Across the Top of the World Dates & Rates
Embark on this extraordinary adventure to one of the world’s least visited coastlines: explore the isolated Wrangel and Herald islands as well as the North Eastern Siberian coastline. Only recently has it become possible to visit the area locked away from keen travellers by Russian politics and harsh natural conditions.
Enjoy a sailing experience down the Bering Strait, reach Wrangel Island and explore the extraordinary Nature Reserve environment accompanied by a group of local rangers.
Experience the Arctic’s unique wildlife, including the mighty polar bears that visit the island to breed, but also walruses, reindeer and a great variety of birds. A true animal lovers dream! Learn about the island’s unique history and native heritage through a series of lectures and talks from our expedition team; several times a day, jump into Zodiacs and enjoy various landings, spot whales and impressive bird colonies and absorb the unique beauty of the Russian Far East.
dates & prices
Across the Top of the World (SOE1633)
|Twin Main Deck||USD $11,700|
|Superior Plus||USD $13,000|
|Mini Suite||USD $13,800|
*Plus additional local payments of US $500 pp.
|Across the Top of the World (SOE1633)||29-Aug-16 to 12-Sep-16|
NOTE: You can join this expedition either in Anadyr or in Nome, Alaska. Those starting in Nome will fly by a Heritage Expeditions charter flight to Anadyr and will join the ship and the expedition members who have travelled direct to Anadyr.
Day 0: Nome
If you are departing from Nome in Alaska, you will cross the International Dateline today as you’ll be flying across the Bering Sea to Anadyr, your port of departure.
Day 1: Anadyr
Upon arrival into Anadyr, you will be transferred to the vessel, the Spirit of Enderby.
Day 2: Anadyrskiy Bay
Today enjoy a series of briefing and lectures onboard. Take your time to get familiar with the ships and enjoy some ‘cetacean’ spotting along the way. In the afternoon we’ll take you on a Zodiac cruise along the spectacular cliffs of Preobrazheniya Bay, inhabited by impressive bird colonies.
Day 3: Yttygran, Nuneangan and Arakamchechen Islands
Visit Yttygran Island today. It is home to the large native site of Whale Bone Alley, where whale bones are scattered along the shores. The area is regularly visited by Gray whales. We continue on to Nuneangan and Arakamchechen islands, home to many sea birds and walruses.
Day 4: Cape Dezhnev and Uelen Village
If weather permits, this morning we aim to land at Cape Dezhnev, the most north-eastern point of the Eurasian continent. Visit the village of Uelen, one of the largest place in the world to find traditional Chukchi and Inuit art. Enjoy some time spent in the village joined by hospitable Chukchi villagers and don’t miss the bone-caving workshops.
Day 5: Kolyuchin Island
The island of Kolyuchin, once a major Russian Polar Research Station, features some impressive cliff tops and large colonies of puffins, guillemots and gulls.
Days 6 to 10: Wrangel and Herald Islands
Over the next few days (if ice ad weather conditions permit it), spend some time visiting Wrangel and Herald island. Thanks to various shore landings, enjoy searching for wildlife, photographing wild flowers and gazing at the pristine Arctic landscapes. If you’re lucky, spot polar bears in their natural habitat, along with Musk oxen and reindeer. We also visit Dragi Harbour where the Karluk was crushed by ice and its survivors stranded ashore.
Day 11: North Siberian Coast
We continue on exploring, reaching the North Siberian Coast filled with many lagoons and inlets. Keep an eye out for whales, walruses and other fascinating wildlife. Also visit Chukchi villages and learn how they live in such harsh climate conditions and hunt seals and whales, walking in their ancestors’ footsteps.
Day 12: Kolyuchin Inlet
We head for the inlet of Kolyuchin, more specifically to the entrance of the inlet, called Belaka Spit. The strangely stunning, untouched, desolate area is subject to tidal phenomena and is home to emperor geese, spoon-billed sandpipers but is also frequently visited by whales, feeding a few metres offshore.
Day 13: Bering Strait and Chukotka Coast
Early this morning, our boat will sail pass the Diomede Islands, located across the International Date Line, between Russia and the USA. In the afternoon, we attempt to step foot on the shores of the Chutkotka coast and spend some time enjoying the wildlife and tundra.
Day 14: At Sea
Today enjoy some relaxing time onboard as the ship sails across Anadyrskiy Bay towards Anadyr.
