Across the Top of the World:

Wrangel Island

Across the Top of the World: Wrangel Island

DAYS 15 / SHIP Akademik Shokalskiy / Spirit of Enderby

DEPARTURES 13 Jul 2020 / 3 Aug 2020 / 17 Aug 2020

PLACES VISITED Chukotka / Wrangel Island

PRICES FROM $9,000 USD (More Rates)

This unique expedition 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. It is a journey only made possible in recent years by the thawing in the politics of the region and the retreat of summer pack ice in the Chukchi Sea. The very small distance between Russia and the USA along this border area was known as the Ice Curtain, behind which, then and now, lies one of the last great undiscovered wilderness areas in the world.

The voyage journeys through the narrow Bering Strait, which separates Russia from the United States of America, and then travels west along the Chukotka coastline before crossing the De Long Strait to Wrangel Island. There we will spend four to five days under the guidance of local rangers on the nature reserve. Untouched by glaciers during the last ice age, this island is a treasure trove of Arctic biodiversity and is perhaps best known for the multitude of Polar Bears that breed here. We hope to catch many glimpses of this beautiful animal. The island also boasts the world's largest population of Pacific Walrus and lies near major feeding grounds for the Gray Whales that migrate thousands of kilometres north from their breeding grounds in Baja, Mexico. Reindeer, Musk Oxen and Snow Geese can normally be seen further inland. A visit to massive bird cliffs on nearby Herald Island is also planned. The ‘mammoth steppe' vegetation complex, a rich and diverse relic from the Pleistocene epoch nurtures over 400 plant species and never fails to astound visitors with its sublime beauty. The number and type of endemic plant species, the diversity within plant communities, the presence of relatively recent mammoth tusks and skulls, a range of terrain types and geological formations in the small geographical space are all visible evidence of Wrangel's rich natural history and its unique evolutionary status within the Arctic.

The human history of Wrangel Island is fascinating in its own right. Highlights include a 3,400 year old Paleo-Eskimo camp in Krassin Bay, controversy over discovery and ownership of the island, the amazing story of the survivors of the Karluk, Ada Blackjack the heroine of the island, the Soviet occupation and militarisation and, more recently, the establishment of this world class nature reserve. A host of similarly enthralling stories hail from several optional landings along the northern coasts of Chukotka. 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 landscape.

Exclusive Overland Experience - explore the interior of Wrangel Island by six-wheel Tundra vehicle, exclusive to Heritage Expeditions. The High Arctic environment that few people experience is now accessible on this 3 day- 2 night extension. You will travel by special tundra buggy, camp in field huts and enjoy wildlife encounters and photographic opportunities that professionals dream about. Read more here.

This unique expedition 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. It is a journey only made possible in recent years by the thawing in the politics of the region and the retreat of summer pack ice in the Chukchi Sea. The very small distance between Russia and the USA along this border area was known as the Ice Curtain, behind which, then and now, lies one of the last great undiscovered wilderness areas in the world.

The voyage journeys through the narrow Bering Strait, which separates Russia from the United States of America, and then travels west along the Chukotka coastline before crossing the De Long Strait to Wrangel Island. There we will spend four to five days under the guidance of local rangers on the nature reserve. Untouched by glaciers during the last ice age, this island is a treasure trove of Arctic biodiversity and is perhaps best known for the multitude of Polar Bears that breed here. We hope to catch many glimpses of this beautiful animal. The island also boasts the world's largest population of Pacific Walrus and lies near major feeding grounds for the Gray Whales that migrate thousands of kilometres north from their breeding grounds in Baja, Mexico. Reindeer, Musk Oxen and Snow Geese can normally be seen further inland. A visit to massive bird cliffs on nearby Herald Island is also planned. The ‘mammoth steppe' vegetation complex, a rich and diverse relic from the Pleistocene epoch nurtures over 400 plant species and never fails to astound visitors with its sublime beauty. The number and type of endemic plant species, the diversity within plant communities, the presence of relatively recent mammoth tusks and skulls, a range of terrain types and geological formations in the small geographical space are all visible evidence of Wrangel's rich natural history and its unique evolutionary status within the Arctic.

