Tailor-Made Holiday

Russian Arctic - Chukotka & Wrangel Island

Travel across the top of the world - home to polar bear, walrus and grey whale

18 days

from £11,150pp (excluding flights)

This Voyage is an opportunity, in true expeditionary spirit, to explore a remote, little-known corner of the world offering dramatic scenery and fabulous wildlife. 

• Explore Moscow with your guide visiting the Kremlin and city cathedrals.

• Wildlife viewings to include walrus, whales and polar bears

• Spend extended time exploring Wrangel Island, a wild and beautiful land known for its high concentration of polar bear den sites, with good chances to see mothers and cubs

• Travel aboard a small 112 passenger, ice-strengthened expedition ship ensuring a very personalised experience and ease of logistics on landings, accompanied by a highly knowledgeable and enthusiastic expeditionary staff

This voyage begins in Chukotka, a remote corner of north-eastern Russia few people have had the privilege to experience. Ideal conditions for exploring are provided by the long hours of daylight and the retreat of the pack ice during their short summer. On shore, you will have the chance to meet some of the indigenous Chukchi Eskimo people who call this harsh region home. You’ll see a great range of wildlife, including walrus and seals, rich birdlife and a variety of whales, all taking advantage of the exceptionally abundant resources this area provides. The culmination of this exciting voyage is a 5-day exploration of Wrangel Island & the smaller Herald Islands, both isolated outposts now recognised by biologists as a ‘polar bear maternity ward’ on account of the high number of cubs born here. You will have the chance to land on these remote islands to experience the tundra and its wildlife, accompanied by the local researchers, giving an intimate insight into the island's ecology.

Why Cruise?

Expedition cruising offers travellers an opportunity to visit regions where few have gone before and to experience wilderness, wildlife and cultures in a genuine and responsible way. Expedition cruise ships are considerably smaller than traditional ‘cruise’ ship and therefore can navigate narrower channels and shallower bays which are otherwise inaccessible from land and to larger ships.

Unique Experiences

The very nature of joining a small expedition cruise means you can access remote corners of the planet – unique destinations that cannot be visited by any other means. Until recent years, the Bering Straits were not even possible to navigate. Since the thawing of relations between the USA and Russia, and the retraction of the summer pack ice of the Chukchi Sea, it is now possible to travel behind the Ice Curtain to one of the last great undiscovered wilderness areas in the world. Wrangel Island is also known to having one of the highest concentrations of polar bear dens in the world, hopefully giving passengers the unique opportunity to observe a high number of mothers and cubs.

What is Given Back?

The cruise operator supports several worldwide conservation programmes by way of funds, advocacy and logistical support. They are advisors to the Russian government to negotiate and develop sustainable and best practice tourism policies and for their nature reserves. They work closely with National Parks and Federal Reserves, including Beringia National Park and the Wrangel Island Reserve to minimise impact whilst ensuring a high-level experience for passengers.


The goal is to always cruise and tread lightly. Shore landings are conducted in small groups only. Waste is minimised by strict recycling practices and the products used on board are environmentally friendly. Any non-recyclable waste is brought back to dispose of at approved sites. Fuel consumption and emissions are constantly monitored, and regular servicing and maintenance significantly reduces these elements. Regular cleaning of the vessel hulls also reduces the risk of biofouling


From naturalists to historians, biologists to birders the expedition crew onboard Kapitan Klebnikov are not just guides but also teachers. This expedition vessel is family owned and operated, they are all biologists or adventurers. The guides employed not only offer a world-class and personalised service but inform, enthuse and strive to create future ambassadors for conservation.

Expedition DEPARTURES 2019

08-22 July
22 July -05 August
5 - 19 August 


06 - 20 July

20 July - 03 August 

03 - 17 August


For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 11150 £ 900
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All zodiac cruises and landings
  • Local payment of $500 in cash
  • Service of expedition staff
  • All accommodation
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Day at leisure in Moscow

The ancient city of Moscow is the focal point of modern Russia and everything that it has come to represent. It is a city where history unfolds around every corner, whether in the shape of the magnificent golden domed cathedrals and churches, or the historic and instantly-recognisable Kremlin. With a rich history and an insatiable hunger to embrace global modernity, Moscow is a compelling city.

You will be staying at Park Inn Sadu, room only

Day 2

City Tour
Visits will include Red Square, the Kremlin territory with cathedrals and Armoury museum, the famous GUM department store, now full of designer shops rather than Russian goods but with stunning architecture and St Basil's Cathedral. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on the banks of the Moskva River is also a must see with its gold domes and painted ceilings.

Day 3

Fly Moscow to Anadyr

Anadyr is the most easterly town in Russia sitting at the mouth of the Anadyr River.

Day 4

Anadyr embarkation
Have some time at leisure, before transferring to the ship.

