Eastern Russia & Wrangel Island

Eastern Russia & Wrangel Island

19/07/22 to 02/08/22
Dates
19/07/22 to 02/08/22
Ship
SH Minerva
Duration
15 Days
Guests
2 Guest
Price From
£ 23,690
Per Cabin
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Trip Details

Sailing on our boutique ice-class ship to this isolated Arctic region is a unique adventure few have ever experienced. Where once mammoth and sabre-toothed tigers roamed, these remote northern islands unveil their pristine natural environments on the hammocky tundra, home to unique flora and fauna. One of the best places to see polar bears and Pacific walrus on earth, these isolated areas reveal their secrets as we immerse ourselves in this arctic terrain. Puffins and snow geese breed in these far-flung abundant areas, and we are treated to a warm welcome from indigenous Siberian Yupik who call this distant region home.

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Trip Highlights

Sailing on our boutique ice-class ship to this isolated Arctic region is a unique adventure few have ever experienced. Where once mammoth and sabre-toothed tigers roamed, these remote northern islands unveil their pristine natural environments on the hammocky tundra, home to unique flora and fauna. One of the best places to see polar bears and Pacific walrus on earth, these isolated areas reveal their secrets as we immerse ourselves in this arctic terrain. Puffins and snow geese breed in these far-flung abundant areas, and we are treated to a warm welcome from indigenous Siberian Yupik who call this distant region home.

Get up close to the world’s largest polar bear denning ground and largest breeding rookery of Pacific walrus
Learn more about this unique tundra environment from our on-board polar experts and conservationists
Journey to the easternmost point of Russia and mingle with the indigenous Siberian Yupik
Listen out for the muted sounds of puffin or loudly honking snow geese
Try to solve the riddle of the mysterious Whale Bone Alley in Yttygran
Itinerary Map
Itinerary
Nome Day 1

Nome is the most famous gold rush town in Alaska (the town’s welcome sign is marked on the state’s largest gold pan). This wind-swept tundra landscape is a haven for wildflowers. Hardy muskoxen forage, bear and caribou roam, and the mountain streams provide a freshwater habitat for spawning wild Alaskan salmon. Excursions include mushing, panning for gold on the beaches and trips to the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.

Provideniya Day 2

The gateway to the Russian Far East, this former Soviet military port on Komsomolskaya Bay is at the southern limit of the Arctic ice pack. The town has a small museum charting the history of whaling and fishing and the displacement of the indigenous Siberian Yupik that caused irreversible cultural change. From seal fishing to their renowned dancing, we learn more about Yupik culture on a visit to a settlement at Novoye Chaplino overlooking a picturesque fjord.

Cape Dezhnev / Uelen Village Day 3

The easternmost point of Russia, here on a clear day, you can see Alaska. It is a good hike up the headland where you will reach a lighthouse and a monument to the Russian explorer Semyon Dezhnev, who rounded the Cape in 1648. Further up the coast is Naukan, an abandoned Yupik village, and Uelen, the only still-inhabited village on the cape. Home to Siberian Yupik Eskimos, Uelen is the closest Russian settlement to the US.

Kolyuchin Island Day 4

Conservationists will guide you over soft tundra and point out rare lichens, mosses and wildflowers where scurrying ground squirrels hunt for food. Kolyuchin also has some of the Arctic’s most spectacular bird cliffs, with puffins, guillemots and gulls, and a photogenic walrus haul-out. Off the north coast of the Chukotka Peninsula, this small island was once an important centre for research into polar bears and walruses, one of a number dotted across the Arctic.

At Sea Day 5

As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savouring the ship’s facilities and learning about your destination’s many facets from the knowledgeable onboard experts. Listen to an enriching talk, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, enjoy some down- time in your cabin, share travel reminiscences with newly found friends: the options are numerous.

Ayon Island Day 6

This mostly low-lying tundra island lies off the coast of the Chukotka peninsula on the west of the Bering strait and is part of the Northern Sea Route, or Northeast passage. Ayon Island’s indigenous Chukchi population are reindeer herders. Many live in Ayon Village, a coastal settlement where we are guaranteed a warm welcome especially at the small museum set up by children. On the outskirts of the village is a Neolithic settlement we can explore.

Medvezhiy islands Day 7

Also known as Bear Islands - on account of the polar bears that have taken up residence on this isolated archipelago - this far-flung island group is located above Russia, in the inhospitable East Siberian Sea. The arctic flora draws naturalists for wildflowers - buttercups, yellow poppies and rockfoil - lichens and mosses on the hammocky tundra. Natural rock pillars stand sentinel on Chetyrbok Stolbovoy (Four Spires Island), where you can go ashore and hike to see an abandoned weather station.

At Sea Day 8

As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savouring the ship’s facilities and learning about your destination’s many facets from the knowledgeable onboard experts. Listen to an enriching talk, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, enjoy some down- time in your cabin, share travel reminiscences with newly found friends: the options are numerous.