The human history of Wrangel Island is fascinating in its own right. Highlights include a 3,400 year old Paleo-Eskimo camp in Krassin Bay, controversy over discovery and ownership of the island, the amazing story of the survivors of the Karluk, Ada Blackjack the heroine of the island, the Soviet occupation and militarisation and, more recently, the establishment of this world class nature reserve. A host of similarly enthralling stories hail from several optional landings along the northern coasts of Chukotka. 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 landscape.

Exclusive Overland Experience - explore the interior of Wrangel Island by six-wheel Tundra vehicle, exclusive to Heritage Expeditions. The High Arctic environment that few people experience is now accessible on this 3 day- 2 night extension. You will travel by special tundra buggy, camp in field huts and enjoy wildlife encounters and photographic opportunities that professionals dream about. Read more here.

READ LESS

Send a message to an
Expedition Specialist:

DOWNLOAD
Expedition Brochure
2019 ITINERARY
Across the Top of the World: Wrangel Island
Expand All

Day 0: Nome
For those departing Nome, Alaska, your adventure begins with a flight across the Bering Sea and International Date Line to the remote port of Anadyr.

Day 1: Anadyr
All expedition members will arrive in Anadyr; depending on your time of arrival you may have the opportunity to explore Anadyr, before getting to know your fellow voyagers and expedition team on board the ship. We will depart when everybody is on board.

Day 2: Anadyrskiy Bay
At sea today, there will be some briefings and lectures it is also a chance for some ‘birding’ cetacean watching and settling into ship life. Late this afternoon we plan to Zodiac cruise some spectacular bird cliffs in Preobrazheniya Bay.

Day 3: Yttygran, Nuneangan and Arakamchechen Islands
Yttygran Island is home to the monumental ancient aboriginal site known as Whale Bone Alley, where whale bones stretch along the beach for nearly half a kilometre. Gray Whales are frequently seen around the island, we will also cruise by Nuneangan and Arakamchechen Islands where seabirds nest and walrus can be found.

Day 4: Cape Dezhnev and Uelen Village
Sea conditions permitting, we will land at Cape Dezhnev early this morning. The north-eastern most point of the Eurasian continent, it is sometimes possible to see the coast of America from this remote and lonely outpost. A few nautical miles to the west of Cape Dezhnev we visit Uelen Village the most north-eastern village in Russia. The population is predominantly Chukchi and the village is one of the largest centres for traditional Chukchi and Inuit art in the world. We’ll be entertained by villagers and visit the bone-carving workshop during our visit.

Day 5: Kolyuchin Island
This small island was once an important Russian Polar Research Station and one of a number dotted across the Arctic. Near the derelict buildings are some of the most spectacular bird cliffs in the Arctic, where puffins, guillemots and gulls can be observed and photographed up close.

Days 6 to 10: Wrangel and Herald Islands
Ice and weather conditions permitting, we will spend the next few days on Wrangel Island and we will also attempt to include a visit to nearby Herald Island. There are many landings that we can make to search out wildlife, wild flowers and Arctic landscapes. Polar Bears will be high on our list of animals to see and with a little patience we should be rewarded with a number of encounters. Musk Oxen and reindeer were introduced to the island in 1975 and 1948 though reindeer numbers are low. We also have a 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. Wrangel Island is a Russian Federal Nature Reserve of international significance and importance particularly as it is a major Polar Bear denning area. Also each summer thousands of birds migrate here to breed, including Snow Geese, Snowy Owls, skuas, Arctic Terns, Ross’s, Sabine and Ivory Gulls.

Day 11: North Siberian Coast
Bounded by narrow sand ridges with numerous lagoons and inlets, this area offers plenty of places to land and explore this extensive coastline. We will be on the lookout for whales, walrus and other wildlife. We will see Chukchi villages whose residents survive in an unforgiving climate, hunting seals and whales just as their ancestors did.

Day 12: Kolyuchin Inlet
So huge that it is visible from satellite photos, this 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.

