13 nights Cruise Only
*** ALL RATES IN USD PER PERSON TWIN SHARE **
The Chukotka region is one of 85 regions which make up the Russian Federation, officially known as the Chukotka Autonomous District, it was the last part of Siberia to be `conquered` or `subdued` by the Cossack invaders from the west.
On this special Chukotka expedition you will meet the locals; see and listen to their stories and experience their love for and strong connection with the land and the sea. We will celebrate with them at their annual Regatta and Festival. You will explore the vast expansive tundra with it`s wild flowers and dwarf tree species and will watch for brown bears, reindeer, Arctic Foxes, ground squirrels and, if you`re are lucky, you may also see a Wolverine. You will explore Wrangel Island with it`s Polar Bears, walrus and rich Arctic history and at sea you will look out for whales.
Cruise only package prices include:
- One way transfer from Anadyr central meeting point to the port for embarkation
- 13 night expedition cruise aboard the Spirit of Enderby (50 guests) round trip from Anadyr Bay
- All shipboard main meals
- All off ship expedition shore excursions and zodiac rides with a team of experts in the region
- Transfer from Anadyr Bay port to downtown hotel or airport
OPTIONAL RETURN PRIVATE CHARTER FLIGHTS
From Nome to Anadyr to Nome is an extra USD $2000 per person on the prices listed here.
There are shared cabins on this ship with shared bathrooms, we have not included these prices, but if you are interested in this style of travel, please contact our office for rates and availability. All prices here begin with cabins using private facilities.
Discovery Fund: A discovery fund fee of US $500 is payable onboard and is included in your cruise fare shown here
14 Night Cruise sailing from Anadyr roundtrip aboard Spirit of Enderby.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Anadyr
All expedition members will arrive in Anadyr, the administrative capital of Chukotka. Depending on your time of arrival you may have the opportunity to explore Anadyr before boarding the vessel. We will sail in the late afternoon for Egvekinot.
Day 2: At Sea
As we sail towards our first destination, the Arctic’s archaeological mystery ‘Whale Bone Alley’, we will take the opportunity to enjoy lectures to prepare us for our voyage and settle in to ship life.
Day 3: Whale Bone Alley and Gil’mimyl Hot Springs
Our first landing of the day we expect to be at one of the most significant and intriguing archaeological sites in the Arctic on Yttygran Island. This place is known affectionately as ‘Whale Bone Alley’ due to the large number of whale bones spread along the beach in the form of a pathway. The site dates to the 14th Century and its origins and purpose have been the cause of much debate. It was almost certainly a ceremonial site as well as being used for meat storage. What is puzzling is the lack of any substantial settlement in the vicinity, which suggests that it was possibly a communal site situated here because of the abundance of whales nearby.This afternoon we intend to make a landing at the Gil’mimyl Hot Springs. They are a short walk from the coastline, but well worth the effort. There will be a chance to explore the tundra for birds, plants and animals as we walk to and fro. After a soak in the springs we will re-join the ship for a relaxing evening.
Day 4: Bukhta Penkingney and Arakamchechen IslandThis 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. Here a small braided river, its gravel bed studded with Willow bushes, winds its way down to the sea where we land. 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.
This afternoon we plan to cruise over to Arakamchechen Island just north of Cape Chaplino and separated from the Chukotka mainland by the 8-kilometre wide Senyavina Strait. Having watched Gray Whales feeding here previously, we recommend being out on deck as we slowly cruise through the strait. On Arakamchechen Island we will explore the lush tundra and, if they are present, view the prominent walrus haul out from the cliffs.
Day 5: Lavrentiya and Unnamed BaysDropping anchor in beautiful Lavrentiya Bay, we expect to spend the morning exploring the historically and culturally rich village of Lavrentiya. A former indigenous settlement, this Soviet-planned community was established in the 1920s as an administrative centre where local Chukchi and Siberian Yupik were encouraged to move to. Visit the museum, meet local elders and enjoy an authentic taste and slice of village life in the main square.Nearby picturesque Unnamed Bay is our planned destination for the afternoon where we will Zodiac cruise to shore. 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 Arctic Squirrel, or scale one of the nearby peaks and take in the stunning vistas.
