Be an active participant making history on this epic expedition across Russia's Northwest Passage, one of the greatest seaways in the world. Our vessel is no stranger to polar regions having explored the Russian Far East over many years. We invite you to join this historic journey which explores the history and development of the route and the many Arctic islands along the way
Day 0: Nome
For those departing from Nome, Alaska, your adventure begins with a
flight across the Bering Sea to Anadyr, the capital of Chukotka.
Day 1: Anadyr
Join the Spirit of Enderby this afternoon. There are excellent
chances to spot Beluga Whales as we sail out of the Anadyr Estuary.
Day 2: Preobrazhnaya Bay
Crossing the Gulf of Anadyr there will be opportunities for wildlife
watching. This afternoon we plan to explore the magnificent coastal
cliffs of Preobrazhnaya Bay by Zodiac, home to an abundance of
seabirds including Brunnich’s Guillemot, Crested and Parakeet Auklets,
plus Tufted and Horned Puffins.
Day 3: Whale Bone Alley and Gil’mimyl Hot Springs
Whale Bone Alley on Yttygran Island is one of the most significant
and intriguing archaeological sites in the Arctic. The waters nearby
remain rich feeding grounds for whales, weather permitting we will
look to take the Zodiacs in search of Gray Whales and walrus. This
afternoon we plan a landing at the Gil’mimyl Hot Springs, Sandhill
Cranes usually breed in the area.
Day 4: Cape Dezhnev and Uelen Village
Early this morning we will arrive at Cape Dezhnev, the eastern
extremity of the Eurasian continent. The Bering Strait is a vitally
important migratory pathway, we may see flocks of King, Common and
Spectacled Eiders passing south. In the afternoon enjoy the
hospitality of the local people in the village of Uelen who are
predominantly Chukchi. Our visit will include a cultural performance
and visit to the famous bone-carving studio and museum.
Day 5: Kolyuchin Island
Today we plan to land on Kolyuchin Island, although we will be
visiting after the peak of the breeding season, there should still be
large numbers of Tufted and Horned Puffins, Brunnich’s and Common
Guillemots and Black-legged Kittiwakes. There may also be an
opportunity to Zodiac cruise around the base of the cliffs where there
are excellent photographic opportunities. Humpback and Bowhead Whales
have been seen in this area previously.
Days 6 to 8: Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island is a Federal Nature Reserve and World Heritage Site of
international significance. It is a major Polar Bear denning area and
one of the few areas of the Arctic to not be glaciated during recent
glacial episodes. It is sometimes referred to as a Polar Bear
maternity ward on account of the large numbers of cubs born here.
There are numerous other Arctic species which we will be looking for
including Musk Ox, Arctic Fox, Snow Geese and the Snowy Owls which
breed here annually. The diversity of tundra flora is exceptional and
during walks ashore we should see the last flowers of summer.
Day 9: East Siberian Sea
This sea is defined by the Novosibirskie Islands in the west and
Wrangel Island to the east, along its southern shores are three of
Siberia’s major rivers, the Indigirka, Alazaya and the Kolyma. We will
lookout for walrus and Bowhead Whales.
Day 10: Ayon Island
The Chukchi people that call this island home are reindeer herders
and hunters. We will enjoy the warm hospitality of the local people as
we learn about life on this remote island.
Day 11: Medvezhyi Islands
Today we will explore the little known and seldom visited Medvezhyi
Islands (Bear Islands), an archipelago of five granitic islands. The
islands have a sizeable population of Polar Bears which den on these
shores over winter. A landing on the island of Chetyrekhstolbovoy
offers the opportunity to hike to the unusual rock ‘pillows’ which the
island is named after. On Pushkareva Island investigate the old
lighthouse or enjoy the Arctic flowers that cover the expansive
Day 12: East Siberian Sea
It was in this sea that the Jeanette, captained by George Washington
De Long, became stuck fast and was crushed by ice in 1879. Wreckage
from the Jeanette found in Greenland in 1884 gave Nansen the idea for
the now famous 1893-96 Fram Expedition drifting across the Arctic
Days 13 to 14: Noviye Sebirskiye (New Siberian Islands)
These islands, which consist of three major groups – Southern,
Central (Anzhu) and Northern (De Long), mark the border between the
Laptev and East Siberian Seas. We have allowed two days for exploring
this remarkable yet seldom visited archipelago, conditions permitting
we hope to have the opportunity to visit each group.
Days 15 to 16: Laptev Sea
This sea is bounded by the Taymyr Peninsula, the Severnaya Islands in
the west and the Novosibirskie Islands in the east. We will explore
the Taymyr Peninsula, Laptev Sea Walrus are only found in this area
and we will be on the lookout for haulouts to photograph. We may also
spot the lesser known Taymyr form of Herring Gull.
Days 17 to 19: Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago
The Severnaya Zemlya Islands are on the border of the Kara and Laptev
Seas and are an extension of the Taymyr Peninsula. These islands were
not discovered until 1914-15, with the three largest heavily glaciated
with deep fiords and majestic tidewater glaciers regularly calving
icebergs. We aim to visit a colony of Ivory Gulls.
Days 20 to 21: Kara Sea
Lying between Novaya Zemlaya, Franz Josef Land and the Severnaya
Zemlya Archipelago the Kara Sea is generally considered to be the
coldest sea in Russia. Ostrov Vize is along our route to Franz Josef
Land, we will look to make a landing on the island, conditions
Days 22 to 24: Franz Josef Land
This huge archipelago of 192 islands located only 10 degrees from the
North Pole offers numerous locations to explore. Close to the
permanent ice of the Arctic Ocean and accessible to the rich waters of
the Atlantic gifts these waters with diverse and abundant marine life.
The islands have a fascinating and rich record of exploration,
scientific research and habitation. Landings planned including Cape
Triest on Alger Island where the famous ‘Devil’s Marbles’ (spherical
geodes) dot the landscape, Cape Flora on Northbrook Island where the
remains of three historic expeditions are found in close proximity and
Tikhaya Bay on Hooker Island where the numbers of guillemots and
kittiwakes on the columnar cliffs of Rubini Rock are unforgettable. We
also plan to visit Cape Tegetthoff where a healthy population of Polar
Bears lives. There are good chances to spot Beluga and Bowhead Whales
and if we are fortunate we may find Narwhal.
Days 25 to 26: Barents Sea
The Barents Sea was named in honour of Dutch seafarer and navigator,
Willem Barents, who explored this region on expeditions in 1594 and
1596. As we move southwards opportunities for spotting Humpback Whales
and Harp Seals that feed in these waters increase.
Day 27: Murmansk
Murmansk is home to the Russia’s icebreaker fleet and featured as a
strategically important port throughout the history of Russia. We
disembark the ship in Murmansk, transfers to the airport or central
hotels are provided.
These expeditions are subject to approval from various Russian
Federal and Regional Authorities and may have to change depending on
these approvals. Permits have been lodged for all the sites
mentioned, however depending on approvals these may have to be
amended or substituted.