Ushakova Cape Day 9

Breaching grey and beluga whales, ringed seals and bearded seals swim close to the shore. Inaccessible for much of the year, changing weather conditions mean that in recent years the island is becoming ice-free earlier and earlier, and the occasional finback whale from Mexico has been spotted here. Tundra covers much of this huge island with coastal plains and central mountains creating a rich ecosystem with the highest level of biodiversity in the high Arctic.

Cape Florens Day 10

Named for the colourful flora and wildflowers on the mossy tundra, such as yellow arctic poppies, Cape Florens helped give the island its unique status as the northernmost World Heritage Site. It is also one of the places we might get to spot foraging Siberian brown and northern collared lemmings (often hunted down by snowy owls), alongside Wrangel’s other inland fauna species - arctic foxes, wolverines, muskoxen and reindeer.

Krasin Bay & Cape Waring Day 11

Observe the only permanent colony of nesting snow geese in Asia as you hike across the tundra to the Mammoth River. Twitchers might glimpse other tundra- loving birds including spoon-billed sandpipers, peregrine falcons, arctic tern, gulls and skuas who feed on this ancient, protected natural reserve. Nearby are the relics of a 3,400-year-old Paleo-Eskimo camp. At Devils Creek, the 180° meridian passes through, although the International Date Line lies to the east of the island. At Drangi Bay, a dense population of Pacific walrus haul out watched by predatory polar bears. The huge number of polar bear dens makes Wrangel Island the world’s largest denning ground. Nearby at Rogers Bay is the abandoned settlement Ushakovskoye, a former fishing village where tusks strewn across the tundra and beaches are a testament to the long-extinct dwarf mammoth that once roamed this remote Siberian island, believed to be the last place on earth where mammoths survived.

At Sea Day 12

As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savouring the ship’s facilities and learning about your destination’s many facets from the knowledgeable onboard experts. Listen to an enriching talk, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, enjoy some down- time in your cabin, share travel reminiscences with newly found friends: the options are numerous.

Proliv Senyavina Hot Springs & Yttygran Island Day 13

An important local attraction, the hot springs are part of Novoye Chaplino area in Chukotka. We will take the Zodiacs to a small lagoon at the southern end of the Proliv Senyavina passage. From there, it is a short hike across the cushiony tundra to the Proliv Senyavina Hot Springs. If you fancy a dip, either hop into the stream heated with the natural hot springs or soak in the small pool. The mysterious Whale Bone Alley is the main attraction on this remote Siberian island off the coast of Chukotka. The eerie archaeological site is lined with 600-year- old whale jaw and rib bones that have been stuck into the ground and erected like archways, some five metres high. This unique 550-metre path is the perfect place to stretch your legs and ponder its mystical origins as either a shrine or a gathering place for hunters to store their food.

Provideniya Day 14

The gateway to the Russian Far East, this former Soviet military port on Komsomolskaya Bay is at the southern limit of the Arctic ice pack. The town has a small museum charting the history of whaling and fishing and the displacement of the indigenous Siberian Yupik that caused irreversible cultural change. From seal fishing to their renowned dancing, we learn more about Yupik culture on a visit to a settlement at Novoye Chaplino overlooking a picturesque fjord.

Nome Day 15

Nome is the most famous gold rush town in Alaska (the town’s welcome sign is marked on the state’s largest gold pan). This wind-swept tundra landscape is a haven for wildflowers. Hardy muskoxen forage, bear and caribou roam, and the mountain streams provide a freshwater habitat for spawning wild Alaskan salmon. Excursions include mushing, panning for gold on the beaches and trips to the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.

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Rates Include
One night pre-cruise hotel accommodation with breakfast
Transfer from the airport to the hotel on the day prior to embarkation
Transfer from the hotel to the port for embarkation
Transfer from the port to the airport on return
Onboard accommodation
All meals onboard including room service 24 hours a day
Coffee, tea, soft drinks & select alcoholic beverages 24 hours a day
Lecture programmes by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
Shore excursion programme led by our expert expedition team
Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka
Use of rubber boots for shore landings
Basic WIFI inclusion (Premium WIFI available)
*Itineraries & prices are subject to change*
Onboard gratuities & port taxes
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Itinerary Map
Cabins
Number of Guests
Oceanview
19 m2 Sleeps 2
Oceanview cabins features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
Price From
£ 23,690
Balcony
28 m2 Sleeps 2
Features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room, a luxurious ensuite bathroom and your own private 6 sq.m. balcony.
Price From
£ 28,990
Suite
44 m2 Sleeps 2
Our Suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom and a 12 sq.m. private balcony.
Price From
£ 42,290
Premium Suite
49 m2 Sleeps 2
Our grandest suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom, spacious walk in wardrobe and a 12 sq.m private balcony.
Price From
£ 46,994
Other Available Dates
If you really like this cruise but the date is not suitable for you, we are glad to offer other dates for the itinerary.
Please find below all our date offerings.
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