Chukotka – where Russia’s day begins | 18 days
This is a special expedition which includes Wrangel Island and the annual Beringia Regatta.
The Chukotka Autonomous Region was the last part of Siberia to be conquered or 'subdued' by the Cossack invaders from the west. Chukotka’s indigenous people include Chukchi, Inuit, Even, Koryak, Chuvan and Yukaghir. Meet them, listen to their stories and learn of their strong connection with the land and the sea – as well as celebrate with them at their annual regatta and festival.
We will also explore the vast tundra with its wild flowers and dwarf tree species and watch for brown bears, reindeer, arctic foxes, ground squirrels and even wolverine. At sea, we will keep a look out for whales. Wrangel Island will amaze you with its polar bears, walrus and rich Arctic history.
Ship: Spirit of Enderby
8-25 July 2017
Guide price:£8,730 per person based on twin cabin (shared facilities)
“Generally, I think our memories are of experiences rather than particular places – walking or running the Solovetski trails and paths, seeing a beaver while on the rowing boat trip, the long daylight hours and strolls after dinner, the friendly hotel in the Solovetskis (Irina, who seemed to cook, clean and do everything basically was wonderful); the banyas and soups in the Solovetskis; drinks in the courtyard in the Helvetia hotel; the amazingly sunny weather in St Petersburg and appreciating just how much restoration has been done at the palaces; the superb picnic we had on the train on the way up to the islands; The Marriage of Figaro as part of the White Nights Festival; a really great restaurant on the last night called Mechta Molokhovets. We really do love Russia, and the Solovetskis, Kizhi and St Petersburg were all wonderful”
Kenneth Donaldson and Cathy Dean, Solovetski Islands, June 2013
“This was a wonderful trip. Getting there and back was slightly trying, not because of the airlines (both Transaero and Yakutia were good) but because of the length of the flights, the hassle of boarding, stopping over in Irkutsk on the way back, and of course the time changes (3 hours London/Moscow, nearly 9 hours Moscow/Petropavlovsk, and the reverse on the way back. The voyage itself was splendid. There were some early starts and late finishes, a few rather optimistic ‘dry landings’ from zodiacs (I always wore rubber wellingtons and always needed them) and one optimistic ‘walk’ through a pass between bays which involved ploughing through deep/very deep snow for about a mile while on a slope most of the way. But we took these in our stride. We saw tons of wildlife – literally; at least two dozen whales, more than 5,000 hauled-out walruses, about 50 sea-lions, dozens of seals, and at least 15 brown bears. We were successful in finding the spoon-billed sandpiper, and the scientific element of the trip was both enlightening and exciting.”
Chris Meader, In Bering’s wake, in search of the spoon-billed sandpiper, June/July 2011