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Far East Arctic Highlights

20-day expedition cruise & stay from £15,795 pp incl. flights

Special offer: Save 20% off cruise plus USD $300pp on board credit

Summary

Short description

Discover the unique culture and nature of far-flung Arctic Russia.

Flexibility Promise

Find out more about our Flexibility Promise, available on all holidays booked by 31st July 2021, for travel up to 30th November 2021.

Highlights

  • Learn about the region’s unique tundra environment from on-board polar experts and conservationists
  • Get up close to the world’s largest polar bear denning ground and largest breeding rookery of Pacific walrus
  • Try to solve the riddle of the mysterious Whale Bone Alley in Yttygran
  • Journey to the easternmost point of Russia and mingle with indigenous cultures
  • Enjoy all the luxuries of your Swan Hellenic cruise ship, from fine dining to the onboard spa

In Brief

  • 1 Night Anchorage
  • 1 Night Nome
  • 1 Night At sea
  • 1 Night Provideniya
  • 1 Night Uelen
  • 1 Night Kolyuchin Island
  • 1 Night At sea
  • 1 Night Ayon island
  • 1 Night Medvezhiy Islands
  • 1 Night At sea
  • 3 Nights Wrangel Island
  • 1 Night At sea
  • 1 Night Yttgran Island
  • 1 Night Provideniya
  • 2 Nights Seattle

About

Recommended for:
Expedition cruise | Ocean cruise

Sail off the beaten track on this epic voyage taking in the Arctic wonders of the Russian Far East. You’ll begin with a journey-breaking stay in Anchorage, Alaska, before heading to remote Nome to board your boutique luxury expedition ship. You’ll then be treated to two weeks of jaw-dropping discoveries as you encounter the region’s incredible wildlife, from polar bears to walruses, and get a taste of the indigenous cultures that call this far-flung wilderness home. Along the way, you’ll enjoy a full programme of expert-led shore excursions and lectures, as well as the luxurious facilities of your state-of-the-art vessel.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK/Anchorage

Begin your holiday in style with included airport lounge access before your daytime flight to Anchorage in Alaska. On arrival, transfer to a hotel for an overnight stay.

Stay: Anchorage accommodation

Day 2
Nome

Depending on your flight departure, enjoy some free time to explore Anchorage before transferring to the airport for your flight to Nome, a windswept outpost on the shores of the Bering Sea. Arrive and transfer to your hotel for a night of relaxation, perhaps taking a stroll through town to get a sense of the region’s gold-rush heritage.

Stay: Nome accommodation

Meals: B

Day 3
Depart Nome

With a full day in Nome, you’ll have the chance to head off into the surrounding wilderness – a windswept haven for caribou, muskoxen and an abundance of pretty wildflowers. Excursions include mushing, panning for gold on the beaches and trips to the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.

Stay: SH Minerva

Meals: B D

Day 4
Provideniya

The gateway to the Russian Far East, this former Soviet military port on Komsomolskaya Bay is at the southern limit of the Arctic ice pack. The town has a small museum charting the history of whaling and fishing and the displacement of the indigenous Siberian Yupik that caused irreversible cultural change. From seal fishing to their renowned dancing, you'll learn about Yupik culture on a visit to a settlement at Novoye Chaplino overlooking a picturesque fjord.

Stay: SH Minerva

Meals: B L D

Day 5
Cape Dezhnev & Uelen Village

Arrive at the easternmost point of Russia from where, on a clear day, you can see all the way to Alaska. Enjoy a hike up to the headland where you'll reach a lighthouse and a monument to the Russian explorer Semyon Dezhnev, who rounded the Cape in 1648. Further up the coast is Naukan, an abandoned Yupik village, and Uelen, the only still-inhabited village on the cape. Home to Siberian Yupik Eskimos, Uelen is the closest Russian settlement to the United States.

Stay: SH Minerva

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Kolyuchin Island

Conservationists will guide you over soft tundra and point out rare lichens, mosses and wildflowers, where scurrying ground squirrels hunt for food. Kolyuchin also has some of the Arctic’s most spectacular bird cliffs, with puffins, guillemots and gulls, and a photogenic walrus haul-out. Off the north coast of the Chukotka Peninsula, this small island was once an important centre for research into polar bears and walruses, one of a number dotted across the Arctic.

Stay: SH Minerva

Meals: B L D

Day 7
At sea

As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savouring the ship’s facilities and learning about your destination’s many facets from the knowledgeable onboard experts. Listen to an enriching talk, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, enjoy some down- time in your cabin, share travel reminiscences with newly found friends: the options are numerous.

Stay: SH Minerva

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Ayon Island

This mostly low-lying tundra island lies off the coast of the Chukotka peninsula on the west of the Bering strait and is part of the Northern Sea Route, or Northeast passage. Ayon Island’s indigenous Chukchi population are reindeer herders. Many live in Ayon Village, a coastal settlement where you're guaranteed a warm welcome especially at the small museum set up by children. On the outskirts of the village is a Neolithic settlement, which you'll have the opportunity to explore.

