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Walruses coming ashore in the arctic

Chukotka: Where Russia's Day Begins

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Shokalskiy
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The Chukotka region is one of 85 regions which make up the Russian Federation, officially known as the Chukotka Autonomous District. It is rich in natural resources and wildlife is abundant, but like all Arctic fauna, it is under pressure because of significant climate change. North of Chukotka where the Chukchi Sea meets the Arctic Ocean lies the nature reserve and World Heritage site, Wrangel Island, which has outstanding wildlife values. Sometimes referred to as a Polar Bear Maternity Ward, because of the high density of denning Polar Bears, it is one of those islands that never disappointments those who are keen on natural history or enthusiasts of Arctic history. On this special Chukotka expedition meet the people of the region, celebrate with them at their annual Regatta and Festival, encounter Arctic wildlife, and learn about rich Arctic history.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Anadyr
Day 2 : Egvekinot
Day 3 : Konergino
Day 4 : Presbrazhenya Bay
Day 5 : Whale Bone Alley | Gil’mimyl Hot Springs
Day 6 : Cape Dezhnev
Day 7 : At Sea
Days 8-10 : Wrangel Island
Day 11 : At Sea
Day 12 : Kolyuchin Island | Kolyuchin Inlet
Day 13 : Lavrentiya and the Annual Beringia Regatta and Festival
Day 14 : At Sea
Day 15 : Disembark in Anadyr

Highlights

  • Receive an introduction to reindeer herding culture and economy at Konergino
  • Attend the Beringia Regatta & Festival, with whaleboat & Baidara races
  • Explore the tundra on Wrangel Island with local park rangers
  • Search for polar bears, ringed seals, walrus, and other Arctic wildlife

Ship

Akademik Shokalskiy

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A sow leads her cubs across the ice Explore rocky beaches of the Russian Far East Walruses coming ashore in the arctic Zodiac ride out into the arctic. Walrus relaxing on the beach. Polar Bears freely roam the Russian Far East Wrangel Island Horned Puffin.

Day 1 Embark in Anadyr

Arrive in Anadyr, the administrative capital of Chukotka. It is situated on the mouth of the Anadyr River near where the river enters the Anadyr estuary. The town was established in 1889 as a frontier post when it was called Novo-Mariinsk. The name was changed to Anadyr in 1920 when the Bolsheviks took control of the town. It has grown in importance over the years and today is a modern town with a population of about 11,000 people. Depending on your time of arrival you may have the opportunity to explore Anadyr before boarding the vessel. Sail in the late afternoon for Egvekinot and attend mandatory safety briefings and introductions to the ship and staff after you have sailed.

NOTE: You can join this expedition either in Anadyr or in Nome, Alaska. Those starting in Nome will fly by a charter flight to Anadyr and will join the ship and the expedition members who have traveled directly to Anadyr.

Day 2 Egvekinot

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
There is more to this small town on the shores of Kresta Bay than first meets the eye. It was built by Gulag prisoners in 1946 as a port to supply the Iul’tin mining complex some 200 km inland. Prisoners also constructed the road to the mine. Today the Iul’tin mine complex is closed but the town and Port of Egvekinot is the terminus for a new road through to Pevek and its associated gold mines. The town has an excellent museum which you can visit. Travel by Ural to explore along the road towards Lul’tin and into the tundra to gain an appreciation of this unique Arctic landscape just south of the Arctic Circle.

Day 3 Konergino

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Across Kresta Bay from Egvekinot is the small reindeer herding village of Konergino. Reindeer herding is still an important part of the indigenous people’s culture and economy. The practice has remained largely unchanged over the centuries and revolves around ‘brigades’ looking after large herds of reindeer out on the tundra. Today is an introduction to and an opportunity to understand this industry and practice.

Day 4 Presbrazhenya Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise along the south coast of Chukotka today and take the opportunity to stop at Presbrazhenya Bay. Zodiac cruise the spectacular bird cliffs which could provide great photographic opportunities. There is also a chance to land at a hunting camp at the nearby village of Nunligren.

Day 5 Whale Bone Alley | Gil’mimyl Hot Springs

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The significant and intriguing archaeological site of ‘Whale Bone Alley’ on Yttygran Island dates to the 14th century. Its origins and purpose have been the cause of much debate. Whale bones stretch along the beach in the form of a pathway for nearly half a kilometer and gray whales are frequently seen in the vicinity. This afternoon make a landing at the Gil’mimyl Hot Springs.

