The Bering Sea and Russian Far East – Nome to Seward
DATES: SEPTEMBER 14-26, 2020
DURATION: 13 DAYS/12 NIGHTS
EMBARK: NOME, ALASKA
DISEMBARK: SEWARD, ALASKA
SHIP: SILVER CLOUD
FROM: $7,920CLICK HERE TO SEE PRIVATE EXPLOR CLUB OFFER
Ecologically diverse, starkly beautiful and superlative in every sense, this voyage shows a facet of Alaska that is rarely seen by the land traveler. Turn your lens skyward and photograph the plethora of sea birds that duck and dive for prey before your very eyes. With evening ice cruises and local welcomes, this is an expedition for those who seek travel off the beaten track.
Join us to sail from Alaska to Russia and back across the Bering Sea, experiencing all the natural wonders these starkly beautiful places have to offer. In Chukotka cruise the spectacular bird cliffs at Cape Kuyveveem and see the museum in Provideniya. In Alaska, look for seals and birds at Hall Island, and see Bald Eagles up close in Dutch Harbor. See the large population of Northern fur seals at St. Paul Island. Throughout the voyage, learn about the history, geology, wildlife and botany of these locations from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable on-board Expedition Team.
Provideniya, Chukotka, Russia –
Many of Provideniya’s houses have been abandoned, but the remaining inhabitants are optimistic that Provideniya will once again be an important port for the Northeast Passage. We will have a look at the very well-presented collections of the local museum, and will be entertained by local and Russian songs and dances. For those inclined to more hiking, you can leave the town towards the south for nice views of the town and bay.
Cape Kuyveveem, Chukotka, Russia –
Cruise by Zodiac past the spectacular, towering bird cliffs at Kuyveveem, a large sheltered bay with streaked granite precipices and home to thousands of Tufted Puffins. This destination teems with other bird species too, including Thick-billed Murres, Glaucous and Slaty-winged Gulls, Parakeet Auklets and Red Phalaropes.
St. Paul Island, Alaska, US –
This ecologically diverse island is home to the Salt Lagoon and Rift Point where one of the world’s largest populations of Northern fur seals haul out. At the seal rookery and bird cliffs on the eastern edge of the island it is possible to get close views of not only seals, but Tufted Puffins and Common Murres.
Dutch Harbor, Alaska, US –
Bald Eagles are plentiful in Dutch Harbor, a settlement ringed by gracious mountains. This area is frequented by eagles for the abundant fish present in the harbour and for the salmon running in local streams. The island was originally inhabited by Aleut people, and the town’s culture is also influenced by the Russian traders who frequented the area in search of sea otter and seal pelts.
Castle Bay, Alaska, USA –
The name Castle Bay was given, as the great scenery and the skyline of the mountains resembles turrets and towers of a castle. We will be cruising along the two ramifications of the northwestern arm of Castle Bay, bringing us close to harbor seals, Bald Eagles, Pigeon Guillemots, Marble Murrelets, Mew Gulls, Black-legged Kittiwakes and Vega Gulls.
Larsen Bay, Alaska, USA –
Silver Cloud will reach Larsen Bay, one of the hotspots of commercial and sports fishing on Kodiak Island’s western side. The village of Larsen Bay is home to one of the oldest standing canneries on Kodiak Island.
Holgate Glacier, Alaska, USA –
Kenai Fjords National Park’s famous Holgate Glacier will be the only chance to see a calving glacier. The glacier comes down from the Harding Ice Field and reaches the Holgate Arm of Aialik Bay. Enjoy an evening cruise towards the glacier.
- Absorb the culture of Chukotka through songs and dances presented in Provideniya.
Wildlife Watch List:
- Spotted seals, Northern fur seals
- Humpback and grey whales
- Slaty-back, Glaucous and Vega Gulls, Pelagic Cormorants, Horned and Tufted Puffins, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Northern Fulmars, Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemot, Crested Auklet
- Bald Eagles
Please Note: Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and/or ice conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
Ports and sites to be visited in the Russian Far East depend on permits which are usually only handed out a few months before a voyage.
