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Wrangel Island: Across the Top of the World

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Heritage Adventurer
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This unique 15-day expedition that crosses the Arctic Circle includes an exclusive overland experience of exploring the interior of Wrangel Island and the nearby Herald Island by six-wheel Tundra vehicle. The High Arctic environment that few people experience is now accessible on this 3 day- 2 night extension. Travel by special tundra buggy, camp in field huts and enjoy wildlife encounters and photographic opportunities that professionals dream about. It is a journey only made possible in recent years by the thawing in the politics of the region and the retreat of summer pack ice in the Chukchi Sea. The very small distance between Russia and the USA along this border area was known as the Ice Curtain, behind which then and now lies one of the last great undiscovered wilderness areas in the world. 
Highlights
  • Journey through the narrow Bering Strait
  • Observe polar bears, Pacific walrus, musk ox, and more on Wrangel Island
  • Listen to enthralling stories of human history, survival, and culture
  • Visit massive bird cliffs on Herald Island
  • Encounter over 400 plant species and a range of geological formations
  • Learn about the High Arctic via guided walks, Zodiac cruises, & lectures
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Nome, Alaska | Embark

Make your way to the designated meeting point for your transfer to Heritage Adventurer (times and meeting point will be confirmed with your voyage documents) where the captain and expedition team will be waiting to welcome you aboard. You will have the opportunity to settle into your accommodation and familiarise yourself on board before joining your fellow expeditioners on deck as we set sail across the Bering Strait and International Date Line for Provideniya, Russia.

Day 2: Provideniya, Russia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After clearing Russian Customs and Immigration there may be an opportunity to explore this fascinating former Soviet military port and administrative centre followed by an afternoon expedition.

Day 3: Yttygran Island and Gil’mimyl Hot Springs

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Yttygran Island is home to the monumental ancient aboriginal site known as Whale Bone Alley, where the ship makes a landing and where whale bones stretch along the beach for nearly half a kilometer. In the afternoon, we land at Gil’mimyl Hot Springs. They are a short walk from the coastline and get a chance to explore the tundra for birds, plants and animals

Day 4: Bukhta Pultin and Cape Dezhnev

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
An opportunity to enjoy a Zodiac safari of Bukhta Pultin in the morning. Explore the coastline, fields of wildflowers, look for wildlife or hike up the ridgeline and take in the impressive helicopter view. In the afternoon, we plan to be at Cape Dezhnev, the north-easternmost point of the Eurasian continent. On the cape are a lighthouse, a monument and the remains of a Border Guard base. If the weather and sea conditions are suitable we plan to land here and give you the opportunity to explore the area. A few distances south is the former Inuit settlement of Naukan. There is a wealth of historic data and photographs that make this visit even more poignant.

Day 5: Kolyuchin Island and Kolyuchin Inlet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
Ice and weather conditions permitting, spend the next few days on Wrangel Island and potentially on the nearby Herald Island. There are many landings that can be made to search out wildlife, wildflowers, and Arctic landscapes. Polar bears are high on the list of animals to see and with a little patience, be rewarded with a number of encounters. Musk oxen and reindeer were introduced to the island, though reindeer numbers are low. 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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bounded by narrow sand ridges with numerous lagoons and inlets, this area offers plenty of places to land and explore the extensive coastline. Looking for walrus, whales, and other wildlife, come across Chukchi villages whose residents scratch out a living in an unforgiving climate, hunting seals and whales just as their ancestors did.

Day 12: Unnamed Bay and Lavrentiya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise to shore to a picturesque Unnamed Bay in the morning. Welcomed by an expansive stretch of beach, backed by a lagoon and surrounded by rugged hills, there’s much to discover. Enjoy a walk along the beach and tundra looking for wildlife, or scale one of the nearby peaks and take in the stunning vistas. In the afternoon, explore the beautiful Lavrentiya Bay. Visit the Lavrentiya museum, meet local elders and enjoy an authentic taste and slice of village life in the main square.

Day 13: Bukhta Penkingney and Arakamchechen Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, we will be launching our Zodiacs with a landing planned at Bukhta Penkingney, a long fiord cut into the coastline by glaciers and a popular spot for whale watching. Exploring this scenic location we will be looking for Arctic Ground Squirrels and Pikas, Willow Ptarmigan, Sandhill Cranes and brown bears attracted by the berries and salmon-filled river. In the afternoon, cruise over to Arakamchechen Island just north of Cape Chaplino and separated from the Chukotka mainland by the 8-kilometre wide Senyavina Strait. On Arakamchechen Island we will explore the lush tundra and, if they are present, view the prominent walrus haul out.

Day 14: Provideniya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After clearing Russian Customs and Immigration in Provideniya we will set sail for Nome across the Bering Strait. One of the world’s most nutrient-rich stretches of water, each spring the Bering Strait is the scene of one of the planet’s largest wildlife migrations. Join the expedition team for a recap and disembarkation briefing before enjoying a farewell dinner to celebrate our journey

Day 15: Nome, Alaska

  • 1 Breakfast
Your adventure ends after breakfast and clearing US Immigration and Customs with disembarkation back at the port where you can enjoy a complimentary transfer to the airport or your hotel.

Ship/Hotel

Heritage Adventurer

Heritage Adventurer
Heritage Adventurer Restaurant
Heritage Adventurer Restaurant

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
Heritage Adventurer - Superior Triple
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Superior Triple
Superior Triple Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, two single beds, and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Adventurer - Main Deck Triple
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Main Deck Triple
Main Deck Triple Cabins on Deck 3 is a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, two single beds, and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Adventurer - Deck 4 Superior
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Deck 4 Superior
Superior Cabins on Deck 4 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Adventurer - Deck 5 Superior
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Deck 5 Superior
Superior Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Adventurer - Main Deck Single
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Main Deck Single
Main Deck Single Cabins on Deck 3 is a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Adventurer - Superior Single
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Superior Single
Superior Single Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Adventurer - Worsley Suite
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Worsley Suite
Located on Deck 6, Worsley Suites are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable chaise-style lounge suite, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Adventurer - Heritage Suite
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Heritage Suite
Located on Deck 6, Heritage Suites are an expansive 44m2 and feature large double panoramic windows, king bed, large living area with a sofa, coffee table, and chairs, and grand marble bathroom with a double basin, bathtub, and shower, large writing desk, floor to ceiling cabinetry for storage and a flat-screen entertainment system.

Notes

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
Private Charter Flight Option:
  • Optional private charter flight Nome to Anadyr to Nome $2,000 pp

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle
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