Beringian Arctic Games Dates & Rates
Some 14,000 years ago the first people walked from Chukotka (in Russia), across the Beringia Land Bridge to discover North America and beyond. In July of 2014 peoples from the seven Arctic nations will return to Chukotka for the first ever Beringian Arctic Games, coming together, to celebrate and compete in skin boat races and other competitions in the picturesque village of Novoye Chaplino on the shores of Bukhta Tkachen. You are invited to join them on this special Beringian Arctic Games Expedition.
The Beringian Arctic Games will be a unique opportunity for all of us who join these people to explore Beringia through the prism of its traditional games and sports and be part of building community spirit which, instils a sense of pride in this society’s cultural roots. The more people know about and appreciate these traditional sports and games, the less likely they are to disappear or fade from memory.
This expedition will also be an opportunity for participants to explore other parts of Chukotka, including a significant archaeological site called Whale Bone Alley and Providenyia, a former important Soviet military town with a significant port and airfield. We will also visit Egvekinot, a town built by Gulag prisoners in the late 1940s to service an important tin mine. Today it is a busy town as mineral extraction becomes a significant part of the Chukotka economy. A highlight will be a morning spent with a family of Chukchi reindeer herders learning about their unique lifestyle first-hand.
dates & prices
There are no trips scheduled for this expedition.
Day 0: Nome
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
Arrive in Anadyr, the administrative capital of Chukotka. You will be transferred to the ship. We plan to sail in the late afternoon for Preobrazhenyia Bay.
Day 2: At Sea and Preobrazhenyia Bay
We plan to complete the briefings and begin a lecture series that will provide valuable background on the Games and on the cultural and natural history of the region. In the early afternoon we will arrive at Preobrazhenyia Bay on the Chukotka coast. There are impressive bird cliffs and we plan (if conditions are suitable) to take the Zodiacs for a closer look.
Days 3 to 4: Novoye Chaplino – Beringian Arctic Games
The village of Novoye Chaplino, built on the relatively sheltered Bukhta (bay) Tkachen, is the perfect venue to host the Beringian Arctic Games. The vessel will anchor and there will be continuous Zodiac shuttles to and from the ship allowing you to enjoy the games and watch the Barida (or skin boat) races. There will be traditional foods and dancing for you to enjoy. On the Saturday evening (Day 3) after an early dinner there will be an opportunity to visit the nearby town of Provideniya. Our local guides will show us around the town and describe what it was like during the Soviet period. A highlight of the visit will be one of the best museums in Chukotka.
Day 5: Whale Bone Alley and Gil’mimyl Hot Springs
We will have sailed to an anchorage off Yttygran Island overnight. Here is one of the most significant and intriguing archaeological sites in the Arctic known affectionately as ‘Whale Bone Alley’ due to the large number of whale bones spread along the beach in the form of a pathway. This afternoon we make a landing near the Gil’mimyl Hot Springs. After a soak in the springs we can explore the tundra for plants and wildlife. We will rejoin the ship this evening and sail for Egvekinot.
Day 6: At Sea
Our lecturers will continue the series of lectures about Chukotka, its people and its wildlife. It will also be an opportunity to download the many photos you will have taken, catch up on diaries and emails to friends and family.
Day 7: 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 Iul’tin mining complex some 200km inland. The town has an excellent museum. As we will be only a few miles south of the Arctic Circle, we will travel to the point where the circle cuts across the road to a reindeer herding village at Amguema.
Day 8: At Sea
This morning we plan to join a family of Chukchi reindeer herders to learn first-hand about this unique lifestyle that is in fact enjoying a renaissance in the Russian Far East. You will be introduced to the people, the reindeer and be invited to participate in their work. This afternoon we must return to Anadyr.
Day 9: Anadyr
We will wake this morning as we 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.
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.
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