- Highly qualified expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more)
- Excursions and activities, including explorations by Zodiac®
- Complimentary expedition gear: backpack and water bottle on every voyage, Haglöfs parka for polar expeditions
- Personalised service with a butler for all suites and the highest crew to guest ratio in the industry
- Fine dining even in the most remote places of the planet
- Comfortable amenities with the largest expedition suites at sea
- Inclusive room-service, select wines, spirits and soft drinks throughout the ship
- Free WIFI throughout the ship
- Port Charges and Taxes
- Onboard Gratuities
- Exclusive partnership with The Royal Geographical Society
- Travel and Emergency Evacuation Insurance
- Airfare, unless included
- Personal items and spa services
Nome, Alaska, USA
Join us at a Sail Away cocktail party as we depart on our spectacular expedition: “The Bering Sea and Russian Far East”.
After lunch, we will start our walking tour of Provideniya, a former military outpost. Many of the houses have been abandoned, but those inhabitants that stayed behind seem to be optimistic that Provideniya will once again be an important port –most probably for the Northeast Passage. We will visit the local museum, and will be entertained by local and Russian songs and dances.
Proliv Senyavina and Yttygran Island, Chukotka, Russia
Proliv Senyavina promises a nice tundra hike to reach some hot springs located inland. We will hike to the hot springs and take a relaxing dip.
We cruise the Bering Sea to reach Yttygran Island home of “Whalebone Alley” –an area with large numbers of carefully arranged skulls and whalebones. It is not only on land that we can see evidence of whales; grey whales are known to roam the seas around Yttygran.
Kuyvyveen and Provideniya, Chukotka, Russia
The Kuyvyveen bird cliffs not only show a varied bird life, but also are one of the most spectacular settings for a Zodiac cruise. We will spend the morning here to look for and photograph birds and geology. A large sheltered bay with towering cliffs composed of light-colored granite and streaked by darker rock on each side creates the spectacular scenery of Cape Kuyvyveen. A sandy beach lies at the head of the bay with rolling tundra behind. The sheer granite rocks, distinct basalt caves and arches of the cape are home to thousands of Tufted Puffins that nest in rocky crevasses. Thick-billed Murres, Glaucous and Slaty-winged Gulls, Parakeet Auklets and Red Phalaropes frequent the dramatic rocky formations while Common Murres, Pelagic Cormorants and Black-legged Kittiwakes line the cliffs and archways.
In the evening, we will briefly stop in Provideniya for our outward clearance.
Cruising the Bering Sea (Cross the International Date Line and gain a day)
On our way back to Alaska we will be crossing the Dateline again. Be on the outer decks to look for whales and seabirds, and attend one of the lectures preparing you for the Pribilof Islands.
Hall Island and St. Matthew Island, Alaska
Today we will see two of the islands belonging to the Bering Sea Wilderness. At Hall Island we will spend the morning, using our fleet of Zodiacs to explore the rugged coast of this uninhabited island. Here we hope to witness the vast numbers of kittiwakes and guillemots that make their nest on the steep cliffs. Jacob’s ladder and lousewort will thrive between the auklet colonies. Be on the lookout for Arctic fox, and Horned Puffins that are regularly seen from the Zodiac.
Silver Cloud will continue to St. Matthew Island. There you will step upon an island few have ever even heard of. Known as Alaska’s most remote location, it was designated by President Teddy Roosevelt as one of America’s first nature reserves in 1909. The focus today is on botany and birding -McKay’s Bunting, Lapland Longspur, and various seabirds are normally seen.
St. Paul, Pribilof Islands, Alaska
After lunch we will have a guided walk to the Salt Lagoon, Town Cove and the Rift Point fur seal haul out. The bird cliffs and seal rookery are located at the eastern edge of the island. On the way, you will note the fish and crab processing plant near the water, as well as the Russian Orthodox Church standing above the town.