Stay: SH Minerva

Meals: B L D

Day 9
Medvezhiy Islands

Also known as Bear Islands on account of the polar bears that have taken up residence on this isolated archipelago, this far-flung island group is located above Russia, in the inhospitable East Siberian Sea. The arctic flora draws naturalists for wildflowers including buttercups, yellow poppies and rockfoil, as well as lichens and mosses that carpet the tundra. Natural rock pillars stand sentinel on Chetyrbok Stolbovoy (Four Spires Island), where you'll have the chance to go ashore and hike to see an abandoned weather station.

Stay: SH Minerva

Meals: B L D

Day 10
At sea

As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savouring the ship’s facilities and learning about your destination’s many facets from the knowledgeable onboard experts. Listen to an enriching talk, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, enjoy some down- time in your cabin, share travel reminiscences with newly found friends: the options are numerous.

Stay: SH Minerva

Day 11
Ushakova Cape (Wrangel Island)

Breaching grey and beluga whales, ringed seals and bearded seals swim close to the shore. Inaccessible for much of the year, changing weather conditions mean that in recent years the island has become ice-free earlier and earlier in the season, and the occasional finback whale from Mexico can even be been spotted off the coast. Tundra covers much of this huge island with coastal plains and central mountains creating a rich ecosystem with the highest level of biodiversity in the high Arctic.

Stay: SH Minerva

Meals: B L D

Day 12
Cape Florens (Wrangel Island)

Named for the colourful flora and wildflowers on the mossy tundra, such as yellow arctic poppies, Cape Florens helped give the island its unique status as the northernmost World Heritage Site. It is also one of the places we might get to spot foraging Siberian brown and northern collared lemmings (often hunted down by snowy owls), alongside Wrangel’s other inland fauna species – arctic foxes, wolverines, muskoxen and reindeer.

Stay: SH Minerva

Meals: B L D

Day 13
Krasin Bay & Cape Waring (Wrangel Island)

Observe the only permanent colony of nesting snow geese in Asia as you hike across the tundra to the Mammoth River. Twitchers might glimpse other tundra- loving birds including spoon-billed sandpipers, peregrine falcons, arctic tern, gulls and skuas who feed on this ancient, protected natural reserve. Nearby are the relics of a 3,400-year-old Paleo-Eskimo camp while at Drangi Bay, a dense population of Pacific walrus haul out watched by predatory polar bears. The huge number of polar bear dens makes Wrangel Island the world’s largest denning ground. Nearby, at Rogers Bay, is the abandoned settlement Ushakovskoye, a former fishing village where tusks strewn across the tundra and beaches are a testament to the long-extinct dwarf mammoth that once roamed this remote Siberian island, believed to be the last place on earth where mammoths survived.

Stay: SH Minerva

Meals: B L D

Day 14
At sea

As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savouring the ship’s facilities and learning about your destination’s many facets from the knowledgeable onboard experts. Listen to an enriching talk, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, enjoy some down-time in your cabin, share travel reminiscences with newly found friends.

Stay: SH Minerva

Meals: B L D

Day 15
Proliv Senyavina Hot Springs & Yttgran Island

Take the Zodiacs to a small lagoon at the southern end of the Proliv Senyavina passage, followed by a short hike across the tundra to the Proliv Senyavina Hot Springs. If you fancy a dip, either hop into the stream heated with the natural hot springs or soak in the small pool. The mysterious Whale Bone Alley is the main attraction on this remote Siberian island off the coast of Chukotka. The eerie archaeological site is lined with 600-year- old whale jaw and rib bones that have been stuck into the ground and erected like archways, some five metres high. This unique 550-metre path is the perfect place to stretch your legs and ponder its mystical origins as either a shrine or a gathering place for hunters to store their food.

Stay: SH Minerva

Meals: B L D

Day 16
Provideniya

Return to Provdeniya for a final chance to learn more about the region’s unique culture and soak up some more of those dramatic fjord views before your final voyage back to Nome.

Stay: SH Minerva

Meals: B L D

Days 17-18
Nome/Seattle

Having crossed the international date line, you’ll disembark in Nome this morning and transfer to the airport for your flight, via Anchorage, to Seattle. On arrival, transfer to your accommodation and look forward to two days of city exploration before your flight home. Take a stroll along the waterfront, visit Pike’s Place Market or grab a coffee at the original Starbucks. Alternatively, head out into the countryside for views of beautiful Mt. Ranier.  

Stay: Seattle accommodation

Meals: B

Days 19-20
Depart for UK

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and a final chance to explore before transferring to the airport today for your overnight flight to the UK, arriving home on day 20.






Pricing

Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Prices

Accommodation rating: Deluxe

20-day expedition cruise & stay from £15,795 pp incl. flights

Departure: 17 July 2022

Save 20% off cruise plus USD $300pp on board credit
Book by: 31 July 2021

Includes

  • Return scheduled flights from the UK in economy class (upgrades available)
  • Two nights pre-cruise hotel (one each in Anchorage and Nome on room only basis)
  • Two nights post-cruise hotel in Seattle on room only basis
  • All transfers 
  • 15 day cruise
  • All meals onboard including room service 24 hours a day
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks & select alcoholic beverages 24 hours a day
  • Lecture programmes by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
  • Shore excursion programme led by our expert expedition team
  • Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka
  • Use of rubber boots for shore landings
  • Basic WIFI inclusion (Premium WIFI available)
  • Onboard gratuities & port taxes


Meet our experts

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Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0615 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

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  • Inspirational ideas based on experience
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Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
  • Full financial security: ABTA & ATOL protected