 12

Kolyuchin Inlet

So huge that it is visible from satellite photos, this inlet contains vast numbers of waterfowl and migratory waders.

You visit Belaka Spit near the mouth of the inlet. It is a wild, desolate landscape that is strangely beautiful. Search the dunes and tidal areas for birdlife including Emperor Geese and Spoon-billed Sandpipers.

Gray Whales frequent the area and are sometimes spotted feeding only metres offshore.

DAY 13

Bering Strait and Chukotka Coast

Early morning you 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.

You will remain in Russian territory as you cruise south past the islands. Later this afternoon you make an expedition landing on the Chukotka coast, your last chance to enjoy the wildlife and tundra landscape.

DAY 14

At Sea

Join the staff for an expedition recap and a disembarkation briefing, and then simply relax as you sail across Anadyrskiy Bay towards Anadyr. Tonight you will enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate your journey.

DAY 15

Anadyr

You disembark after breakfast, with a complimentary transfer to your hotel or the airport.

Those returning to Nome will join a charter flight that will depart Anadyr around midday and, because of the International Date Line, will arrive back in Nome on the evening of the previous day. However, it is strongly advised that you do not book any onward travel from Nome until the following day to allow for possible delays in the charter flight.

Note: During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and/or opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.

 

 

OPTIONAL: Overland Traverse – exclusive Wrangel Island Extension

DAY 6

Doubtful Harbour

Join local Rangers on a 3 day (2 night) overland journey by special tundra buggy on a traverse of the incredible Wrangel island Nature Reserve to see and experience the remotest parts of the Island and enjoy unique wildlife encounters. Limited to two groups of 5 persons per expedition.

A limited number of seats are available on this very special Overland Traverse. Transport is by a six wheel Russian built Tundra vehicle brought to the island in 2010. Each traverse is led by rangers from Wrangel Island. Numbers are strictly limited; we encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment.

On arrival the ‘Overlanders’ will go ashore, spend the afternoon and evening exploring the area including the nearby spit known for large haul outs of walrus. Visit Devil’s Creek, the only archaeological site on the island where remains of a Paleo-Eskimos summer camp were discovered recently. The overnight accommodation will be Wrangel Ranger huts at Somnitelnya.

DAY 7

Somnitelnya

Travel north firstly over the southern tundra slopes climbing gradually to a mountain pass through the Somnitelnie Mountains. A steep descent takes you to a tributary of the Mammoth River, the longest river on the island. In the evening, you will enjoy a walk on the tundra slopes with possible sightings of Snowy Owls, Lemmings, Arctic Foxes and a huge variety of High Arctic plants. Stay overnight at the Peak Tundra hut, a field hut for studies of the Snow Geese nesting nearby.

DAY 8

Academic Tundra

Continue down the Tundra River to the Academic Tundra, an extensive area that makes up over half the island. There are opportunities to see amazing fields of wild flowers, Musk Ox, and potentially reindeer, although numbers have been greatly reduced by recent harsh winters. You will return to the ship at midday near the Drum Head Mountains (also known as the Dream Head Mountains) on the north coast of the island.

Price: $1,450 (All prices are per person in USD) 

Price Includes: Transport, accommodation (basic field huts) and meals. Please note this is in addition to the cost of the cruise.

Price Excludes: Travel insurance, gratuities and other items of a personal nature. 

(Northbound extension is Days 6 - 8 of the cruise; the Southbound option is Days 8-10. The Southbound itinerary will operate in reverse to the above itinerary).

Note: This Wrangel Island extension is an optional activity and conducted in conjunction with the voyage but independently operated by the Park Rangers. It is subject to minimum numbers, reserve regulations, weather and ice conditions. Participants should be aware that there is no discount or compensation for missed landings that the main expedition makes, possibly including Herald Island, while they are participating in the extension.