Russian Far East
“I can still remember the awe I felt at Kolyuchin Island, what a magnificent place. We landed at night, and because of the midnight sun, it was still light out. We sat amid hundreds of thousands of nesting puffins, both crested and horned. We stared up at the cliff’s face to watch them feed, and chatter and the kittiwakes dart in and out. We wandered through a graveyard of ancient walrus skulls left over from the hunting days. And then there were the wildflowers bringing vibrant color to the rocky landscape. It is a bit of northern paradise.” (Lynn Cross)
These trips offer unique opportunities to explore this Russia’s remote and culturally rich environs. Traversing the coast of the Chukotka Pennisula, through the Bering Strait, passengers are offered a unique and historical journey. The Bering Strait itself pays homage to the remarkable 18th century expedition of Commander Vitus Bering, a Danish Ship Captain who was in the service of Tsar Peter the Great. This narrow passage separating the Asian and American continents is a migratory channel for huge numbers of sea birds and whales. Passengers will delight in gathering on deck keeping their eyes peeled and their binoculars ready for the blows of the Gray Whale, Minke Whale, and occasionally the ghostly Beluga.
On the landings and much to the delight of the naturalists on board, you will have the chance to watch the land come alive with color as the blooming Arctic wildflowers blanket the landscape. Birders will relish the rare opportunities to catch a glimpse of the nesting Least Auklets, Crested Auklets, Tufted Puffins, Horned Puffins, guillemots and many others. There will be opportunities to see at least 40 different species of birds that fish, nest and make this area their home. Wrangle Island, a popular stop on these expeditions is known for it’s fabulous wildlife. Depending on the flow of the ice, there is a chance to see the polar bears that den here in the winter, and also the Walrus, with their tusks clacking. Musk ox and reindeer also thrive on Wrangle Island as do tundra geese.