The Northern Sea Route - Eastbound:

North East Passage

The Northern Sea Route - Eastbound: North East Passage

DAYS 27 / SHIP Akademik Shokalskiy

DEPARTURES 23 Aug 2020

PLACES VISITED Chukotka / Wrangel Island

PRICES FROM $21,900 USD (More Rates)

THE NORTHERN SEA ROUTE
A SPECIAL 27-DAY EXPEDITION ALONG THE NORTHEAST PASSAGE

The allure of the mysterious Northeast Passage has captivated adventurers for centuries. Its Russian-controlled waters are steeped in history and mystery, while abundant wildlife is found along its remote shores. Only a handful of passenger vessels have ever completed a transit of this waterway, but recent changes in the summer sea ice conditions mean that it is now possible for a brief time each summer. In 2017, we fulfilled our long held ambition of completing a successful Northeast Passage double transit. We are excited to once again be running this geographical odyssey from Anadyr to Murmansk in 2020. Join us as we trace the route of legendary Polar explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiold, navigate narrow fiords, search for unique wildlife, glimpse into the past and experience the warmth of Arctic hospitality in local villages.

Having been sought for centuries by European explorers who hypothesised upon its presence and economic benefits, The Great Northern Expedition of 1733-43, sponsored by Peter the Great, made many significant discoveries, but also revealed the route was not an economic trading proposition. It wasn't until 1878-1880 that Swedish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiold completed the first ever transit proving that the route was navigable, albeit with some difficulty. In 1914-15 Boris Vil'kitskiy, with the icebreakers Taymyr and Vaygach, made the second transit of the Northern Sea Route as part of a major push by the Imperial Russian Navy to render it navigable for strategic purposes. In 1932 the Northern Sea Route Administration was established by the Soviet Union.

The vast shallow waters north of Russia, protected by the expansive sea ice that covers the region for most of the year, are a refuge for many Arctic species, Polar Bears roam throughout but there are especially large concentrations on the reserves of Wrangel Island and Franz Josef Land. During our voyage we travel through the ranges of the Pacific, Laptev and Atlantic Walrus and there is the opportunity to encounter these iconic tooth walkers in large haul outs. The triumvirate of Arctic gulls - Ivory, Sabine's and the elusive Ross's Gulls all breed on the shores of the Northeast Passage and there are good opportunities to see all three. While Bowhead, Beluga and Narwhal Whales all call these waters home and our naturalists will be keeping close watch.

Venture ashore on some of the least known and seldom visited shores on the planet, Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago was the last major group of islands on earth to be discovered, the New Siberian Islands offer a wealth of opportunities for discovery. Sailing the mythical waters of Chukchi, East Siberian, Laptev, Kara & Barents Sea this is truly a geographic odyssey.

Our vessels were built for navigating passages like this, with Akademik Shokalskiy participating in a Soviet Convoy in the late 1980s, and in 2017 transiting the passage twice unassisted with Heritage Expeditions. We invite you to join us on an historic journey to discover High Arctic landscapes that few people have witnessed, enjoy wildlife and wilderness experiences that until now have been the preserve of a few High Arctic explorers and researchers.

THE NORTHERN SEA ROUTE
A SPECIAL 27-DAY EXPEDITION ALONG THE NORTHEAST PASSAGE

The allure of the mysterious Northeast Passage has captivated adventurers for centuries. Its Russian-controlled waters are steeped in history and mystery, while abundant wildlife is found along its remote shores. Only a handful of passenger vessels have ever completed a transit of this waterway, but recent changes in the summer sea ice conditions mean that it is now possible for a brief time each summer. In 2017, we fulfilled our long held ambition of completing a successful Northeast Passage double transit. We are excited to once again be running this geographical odyssey from Anadyr to Murmansk in 2020. Join us as we trace the route of legendary Polar explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiold, navigate narrow fiords, search for unique wildlife, glimpse into the past and experience the warmth of Arctic hospitality in local villages.

Having been sought for centuries by European explorers who hypothesised upon its presence and economic benefits, The Great Northern Expedition of 1733-43, sponsored by Peter the Great, made many significant discoveries, but also revealed the route was not an economic trading proposition. It wasn't until 1878-1880 that Swedish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiold completed the first ever transit proving that the route was navigable, albeit with some difficulty. In 1914-15 Boris Vil'kitskiy, with the icebreakers Taymyr and Vaygach, made the second transit of the Northern Sea Route as part of a major push by the Imperial Russian Navy to render it navigable for strategic purposes. In 1932 the Northern Sea Route Administration was established by the Soviet Union.

The vast shallow waters north of Russia, protected by the expansive sea ice that covers the region for most of the year, are a refuge for many Arctic species, Polar Bears roam throughout but there are especially large concentrations on the reserves of Wrangel Island and Franz Josef Land. During our voyage we travel through the ranges of the Pacific, Laptev and Atlantic Walrus and there is the opportunity to encounter these iconic tooth walkers in large haul outs. The triumvirate of Arctic gulls - Ivory, Sabine's and the elusive Ross's Gulls all breed on the shores of the Northeast Passage and there are good opportunities to see all three. While Bowhead, Beluga and Narwhal Whales all call these waters home and our naturalists will be keeping close watch.

