The vast majority of people in the world won’t even know where it is, let alone know much about it. It is one of 83 regions which make up the Russian Federation, and is officially known as the Chukotka Autonomous Region. It covers a vast area of North East Russia the size of England and France combined, and slightly larger than the state of Texas, yet is home to less than 50,000 people, the majority of which live in the towns. The indigenous people include Chukchi, Inuit, Even, Koryak, Chuvan and Yukaghir. The non-native inhabitants are predominately Russian. The Chukotka region was the last part of Siberia to be ‘conquered’ or ‘subdued’ by the Cossack invaders from the west. The Chukchi people resisted fiercely, only succumbing in the late 19th Century.

0NomeFlight from Nome to Anadyr cross date line
1AnadyrEmbark Spirit of Enderby
2EgvekinotVisit the excellent museum, explaining the history of the old mine complex
3KonerginoMeet the locals in this small reindeer herding village
4Presbrazhenya BayExplore the magnificant coastal cliffs of the Bay, home to an abundance of sea birds
5Whale Bone Alley and Gil’mimyl Hot SpringsWalk through this significant archaeological site and take a look and the hot springs
6Cape DezhnevWalk through this fascinating place, the North-Eastern most point of the Eurasian Continent
7At SeaKeep an eye out for wildlife surrounding the ship
8-10Wrangel IslandKeep an eye out for Polar Bears in what is commonly referred to as the Polar Bear Maternity Ward
11At SeaKeep an eye out for wildlife surrounding the ship
12Kolyuchin Island / Kolyuchin InletBe in awe of the large number of Tufted and Horned Puffins, Brunnich’s and Common Guillemots and Black-legged Kittiwakes
13Lavrentiya and the Annual Beringia Arctic GamesExperience day one of the fascinating local festival
14At SeaRelax on board for the final day of your adventure
15Anadyr, RussiaDisembark the Spirit of Enderby

Ship Offering This Itinerary

Spirit of Enderby
Spirit of Enderby

The Spirit of Enderby is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and is perfect for expedition travel. She carries just 50 passengers and was refurbished in March 2013 to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows or portholes and ample storage space. On board there is a combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room. The cuisine is very good and is prepared by top NZ and Australian chefs.

Day 0 Nome, Alaska to Anadyr

Nome, Alaska

For those departing Nome, Alaska your adventure begins with a flight across the Bering Sea and International Date Line to the remote port of Anadyr.

Day 1 Anadyr – Embark Spirit of Enderby


All expedition members will arrive in Anadyr; depending on your time of arrival you may have the opportunity to explore Anadyr, before getting to know your fellow voyagers and expedition team on board the Spirit of Enderby. The ship will depart when everybody is on board. There will be mandatory safety briefings and introductions to the ship and staff once you set sail on your adventure.

Day 2 Egvekinot

Heritage Expeditions Egvekinot

There is more to this small town on the shores of Kresta Bay than first meets the eye. It was built by Gulag prisoners in 1946 as a port to supply the rich Lul’tin mining complex some 200 kilometres inland. Prisoners also constructed the road to the mine. Today the Lul’tin mine complex is closed but the town and Port of Egvekinot is the terminus for roads to recently established gold mines. The town has an excellent museum and is only a few miles south of the Arctic Circle. Today the plan is to travel by Ural (a 6WD ‘go anywhere’ Russian truck) along the road towards Lul’tin into the tundra to explore the road which the prisoners built and gain an appreciation of this unique Arctic landscape.

Day 3 Konergino


Across Kresta Bay from Egvekinot is the small reindeer herding village of Konergino. Reindeer herding is still an important part of the indigenous people’s culture and economy and it has remained largely unchanged over the centuries, albeit now they sometimes use vehicles to travel to and from the herds which graze on the tundra. The practice revolves around ‘brigades’ (small family units) looking after large herds of reindeer out on the tundra moving with them as they seek out the best feed. Today is an introduction to, and an opportunity to understand, this industry which has sustained generations of Chukchi and other peoples of the north for centuries.

Day 4 Presbrazhenya Bay

Heritage Expeditions Russian Far East

Cruise along the south coast of Chukotka today and take the opportunity to stop at Presbrazhenya Bay. This will be the first opportunity to Zodiac cruise some spectacular bird cliffs, as long as sea conditions permit you will get in close for some great photographic opportunities. There will also be a chance to land at a hunting camp (and boat haul-out area) at the nearby village of Nunligren and the on-board team of naturalists and biologists will offer some lectures and presentations.

Day 5 Whale Bone Alley and Gil’mimyl Hot Springs

Hertiage Expeditions - Yttygran Island

Your first landing of the day will be at one of the most significant and intriguing archaeological sites in the Arctic on Yttygran Island. This place is known affectionately as ‘Whale Bone Alley’ due to the large number of whale bones spread along the beach in the form of a pathway. The site dates to the 14th Century and its origins and purpose have been the cause of much debate. It was almost certainly a ceremonial site as well as being used for meat storage. What is puzzling is the lack of any substantial settlement in the vicinity, which suggests that it was possibly a communal site situated here because of the abundance of whales nearby. This afternoon intend to make a landing at the Gil’mimyl Hot Springs. They are a short walk from the coastline, but well worth the effort. There will be a chance to explore the tundra for birds, plants and animals as we walk to and fro. After a soak in the springs re-join the ship for a relaxing evening.

