THE NORTHERN SEA ROUTE
A SPECIAL 28 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 the 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 2019. 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 showed 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 haulouts. 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. Bowhead, Beluga and Narwhal 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.
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.
Pre/Post cruise transfers, all on board ship accommodation with meals and all expedition shore excursions.
All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities. International/domestic flights, visas and travel insurance.
Private charter flight from Nome to Anadyr $1300 USD per person
Nome to Murmansk
18th August - 15th September 2019
Anadyr to Murmansk
19th August - 15th September 2019
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 50 passengers and provides comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows or portholes and ample storage space.
On board there is a combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room. The cuisine is excellent and is prepared by top NZ and Australian chefs.
The real focus and emphasis of every expedition is getting you ashore as often as possible for as long as possible with maximum safety and comfort. Our Expeditions are accompanied by some of the most experienced naturalists and guides, who have devoted a lifetime to field research in the areas that we visit. The ship is crewed by a very enthusiastic and most experienced Russian Captain and crew.