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Northeast Passage – Icebreaker Expedition

Arctic Cruise

Summary : On the fabled Northeast Passage, you will encounter thick pack ice, unique geological formations and the fascinating cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Russian Arctic. Since 1992, the Khlebnikov has taken adventurers to inaccessible corners of the globe, and was the first ship ever to circumnavigate Antarctica with passengers in 1997. In true pioneering spirit, board the indomitable Khlebnikov and sail to secluded areas few will ever have the privilege to set foot upon. This voyage is ideal for those seeking an in-depth, authentic expedition to the less discovered areas of the Russian Arctic. Truly off the beaten path. In addition, enjoy aerial views from Khlebnikov’s two on-board helicopters.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking


Please inquire about extra savings available for booking multiple consecutive journeys aboard the Kapitan Khlebnikov.

Prices from
$999,999,999 to $0

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Day 1
Anchorage, Alaska

Your unforgettable journey will begin in Anchorage, a unique urban environment in the heart of great wilderness. Plan to arrive and make your way to the hotel in time for a pre-departure briefing at about 6 pm.

Day 2
Anchorage / Anadyr, Russia

The charter flight from Anchorage to Anadyr crosses the International Date Line. You will begin your flight on the morning of July 11 and end it early in the afternoon on July 12, losing a day en route, even though the flight is only 3 hours. Travelers are transferred to the magnificent Kapitan Khlebnikov after clearing Russian customs, where the excitement of boarding the renowned Russian icebreaker begins as you travel northward through the Bering Strait.

Day 3 – 4
Chukotka Peninsula

Educational program to commemorate the icebreaker’s voyage through the Arctic will occur when the ship reaches Russia’s Far East – the Chukotka Peninsula – and guests will be treated to cultural presentations on the indigenous people of the Russian Arctic. You will visit the tiny village of Uelen, known for its talented carvers who work in walrus ivory. At Cape Dezhnev, the most easterly point of the Asian continent, building architecture is distinctively Russian. You’ll cruise in Zodiacs to Puffin Island where two species of the comical bird cohabit. On the shores of Ittygran Island, the ribs of whales, planted in the tundra by people long ago, still stand on lowland known as “whalebone alley.” The final shore landing is a visit to Novoye Chaplino, where locals dressed in traditional attire will demonstrate their skills as reindeer wrestlers and ropers.

Day 5
Bering Strait

The Bering Strait connects the Pacific Ocean to the Chukchi Sea – a portion of the Arctic Ocean. Sailing north, the ship will cross the Arctic Circle entering the land of the midnight sun.

Day 6 – 7
Wrangel Island

Crossing the Delon Strait, you may start to see thick pack ice. Your Expedition Leader will ask the Captain to deploy the helicopter to enjoy an aerial view of the Khlebnikov crushing ice up to a yard (one meter) thick. Landings are planned on Wrangel Island, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its diverse flora and habitat for migratory birds. Don’t be surprised to see copious musk oxen, who thrive there.

Day 8 – 10
East Siberian Sea

The Kapitan Khlebnikov will make its way through the pack ice of the East Siberian Sea to the New Siberian Islands. Enroute, we’ll pass by Medvezh’i Island, known as “bear” island, and enjoy countless scenic views along the way.

Day 11 – 13
New Siberian Islands

Ancient camping grounds will be explored on these remote islands. If conditions permit, travelers will see the northernmost point of the European continent. Be on the lookout for polar bears, often spotted in the archipelago.

Day 14 – 17
Severnaya Zemlya

Landings on these least accessible islands of the Arctic will be one of the highlights of this circumnavigation. The archipelago thwarted many attempts to sail around the Arctic Ocean until the development of engine-driven surface vessels. Zodiacs and helicopters will be deployed during our exploration.

There are two indigenous peoples in the Russian Arctic who depend on reindeer to exist – the Chukchi and the Tundra Nenets. The Chukchi people live on the Chukotka Peninsula. The Tundra Nenets live in the region from the Tamyr Peninsula to the White Sea, east of Severnaya Zemlya. We will attempt to visit a camp of these nomadic peoples, who move from place to place following their herds.

Day 18 – 20
Novaya Zemlya

Meaning “new land”, the Novaya Zemlya is an arctic archipelago consisting of two main islands and a number of smaller ones located off the coast of northeastern Europe. Of interest here is the longest-operating scientific station in the Russian Arctic. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for arctic fox, polar bear and lemming as well as a variety of birds.

Day 21 – 22
Franz Josef Land

Well above the Arctic Circle, only 10 degrees from the North Pole, lie the most northerly islands in Eurasia – Franz Josef Land. They are the habitat of polar bear and walrus. We plan to visit Cape Flora, where the remains of three historic expeditions are found. If conditions permit, Zodiacs will cruise the base of towering cliffs where seabirds nest. We expect to use the helicopter for aerial sightseeing, and for transfers to otherwise inaccessible landing sites.

Day 23 – 24
At Sea

Cruise through these scenic waters, a wonderland of glaciated landscapes and icescapes.

Day 25
Longyearbyen, Norway

In the morning, arrive in Longyearbyen and disembark. Say goodbye to the Expedition Team before transferring to the airport for your homeward bound flight.


Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers must have a minimum $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The shipping company will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that the travel insurance policy covers trip cancellation insurance, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage and repatriation. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.

Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; all meals on board the vessel; beverages on board, including a selection of house wines, beer and spirits; group scheduled helicopter flightseeing and excursions; downloadable photographic journal documenting the voyage; waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an expedition parka – yours to keep; coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; luggage handling aboard ship; emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per person*. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Any airfare; mandatory charter airfare package; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; any beverages that are not in the complimentary selection; any meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry and other personal charges; telecommunications, phone and internet charges; gratuity at the end of the voyage for ship’s crew and Expedition Team members; additional overnight accommodation; helicopter flying time in excess of that offered for the group; fuel surcharge may apply.

*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only to travel between the first and last day of the expedition purchased. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.

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