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Across the Bering Sea: From Katmai to Kamchatka

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22 Days
Anchorage, Alaska

EXPEDITION OVERVIEW

From the decks of the National Geographic Orion, see smoking volcanoes along the Pacific Ring of Fire, and watch for walruses, orcas, and Steller sea lions.
By special permission, visit the Aleutian Islands of Kiska and Attu, where rusty World War II relics tell a fascinating story of Japanese and Allied combat.
Sail along the seldom-seen coast of the Russian Far East, and delve into Koryak reindeer-herding culture during a visit to a traditional village.
In the Commander Islands, marvel at cliffs crowded with seabirds, and spot massive Steller’s sea eagles in the skies above Kamchatka’s Zhupanova River.

EXPEDITION TEAM

Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts – from naturalists to regional specialists – who will share their knowledge and insights the wildlife, landscape and local culture. Select a member of the expedition team below to see their bio and dates.

ITINERARY

Join us aboard the National Geographic Orion for an epic journey across the Bering Sea. Sail along the Alaska Peninsula and trace the volcanic Aleutian superchain to its westernmost reaches, visiting uninhabited isles that played a pivotal role in World War II and now harbor an incredible variety of bird and marine mammal species. Cruise along the coasts of Russia’s Kamchatka and Chukotka regions to discover wild shorelines that few humans have ever set foot on, and return to Alaska via the legendary Bering Strait.
This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.

DAY 1: ANCHORAGE, ALASKA/SEWARD

Arrive in Anchorage and transfer to Seward to embark the ship.

Meals Included:Dinner
Accommodations:National Geographic Orion for the entire voyage.

DAYS 2-3: KATMAI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE

Enjoy two full days to explore the shores of Katmai National Park & Preserve, home to one of the largest concentrations of brown bears in the world. Watch the resident bears dig for clams along the shoreline, and board a kayak or Zodiac to explore the park’s wildlife-rich inlets, including Geographic Harbor and Kukak Bay.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily

DAYS 4-5: AT SEA/UNALASKA

Watch from on deck as our ship traces the Baby Islands during a transit of Baby Pass. Dynamic tides here offer the chance to spot sea otters and fur seals, as well as rare seabirds. Arrive at Dutch Harbor on the island of Unalaska—site of a Japanese air attack during World War II, and now an important fishing port for crab, salmon, and a host of other species.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily

DAYS 6-10: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS

Spend the next several days discovering the Aleutian Islands, a superchain of rugged volcanic isles that span roughly 1,200 miles, separating the North Pacific Ocean from the Bering Sea. Cruise past some of the many active volcanoes that form the Ring of Fire’s concave northern rim, and seek out diverse marine life, including northern fur seals, Steller sea lions, and multiple whale species. By special permission, disembark to visit the uninhabited isles of Kiska and Attu, both of which were occupied by Japanese forces during World War II. See rusted war relics and shipwrecks, as well as craters left by Allied bombing campaigns. These islands are also home to large colonies of least, whiskered, and crested auklets and red-faced and pelagic cormorants.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily

DAYS 11-12: PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKIY, RUSSIA/ZHUPANOVA RIVER

Cross the international date line and sail into Avacha Bay, the sea gate to Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula. Visit the port town of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, framed by a trio of soaring snow-capped volcanoes: Koryaksky, Avachinsky, and Kozelsky. The next day, continue north and head inland along the pristine Zhupanova River, teeming with rainbow trout, salmon, and char. As we glide along the lower portion of this 100-mile-long waterway, seek out massive Steller’s sea eagles, as well as spotted seals hauled out on the sandbars.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily

DAYS 13-14: COMMANDER ISLANDS

Sail northeast toward Russia’s Commander Islands—a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve harboring fascinating wildlife of both Asian and North American origin. As we sail the archipelago, watch for Russian sea otters and some of the whale species that inhabit these waters, including the elusive Stejneger’s beaked variety. Go ashore at Bering Island to visit the gravesite of Danish explorer Vitus Bering, and seek out arctic foxes and horned and tufted puffins. Weather permitting, ride Zodiacs to Cape Severo-Zapadnyy, home to a fur seal rookery.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily

DAYS 15-19: COASTAL KAMCHATKA AND CHUKOTKA

Over the next several days, we’ll make our way up the seldom-visited Bering Sea coasts of Kamchatka and Chukotka in the Russian Far East. Hike between secluded bays, surrounded by volcanic mountains and tundra flora. Photograph brown bears fishing, Pacific walruses feeding, and three species of seals in onshore rookeries. Learn about the local Koryak reindeer-herding culture during a visit to either Tymlat or Ossora village.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily

DAYS 20-22: PROVIDENIYA/BERING STRAIT/NOME/ANCHORAGE

At the western edge of the rich transboundary area known as Beringia, Provideniya is known as “The Gateway to the Arctic.” Visit the local museum, and witness a traditional Yupik dance performance. The next day, we’ll cross the legendary Bering Strait en route to our disembarkation point of Nome. From here, fly to Anchorage and catch your flight home.

Meals Included:Day 19 & 20 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) / Day 21 (Breakfast)

WHAT TO EXPECT

In keeping with the nature of an expedition, we keep our schedule flexible to take advantage of the unexpected, adapting our course to the conditions and opportunities that arise. Your expedition experience can be tailored to the activity level you choose, whether it’s light or moderate or a little of both. Travelers should be in good health, comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time, and able to get in and out of expedition landing craft. Daily activities may include nature walks (often over snow and ice), Zodiac cruises, city tours, and visits to cultural or historic sites, with options for more vigorous hikes and kayaking excursions.

Expedition Team

A National Geographic photographer joins the expedition team on every departure aboard the National Geographic Orion.

SHIPS & DECK PLANS

Traveling aboard the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet, you’ll enjoy the daily thrill of discovery without sacrificing comfort. Each of our ships provides an inviting home base with superior amenities, personalized service, and a vibrant yet casual onboard atmosphere. Step aboard and you’ll find comfortable cabins, a well-stocked library, and dining rooms serving regionally inspired cuisine with fresh, local ingredients. Expansive decks provide an exceptional vantage point for spotting and photographing wildlife.

Deck Plans & Cabins

The state-of-the-art National Geographic Orion is a fully stabilized, ice-class vessel with an ice-reinforced hull, enabling it to navigate polar ice as well as small harbors in Europe.

PRICES & DATES

Jun 18-Jul 9, 2019
Jul 21-Aug 11, 2019

PRICES $25,850 Per Person
SHIP National Geographic Orion

Prices are per person based on double or single occupancy (unless otherwise noted) and do not include international airfare to/from your destination. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars and subject to change. See the terms and conditions for this trip for more information.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Transfers upon arrival/departure for guests booked on recommended group flights
Accommodation aboard the world-class expedition ships of the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet or a luxury chartered ship
Meals as indicated in the itinerary
Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
Visas
Alcoholic beverages
Gratuities