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Exploring Russia’s Far East and Wrangel Island

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13 Days
Anchorage, Alaska

EXPEDITION OVERVIEW

Get expert tips from a National Geographic photographer as you train your lens on diverse wildlife, including walruses, arctic foxes, reindeer, and puffins.
Explore the World Heritage site of Wrangel Island Reserve, known as the “polar bear nursery” of the world for the high concentration of dens found here.
From the decks of the National Geographic Orion, observe gray whales in their northern feeding grounds in the Chukchi and Bering Seas with a team of naturalists.
Experience the traditional reindeer-herding culture of Chukotka, Russia, and enjoy a dance performance by the indigenous Yupik people in Provideniya.

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.

ITINERARY

Discover the rugged lands of the Russian Far East and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wrangel Island Reserve on a 13-day voyage aboard the National Geographic Orion. Set sail from Alaska, crossing the legendary Bering Strait to discover pristine coastlines rich with wildlife, and experience the traditions of the indigenous peoples that make their home in these remote reaches of the planet. Discover a profusion of plant life, spy walruses and myriad seabirds on the tundra, and continue north into the Arctic Ocean to search for the iconic polar bears of Wrangel Island.

DAY 1: ANCHORAGE, ALASKA/NOME

Fly from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. Embark the National Geographic Orion this afternoon and set sail. On our first leg of the voyage, we cross the legendary Bering Strait, the narrow passage that links the Pacific to the Arctic Ocean and separates two continents.

Meals Included:Dinner

DAY 2: PROVIDENIYA, RUSSIA

At the western edge of the Bering Strait lies Provideniya, a former Soviet military port. Often called “the gateway to the Arctic,” Provideniya is also the administrative center where we will conduct the ship’s clearance into Russia. Visit the local museum, which houses historic artifacts and paintings from the area, and witness a traditional dance performance by the indigenous Yupik people.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: CAPE DEZHNEV/UELEN

Head north through the Bering Strait and round Cape Dezhnev, the easternmost point of the Eurasian continent and a former center for fur and whale trading. Conditions permitting, venture ashore and hike to the lighthouse at the tip of this rocky headland. Continue to the nearby Chukchi and Yupik village of Uelen, known for its rich artistic traditions.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: KOLYUCHIN ISLAND AND KOLYUCHIN BAY

Today, we explore Kolyuchin Island and Inlet on the northern Chukotka coast. An enormous tidal estuary, Kolyuchin Inlet offers excellent hiking and birding opportunities. Nearby, Kolyuchin Island is a high, cliff-lined island where puffins and guillemots nest, and where Pacific walruses occasionally sunbathe on the rocks below. Explore this remote and untouched coastline in a Zodiac, and conditions permitting, head ashore to go hiking with our naturalists.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAYS 5-8: WRANGEL ISLAND

Spend four days exploring the World Heritage-listed Wrangel Island Reserve in the Arctic Ocean. With the world’s largest population of Pacific walruses and the highest density of ancestral polar bear dens, Wrangel Island offers incredible opportunities for wildlife viewing. The island escaped glaciation during the last ice age, and now has the highest level of biodiversity in the high Arctic, with an astonishing variety of plant life. It was also the last refuge of woolly mammoths, whose bones and tusks have been discovered amid the island’s riverbeds, providing intriguing clues to their past existence. As we explore by ship, by Zodiac, and on foot, keep an eye out for gray whales, which can be found in these prime feeding grounds, and more than 100 migratory bird species.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily

DAYS 9-10: AT SEA/LORINO

Enjoy a day at sea as we make our way south from Wrangel Island to the easternmost reaches of Russia. Attend talks by our expedition team, visit the ship’s bridge and library, and spy seabirds from the deck. Later, experience Chukchi culture during a day in Lorino, the largest indigenous village in Chukotka. Witness a dance performance and learn about this traditional fishing, hunting, and reindeer-herding culture.

DAY 11: YTTYGRAN ISLAND/PROVIDENIYA

This morning, visit Whale Bone Alley on Yttygran Island. Created some 600 years ago, Whale Bone Alley is thought to have been a communal or a ceremonial Yupik gathering place. Today, this haunting site consists of a number of fascinating whalebone formations, which protrude from the tundra overlooking the Bering Sea. Later, continue to Provideniya, where we conduct our outbound clearance before heading back east to Nome.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: AT SEA/CROSSING THE BERING STRAIT

Spend our final day at sea, crossing the Bering Strait. Spend time on deck with binoculars in hand, on the lookout for marine mammals and seabirds. Attend talks by our naturalists and photo team, or perhaps treat yourself to a massage.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: NOME/ANCHORAGE

Arrive in Nome this morning, and transfer to the airport for flights to Anchorage and home.

Meals Included: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

Aug 11-23, 2019
Aug 23-Sep 4, 2019
Sep 4-16, 2019

PRICES $16,230 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