Waterproof Cruises

Wrangel Island & Chukotka Coast

This unique expedition cruise crosses the Arctic Circle and includes the isolated and pristine Wrangel and Herald Islands and a significant section of the wild North Eastern Siberian coastline.

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Expedition Cruise to the far north east corner of Russia

To Wrangel Island, Herald Island and Chukotka Coast

This unique expedition cruise will explore the remote Chukotka Coastline and crosses the Bering Strait to the isolated Wrangel Island Nature Reserve, the largest polar bear (and pacific walrus) breeding grounds in the world. Voyages into the Russian High Arctic have only been possible since recent years due to looser travel restrictions and the retreat of summer pack ice in the Chukchi Sea. This allows us to explore one of the last great wilderness areas in the world.

The voyage takes you through the narrow Bering Strait and then west along the Chukotka coastline before crossing the icy waters towards Wrangel Island. We will spend four to five days exploring the islands under the guidance of local rangers. Wrangel Island was untouched by glaciers during the last ice age and the landscape here is called 'mammoth steppe', with complex vegetation leading back to the Pleistocene epoch. But it's the treasure trove of Arctic biodiversity that never fails to astound visitors, with the large number of polar bears as an indisputable highlight. We hope to spot this beautiful animal on various occassions. The island is also home to the world's largest population of pacific walrus, which we almost certain will see here.
The waters in this area are an important feeding ground for grey whales that migrate all the way north from their breeding grounds in Baja, Mexico. Reindeer, musk ox and snow geese are often spotted on land, and we also plan to visit the massive bird cliffs on nearby Herald Island.

Our expert expedition team will take you on guided walks, zodiac cruises and provide lectures to help you better understand and appreciate this unique high Arctic destination. Be prepared for an incredible combination of local culture and spectacular wildlife!

This is a sample itinerary. We do our utmost to guarantee the best experience, unfortunately we have no control over the weather or wildlife behaviour. Ports of embarkation and disembarkation and sites may change depending on vessel and departure dates, weather- and ice conditions.

  • The eastern edge of the continent

    Depending on the departure and ship of your choice the voyage will either start in Nome (Alaska) or in Anadyr (Russia). When departing from Nome, the first day will be spend crossing the Berring Sea before reaching the coast of Russia's Chukotka region. Out at sea we hope to see grey whales, and possibly also beluga whales!
    The first days of our expedition will be filled with landings along the eastern edge of the continent. We might visit some traditional Chukchi villages where you can expect a warm welcome with traditional dance and a taste of local delicacies. It is a great chance to experience the life of the reindeer herders and fishermen that live in these Russian outposts.
    We will pass Cape Dezhnev, the north-eastern most point of the Eurasia, which realy feels like the edge of the earth. From here on, we will continue our journey north towards Arctic.

  • Wrangel Island & Herald Island

    We expect to encounter sea ice when headed for Wrangel Island which might influence how much time we can spend exploring the island. There are many great landing sites here and together with local ranger, our guides and captain will do their utmost to ensure the best experience. Wrangel Island and nearby Herald Island are an important Russian Federal Nature Reserve, particularly as it is a major Polar Bear denning area.
    Polar bears will be high on our list, and out here the chances of sighting them are really good! In the past we have sometimes spotted over ten polar bears at once, while zodiac cruising along the shore. We might also search for them in the pack ice or along the shores where we will also look for ringed seals and walrus. In summer the island is home to thousands of birds that migrate here to breed, including Snow Geese, Snowy Owls, skuas, Arctic Terns, Ross’s, Sabine and Ivory Gulls. Great sightings for birders!
    When there are no polar bears around we can go ashore for a hike in search of musk oxen, reindeer and arctic foxes. The landscape of Wrangel Island doesn't only look prehistoric, fossils of ancient woolly mammoth have been found here in various locations.

  • North Siberian Coast

    North Siberian Coast
    Large parts of the northern shoreline are lined by narrow sand ridges that seperate the many lagoons and inlets from the sea. This offers us great places for landings where we can search for walrus, whales and other arctic wildlife. Even out here there are some small Chukchi villages whose residents hunt seals and whales to survive in this unforgiving climate.
    Weather permitting we will land on Kolyuchin Island, situated at mouth of Kolyuchin Inlet which is so large that it can be seen from space. On the island we'll find an abandoned meteorological station and some spectacular bird cliffs where puffins, guillemots and gulls are found nesting. The tidal estuary of the inlet also hosts vast numbers of birds, from yellowbilled loons to endemic emperor geese and even spoon-billed sandpipers. Grey whales are sometimes spotted only metres off the shore here. And when you look closely, this desolate landscape also reveils some remains of dwelling mounds and graves of past inhabitants.

Dates & Rates

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Call us today on +31 (0) 858 771 583