Across the Top of the World

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Voyage into the High Arctic across the Bering Strait to the wild Wrangel and Herald Islands

Details

Duration: 15 Days
Starts in: Arctic
Group Size: 1-110

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Doubtful Harbour

On arrival the Overlanders will go ashore, spend the afternoon and evening exploring the area including the nearby spit known for large haul outs of walrus. Visit Devil's Creek, the only archaeological site on the island where remains of a Paleo-Eskimos summer camp were discovered recently. The overnight accommodation will be Wrangel Ranger huts at Somnitelnya.

Somnitelnya

Travel north firstly over the southern tundra slopes climbing gradually to a mountain pass through the Somnitelnie Mountains. A steep descent takes us to a tributary of the Mammoth River, the longest river on the island. In the evening we will enjoy a walk on the tundra slopes with possible sightings of Snowy Owls, Lemmings, Arctic Foxes and a huge variety of High Arctic plants. Stay overnight at the Peak Tundra hut, a field hut for studies of the Snow Geese nesting nearby.

Academic Tundra

Continue down the Tundra River to the Academic Tundra, an extensive area that makes up over half the island. There are opportunities to see amazing fields of wild flowers, Musk Ox, and potentially reindeer, although numbers have been greatly reduced by recent harsh winters. We will return to the ship at midday near the Drum Head Mountains (also known as the Dream Head Mountains) on the north coast of the island.

Additional Information

This is arguably one of the greatest high Arctic journeys in the world. It is only made possible by the collapse of communism, the relaxing of rules and the retreat of the Arctic sea ice. Our journey begins in Anadyr, the administrative centre of the Chukotka autonomous region. We then travel through the Bering Strait west along the north Siberian coastline, before crossing the Longa Strait to Wrangel and Herald Islands. En-route to Wrangel Island we plan to land at Cape Dezneva, the north eastern extremity of the Eurasian land mass, where there is a monument to early explorers. We also visit the small island, Kolyuchin, that was once an important Russian Research Station, where we visit some of the most amazing bird cliffs in the Arctic. Once we reach Wrangel and Herald Islands, we spend 3-4 days under the guidance of the Rangers and staff of the reserve. Untouched by glaciers during the last ice age, it is a treasure trove of Arctic biodiversity. It is perhaps best known for the high number of Polar Bears, and this remote outpost is often referred to by biologists as the ‘Polar Bear Maternity Ward’ on account of the large number of cubs born there each year. While on this voyage, we will take every opportunity to discover the rich biodiversity and history of this wild and beautiful land with landings, walks and zodiac excursions. You will feel truly privileged to discover a land and a people that time has forgotten.

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