Day 6: Cape Dezhnev
Early this morning we will be at Cape Dezhnev, the north-eastern most point of the Eurasian continent. This cape commemorates the accomplishment of the Cossack Semyon Dezhnev who was the first European to sail through the strait in 1648 (80 years before Bering did). On the cape is 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 short distance south of the cape is the former Inuit settlement of Naukan. The Soviet government relocated these people to other Chukotka settlements in the 1950s as it was thought they posed a security risk, supposedly because of the close proximity of Alaska. It is still possible to sense the melancholy in the air because the people never wanted to leave. 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
Take the opportunity to spend time up in the bridge or out on deck looking for the first Polar Bears of our voyage as we cruise along the sea ice, or download photos as we navigate towards Wrangel Island.
Days 8 to 10: Wrangel Island
We should arrive at Wrangel in the early morning, and what we can achieve will depend on the ice conditions. During the winter months Wrangel Island is completely surrounded by ice. Historically it was slow to break out in some years making it was almost impossible to reach the island. Changing weather conditions has meant that in recent years it is becoming ice-free earlier and earlier, with huge ramifications for the wildlife (especially the Polar Bears) that rely on the ice. It is impossible to predict ice conditions ahead of time, but based on recent years there will still be some ice around the island which will be great for us as this is where the wildlife will be concentrated. There should also be opportunities to land and to explore the tundra to look for the species which breed here. We have allowed three days on and around the island to take advantage of whatever conditions we encounter. We will be utilising the local knowledge of the Park Rangers to make landings as well as spending some time Zodiac cruising the ice looking for Polar Bears.
Day 11: At Sea
We will be steaming south from Wrangel Island and, again, sea and ice conditions will dictate our course and speed. We suggest expeditioners will be richly rewarded by being on deck, because if we are in ice there could be Polar Bears, walrus, and Ringed and Bearded Seals to be seen. As we make our way closer to the Chukotka coast we will keep an eye out for Humpback and Gray Whales, which are frequently seen. Increasingly we are also seeing a number of Bowhead Whales in this area. We will also use this time for lectures and recaps.
Day 12: Kolyuchin Island / Kolyuchin Inlet
This morning we will come to anchor at tiny Kolyuchin Island. What it lacks in size it more than makes up for in points of interest. People from the nearby village of Nutepelmen come here to hunt walrus when the ice disappears and large numbers of walrus haul out on the island. At the western end of the island is the remains of a Polar Research Station which was only abandoned in the 1990s. During the Soviet period there were large numbers of these Research Stations in the High Arctic, but few survived the economic meltdown of the 1990s. Nearby are some amazing bird cliffs where it is possible to get magnificent views (and photographs) of puffins and guillemots as they come and go from their nests. The only things stopping us from landing here, other than weather and sea conditions, are Polar Bears. They take refuge on the island when the ice recedes and if they are there it is both unwise and unsafe for us to go ashore. If they are ashore we will Zodiac cruise the bird cliffs for equally good views.
This afternoon we have planned a cruise to nearby Kolyuchin Inlet, a massive tidal estuary so big we can take our ship inside. It is ideal habitat for many bird species and it is early enough in the season for the majority of them to either be on nests or have young. It is an easy landing with lots of opportunity for hiking, exploring and photography.
Day 13: The Annual Beringia Arctic Games Today we plan to attend the first day of the annual Beringia Regatta and Festival which includes whaleboat and Baidara (traditional walrus skin covered boats) races, as well as cultural group performances. It is one of the most colourful festivals in the Chukotka calendar and attracts people from many villages in the region. This unpredictable festival rotates between different villages and features a range of activities. Some you can watch, while others allow participation. There will be local foods to sample and lots of photographic opportunities. This festival gets to the heart and soul of the people, their culture and land.
Day 14: Presbrazhenya Bay We aim to be cruising along the south coast of Chukotka today and plan to stop at Presbrazhenya Bay. This is an excellent opportunity to Zodiac cruise some spectacular bird cliffs, as long as sea conditions permit we will get in close for some great photographic opportunities. There will also be a chance to land at a hunting camp (and boat haul-out area) at the nearby village of Nunligren. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner and final recap.
Day 15: Anadyr
After breakfast passengers will be taken ashore, a complimentary transfer to the airport or to a central downtown hotel will conclude the expedition.
*Conditions Apply: All prices shown here are per person share twin in USD, based on best available cruise fare at time of publication (04Feb21). Some cabins may have obstructed views. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. Please note that the prices shown here are not shown in real time. Transfers only included if guests are arriving/departing by air at specific airports on exact package dates. Offer subject to availability at time of booking. We reserve the right to correct errors without penalty.