Day 15: Anadyr
After breakfast, disembark and say goodbye to other passengers. A complimentary transfer to the airport or to your centrally-located hotel is included.
|15 day voyage||29-Aug-16 to 12-Sep-16|
How to Prepare
How many people on the ship?
Polar Pioneer sleeps 54 passengers. We believe that small groups are the best way to experience our destinations.
Where do passengers come from?
The majority of our clients come from Australia, the UK/Europe and America, however we do often have a mix of other nationalities on board, including our expedition staff.
How much room is there for luggage?
There is ample storage space in your cabin on all our ships. Your empty baggage can be stored safely elsewhere on the ship if need be.
Does the crew speak English?
The crew are all Russian. They are undoubtedly the ice-masters of the world. The Captain and most of the watch officers speak English. Whilst some of the crew speak only a little English, they do like to practice their English skills on our willing passengers.
Is the ship air-conditioned? What is the temperature?
All our ships are air-conditioned and the temperature ranges for 15°C to 25°C. You can control the temperature of your cabin by adjusting the airflow through the roof vent and turning your heater on or off.
How do we dry wet clothing?
Clothing dries very quickly inside your cabin. There are no passenger laundry facilities for you to do your own washing, but there is a laundry service on board all our vessels. Prices are listed in your cabin. All cabins have a sink.
What clothes do I take to wear on the ship?
Shipboard clothing is informal and casual. Depending on your destination; jeans, jumpers, long sleeve shirt and enclosed shoes are ideal in our polar regions. However be sure to keep your jacket close for unexpected sightings!
Some people like to take a nice outfit or something a bit special for the Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks, but formal clothing is not necessary.
What type of jacket should I take?
You can get away without a padded ski jacket or down parka, if you don’t have one; however a wind and waterproof jacket is a must!
Do you provide parkers or jackets?
We do not provide parkers or jackets on board.
What kind of footwear do I need for our shore visits?
It is most important that you bring a good pair of walking shoes. Gumboots will be provided on board in our polar destinations.
Do you provide gumboots?
Yes. All passengers will be provided with gumboots. If you have concerns regarding extra small or large sizing, or hard-to-fit feet, we recommend you bring your own pair.
How often do we get off the ship?
We aim to get off the ship as much as possible, usually two, sometimes three times a day depending on weather and itinerary. Weather permitting we spend between one to four hours at each location. We come back to the ship for meals.
What is not included in the price of the voyage?
In general items that are not included in the cost of your voyage are flights to and from your voyage, pre and post accommodation, transfers, drinks from the bar (alcohol and soft drinks), gratuities, ship-shop items, laundry costs and other items of a personal nature (unless stated in your voyage inclusions).
Some voyages do include certain pre and post arrangements, so please check your specific voyage inclusions in our brochure, website or call our Expedition Experts on + 61 2 9252 1033 .
Do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance, including medical evacuation cover, is mandatory for all Aurora Expeditions’ voyages. We advise you have insurance for voyage cancellation to ensure you will be covered financially if you are forced to cancel your voyage due to circumstances beyond your control. It is in your best interest to read carefully the General Terms & Conditions on your booking form or on our website here. http://www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/terms-and-conditions
How much should I tip?
People often ask us what they should do about tipping. Tipping is a very personal matter, however if pressed we recommend $US10-12 per passenger, per day that you are on the ship. It is better for our Russian crew if you can give them US dollars cash. Our Russian crews work extremely hard to ensure you have the best possible experience. They are paid by the Russian ship owners and do not receive large wages. We are continually lobbying on their behalf for better pay.
Should I bring along my own walking poles?
Yes, it’s a good idea, especially if you have trouble walking over uneven ground. Some of our landings can be on slippery rocks or deep snow, and we may go for extended walks to see different parts of our landing point. We recommend the telescopic poles, with the optional snow-basket tips for polar voyages. You can purchase these poles in most outdoor stores.
Do you have facilities on board to download digital images from my camera?
No, we do not provide a computer to download your digital images. We recommended you bring a laptop computer or similar downloading device to download your images, either between landings, in the evenings or during sea crossings.
What is the electrical supply on board? Do I need a converter?
The electrical supply on board is 220 volts, 50 hertz. You will need a European round two-prong plug adapter available at duty free or electrical supply shops.
Do you cater for special meal requests?
Yes. Our talented chefs will take your requirements into their meal planning and ensure you receive tasty, healthy meals. Please ensure you list any dietary requirements on your personal details form.
