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Polar Bear on dry land, Russian Arctic

Cruise the Russian Arctic

  • TAILOR-MADE

Duration

15 Days

Prices Start from

$10,354 (ex. flights)

Suitable for

Couples Adventure Traveller Solo Traveller Photographers

Welcome to the “polar bear maternity ward” of the Arctic. An extraordinary expedition cruise to the polar bear habitat of Wrangel Island and the home of the indigenous Chukchi people. 

This is an adventure-filled trip to a little-visited corner of the Russian Arctic  world. Focusing on exploring dramatic landscapes and uncovering spectacular wildlife, passengers will have the chance to land on remote islands in the company of expert guides for an intimate insight into the region’s ecology.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Young Polar Bear, Wrangel Island, Russian Arctic 1

Wrangel Island

Explore Wrangel and Herald Islands, renown as the polar bear maternity ward of the Arctic.

Beluga whale 2

Wildlife of the Arctic

Encounter beluga, walrus, reindeer and musk ox during landings and zodiac cruises.

Northern Shaman, Chukchi People, Husky Dogs, Russian Arctic 3

Meet the Chukchi

Surviving in this unforgiving landscape using ancestral methods.

Spirit of Enderby 4

Expedition Ship

Travel aboard a nimble 50 passenger ice-strengthened converted Russian research vessel.

This vessel has been key in helping with the Birdlife International and Wildfowl and Wetlands project to save the critically endangered spoon billed sandpiper. Collecting eggs that have been hatched and hand reared at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire before being reintroduced in the hope of increasing the wild population to sustainable numbers.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1

    Anadyr

  • Day 2

    Anadyryski Bay

    Zodiac cruise some spectacular bird cliffs in Preobrazheniya Bay

  • Day 3

    Yttygran, Nuneangan and Arakamchechen Islands

  • Day 4

    Cape Dezhnev and Uelen Village

  • Day 5

    Kolyuchin Island

  • Days 6-10

    Wrangel & Herald Islands

  • Day 11

    North Siberian Coast

    Explore this remote coastline

  • Day 12

    Kolyuchin Inet

  • Day 13

    Bering Strait and Chukotka Coast

  • Day 14

    At Sea

    Sailing south keeping an eye out for whales

  • Day 15

    Anadyr

    Disembark in Anadyr

Day 1

Anadyr

Embark in Anadyr, keep an eye out for beluga that are frequently spotted in the bay.

Day 2

Anadyryski Bay

Day 3

Yttygran, Nuneangan and Arakamchechen Islands

Yttygran Island is home to the monumental ancient aboriginal site known as Whale Bone Alley.

Day 4

Cape Dezhnev and Uelen Village

Land at Cape Dezhnev, the north-eastern most point of the Eurasian continent. Later visit Uelen Village home to the Chukchi who survive in this unforgiving climate, hunting just as their ancestors did.

Day 5

Kolyuchin Island

Once the home of a Russian Polar Research Station now often frequents by bears along with some of the most spectacular bird cliffs in the Arctic, where puffins, guillemots and gulls can be observed.

Days 6-10

Wrangel & Herald Islands

Musk Ox, Chukotka, Wrangel Island, Russian Arctic

Wrangel Island is a Russian Federal Nature Reserve of international significance and importance particularly as it is a major Polar Bear denning area. It is also home to reindeer, Musk Ox and thousands of birds migrate here to breed, including Snow Geese, Snowy Owls, skuas, Arctic Terns, Ross’s, Sabine and Ivory Gulls.

Day 11

North Siberian Coast

Day 12

Kolyuchin Inet

Visit the Belaka Spit near the mouth of the inlet, search the dunes and tidal areas for birdlife including emperor geese and spoon-billed sandpipers. Grey whales frequent the area and are sometimes spotted feeding only metres offshore.

Day 13

Bering Strait and Chukotka Coast

Sail by the Diomede Islands, sometimes called Tomorrow Island and Yesterday Isle because they straddle the International Date Line. Here Russia and America are separated by only 2.3 nautical miles of ocean.

Day 14

At Sea

Day 15

Anadyr

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

Oncoming polar bear, Seal River, Churchill, Canadian Arctic
Arctic

Polar bear maternity ward

Wrangel Island is renowned for 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. It is also home to musk ox, reindeer, lemmings, snowy owls and snow geese.

Northern Shaman, Chukchi People, Husky Dogs, Russian Arctic
Northern Shaman, Chukchi People, Husky Dogs, Russian Arctic

Meet Chukchi Villagers

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. Later, head south towards the northern Siberian coast, bounded by narrow sand ridges with numerous lagoons and inlets. Here, search for walruses and stumble across forgotten Chukchi villages, whose residents scratch out a living in an unforgiving climate by hunting seals and whales, just as their ancestors did.

Musk Ox, Chukotka, Wrangel Island, Russian Arctic
Russia

Extraordinary 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.

Spirit of Enderby, Antarctica
Spirit of Enderby

Why Cruise?

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.

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Sue let me know that Steppes had been arranging voyages to the Russian Arctic since the 1980’s, and their experience was evident. What a trip!

Destination: Russian Arctic
Travel Expert: Sue

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01285 880 980

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Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Spirit of Enderby £££££

Originally built in 1984, the 236-foot-long Spirit of Enderby was fully refurbished as an ice-strengthened vessel in 2004 and now provides comfortable accommodation for just 50 passengers. One of the last of the former Russian small research vessels which still service polar waters, she is still run by a Russian crew and boasts a fine reputation for polar expeditionary cruising due to her strength and manoeuvrability. The 24 cabins are simple and vary both in size and amenities (only half have private bathrooms), and there is a bar, a library and lounge, a dedicated lecture room and a fleet of zodiacs for shore excursions.

View Boat

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the ship and the cabin type that your opt for. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
Low Season
From $10,354 Per person
High Season
From $31,273 Per person

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?


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