To view the seals we will have to use the seal blind to peer out into the busy seal rookery without disturbing anything. The juvenile male northern fur seals lying on the grass in front of the blind have to wait until they are large enough to stake out their own territory down on the water’s edge and collect a harem of females of their own. On the far side of the blind, the view is of the ocean and St. Paul’s working waterfront. In the foreground, however, are close to a thousand fur seals barking, wailing, posturing and rushing one another, and hundreds of pups, waiting in groups for their mothers to return from the sea with their lunch.
Heading up to the bird cliffs you will be rewarded with stunningly close views of Tufted Puffins and Common Murres perched on the rocky ledges.thousand fur seals barking, wailing, posturing and rushing one another, and hundreds of pups, waiting in groups for their mothers to return from the sea with their lunch.
Dutch Harbor, Unalaska Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Together with the city of Unalaska, Dutch Harbor is a bustling community with about 4,000 residents. During our city tour, we will see the World War II bunkers and the spectacular Russian Orthodox Church. Dutch Harbor is a great place to see Bald Eagles and birders will have excellent views of these magnificent animals.
Unga Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Unga Island had an Aleutian settlement which had been subject to a small gold rush. Unga Village was eventually abandoned in the 1960’s and now has a somewhat somber appearance. Many of the houses have collapsed. From a distance the church with the tower seems intact. Standing close one can see that only the roof is
standing on the ground, the walls having collapsed. Great Horned Owls nest near the church. During a Zodiac cruise in the bay kittiwakes, Double Crested and Pelagic Cormorants, as well as good numbers of Common Murres and Tufted Puffins can be seen.
Castle Bay, Alaska
Castle Bay is just around the corner from Chignik, a fishing village of just a few hundred inhabitants –much depending on the season. The name Castle Bay was given, as the great scenery and the skyline of the mountains resembles turrets and towers of a castle. In our Zodiacs we will be cruising along the northwestern arm of Castle Bay, bringing us close to harbor seals, Bald Eagles, Pigeon Guillemots, Marble Murrelets, Mew Gulls, Black-legged Kittiwakes and Vega Gulls.
Larson Bay, Kodiak Island, Alaska
Larsen Bay is one of the hotspots of commercial and sports fishing on Kodiak Island’s western side. The village of Larsen Bay is home to one of the oldest standing canneries on Kodiak Island. Situated in a scenic valley at the mouth of a narrow fjord, the small village of Larsen Bay lies within Kodiak Island’s National Wildlife Refuge -which covers the southwestern part of Kodiak Island- and is the starting point for scenic flights over the mountainous island. Wildlife near Larsen Bay includes Kodiak brown bears, seals and sea lions, as well as eagles and puffins.
Chiswell Islands and Holgate Glacier, Alaska
The Chiswell Islands –part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge- will give us a last chance to go out in our Zodiacs to get a close-up look at Steller sea lions. Thousands of birds call these rugged islands their home and we can expect to see Horned Puffins, Tufted Puffins, Black-legged Kittiwakes, and the Cassin’s Auklet and the Whiskered Auklet, among others.
Kenai Fjords National Park’s famous Holgate Glacier will be our last chance to see a calving glacier. Enjoy he views from the outer decks as we leave the area shortly before sunset.
Following breakfast, disembark Silver Cloud. Transfer to Anchorage.
We can arrange more Alaska adventures for you.
After extensive refurbishment, Silver Cloud is the most spacious and comfortable ice class vessel in expedition cruising. Her large suites, her destination itineraries and her unparalleled service make her truly special. Her four dining options will tantalize your taste buds and as 80% of her suites include a veranda, watching a breaching whale or a few cavorting penguins has never been so personal. Broad sweeping decks with multiple open spaces and a swimming pool complete what is surely the most distinctive expedition ship sailing today. A limited number of guests in polar waters, mean that Silver Cloud has the highest space to guest and crew to guest ratios in expedition cruising. With her 16 zodiacs, 10 kayaks, possibilities are almost limitless with ship-wide simultaneous explorations. Finally, a team of up to 22 passionate and dedicated expedition experts are always at hand to ensure your voyage is enhanced every step of the way.
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