Day 6 Cape Dezhnev

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sea conditions permitting, plan to land at Cape Dezhnev early this morning, the northeastern-most point of the Eurasian continent. This cape commemorates the accomplishment of the Cossack, Semyon Dezhnev, who was the first European to sail through this strait in 1648 (80 years before Bering did). A short distance south of the cape is the former Inuit settlement of Naukan. As the relocation was fairly recent there is a wealth of historic data and photographs that make a visit to this site even more poignant.

Day 7 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Relax as the Akademik Shokalskiy navigates towards Wrangel Island.

Day 8-10 Wrangel Island

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Due to climate change in recent years Wrangel Island is becoming ice free earlier and earlier with huge ramifications for the wildlife (especially the polar bears) that rely on the ice. Weather conditions permitting there should still be some ice around the island where wildlife are concentrated. There should also be opportunities to land and to explore the tundra to look for species that breed here. Three days are allocated on and around the island to take advantage of whatever conditions are encountered. Utilize the local knowledge of the Park Rangers to make multiple landings as well as spend some time ice cruising and looking for polar bears.

Day 11 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail south towards Kolyuchin Island. The day is filled with illustrated lectures, opportunities to spend time on deck, relaxing in the ship’s bar, and catching up with some reading or downloading and editing photos.

Day 12 Kolyuchin Island | Kolyuchin Inlet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning come to anchor at tiny Kolyuchin Island. At certain times of the year when the ice recedes large numbers of walrus haul out on the island. At the western end of the island are the remains of a Polar Research Station that was only abandoned in the 1990s. Nearby are some amazing bird cliffs, from which it is possible to get magnificent views (and photographs) of puffins and guillemots as they come and go from their nests. The only thing preventing a landing here are polar bears; if they are ashore Zodiac cruise the bird cliffs for equally good views of the birds. This afternoon cruise to nearby Kolyuchin Inlet, a massive tidal estuary and ideal habitat for many bird species. It is early enough in the season for the majority of them to either be on nests or have young. This is an easy landing with lots of opportunity for hiking, exploring, and photography.

Day 13 Lavrentiya and the Annual Beringia Regatta and Festival

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Plan to be here for opening day of the annual Beringia Regatta and Festival which includes Baidara (traditional walrus skin covered boats) races as well as cultural group performances and games. It is one of the most colorful festivals in the Chukotka calendar and attracts people from many villages. There will be a range of activities at the Regatta and Festival and local foods for you to sample and souvenirs to purchase. This is a festival that gets to the very heart and soul of the people, their culture and their land.

Day 14 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As the ship makes its way back to Anadyr, recap the many experiences you have enjoyed on this special Chukotka expedition.

Day 15 Disembark in Anadyr

  • 1 Breakfast
Wake this morning as you enter the Port of Anadyr. After breakfast travel ashore either to the airport or to a central downtown hotel to conclude the expedition.

Akademik Shokalskiy

Per person starting at
$9,300
Twin Cabin
Select a Date
Main Deck
Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private washbasin. Nearby shower and toilet facilities are shared with other Main Deck cabins. These cabins have a porthole.
Superior Room
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Superior
One bunk (one upper and one lower berth), writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
Twin Private Cabin
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Superior Plus
Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
Superior Cabin
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Mini Suite
Separate bedroom with a double bed and a sofa in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Mini Suites have windows.
Capitan
Select a Date
Heritage Suite
Large lounge area, separate bedroom with double bed and a sofa in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Large forward and side facing windows allow great views.

Notes

- Single clients are matched with a sharer of the same sex in a twin-share cabin. Payment of a single supplement guarantees a single cabin. The single supplement is 1.8 times the price of the voyage with the exception of the suites which are double the single rate.
-Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a minimum of US$100,000 per person required. Contact us for details on arranging travel insurance.

Circumstances may be encountered during your voyage which will make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. These circumstances include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed during the voyage.

Group Charter Flight Option:
Optional round-trip group charter flight from Nome, Alaska. For those who opt to depart from Nome, Alaska your adventure begins with a flight across the Bering Sea and the International Date Line, to the remote port of Anadyr, arriving in Anadyr for day 1 of the itinerary. Charter flight rate is $2000 per person.

Cruise fare includes:
- Pre & Post cruise transfers
- All on board ship accommodations and meals
- All expedition shore excursions

Cruise fare does not include:
- Government landing fees
- All items of a personal nature: laundry, drinks, and gratuities
- International/domestic flights
- Visas
- Travel insurance
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Travel Agents
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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