Wrangel Island, Russian Arctic expedition cruise

© Photo by A.Terauds

Wrangel Island - one of the world’s largest breeding populations of polar bears, and the highest concentration of walruses on earth.

140km off the northeast coast of Siberia, Wrangel Island is separated from northern Alaska by the Chukchi Sea. For 10 frozen months of the year, this lonely wilderness is completely cut off from the outside world. Reaching Wrangel and braving its polar climate is not for the faint of heart. Only the most dedicated nature lovers make the journey – but the rewards are without equal.  There is simply no better destination on to meet the wild denizens of the Arctic, up-close, virtually undisturbed by human interference, and in numbers that will simply astound you.

The Wrangel Island voyage aboard a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel begins by making its way through the narrow Bering Strait, separating Russia from the United States. We then travel west along the Chukotka coastline before crossing the De Long Strait to Wrangel Island. Our four to five days on Wrangel (weather depending) and nearby Herald Island will be spent tracking polar bears and other wildlife against a backdrop of wildflowers and the surprisingly varied landscapes of summer in the High Arctic. The return journey will pass by mile-after-mile of untouched wilderness along the North Siberian coast, a veritable paradise for birdwatchers. Finally, we return to the Bering Sea, where pods of grey and minke whales will hopefully escort us back to our starting and finishing point in the Bay of Anadyr.

The vast distances and unpredictable weather present their own unique challenges for tour guests, but for the dedicated wildlife lover, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to commune with nature on its own terms.

15 days
Make an enquiry Detailed Itinerary






Expedition vessel


Action rating

Group size

15 days / 14 nights


Min 20 max 50

Itinerary View map

Day 1:Anadyr

Welcome to Anadyr, the administrative centre of Chukotka and the easternmost town of Russia. Board our expedition vessel and get acquainted with the guests and crew.

Day 2:Anadyrsky Bay

At sea today, we’ll have a chance for some bird and cetacean watching as we settle into ship life. An afternoon Zodiac boat cruise is planned to some spectacular bird cliffs in Preobrazheniya Bay.

Day 3:Yttygran, Nuneangan and Arakamchechen Islands

Today we round the Yttygran, Nuneangan and the Arakamchechen Islands, looking out for grey whales and walruses. Stopping at Yttygran, we explore the monumental ancient aboriginal site known as Whale Bone Alley.

Day 4:Cape Dezhnev and Uelen village

Conditions permitting, we land at Cape Dezhnev, the north eastern most point of the Eurasian continent. Here we visit Uelen village to learn about the lifestyles of the indigenous Chukchi people.

Day 5:Kolyuchin Island

Visit Kolyuchin Island, once an important Russian Polar Research Station. Near the derelict buildings are magnificent bird cliffs where puffins, guillemots and gulls can be photographed up close

Day 6-10:Wrangel and Herald Islands

Depending on ice and weather, we’ll have up to 5 days exploring Wrangel and nearby Herald Island on foot and via the Zodiac tenders. Polar bears will be high on our list of animals to observe, and we may also be rewarded with sightings of walrus, musk ox, reindeer and Arctic fox

Day 11:North Siberian Coast

Tracing the north Siberian coast, we’ll stay on the alert for whales, walrus and other wildlife. See Chukchi villages whose residents survive the unforgiving climate, hunting marine mammals as their ancestors did

Day 12:Kolyuchin Inlet

Stop near the mouth of the massive Kolyuchin Inlet to visit the wild, rugged Belaka Spit. Search the dunes and tidal areas for birdlife and look out for feeding grey whales sometimes spotted only metres off shore.

Day 13:Bering Strait and Chukotka Coast

By early morning we will pass the Diomede Islands. Here Russia and America are separated by only 2.3 nautical miles of ocean. Later this afternoon we make an expedition landing on the Chukotka coast, our last chance to enjoy the wildlife and tundra landscape.

Day 14:Anadyrsky Bay

Relax and enjoy onboard activities and natural history lectures as we sail across the Anadyrsky Bay towards Anadyr.

Day 15:Anadyr

Our incredible journey complete, we dock at the port of Anadyr. After a farewell breakfast, transfer to the airport or your hotel in town



Accommodation onboard of a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel


3 daily meals onboard


Airport arrival and departure transfers


All expeditions and shore excursions with professional leaders

Activities and sights

  • wildlife watching: polar bears, yaks, reindeer, foxes; different kinds of birds, including Snow Geese, Snowy Owls, skuas, Arctic Terns, Ross’s, Sabine and Ivory Gulls; and marine wildlife: walruses, sea lions, otters etc
  • cultural immersion, visiting native people in Uelen Village
  • guided shore excursions and zodiac boat tours
  • onboard lectures


Russian visa support documents

*Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for comprehensive visa service here.

Not included

Flights, travel insurance, visa, optional excursions, individual transfers, tips

Additions and extensions:

  • Overland Traverse exclusive extension (US $1,450 pp)
  • Local payment (US $500pp)

Dates & Prices

DatesAvailabilityPriceSingle sup. 
6 Aug - 20 Aug 2018
Guaranteed Departures
Sold out US $10,500 n/a
20 Aug - 3 Sep 2018
Guaranteed Departures
Sold out US $10,500 n/a
5 Aug - 19 Aug 2019
Guaranteed Departures
Available US $11,025 contact us Reserve
19 Aug - 2 Sep 2019
Guaranteed Departures
Available US $11,025 contact us Reserve
15 days
Make an enquiry Detailed Itinerary
15 days
Make an enquiry Detailed Itinerary

If you have any urgent questions or enquiries, please give us a call +61 2 9388 9816