Venture ashore on some of the least known and seldom visited shores on the planet, Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago was the last major group of islands on earth to be discovered, the New Siberian Islands offer a wealth of opportunities for discovery. Sailing the mythical waters of Chukchi, East Siberian, Laptev, Kara & Barents Sea this is truly a geographic odyssey.

Our vessels were built for navigating passages like this, with Akademik Shokalskiy participating in a Soviet Convoy in the late 1980s, and in 2017 transiting the passage twice unassisted with Heritage Expeditions. We invite you to join us on an historic journey to discover High Arctic landscapes that few people have witnessed, enjoy wildlife and wilderness experiences that until now have been the preserve of a few High Arctic explorers and researchers.

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2019 ITINERARY
The Northern Sea Route - Eastbound: North East Passage
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Day 1: Murmansk
Join your ship and depart. After sailing there will be introductions to ship and crew.

Days 2 to 3: Barents Sea
The Barents Sea was named in honour of Dutch seafarer and navigator, Willem Barents, who explored this region on expeditions in 1594 and 1596. As we move northwards opportunities for spotting Humpback Whales and Harp Seals that feed in these waters increase.

Days 4 to 6: Franz Josef Land
This huge archipelago of 192 islands located only 10 degrees from the North Pole offers numerous locations to explore. Close to the permanent ice of the Arctic Ocean and accessible to the rich waters of the Atlantic gifts these waters with diverse and abundant marine life. The islands have a fascinating and rich record of exploration, scientific research and habitation. Landings planned including Cape Triest on Alger Island where the famous ‘Devil’s Marbles’ (spherical geodes) dot the landscape, Cape Flora on Northbrook Island where the remains of three historic expeditions are found in close proximity and Tikhaya Bay on Hooker Island where the numbers of guillemots and kittiwakes on the columnar cliffs of Rubini Rock are unforgettable. We also plan to visit Cape Tegetthoff where a healthy population of Polar Bears lives. There are good chances to spot Beluga and Bowhead Whales and if we are fortunate we may find Narwhal.

Days 7 to 8: Kara Sea
Lying between Novaya Zemlaya, Franz Josef Land and the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago the Kara Sea is generally considered to be the coldest sea in Russia. Ostrov Vize is along our route to Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago, we will look to make a landing on the island, conditions permitting.

Days 9 to 11: Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago
The Severnaya Zemlya Islands are on the border of the Kara and Laptev Seas and are an extension of the Taymyr Peninsula. These islands were not discovered until 1914-15, with the three largest heavily glaciated with deep fiords and majestic tidewater glaciers regularly calving icebergs. We aim to visit a colony of Ivory Gulls.

Days 12 to 13: Laptev Sea
This sea is bounded by the Taymyr Peninsula, the Severnaya Islands in the west and the Novosibirskie Islands in the east. We will explore the Taymyr Peninsula, Laptev Sea Walrus are only found in this area and we will be on the lookout for haulouts to photograph. We may also spot the lesser known Taymyr form of Herring Gull.

Days 14 to 15: Noviye Sebirskiye (New Siberian Islands)
These islands, which consist of three major groups – Southern, Central (Anzhu) and Northern (De Long), mark the border between the Laptev and East Siberian Seas. We have allowed two days for exploring this remarkable yet seldom visited archipelago, conditions permitting we hope to have the opportunity to visit each group.

Day 16: East Siberian Sea
It was in this sea that the Jeanette, captained by George Washington De Long, became stuck fast and was crushed by ice in 1879. Wreckage from the Jeanette found in Greenland in 1884 gave Nansen the idea for the now famous 1893-96 Fram Expedition drifting across the Arctic Ocean.

Day 17: Medvezhyi Islands
Today we will explore the little known and seldom visited Medvezhyi Islands (Bear Islands), an archipelago of five granitic islands. The islands have a sizeable population of Polar Bears which den on these shores over winter. A landing on the island of Chetyrekhstolbovoy offers the opportunity to hike to the unusual rock ‘pillows’ which the island is named after. On Pushkareva Island investigate the old lighthouse or enjoy the Arctic flowers that cover the expansive tundra.

Day 18: Ayon Island
The Chukchi people that call this island home are reindeer herders and hunters. We will enjoy the warm hospitality of the local people as we learn about life on this remote island.

Day 19: East Siberian Sea
This sea is defined by the Novosibirskie Islands in the west and Wrangel Island to the east, along its southern shores are three of Siberia’s major rivers, the Indigirka, Alazaya and the Kolyma. We will lookout for walrus and Bowhead Whales.

Days 20 to 22: Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island is a Federal Nature Reserve and World Heritage Site of international significance. It is a major Polar Bear denning area and one of the few areas of the Arctic to not be glaciated during recent glacial episodes. It is sometimes referred to as a Polar Bear maternity ward on account of the large numbers of cubs born here. There are numerous other Arctic species which we will be looking for including Musk Ox, Arctic Fox, Snow Geese and the Snowy Owls which breed here annually. The diversity of tundra flora is exceptional and during walks ashore we should see the last flowers of summer.