Day 13: Bering Strait and Chukotka Coast
Early morning we will pass the Diomede Islands, sometimes called Tomorrow Island and Yesterday Isle because they straddle the International Date Line. Here Russia and America are separated by only 2.3 nautical miles of ocean. We will remain in Russian territory as we cruise south past the islands. Later this afternoon we make an expedition landing on the Chukotka coast, our last chance to enjoy the wildlife and tundra landscape.

Day 14: At Sea
Relax as we sail across Anadyrskiy Bay towards Anadyr.

Day 15: Anadyr
After breakfast it will be time to say our farewells. There will be a complimentary transfer to the airport or to a central downtown hotel. Enquire for a full itinerary.

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...

VIEW SHIP PROFILE

Our ship: Spirit of Enderby

The Spirit of Enderby (Professor Khromov) is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and is perfect for Expedition Travel. She carries just 50 passengers and was refurbished in May 2019 to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows o...

VIEW SHIP PROFILE

Pricing

Across the Top of the World - 13 Jul 2020 to 27 Jul 2020 - Akademik Shokalskiy

Cabin Category Price USD Description Availablity
Main Deck Triple $9,000 Has one bunk (one upper and one lower) and one lower berth, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and wash basin. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main Deck cabins. Waitlisted
Main Deck $10,000 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 $11,000 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 $12,000 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Waitlisted
Mini Suite $12,500 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 $13,300 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, 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 Nome to Anadyr to Nome US$2,000pp

Voyage #2027
Nome to Nome
#2027 12th to 26th July 2020
Anadyr to Anadyr
#2027 13th to 27th July 2020

 

Across the Top of the World - 3 Aug 2020 to 17 Aug 2020 - Spirit of Enderby

Cabin Category Price USD Description Availablity
Main Deck Triple $9,000 Has one bunk (one upper and one lower) and one lower berth, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and wash basin. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main Deck cabins. Limited
Main Deck $10,000 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 $11,000 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 $12,000 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Limited
Mini Suite $12,500 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 $13,300 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, 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 Nome to Anadyr to Nome US$2,000pp
Overland Traverse US$1,450pp

Voyage #2009
Nome to Nome
#2009 2nd to 16th August 2020
Anadyr to Anadyr
#2009 3rd to 17th August 2020

 

Across the Top of the World - 17 Aug 2020 to 31 Aug 2020 - Spirit of Enderby

Cabin Category Price USD Description Availablity
Main Deck Triple $9,000 Has one bunk (one upper and one lower) and one lower berth, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and wash basin. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main Deck cabins. Waitlisted
Main Deck $10,000 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 $11,000 One bunk (one upper and one lower berth), writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Available
Superior Plus $12,000 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Available
Mini Suite $12,500 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. Available
Heritage Suite $13,300 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. Available
Additional fees

Local Payment: $500.00pp

Includes:

Pre/post cruise transfers, all on board ship accommodation, 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 Nome to Anadyr to Nome US$2,000pp
Overland Traverse US$1,450pp

Voyage #2011
Nome to Nome
#2011 16th to 30th August 2020
Anadyr to Anadyr
#2011 17th to 31st August 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.

READ MORE

What out travelers are saying:

