Australian expedition-cruise company, Aurora Expeditions, has become one the first companies to ever complete Russia’s North East Passage in an ice-strengthened passenger vessel.
On board Russian vessel, Akademik Shokalskiy, the 50 passengers, 10 staff and 23 crew departed Murmansk on 10 August, taking 26 days to traverse Siberia’s vast north coast to Anadyr, crossing nine time zones.
The inaugural voyage was Aurora Expeditions most adventurous in scope and duration, visiting places where few people have ever been before. Passengers had the chance to visit military restricted Novaya Zemlya, name peaks on mountainous Severnaya Zemlya, midnight cruise around the Novosibirskie Islands, and have a special tour of polar bear haven, and World-Heritage listed, Wrangel Island.
Reaching 80 degrees north, the voyage offered attractions such as abandoned Russian polar stations and working meteorological huts, 10,000 year-old fossils of mammoth tusks and teeth, and thousands of birds, hundreds of walrus, whales and polar bears.
Lisa Bolton, Aurora Expeditions CEO, said that the voyage was a real modern-day exploration and adventure. Aurora Expeditions is a leader in adventure cruising, having pioneered a range of adventure cruises and activities in some of the world’s wildest and remote places.
“We will continue to push the boundaries, creating itinerates to stimulate the senses and open up some of the most far-flung parts of our planets. We’ll also continue to ensure that our destination’s environmental considerations are at the forefront of all our future voyages.”
Aurora Expeditions 2012 ‘Across the North East Passage’ has already sold out. Contact Aurora Expeditions to be advised of their 2013 program or check out their two new 2012 Russian voyages ‘Arctic Ocean Discoverer – Wrangel Island’ and ‘Treasures of the Russian Far East’.