Across the Top of the World Cruise
Wrangel Island: Across the Top of the World
7 August 2017

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Across the Top of the World Cruise ( AW14 )

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Across the Top of the World Cruise Adventure Tour

This unique expedition crosses the Arctic Circle and includes the isolated and pristine Wrangel and Herald Islands and a significant section of the wild North Eastern Siberian coastline. The landscape here is relatively undiscovered as it has only become accessible in recent years by the thawing in the politics of the region and the retreat of summer pack ice in the Chukchi Sea.

This voyage journeys through the narrow Bering Strait, which separates Russia from the United States of America, and then travels west along the Chukotka coastline before crossing the De Long Strait to Wrangel Island. Untouched by glaciers during the last ice age, this island is a treasure trove of Arctic biodiversity and is perhaps best known for the multitude of Polar Bears that breed here. The island also boasts the world's largest population of Pacific Walrus and lies near major feeding grounds for the Gray Whales that migrate thousands of kilometres north from their breeding grounds in Baja, Mexico. Reindeer, Musk Ox and Snow Geese can normally be seen further inland.

This is the perfect cruise adventure for nature lovers, bird enthusiasts and photographers!

Tour Includes:
  • All shore excursions as outlined in itinerary
  • All accommodation and meals onboard the vessel
  • Services of Heritage Expeditions leaders
  • Post-expedition Trip Log
  • Group charter flight

Tour Does Not Include:
  • Russian Visa
  • Local payment ($500)
  • Regional flight connections


Across the Top of the World Cruise

Across the Top of the World Cruise Adventure Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to 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. Once everyone is on board, depart on your adventure cruise.

Day 2

In the morning, join the expedition staff and crew for some briefings and lectures while sailing towards the Bering Straits. This is also a great opportunity for some bird and cetacean watching while settling into ship life. Later in the afternoon the group plan to Zodiac cruise some spectacular bird cliffs in Preobrazheniya Bay.

Day 3

Yttygran Island is home to the monumental ancient aboriginal site known as Whale Bone Alley. Created from immense whale jawbones and skulls to form arches, the site is of global archaeological importance and stretches along the beach for nearly half a kilometre. While cruising, stay on the lookout for Gray Whales while you sail past the Nuneangan and Atakamchechen Islands where seabirds nest and walrus can be found.

Day 4

Sea conditions permitting, the group will land at Cape Dezhnev early this morning. The north-eastern most point of the Eurasian continent, it is sometimes possible to see the coast of America from this remote and lonely settlement. A few nautical miles to the west of Cape Dezhnev you visit Uelen Village, the most north-eastern village in Russia. The population is predominantly Chukchi and the village is one of the largest centres for traditional Chukchi and Inuit art in the world. Be entertained by villagers and visit the bone-carving workshop during your visit.

Day 5

Inhabited today only by walrus and seabirds, this was once an important Russian Polar Research Station, one of a number dotted across the Arctic. Near the derelict buildings are some of the most spectacular bird cliffs in the Arctic where puffins, guillemots and gulls can be observed and photographed up close.

Day 6 - 10

Ice and weather conditions permitting, the next few days will be spent on Wrangel Island and there will also be an attempt to include a visit to nearby Herald Island. Many landings can be made here to search out wildlife, wild flowers and Arctic landscapes. Polar Bears will be high on the list of animals to see and with a little patience you should be rewarded with a number of encounters. Musk Oxen and reindeer were introduced to the island in the 40’s and 70’s though reindeer numbers are low. The group will also have a chance to visit Dragi Harbour where the survivors of the Karluk, which was crushed by ice in 1914, scrambled ashore and lived until they were rescued. Wrangel Island is a Russian Federal Nature Reserve of international significance and importance particularly as it is a major Polar Bear denning area. Also each summer thousands of birds migrate here to breed, including Snow Geese, Snowy Owls, skuas, Arctic Terns, Ross’s, Sabine and Ivory Gulls.

Day 11

Bounded by narrow sand ridges with numerous lagoons and inlets, this area offers plenty of places to land and explore this extensive coastline. Be on the lookout for whales, walrus and other wildlife. You will see Chukchi villages whose residents survive in an unforgiving climate, hunting seals and whales just as their ancestors did.

Day 12

So huge that it is visible from satellite photos, this inlet contains vast numbers of waterfowl and migratory waders. The group will visit the Belaka Spit near the mouth of the inlet. It is a wild, desolate landscape that is strangely beautiful. Search the dunes and tidal areas for birdlife including Emperor Geese and Spoon-billed Sandpipers. Gray Whales frequent the area and are sometimes spotted feeding only a stone’s throw from the shore.

Day 13

Early morning you will pass the Diomede Islands, sometimes called Tomorrow Island and Yesterday Isle because they straddle the International Date Line. Here Russia and America are separated by only 2.3 nautical miles of ocean. The group will remain in Russian territory as you cruise south past the islands. Later this afternoon make an expedition landing on the Chukotka coast, our last chance to enjoy the wildlife and tundra landscape.

Day 14

Unwind and relax on board as you sail across Anadyrskiy Bay towards Anadyr. Share tales with your fellow voyagers on your final evening.

Day 15

After breakfast it will be time to say your farewells. Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Across the Top of the World Cruise Adventure Tour. Expediton Ship


Our cruise adventure ship, the 'Spirit of Enderby' is perfect for expedition travel. The real focus and emphasis is getting you ashore as often as possible for as long as possible with maximum safety and comfort.

The expedition ship carries just 50 passengers in very comfortable accommodation (refurbished in New Zealand in Nov 2004). The cuisine is excellent and is prepared by top New Zealand and Australian chefs.

Our cruise adventure are accompanied by some of the most experienced naturalists. Our guides have devoted a lifetime to field research in the areas that we visit. The cruise adventure ship is crewed by a very enthusiastic team and most experienced Russian Capitan.

The 'Spirit of Enderby' measures 72 metres in length and it is fully ice-strengthened. The cruise adventure ship powered by two 1,560 horse power diesel engines, its maximun speed is up to 12 knots. What makes this cruise adventure ship absolutely unique is the equipment we carry including:

a) Our fleet of RIB’s, (rigid inflatable boats) sometimes referred to as zodiacs. These extremely safe and stable craft will land you at some of the most amazing places.

b) Our specially designed and built Hovercraft (two) give us unprecedented over ice capability in Antarctica allowing us to land in places that are inaccessible to other ships.

The name 'Spirit of Enderby' honours the work and the vision of the Enderby Brothers of London. The Enderby Captains were at the forefront of Antarctic exploration for almost 40 years in the early 1800’s. The cruise adventure ship name also celebrates Enderby Island, arguably the greatest Subantarctic Island in the world.


  • Classification: Russian register KM ice class
  • Year built: 1984
  • Accommodation: 50 berths expedition
  • Shipyard: Finland
  • Main engines: power 2x1560 bhp (2x 1147 Kw)
  • Register: Russia
  • Maximum speed: 12 knots (2 engines)
  • Cruising speed: 10 knots(one engine)
  • Bunker capacity: 320 tons
Across the Top of the World Cruise Across the Top of the World Cruise

Deck plan

Across the Top of the World Cruise

Classic Kamchatka Adventure is available on enquiry basis - please get in touch with our Destination Managers and they will put together a holiday of a lifetime for you.

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