Those departing from Nome, Alaska, should arrive in Nome before midday and preferably the previous night. On arrival, you should check in with Bering Air at the Nome Airport who will have details of our charter flight. During this flight, you will cross the International Date Line, arriving into Anadyr on Day 1 of the expedition. Upon arriving you will clear Russian Customs and Immigration.
Day 1: Depart Anadyr, Russia
Today our adventure commences in Anadyr! Depending on your time of arrival you may have the opportunity to explore Anadyr, the administrative centre of the Chukotka region, before getting to know your fellow voyagers and crew on board the Akademik Shokalskiy. If flights are on time, we will depart Anadyr this evening.
As we sail across Anadyrskiy Bay towards the Bering Strait there will be an introduction to your ship and expedition staff, as well as a chance to relax or enjoy some ‘birding’ with our naturalists and/or settle into ship life. Late this afternoon we will be in the vicinity of Preobrazheniya Bay, where we plan to zodiac cruise its spectacular towering granite cliffs home to thousands of nesting birds.
This morning on our Russia Photo Tour
we will reach the most north-eastern most point of the Eurasian continent at Cape Dezhnev. If the weather and sea conditions are suitable, we plan to land here and give you the opportunity to explore the area.
Day 4: Kolyuchin Island & Inlet
Today is an expedition day where we plan to visit Kolyuchin Island and Inlet.
Near the old station at the north-western end of the island are some of the most amazing bird cliffs in the Arctic, where puffins, guillemots, gulls and cormorants can be observed and photographed just metres away. A prominent walrus haul out often congregates at the southeastern end and, if the animals are present, you can expect some excellent photographic opportunities from the zodiacs.
We also plan to visit Belaka Spit near the mouth of the Kolyuchin Inlet, home to vast numbers of waterfowl and migratory waders and possibly Gray Whales who like to feed just metres off-shore.
Days 5 to 7: Ice Exploration
As we cruise along the ice edge making our way towards Wrangel Island, we recommend you keep an eye out for the first Polar Bears of our voyage!
The following days we will spend time on the zodiacs and ship cruising the pack ice around Wrangel Island, where the wildlife will be concentrated, looking for Polar Bears, large haul outs of huddled walrus and seals resting on the ice, Humpback, Gray Whales, and possibly also Bowhead Whales, and the impressive bird cliffs of Ptichiy Bazar.
Days 8 to 10: Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island is one of those islands that you have to visit to appreciate. A Russian Federal Nature Reserve of international significance and importance, its significance lies in the fact that it is a major Polar Bear denning area. In fact, it is sometimes referred to as a Polar Bear maternity ward on account of the large numbers of cubs born there. It is also the last landfall for migratory species flying north.
Utilising the local knowledge of the Park Rangers, we plan for three Wrangel Island landings to explore the colourful tundra and wildlife.
Day 11: At sea & ice exploration
Making our way towards Cape Serdtse-Kamen (‘rocky heart’) on the northern coast of Chukotka we will search the ice edge for Polar Bears, walrus and seals, and keep an eye out for Humpback and Minke Whales which can often be seen in the area. We also hope to visit a known, significant walrus haul out.
Day 12: Bering Strait & Chukotka Coast
Early morning, we will pass through the Bering Strait, the only gateway between the Pacific and Arctic Oceans, and one of the world’s most nutrient-rich stretches of water. Each spring it is the scene of one of the planet’s largest wildlife migrations. Beluga, Bowhead and Gray Whales, walrus, Polar Bears, Ringed Seals and numerous seabirds are all known to frequent the strait.
Day 13: Bukhta Penkingney & Yttygran Island
This morning we will be launching our zodiacs with a landing planned at Bukhta Penkingney, a long fjord cut into the coastline by glaciers and a popular feeding spot for Gray Whales.
Exploring this scenic location, we will be looking for Arctic Ground Squirrels and Pikas, Willow Ptarmigan, Sandhill Cranes and hopefully brown bears attracted by the berries and salmon-filled river.
This afternoon we expect to be at one of the most significant and intriguing archaeological sites in the Arctic – Yttygran Island’s Whale Bone Alley.
Join the staff for an expedition recap and a disembarkation briefing, and then simply relax as we sail across Anadyrskiy Bay towards Anadyr. Tonight, we will enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate our journey.
After breakfast, it will be time to say our farewells. There will be a complimentary transfer to the airport or to a central hotel of your choice.
Those returning to Nome will join a charter flight that will depart Anadyr around midday and, because of the International Date Line, will arrive back in Nome on the evening of the previous day. However, we strongly advise that you do not book any onward travel from Nome until the following day to allow for possible delays in the charter flight. Those returning to Moscow can either be transferred to the airport or a hotel in Anadyr, depending on their flight times.
***During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and/or opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.***