Wrangel Island – Arctic Expedition Cruise

From US $11,200
© photo by Alex Terauds

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. Spread across this seemingly desolate rocky tundra, you’ll find more plant species than in the whole of the Canadian archipelago, one of the world’s largest breeding populations of polar bears, and the highest concentration of walruses on earth. 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.

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Our 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 Wrangel Island cruise is 56th Parallel’s most remote expedition. 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.

  • Itinerary
  • Inclusions
  • Departures
  • Accommodation
  • Map

Day 1: Welcome!

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.

Zodiac bird life discovery

Day 2: Zodiac bird life discovery

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.

Marine Discovery

Day 3: Marine Discovery

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.

Uelen village

Day 4: 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.

Wildlife Photoshoot

Day 5: Wildlife Photoshoot

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

Exploring Wrangel Island

Day 6-10: Exploring Wrangel Island

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

Walrus and wale watching

Day 11: Walrus and wale watching

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

Belaka Spit

Day 12: Belaka Spit

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.

Last bites of Wildlife

Day 13: Last bites of Wildlife

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.

Voyage back to Anadyr

Day 14: Voyage back to Anadyr

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

Goodby hugs

Day 15: Goodby hugs

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

  • What's included

  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation onboard of a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel
  • 3 daily meals onboard
  • All expeditions and shore excursions with professional leaders
  • Russian visa support letter
  • Not included

  • International flights (Private charter flight Nome to Anadyr to Nome can be arranged, see detailed itinerary)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Tips
  • Optional services
DatesAvailabilityPriceSingle sup. 
7 Aug - 21 Aug 2017
Guaranteed Departures
Available from US$ 11,200 n/a Reserve
21 Aug - 4 Sep 2017
Guaranteed Departures
Available form US $11,200 n/a Reserve

"Spirit of Enderby" expedition vessel

The Spirit of Enderby is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and is perfect for Expedition Travel. The vessel is perfect for expedition travel. It carries just 50 passengers in very comfortable accommodations with semi-private and private bath facilities. The galley includes top New Zealand and Australian chefs, who provide a touch of culinary class to remote expeditions. A combination bar and library lounge, as well as a dedicated lecture room, provide comfortable venues for those aboard to learn from naturalists and guides sailing with them.    

Make an enquiry Detailed itinerary

Trip Details

  • Trip Name: Wrangel Island – Arctic Expedition Cruise
  • Trip Code: WRA001
  • Trip Style: Expedition Cruise
  • Type: Scheduled ?
  • Duration: 15 days/14 nights
  • Arrival city: Anadyr
  • Departure city: Anadyr
  • Places visited: Chukotka, Wrangel Island, Herald Island, Russian Far East
  • Group size: Min 20 max 50
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