The Northern Sea Route | 31 days
Russia controls one of the greatest seaways in the world, the Northern Sea Route or Northeast Passage. Only a handful of expedition vessels have ever transited this seaway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans but recent changes in the summer sea ice conditions now make this possible for a brief time each summer. In 2017, a double transit was successfully made and a couple of our intrepid clients undertook part of this journey. Join us to explore the history and development of the route and the many islands along the way.
It wasn't until 1878-1880 that Swedish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiold completed the first ever full transit. In 1914-15 Imperial Russian Navy icebreakers made the second transit to make the seaway navigable for strategic use. From the 1930s a number of polar research and weather stations were established along the route and large convoys of Soviet ships (assisted by powerful icebreakers) used it to carry much needed supplies to Eastern Russia before the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
Ship: Akademik Shokalskiy
13 August - 12 September 2021
Guide price:£20,720 per person based on twin cabin (shared facilities)
Option: Join Akademik Shokalskiy in September 2021 to travel In the Footsteps of Nordenskiold: Through the Northern Sea Route - a shorter 19 day Northern Sea Route voyage eastbound from Murmansk to Pekev, one of Russia’s most remote, and northernmost town.
Follow in the footsteps of Swedish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld on this historic, geography and wildlife-filled authentic expedition cruise through the Northern Sea Route. Explore some of the least known and seldom visited shores on the planet including the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago, Cape Chelyuskin, Nordenskiöld Archipelago and more.
“Once again thank you very much for yet another wonderful trip to the Arctic. Memories from this trip have surpassed some of those of previous visits to this part of the world. The whole voyage provided me (and fellow passengers) the chance to see a part of the Arctic seen by few people and experience the vastness of the Northern Sea Route and the challenges it presents in the future”.Peter Wright, The Northern Sea Route and Wrangel Island
“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
“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