You will be staying at Kapitan Khlebnikov, full board

Day 5

Anadyrskiy Bay
Weighing anchor early, have the chance to join the expedition staff and crew on the bridge for an introductory briefing. Sail through the Anadyr Estuary, famed for its beluga whales, towards the Bering Strait.

You will be staying at Kapitan Khlebnikov, full board

Day 6

Yttygran, Nuneangan and Akamchrchen Islands
Visit Yttygran Island, home to an ancient aboriginal site, known as 'Whale Bone Alley'. Featuring arches constructed from immense rib bones, the site is of international archaeological importance. Grey whales are frequently seen around the island.

Continue past the Nuneangan and Akamchrchen Islands, home to walruses and nesting seabirds.

You will be staying at Kapitan Khlebnikov, full board

Day 7

Cape Dezhnev/ Uelen Village
Arrive at Cape Dezhnev, the north-easternmost point of the Eurasian continent. It is sometimes possible to see the coastline of the USA from this remote and lonely outpost. Visit the village of Uelen, which is renowned for its indigenous artwork and lies a few kilometres to the west of the cape. Meet Chukchi villagers, whose traditional lifestyle remains largely unchanged by the passing centuries, and admire their sculptures, bone-carvings and artwork.

You will be staying at Kapitan Khlebnikov, full board

Day 8

Kolyuchin Island
Stop at Kolyuchin Island, once an important polar research station. Inhabited today by only walruses and seabirds, it features some of the most spectacular bird cliffs in the Arctic. Puffins, guillemots and gulls can all be seen here.

You will be staying at Kapitan Khlebnikov, full board

Day 9

Wrangel and Herald Islands
Reach Wrangel Island, the northernmost point of the trip. Ice and weather conditions permitting, spend several days here, including a visit to nearby Herald Island. The itinerary is again weather-dependent, but the huge number of migrating birds and the presence of polar bears mean that days here are always busy. The sweeping tundra bursts with wildflowers, whilst the sea cliffs house rookeries of noisy seabirds.

Opportunities for landings abound, including the chance to visit the historic Dragi Harbour. It was here that survivors from the Karluk dragged themselves ashore in 1914, after their ship was crushed by ice.

You will be staying at Kapitan Khlebnikov, full board

Day 10

Wrangel and Herald Islands

You will be staying at Kapitan Khlebnikov, full board

Day 11

You will be staying at Kapitan Khlebnikov, full board

Day 12

You will be staying at Kapitan Khlebnikov, full board

Day 13

Wrangel and Herald Islands

You will be staying at Kapitan Khlebnikov, full board

Day 14

North Siberian Coast
Head south towards the northern Siberian coast. Bounded by narrow sand ridges with numerous lagoons and inlets, this area offers plenty of places to land and explore the remote coastline. Search for walruses and stumble across forgotten Chukchi villages. Their residents scratch out a living in an unforgiving climate by hunting seals and whales, just as their ancestors did.

You will be staying at Kapitan Khlebnikov, full board

Day 15

Kolyuchin Inlet
Enter Kolyuchin Inlet, which is so vast that it is visible on satellite photos. The inlet is home to numerous species of waterfowl, as well as migratory waders, such as the emperor goose and rare yellow-billed loon. Grey whales frequent the area, and there is a chance of spotting them feeding close to the shore.

You will be staying at Kapitan Khlebnikov, full board

Day 16

Big Diomede Island (Ostrov Ratmanova)
Pass the Diomedes Islands, which straddle the International Date Line. Sometimes called Tomorrow Island and Yesterday Isle, these two rocky outposts are where the USA and Russia are closest; just over four kilometres separates the two countries. Remain in Russian territory and cruise south, before stopping for a final landing on the Chukotka coast.

You will be staying at Kapitan Khlebnikov, full board

Day 17

At Sea
Relax in the bar or library as the ship ploughs across Anadyrskiy Bay. In the evening, sit down for a farewell dinner.

You will be staying at Kapitan Khlebnikov, full board

Day 18

Anadyr disembarkation
Disembark and transfer ashore.

Fly Russian Arctic to Moscow


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Kapitan Khlebnikov

Kapitan Khlebnikov

A true icebreaker with high polar credentials, Khlebnikov was purpose-built in Finland in 1981 for crushing through strong sea ice....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Russian Arctic

Sue Grimwood, Travel Expert

"It was tremendously helpful to be able to speak to someone who had been to Antarctica before - Sue had been on the ship we had booked, so was able to give us some very useful information. We felt that at every stage of the booking process that we were in safe hands. "

""I was uncharacteristically worried about this trip - neurotic some might say - and I was given 110% support and help with everything. I had been disappointed by not being able to get a space on the 2014 trip and so Sue was stuck with me for 2 years - a testament to her patience and professionalism. I was confident in Sue - she knows Antarctica and speaks from experience, that is worth a huge amount. Emails, which I would send were responded to almost immediately.""

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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