Day 6 Cape Dezhnev

Cape Dezhnev

Early this morning you will be at Cape Dezhnev, the north-eastern most point of the Eurasian continent. This cape commemorates the accomplishment of the Cossack Semyon Dezhnev who was the first European to sail through this strait in 1648 (80 years before Bering did). On the cape is a lighthouse, a monument and the remains of a Border Guard base. If the weather and sea conditions are suitable the plan is to land here and give you the opportunity to explore the area. A short distance south of the cape is the former Inuit settlement of Naukan. The Soviet government relocated these people to other Chukotka settlements in the 1950s as it was thought they posed a security risk, supposedly because of the close proximity of Alaska. It is still possible to sense the melancholy in the air because the people never wanted to leave. As the relocation was fairly recent, there is a wealth of historic data and photographs that make a visit to this site even more poignant.

Day 7 At Sea

Heritage Expeditions

Finally a chance to catch up on notes, download photos, hang out in the library or maybe spend some time on the bridge of the ship as you navigate towards Wrangel Island.

Days 8-10 Wrangel Island

Heritage Expedition, Wrangel Island

You should arrive at Wrangel in the early morning, and what you can achieve will depend on the ice conditions. During the winter months, Wrangel Island is completely surrounded by ice. Historically it was slow to break out in some years making it was almost impossible to reach the island. Climate change has meant that in recent years it is becoming ice-free earlier and earlier, with huge ramifications for the wildlife (especially the Polar Bears) that rely on the ice. It is impossible to predict ice conditions ahead of time, but based on recent years there should still be some ice around the island which will be great for you as this is where the wildlife will be concentrated. There should also be opportunities to land and to explore the tundra to look for species which breed here. Time has allowed three days on and around the island to take advantage of whatever conditions you encounter. The team will be utilising the local knowledge of the Park Rangers to make multiple landings as well as spending some time Zodiac cruising the ice looking for Polar Bears.

Day 11 At Sea

Walrus, Svalbard

The Spirit of Enderby will be steaming south from Wrangel Island and, again, sea and ice conditions will dictate the course and speed. Expect to be richly rewarded by being on deck, because if you are in ice there could be Polar Bears, walrus, Ringed or Bearded Seals to be seen. As you make your way closer to the Chukotka coast, keep an eye out for Humpback and Gray Whales, which are frequently seen. Increasingly you are also seeing a number of Bowhead Whales in this area. This time will be used for lectures and recaps.

Day 12 Kolyuchin Island / Kolyuchin Inlet


This morning you will come to anchor at tiny Kolyuchin Island. What it lacks in size it more than makes up for in points of interest. At the eastern end of the island are some hunter’s huts. People from the nearby village of Nutepelmen come here to hunt walrus at certain times of the year when the ice disappears and large numbers of walrus haul out on the island. At the western end of the island is the remains of a Polar Research Station which was only abandoned in the 1990s. During the Soviet period there were large numbers of these Research Stations in the High Arctic, but few survived the economic meltdown of the 1990s. Nearby are some amazing bird cliffs where it is possible to get magnificent views (and photographs) of puffins and guillemots as they come and go from their nests.

Franz Josef Land- Blog Size shutterstock_536539075 Polar Bears Franz Joseph Land

The only thing that will stop you from landing here are Polar Bears. They take refuge on the island when the ice recedes and if they are there it is both unwise and unsafe for us to go ashore. If they are ashore you will Zodiac cruise the bird cliffs for equally good views of the birds. This afternoon cruise to nearby Kolyuchin Inlet, a massive tidal estuary so big the Spirit of Enderby can sail inside. It is the ideal habitat for many bird species and it is early enough in the season for the majority of them to either be on nests or have young. It is an easy landing with lots of opportunity for hiking, exploring and photography.

Day 13 Lavrentiya and the Annual Beringia Arctic Games

Plan to be here for Day One of the annual Beringia Regatta and Festival which includes whaleboat and Baidara (traditional walrus skin covered boats) races, as well as cultural group performances. It is one of the most colourful festivals in the Chukotka calendar and attracts people from many villages in the region. The festival rotates between different villages and this year it is scheduled to be at Lavrentiya. There will be a range of activities at the Regatta and Festival. Some of them you can watch while with others allow participation. There will be local foods for you to sample and lots of photographic opportunities. This is a festival that gets to the very heart and soul of the people, their culture and their land.

Day 14 At Sea

Spirit of Enderby Jewel's of the Arctic

Relax on board as you make your way back to Anadyr and the conclusion of this special Chukotka expedition. Take the opportunity to recap the many experiences you have enjoyed. Special guest lecturers from Chukotka will give their last presentations and you will enjoy a farewell dinner together.

Day 15 Anadyr


Wake this morning as you enter the Port of Anadyr. After breakfast passengers will be taken ashore either to the airport to catch a flight out today or to the town if staying on a few extra days. Those returning to Nome will join a charter flight that will depart Anadyr around midday and, because of the International Date Line, you will arrive back in Nome on the evening of the previous day. However, we strongly advise that you do not book any onward travel from Nome until the following day to allow for possible delays in the charter flight. Those returning to Moscow can either be transferred to the airport or hotel in Anadyr, depending on their flight times.

To book this cruise contact us on 1300 784 794 or email:

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.