This unique journey not only includes the isolated Wrangel and Herald Islands, but also a significant section of the wild North Eastern Siberian coastline. It is a journey made possible only in recent years by the thawing in the politics of the region and the retreat of the summer pack ice in the Chukchi Sea. Right on the border between Soviet Russia and the United States, the area was known as the Ice Curtain and today remains one of the last undiscovered wonders of the world. There will be numerous landings during your voyage: look for whales, visit huge bird colonies, walrus haul-outs and native villages and take every opportunity to discover the regionÂ’s rich biodiversity.
Day 1: Nome, Alaska
For those departing Nome, Alaska, your adventure begins with a flight across the black Bering Sea and the International Date Line, to the remote port of Anadyr.
Day 2: Anadyr, Russia
Explore Anadyr, the administrative center of the Chukotka region, before getting to know your fellow voyagers and crew on board the Spirit of Enderby.
Day 3: Anadyrskiy Bay
Weighing anchor early, you are invited to join the expedition staff and crew on the bridge for introductory briefings as you sail toward the Bering Straits, through the Anadyr Estuary famed for its Beluga Whales.
Day 4: Yttygran, Nuneangan and Arakamchrchen Islands
Yttygran Island is home to the monumental ancient aboriginal site known as Whale Bone Alley, where you make a landing. Constructed from immense whale jawbones and skulls to form arches, the site is of international archaeological importance. On the lookout for Grey Whales, you also cruise by Nuneangan and Arakamchrchen Islands where seabirds nest and Walrus can be found.
Day 5: Cape Dezhnev / Uelen Village
The north easternmost point of the Eurasian continent, it is sometimes possible to see the coast of America from this remote and lonely outpost. ItÂ’s a steep scramble up the rocky beach to an abandoned Soviet border guard base and a monument to Semyon Dezhnev, the brave 17th century seafarer who lends the cape his name. You are welcomed by Chukchi villagers whose traditional lifestyle remains largely unchanged by the passing centuries and are treated to a precious collection of sculptures, bone-carvings and artwork.
Day 6: Kolyuchin Island
Inhabited today only by Walrus and seabirds this was once a Polar Bear research station. Near the derelict buildings are some of the most spectacular bird cliffs in the Arctic where puffins, guillemots and gulls can be observed and photographed up close.
Days 7-11: Wrangel and Herald Islands
Your itinerary will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, but with a multitude of migrating birds to spot and the commanding presence of Polar Bears and their cubs to hold your attention, your days here will be busy. This is the essence of expedition cruising and there are many landings you can make to search out wildlife-like Snowy Owls and Snow Geese, Ivory Gulls, the powerful Musk Ox and herds of Reindeer. Diverse Arctic landscapes from sweeping tundra of wildflowers in summer riot to sea cliffs housing rookeries of noisy seabirds underline this area as a Nature Reserve of international significance. This is also a chance to visit historic Dragi Harbor where early explorers endured terrible winters after their steamship was crushed by ice.
Day 12: North Siberian Coast
Bounded by narrow sand ridges with numerous lagoons and inlets, this area offers plenty of places to land and explore a coastline that very few humans have seen and survived to tell the tale. Looking for Walrus you will come across Chukchi villages whose residents scratch out a living in an unforgiving climate, hunting seals and whales just as their ancestors did.
Day 13: Kolyuchin Inlet
So huge that it is visible from satellite photos, this inlet contains vast numbers of waterfowl and migratory waders. Visit the spit of land near the inletÂ’s mouth and find a wild, desolate landscape that is strangely beautiful; its dunes and tidal areas are home to the mighty Emperor Goose and extremely rare Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Grey Whales frequent the area and you may be fortunate to spot them feeding only a stoneÂ’s throw from shore.
Day 14: Big Diomede Island (Ostrov Ratmanova)
Sometimes called Tomorrow Island and Yesterday Isle, the Diomedes are separated by the International Date Line; these two rocky outposts represented the final Cold War frontier between Soviet Russia and the USA. You go in search of the Black-legged Kittiwake, BrunnichÂ’s Guillemot and Horned Puffin and perhaps glimpse the worldÂ’s northern-most colony of auklets.
Day 15: At Sea
Relax in the shipÂ’s bar or library as you sail across Anadyrskiy Bay, before bidding farewell to your fellow voyagers and staff over a dinner and expedition recap tonight.
Day 16: Anadyr
Your adventure ends after breakfast with disembarkation back at the port where you will enjoy a complimentary transfer to the airport or to your hotel.