Chukotka and Wrangel Island
Chukotka and Wrangel Island 15 days aboard Spirit of Enderby
On this very special expedition you will travel to the wild and remote Chukotka region of the Russian Far East to explore its vast expansive tundra filled with wild flowers and dwarf tree species and home to brown bears, reindeer, Arctic Foxes, ground squirrels and an abundance of other wildlife and birdlife. You will have the chance to meet the people of the area; see and listen to their stories and learn of their love for and strong connection with the land and sea. We'll celebrate with them at their annual Regatta & Festival before travelling through the Bering Strait to the amazing wildlife reserve of Wrangel Island, a land of rich Arctic history and the home of polar bears and other abundant wildlife.
Note: you will need US$500 in cash for port fees on this expedition
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
- Spectacular wildlife including Polar bears, Brown bears and Arctic fox
- Birds and marine mammals
- Amazing Arctic scenery
- History and culture
- Transfers to and from ship on arrival and departure
- All meals on board
- All excursions shown in itinerary
- Expert lecture programme
ITINERARY14 Nights 15 Days
- Day 1 | Anadyr
- Day 2 | Egvikinot
- Day 3 | Konergino
- Day 4 | Presbazhenya Bay
- Day 5 | Whale Bone Alley and Gil’mimyl Hot Springs
- Day 6 | Cape Dezhnev
- Day 7 | At sea
- Days 8 - 10 | Wrangel Island
- Day 11 | At Sea
- Day 12 | Kolyuchin Island and Inlet
- Day 13 | Lavrentiya & the Beringia Festival
- Day 14 | At sea
- Day 15 | Anadyr
Arrive independently to Anadyr and join the transfer to the port to board your ship. After a warm welcome on board settle in to your home for the next 14 nights and join your expedition team on the bridge on the lookout for seabirds as your ship sets sail for your journey through Chukotka and Wrangel Island.
Your first day will be a day of local culture as we visit the town of Egvekinot on the shores of Kresta Bay. This small town was built by Gulag prisoners as a port to supply the rich Lul’tin mining complex some 200km inland, and they were then forced to construct a road to the mine. We explore the town which has an excellent museum and plan to travel by Ural to explore along the road towards Lul’tin and into the tundra to gain an appreciation of this unique Arctic landscape close to the Arctic Circle.
Across Kresta Bay from Egvekinot is the small reindeer herding village of Konergino where reindeer herding is still an important part of the indigenous people’s culture and economy. Today you will have the opportunity to meet the people of the area and get an introduction to and an opportunity to understand their way of life which has remained largely unchanged over the centuries and revolves around ‘brigades’ looking after large herds of reindeer out on the tundra.
Today we will be sailing along the beautiful south coast of Chukotka and there will be an opportunity to stop at Presbrazhenya Bay where we will Zodiac cruise under the spectacular bird cliffs of the area, providing exceptional photographic opportunities. There will also be a chance to land at a hunting camp at the nearby village of Nunligren.
Whale Bone Alley and Gil’mimyl Hot Springs
This morning we will visit the fascinating ‘Whale Bone Alley’ on Yttygran Island. This significant archaeological site dates back to the 14th century and its origins and purpose have been the cause of much debate. Whalebones stretch along the beach in the form of a pathway for nearly half a kilometre and the expert historians who will accompany you on your voyage will offer an insight into the area’s origins. As we explore the area we will keep an eye out for the Gray whales which often frequent the area and may have chance to take a Zodiac whale-watching excursion. In the afternoon we plan a landing at nearby Gil’mimyl Hot Springs.
If sea conditions permit, this morning we will attempt a landing at Cape Dezhnev. This remote outpost is the north-eastern most point of the Eurasian continent, and on a clear day it is sometimes possible to see the coast of America from here. In the afternoon we will visit the nearby former Inuit village of Naukan. In 1958 the inhabitants were relocated to nearby villages by the Soviet administration, but photographs and stories from our historians will make the site come alive.
As we navigate northwards towards Wrangel Island you can take the opportunity to relax and spend some time on deck looking for whales and seabirds. Ice conditions will determine our speed and course and will ultimately dictate whether we will actually be able to reach the island. At this time of year the chances are very good, but as with all Polar expedition sailing it is important to expect the unexpected.
The next few days may prove to be the highlight of your expedition as you get to explore the majesty of the Russian Federal Nature Reserve of Wrangel Island. Your exact itinerary here will be much dictated by ice and weather conditions, with your captain choosing the best course each day to make the most of all scenic and wildlife opportunities. Top of the list here will be searching for sightings of Polar bears, with Wrangel Island being a major Polar Bear denning area. With a little patience we should be rewarded with a number of encounters, and we may also get to see musk oxen and reindeers, which were introduced to the island in 1975 and 1948. Birding opportunities are also excellent here, and each summer thousands of birds migrate here to breed, including Snow Geese, Snowy Owls, skuas, Arctic Terns, Ross’s, Sabine and Ivory Gulls.
As well as wildlife encounters you may also have the chance to visit Dragi Harbour where the survivors of the Karluk which was crushed by ice in 1914 scrambled ashore and lived until they were rescued. The history experts accompanying you will keep you entertained with stories of the island’s past, and the nature experts will offer insight into the wild flowers and beautiful Arctic landscapes that you will see along the way.
Today will be spent onboard cruising south towards Kolyuchin Island. Spend some time relaxing in the ship’s bar, wildlife spotting on deck, editing the plethora of photographs you are bound to have taken so far or joining one of the fantastic lectures and presentations provided by your onboard history and nature experts.
Kolyuchin Island and Inlet
The next stop on our adventure will be Kolyuchin Island, which was once an important Russian Polar Research Station. We will visit the remnants of the station and learn about the history of the area, with time to explore the island’s spectacular bird cliffs where puffins, guillemots and gulls can be observed and photographed up close.
In the afternoon we will sail to nearby Kolyuchin inlet. So huge that it is visible from satellite photos,the inlet contains vast numbers of waterfowl and migratory waders. We concentrate our visit on the Belaka Spit near the mouth of the inlet. It is a wild, desolate landscape that is strangely beautiful. We search the dunes and tidal areas for birdlife including Emperor Geese and Spoon-billed Sandpipers. Gray Whales frequent the area and are sometimes spotted feeding only metres offshore.
Lavrentiya & the Beringia Festival
Today presents a unique and unrivalled opportunity to get to the very heart and soul of the people of Chukotka, their culture and their land. Meet the locals, see and listen to their stories and learn of their love for and strong connection with the land and sea as you attend the annual Beringia Regatta and Festival. We plan to be here for the first day of the festival which includes whaleboat and 'baidara' (traditional walrus skin covered boats) races as well as cultural performances. It is one of the most colourful festivals in the Chukotka calendar and attracts people from all around the region. There will be a range of activities at the Regatta and Festival and local foods for you to sample as you enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.
We are at sea today as we make our way back to Anadyr and the conclusion of this special Chukotka expedition. We will take the opportunity to recap the many experiences we have enjoyed. Our special guest lecturers will give their last presentations and we will enjoy a farewell dinner together.
Arrival back in Anadyr signals the end of our expedition. In the morning you will disembark and join a transfer to the airport or to a central hotel.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
What a great trip! Wildfoot built a great trip for us and every aspect was spot on. Our Iguazu guide was fun, interesting and helpful and all the transfers were timely and comfortable. The Antarctica Trip was superb - WIldfoot had given us the best advice and helped us choose the right ship and tour for what we wanted - A truly memorable Experience Thank You Wildfoot
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