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Chukotka: Where Russia's Day Begins

15 Days FROM USD 11,000

Overview

North of Chukotka where the Chukchi Sea meets the Arctic Ocean lies the nature reserve and World Heritage site, Wrangel Island, which has outstanding wildlife values. Sometimes referred to as a Polar Bear Maternity Ward, because of the high density of denning Polar Bears, it is one of those islands that never disappointments those who are keen on natural history or enthusiasts of Arctic history. As the ice retreats each summer (further and faster than ever before) Polar Bears come ashore and we see good numbers of these, likewise walrus find refuge here each summer normally in large numbers. Birds like Snow Geese and Snowy Owls also breed here. And of course Wrangel Island is central to the story of the wreck of the Karluk and other Arctic exploration stories.

On this special Chukotka expedition we will meet the people; see and listen to their stories and learn of their love for and strong connection with the land and the sea. We will explore the vast expansive tundra with its wild flowers and dwarf tree species and we will watch for brown bears, reindeer, Arctic Foxes, ground squirrels, if we are lucky we may also see a Wolverine. We will explore Wrangel Island with its Polar Bears, walrus and rich Arctic history and at sea we will keep a look out for whales.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACHEWRDB

Location: Arctic

Ship: Kapitan Khlebnikov

CRUISE ITINERARY

All expedition members will arrive in Anadyr, the administrative capital of Chukotka. Depending on your time of arrival you may have the opportunity to explore Anadyr before boarding the vessel. We will sail in the late afternoon for Egvekinot.

Anadyr

This small town was built by Gulag prisoners as a port to supply the rich Lul’tin mining complex some 200km inland, they were then forced to construct a road to the mine. We explore the town which has an excellent museum and plan to travel by Ural to explore along the road towards Lul’tin and into the tundra to gain an appreciation of this unique Arctic landscape close to the Arctic Circle.

Egvekinot

Across Kresta Bay from Egvekinot is the small reindeer herding village of Konergino. Reindeer herding is still an important part of the indigenous people’s culture and economy, the practice has remained largely unchanged over the centuries and revolves around ‘brigades’ looking after large herds of reindeer out on the tundra. Today is an introduction to and an opportunity to understand this industry/practice.

Konergino

We will be cruising along the south coast of Chukotka today and we will take the opportunity to stop at Presbrazhenya Bay. We Zodiac cruise the spectacular bird cliffs which could provide great photographic opportunities. There will also be a chance to land at a hunting camp at the nearby village of Nunligren.

Presbrazhenya Bay

The significant and intriguing archaeological site of ‘Whale Bone Alley’ on Yttygran Island dates to the 14th century, its origins and purpose have been the cause of much debate. Whalebones stretch along the beach in the form of a pathway for nearly half a kilometre and Gray Whales are frequently seen in the vicinity. This afternoon we intend to make a landing at the Gil’mimyl Hot Springs.

Whale Bone Alley & Gil’mimyl Hot Springs

We plan to be here for Day One of the annual Beringia Regatta and Festival which includes whaleboat and Baidara (traditional walrus skin covered boats) races as well as cultural group performances. It is one of the most colourful festivals in the Chukotka calendar and attracts people from all around the region. There will be a range of activities at the Regatta and Festival and local foods for you to sample. This is a festival that gets to the very heart and soul of the people, their culture and their land.

Novo Chaplino & the Annual Beringia Arctic Games

Sea conditions permitting, we plan to will land at Cape Dezhnev early this morning, the north-eastern most point of the Eurasian continent. This cape commemorates the accomplishment of the Cossack, Semyon Dezhnev, who was the first European to sail through this strait in 1648 (80 years before Bering did). A short distance south of the cape is the former Inuit settlement of Naukan, as the relocation was fairly recent there is a wealth of historic data and photographs that make a visit to this site even more poignant.

Cape Dezhnev

Relax as we navigate towards Wrangel Island.

At Sea

Due to climate change in recent years Wrangel Island is becoming ice free earlier and earlier with huge ramifications for the wildlife (especially the Polar Bears) that rely on the ice. Weather conditions permitting there should still be some ice around the island where wildlife will be concentrated. There should also be opportunities to land and to explore the tundra to look for species which breed here. We have allowed three days on and around the island to take advantage of whatever conditions we encounter. We will be utilising the local knowledge of the Park Rangers to make multiple landings as well as spending some time ice cruising looking for Polar Bears.

Wrangel Island - Day 9 to 11

This morning we will come to anchor at tiny Kolyuchin Island, at certain times of the year when the ice recedes large numbers of walrus haul out on the island. At the western end of the island is the remains of a Polar Research Station which was only abandoned in the 1990s. Nearby are some amazing bird cliffs, it is possible to get magnificent views (and photographs) of puffins and guillemots as they come and go from their nests. The only thing that will stop us from landing here are Polar Bears, if they are ashore we will Zodiac cruise the bird cliffs for equally good views of the birds. This afternoon we will cruise to nearby Kolyuchin Inlet, a massive tidal estuary and ideal habitat for many bird species, it is early enough in the season for the majority of them to either be on nests or have young. It is an easy landing with lots of opportunity for hiking, exploring and photography.

Kolyuchin Island / Kolyuchin Inlet

As we make our way back to Anadyr we will recap the many experiences we have enjoyed on this special Chukotka expedition.

At Sea - Day 13 & 14

After breakfast passengers will be taken ashore, a complimentary transfer to the airport or to a central downtown hotel will conclude the expedition.

Anadyr
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Pricing & date

Chukotka: Where Russia's Day Begins from USD 11,000
Departing Ending Duration
08 Jul 2019 22 Jul 2019 15
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Important Information

  • Ship board accommodation 
    All meals on board
    All scheduled landings/shore excursions
    Pre and post cruise transfers

    Exclusions

    Airfares to/from disembarkation cities
    Visa fees (if applicable)
    Travel insurance 
    All items of a personal nature
    Laundry 
    Beverages on board 
    Gratuities for staff/crew

  • 2 (Light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.