Day 23: Kolyuchin Island
Today we plan to land on Kolyuchin Island, although we will be visiting after the peak of the breeding season, there should still be large numbers of Tufted and Horned Puffins, Brunnich’s and Common Guillemots and Black-legged Kittiwakes. There may also be an opportunity to Zodiac cruise around the base of the cliffs where there are excellent photographic opportunities. Humpback and Bowhead Whales have been seen in this area previously.

Day 24: Cape Dezhnev and Uelen Village
This morning we will enjoy the hospitality of the local people in the village of Uelen who are predominantly Chukchi. Our visit will include a cultural performance and visit to the famous bone-carving studio and museum. In the afternoon, we visit Cape Dezhnev, the eastern extremity of the Eurasian continent. The Bering Strait is a vitally important migratory pathway, we may see flocks of King, Common and Spectacled Eiders passing south.

Day 25: Whale Bone Alley and Gil’mimyl Hot Springs
Whale Bone Alley on Yttygran Island is one of the most significant and intriguing archaeological sites in the Arctic. The waters nearby remain rich feeding grounds for whales, weather permitting we will look to take the Zodiacs in search of Gray Whales and walrus. We also plan a landing at the Gil’mimyl Hot Springs, Sandhill Cranes usually breed in the area.

Day 26: Preobrazhnaya Bay
Crossing the Gulf of Anadyr there will be opportunities for wildlife watching. We plan to explore the magnificent coastal cliffs of Preobrazhnaya Bay by Zodiac, home to an abundance of seabirds including Brunnich’s Guillemot, Crested and Parakeet Auklets, plus Tufted and Horned Puffins.

Day 27: Anadyr
The expedition finishes in Anadyr. After a final breakfast it will be time to disembark. There will be a complimentary transfer to the airport or to a central downtown hotel. Important Notes: These expeditions are subject to approval from various Russian Federal and Regional Authorities and may have to change depending on these approvals. Permits have been lodged for all the sites mentioned in the itinerary, depending on approvals these may have to be amended or substituted. We will endeavour to keep participants fully informed of any changes in the itinerary as and when they occur. Enquire for a full itinerary. NB: Voyage #2029 runs in reverse.

Our ship: Akademik Shokalskiy

Akademik Shokalskiy is the sister ship to the Spirit of Enderby (Professor Khromov). They were both built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and, being fully ice-strengthened, they are perfect for expedition travel. She carries just 48 passengers and provides comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outsid...

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Pricing

The Northern Sea Route - Eastbound - 23 Aug 2020 to 18 Sep 2020 - Akademik Shokalskiy

Cabin Category Price USD Description Availablity
Main Deck $21,900 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private washbasin. Shared shower and toilet facilities nearby with other Main Deck cabins. These cabins have a porthole. Available
Superior $23,900 One bunk (one upper and one lower berth), writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Waitlisted
Superior Plus $26,900 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Limited
Mini Suite $27,900 Separate bedroom with a double bed and a single bed or sofa in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Mini Suites have windows. Waitlisted
Heritage Suite $29,900 Large lounge area, separate bedroom with double bed, single bed in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe, drawers, and fridge. There is a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Large forward and side facing windows with great views. Waitlisted
Additional fees

Local Payment: $500.00pp

Includes:

Pre/Post cruise transfers, all on board ship accommodation with meals and all expedition shore excursions.

Excludes:

All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities. International/domestic flights, visas and travel insurance.

Private charter flight from Anadyr to Nome US$1,300pp

#2031 Eastbound
Murmansk to Nome
23rd August to 17th September 2020

Murmansk to Anadyr
23rd August to 18th September 2020

 

Trip Reports

Looking for a taste of what you can expect on our expeditions or want to relive your voyage? Our Trip Reports offer a detailed, day-by-day account of all of our previous expeditions tracking the voyage route and highlighting the numerous wildlife and cultural encounters experienced along the way.

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What out travelers are saying:

May I say that I was very impressed by the professionalism and organisation of your company and the quality of the brochure and the information contained within it. READ MORE
SERGIO
A big Thank You to Rodney and staff and crew for a fantastic trip to Wrangel and North Eastern Siberia. Amazing wildlife and fascinating culture in an area that get very few visitors. Everything was run very professionally by Rodney and his staff and crew. Already looking forward to my next trip with Heritage... READ MORE
GEIR ULSTEIN

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The Northern Sea Route - Eastbound

➞ View all The Northern Sea Route - Eastbound posts

27 Oct 2017
The recent 'Northern Sea Route' #1736 expedition aboard 'Akademik Shokalskiy' has concluded. The Species List for this voyage is now available thro...READ MORE
04 Oct 2017
When Heritage Expeditions' Vessel, the Akademik Shokalskiy, berthed in the Russian Port of Anadyr on Monday 24th September, it had made history.  I...READ MORE
02 Oct 2017
Just in case you needed another reason to come and explore Wrangel Island with us, Rodney Russ and 50 eager expeditioners spot 230 Polar Bears feas...READ MORE
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