What if I need to go to the toilet when ashore?
Our expedition staff will instruct you with these types of rules on board. Generally on our polar voyages we avoid going to the bathroom ashore, however in an emergency we ask you to find a discreet location near the shoreline to relieve yourself.
How fit do I need to be?
To make the most of our voyages, you should be in good general health and able to walk reasonable distances, sometimes over uneven terrain. However, if you have problems walking on rough ground, you can enjoy the scenery closer to shore. Should you have any physical limitations please notify us well in advance of your departure, but this should not discourage you participating.
How do we pay for our bar bill at the end of the voyage?
Our hotel manager will organise this on board. We accept all major credit cards, or if you are paying cash we except US dollars.
Can I smoke on board?
There is a ‘No Smoking’ policy throughout the interior of our ships. Our expedition leader will advise you on designated smoking areas.
Are there hairdryers on board?
There are no hairdryers on board.
Will I get sea sick?
Many people ask us if they will get seasick. It is a very difficult question to answer because it depends so much on the individual. Our experience is that a small percentage of people are seasick on any trip and most of these people are fine after a day or so at sea. If you feel that you are particularly susceptible to seasickness then it is a good idea to talk to your doctor. Come with motion sickness tablets. There will be a doctor on board to assist with any bouts of sea sickness.
Will I see a polar bear in the Russian Arctic/ brown bear in the Russian Far East?
As with all wild animals, we cannot guarantee you will see polar bears. However, the time of year we visit is when bear numbers are at their peak, and our experienced leaders and crew are aware of the bear’s habitats and are well trained to spot these marvellous creatures in the wild.
Is tipping expected in Russian hotels, bars and restaurants?
Tipping is common at about 5-10% in most places. Consider about 10% in some more up-market restaurants. As far as tour guides are concerned, about US$5 to US$10 a day is suitable. Sometimes a small gift, such as chocolates or a CD, is a nice gesture.
Is bargaining acceptable?
Items that you purchase in store will usually have a fixed price. However, you may make a counter bid at markets and souvenir stalls, although Russia is not really a country for vigorous haggling.
What sort of money do I take and how much?
Australian dollars are difficult to exchange in Russia. We recommend that you exchange your Australian dollars in Australia or take US dollars for exchanging in Moscow or St Petersburg. It is better to carry US dollars for tipping and payment of bar bills on board the ship. You can also pay with all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard and American Express.
Can I swim or snorkel in Russia?
Although you cannot swim or snorkel in Russia, some of our voyages stop at hot springs where you will have the chance to have a soak. Check your voyage itinerary for details.
Do I need a visa for Russia?
Please also note at check in to each hotel, you will be charged a visa registration fee for the hotel to register your stay. This cost may be included in the cost when booking or may be charged upon arrival to the hotel. The cost can be up to EUR8 per person, per room.
How do I get to Russia?
There are a number of airlines that can get you to Russia, however within Russia itself, the choice is limited. View a list of airlines on page #. Common airline routes (from Sydney, Australia) are listed below. Contact our reservations team if you would like flight information travelling from your nearest city.
To Sakhalin Island
Sydney- Seoul -Yuzhno
How to Book
If you are interested in an Aurora Expeditions voyage, please contact our sales team to check availability.
Either email an expert here or call our experienced consultants direct on + 61 2 9252 1033 or 1800 637 688 (Freecall within Australia).
Complete a booking form
Once availability is confirmed, please download, print and complete the booking form. Please return it to us, along with your deposit to secure your berth. Please ensure you read the Terms and Conditions of contract before sending us your signed booking form.
Terms & Conditions
Click here to view the terms and conditions.
Preparation for your voyage
On receipt of the booking form, we will contact you to confirm your booking and our reservations staff will send you a comprehensive pre-departure kit. This kit will contain all necessary pre-departure information including visa information, insurance information, a medical and personal details form, comprehensive gear list and information tailored to your voyage.
Aurora Expeditions - Your Personal Travel Agent
Aurora Expeditions is a licensed travel agent. Our experienced reservations consultants all have specialised expertise on the destinations we travel to. Each voyage has a dedicated travel expert solely working on developing dynamic itineraries for our passengers. Contact our reservations team and allow us to create a personal itinerary to compliment your voyage, including airfares, accommodation, travel insurance and pre and post voyage travel options.
We look forward to assisting you with your journey of a lifetime.
Extend your Holiday
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