It was a good trip and we saw lots of Polar Bears - I think the ship count was 190. The staff on the ship were wonderful and took good care of us. READ MORE
HELEN
We once again want to thank you for the great experience on our Across the Top of the World expedition. We had a marvellous time and were well looked after - both in hospitality and Polar Bears. READ MORE
JOHN
This was my second expedition under Rodney's leadership (also Kamchatka 2011). It was a fascinating trip. The guides were excellent during outings and in lecture mode. The sea ice hues, influenced by varying weather and light conditions, were spectacular. The ship staff constantly and consistently adapted activities to fit nature's whims. This is a trip for people who love nature on it's on... READ MORE
GADI
A great trip with anticipation of adventure on every morning. One of the real surprises was the stunning variety of tundra plants. READ MORE
MARION
Good crew, good ship, very knowledgeable guides and backup, well organised in difficult circumstances; incredible wildlife and environment you just couldn't see anywhere else. An unparalleled experience. READ MORE
ROBIN
Whale Bone Alley READ MORE
ROBIN, AUSTRALIA (TRAVELLED 2012)
It was a great experience to travel with Heritage to the 'Top of the world' – Wrangel & Herald Island and the Chukotkan coast. Organisation was great, food on board excellent, the zodiac excursions and landings professional. I have escorted a lot of Arctic cruises and photographic trips in Svalbard/Spitsbergen and can highly recommend this seldom run itinerary to remote Wrangel Island especiall... READ MORE
JOERG EHRLICH, CEO DIAMIR ERLEBNISREISEN
Again, I want to thank Rodney and his team on Voyage #1334. They worked hard and produced many memorable encounters. They even ordered up decent weather for this sort of trip. I also want to recognize Richard Benneville over in Nome. That colorful guy is a "secret weapon" for Heritage and is the perfect introduction and finale for the Russian Coast trip. Finally, the Wrangel Overland Traver... READ MORE
PAUL SHAVER
The voyage itself was wonderful, and I would like to make it clear how much I appreciate the efforts of the staff and the crew, who all did a really splendid job. Rodney's feelings for the area and the wildlife, and his determination that his passengers should enjoy both to the full, were very evident - indeed he went out of his way to ensure this, not least by arranging an additional landing (... READ MORE
CHRIS
Best ever! AAAAAAAAAAAABSOLUTELY STUNNING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 16 000 photos taken … READ MORE
GUNTHER
Heritage's administration is peerless, the best that we have seen in around 25 year of this type of travel. We cannot thank Lorna for enough her help and efficiency in handling all the arrangements our requests. Her liaison with Asiana to sort out some last minute problems with our return flight to was exemplary. Thank you very much. On the trip, we appreciate the ship's crew and the efforts o... READ MORE
DAS
“Clearly and wholeheartedly I have to say that I LOVE Wrangel Island. It was not a love at first sight, as first sight of Wrangel Island was cold, foggy, and rather deserted from wildlife. We did not just do the tour around the island with several landings, but had the pleasure to stay on the island for 10 days. When you are ON THE ISLAND, meaning on the overland trips, which are additional ... READ MORE
GUNTHER
Dear Rodney and staff and crew, We now have our feet on the ground after being literally and metaphorically on top of the world on the Wrangel Island trip. Thank you so much for all that you put into it, both on the ship and behind the scenes. It is obvious to us that you live and breathe a love of the natural environment and that, like the Enderby family, the Russ family has found a way to nu... READ MORE
PAUL AND JACQUIE PRYOR
I had a great trip, seeing Horned and Tufted Puffins and 3 species of Auklets which I'd really hoped to see. We had an amazing experience with a Gray Whale and saw many Polar Bears. The staff worked really hard to make our experience a special one and the passengers were friendly and interesting. I also enjoyed the lectures getting to know some Russian people and seeing a little of the very... READ MORE
SONJA ROSS
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
Heritage Expeditions helps you get to the most remote places of ineffable beauty with comfort and ease. I just got back from the "Chukotka: where Russia's Day Begins" expedition that included two days at Wrangel Island. For half of the expedition I was pinching myself to make sure that this is actually real. On this special expedition we met the people, saw and listened to their stories and lea... READ MORE
MARIA STAMBLER
tolle Reise, viele schöne Erlebnisse, hervorragende Mannschaft um Rodney Russ und Besatzung - wie im letzten Jahr ! Perfekt organisiert, und flexibel wenn nötig. Muss man erlebt haben, kann man nicht beschreiben. Viele Grüße READ MORE
HANS, GERMANY
Having had 3 previous voyages with Heritage. . Birding the Kurils, First Sea of Okhotsk and Across the top of the world, I now want to visit Macquarie Island. The voyages are just so enjoyable. READ MORE
MARGARET HERTEL
18 Sep 2019
The 'Across the Top of the World' #1930 expediton has concluded, attached is the Botany List from sightings on this voyage. © S. BlancREAD MORE
18 Sep 2019
The recent 'Across the Top of the World' #1930 expedition aboard 'Kapitan Khlebnikov' has concluded. The Species List for this voyage is now ...READ MORE
05 Sep 2019
The 'Across the Top of the World' #1928 expediton has concluded, attached is the Botany List from sightings on this voyage. © J. Co...READ MORE
Send Message
Call Us
Receive e-News
Download Brochure