Since the sixteenth century explorers have attempted to transit the fabled trading route of the Northeast Passage which follows the Arctic coast of Russia from the Barents Sea to the Bering Strait. It was in 1878 (some 500 years later) that the Swedish explorer Nordenskjold, made the first successful transit. The Arctic summer of 2008 is the 130th anniversary of that celebrated voyage. Relative darkness for six months of the year, coupled with extreme ice and weather conditions, make Russia’s Northeast Passage relatively inaccessible to travellers. But not to those privileged few sailing on the polar-class icebreaker, Kapitan Khelbnikov. This extraordinary 25-day expedition will take you into the heart of a very remote and littleexplored part of the world. To reach the Northeast Passage you sail north from Anadyr on Russia’s Asian shore through the Bering Strait and past Cape Dezhnev, the eastern-most point of Asia. Landings are planned at the small Russian village of Uelen, the uninhabited island of Kolyuchin, where puffins and other seabirds nest, and on Wrangel Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site designated for its diverse flora and importance for migratory birds. Making your way through the pack ice of the East Siberian Sea you reach the New Siberian Islands where you explore ancient hunting camps, see the northern-most part of the European continent and, with luck, spot the rare Leptev Walrus. Landings are planned on Severnaya Zemlya, the least accessible group of islands in the Arctic, as well as on islands in the archipelago of Novaya Zemlya. The shipboard helicopters will be used for flightseeing and transfers to otherwise inaccessible landing sites. Well above the Arctic Circle lie the most northerly group of islands in Eurasia - Franz Josef Land. These islands are home to Polar Bears and Atlantic Walrus. Conditions permitting, you visit Cape Flora, where the remains from three expeditions are found. This great journey ends in Murmansk, from where you will fly to Helsinki – a time to reflect on your rare and impressive achievement. Northeast Passage Transit Russia’s Northeast Passage and discover some of the world’s least explored shores on this extraordinary 7,000 kilometre icebreaker expedition. 190 F O R R E S E R V A T I O N S C A L L U S O N 0845 130 6982 Itinerary Day 1. Anchorage Day 2. Flight from Anchorage to Anadyr and embark Days 3 to 5. Chukotka Peninsula Days 6 & 7. Wrangel Island Days 8 to 14. New Siberian Islands Days 15 to 19. Severnaya Zemlya and Novaya Zemlya Days 20 & 21. Franz Josef Land Days 22 to 25. Barents Sea to Murmansk and disembark. Flight from Murmansk to Helsinki. Vessel Kapitan Khlebnikov (see Vessel pages for more details). Things you need to know Embark Anadyr, Russia Disembark Murmansk, Russia Voyage nights 23 nights Departure dates 28 Jun to 23 Jul Price From: £13,795 in a twin share cabin Single supplement On request. If you are travelling alone ask about our request share programme which enables solo travellers to share a cabin with another solo traveller. What’s included One night hotel accommodation in Anchorage, return air charter between Anchorage & Anadyr and Murmansk & Helsinki, voyage including guided shore, zodiac and helicopter excursions, all meals onboard & transfers. Guide price for flights & accommodation package Around £895 including return flights from the UK & 1-night in Helsinki.
On this 20-day journey from Anchorage to Tokyo you will cruise through the Bering Strait, past the Aleutians to the Kamchatka coast, and on through the wildlife rich, volcanically active Kuril Islands to Japan’s northern islands of Hokkaido and Honshu. The sheer number of live volcanoes around this area of the Pacific rim has earned this route the reputation of the Ring of Fire. The Aleutian Islands – a chain of more than 300 small volcanic islands and 57 volcanoes – form an arc in the northern Pacific Ocean extending west towards the Kamchatka Peninsula. Within this arc, the Shumagin Islands are the most north easterly and you will visit Unga, the largest island of the group. Although human sightings here are rare (the island was abandoned in 1969) wildlife is abundant with Arctic Fox, Bald Eagles and Fur Seals. At Kiska, occupied by Japanese forces for over a year during the Second World War, you will see one of the finest well-preserved harbours in the Aleutians. Also uninhabited, the island is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Keep an eye out for large colonies of protected seabirds and marine mammals. Attu is the most remote of the Aleutian Islands; pristine and peaceful, this bird watcher's paradise is home to hundreds of species including Brambling, Tufted Duck and Siberian Rubythroat. Subject to permissions, the plan is to anchor off Bering Island to show you the large populations of Tufted Puffin, Russian Sea Otters, Arctic Fox and Northern Fur Seals. On the Kamchatka Peninsula you will explore Petropavlovsk, one of the oldest settlements of the Russian Far East established in 1740. With the volcanoes of Avacha and Koryak to the north and majestic Avacha Bay to the south, you have plenty of time to enjoy the city’s natural beauty. A certain air of mystery surrounds the Kurils, an arc of more than 20 volcanic islands stretching from Kamchatka to Japan. These isolated and seldom-visited islands with their dramatic landscapes and smoking volcanoes are largely uninhabited. Many are havens for birds and marine mammals including the world’s largest population of Steller’s Sea Eagles, Brown Bears, Fur Seals, Sea Otters and Grey Whales. Asian Rosy Finches, Peregrine Falcons and Whiskered Auklets will appeal to the bird watchers. On arrival in Japan, your first stop will be Kushiro Shitsugen National Park, to see the Sacred Red-Crowned Crane, Yezo Deer and Sakhalin Taimen, the world’s most ancient species of salmon. You sail through the spectacular bay of Matsushima featuring 250 tiny islands blanketed in pine trees. A dramatic monument to natural forces, Matsushima has earned recognition as one of Japan’s Three Great Sights. Your journey ends in Kobe. The Ring of Fire A breathtaking expedition to the islands of the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ – one of the most geologically active and visually dramatic parts of the world. S E E U S O N T H E W E B AT wildlifeworldwide.com Itinerary Day 1. Arrive in Anchorage and overnight in hotel Day 2. Anchorage to Whittier and embark Day 3. Kodiak Day 4. Shumagin Islands Day 5. Dutch Harbour Day 6. At sea Days 7 & 8. Aleutian Islands Day 9. Cross the international date line/Bering Island Day 10. Petropavlovsk Days 11 to 14. Kuril Islands Day 15. Kushiro, Japan Day 16. Matsushima Day 17. At sea Day 18. Toba Day 19. Kobe and disembark Day 20. Return home Vessel Spirit of Oceanus (see Vessel pages for more details). Things you need to know Embark Anchorage, Alaska Disembark Kobe, Japan Voyage nights 17 nights Departure dates 13 Sep to 3 Oct Price From £3,395 in a triple share cabin From £3,895 in a twin share cabin Single supplement On request. If you are travelling alone ask about our request share programme which enables solo travellers to share a cabin with another solo traveller. What’s included Pre-cruise hotel night in Anchorage, post-cruise hotel night in Kobe, voyage including guided shore & zodiac excursions, all meals onboard & transfers. Guide price for flight package Around £850 including return flights from the UK. 191