Summary : This fascinating exploration of the remote Siberian coastline promises rich culture and an astounding wealth of wildlife. Meet indigenous artists known for their intricate walrus ivory carvings, take in dramatic bird cliffs teeming with puffins and guillemots, then forge farther north, well above the Arctic Circle to Wrangel Island Reserve. Spend several days in this pristine landscape that’s home to the highest density of ancestral polar bear dens, the world’s largest population of Pacific walrus, and an astonishing variety of plant life. And before this Russian Arctic expedition comes to an end witness one more site few get to see—an ancient, mysterious display of whale bones and skulls erected on Yttygran Island.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins
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$16,230 to $31,250
Arrive in Anchorage and fly to Nome. Embark National Geographic Orion in the afternoon and cross the Bering Strait.
At the western limit of the rich trans-boundary area known as Beringia, Provideniya is often called “The Gateway to the Arctic.” It’s also the administrative center for clearance into Russia. Visit the excellent museum, and witness a traditional Yupik dance performance.
Round Cape Dezhnev, the easternmost point of the Eurasian continent and if conditions permit, make a landing and hike to the lighthouse. Then continue to the nearby Chukchi and Yupik village of Uelen, a major artistic center of the region known for its exquisite walrus ivory carving.
Located on the northern Chukotka coast, Kolyuchin Inlet is an enormous tidal estuary that offers excellent hiking and birding opportunities. Nearby on Kolyuchin Island find nesting puffins and guillemots, and occasionally Pacific walruses hauled-out. Explore the area by Zodiac and, conditions permitting, go ashore.
This UNESCO World Heritage site has the highest level of biodiversity in the High Arctic. Spend your days discovering the island’s abundant plant life and searching for polar bears, Pacific walrus, musk oxen, Arctic fox, gray whales, and 100 migratory bird species. You may also spot the bones and tusks of woolly mammoths jutting out from gravelly riverbeds—Wrangel Island was the last refuge for these ancient beasts.
Head back south from Wrangel Island and take advantage of the time at sea to attend informative talks, sort your photos, visit the Bridge to learn about navigation, or just relax and let the memories of the previous days soak in. At Lorino, the largest indigenous village in Chukotka, witness a dance performance and learn about traditional fishing, hunting and reindeer herding.
Originally created around 600 years ago, Yttygran is thought to have been a communal or ceremonial Yupik site. Here, visit the fascinating place known as Whale Bone Alley, a mysterious and haunting boneyard erected alongside a rugged and remote shoreline. In Provideniya, conduct clearance formalities before heading east to Nome.
Spend the final day at sea, crossing one of the most iconic bodies of water on the planet. Linger on deck with binoculars in hand—the chances are great to spot whales and rare seabirds.
Arrive in Nome this morning, transfer to the airport for flights to Anchorage and onward.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Transfers between airport and ship if booked on group flights; ship accommodations; meals as per the itinerary and most beverages aboard the ship; shore excursions; port charges and service taxes; crew gratuities. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; passport and visa expenses; immigration fees; travel insurance; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, email and laundry; optional extensions; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Wolfgang Kaehler