akademik shokalskiy northeast passage cruise

North East Passage: The Northern Sea Route - Eastbound

  • Overview
    Russia controls one of the greatest seaways in the world. Within Russia it is known as the Northern Sea Route, while the rest of the world calls it the Northeast Passage. Only a handful of expedition vessels have ever transited this seaway, but recent changes in the summer sea ice conditions mean this historic and fascinating sea route is now accessible to a few suitably constructed expedition vessels. The indigenous peoples of the north coast of Siberia were undoubtedly familiar with sections of this seaway but it wasn't until 1878-1880 that Swedish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiold completed the first ever transit. Earlier attempts to find a route in the 16th century had been thwarted by either ice or politics or both. The Russian empire had been expanding eastwards and in an attempt to control and tax the burgeoning fur trade, all foreign shipping was banned from 1616 until 1753. Commercial interest in the route was revived in the late 19th century when several trading vessels reached as far as the Ob and Yenisey Rivers and initiated trade with the interior as it proved much easier to ship timber, fur, gold and grain down these rivers than carry them overland to markets in the west.
    Duration: 28 days
    Passengers: 48 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Murmansk, Russia
    Disembarkation Point: Anadyr, Russia
    Physical rating: Expedition
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Murmansk; Embarkation Day

      Join the Akademik Shokalskiy and depart. After sailing there will be introductions to ship and crew.

      Please note; Our cabin prices are inclusive of the USD$500 per person landing fee required for this expedition.

    • Day 2/3 - Barents Sea

      This sea is named in honour of Dutch Seafarer and navigator Willem Barents who explored the region on two separate expeditions in 1594 and 1596. We will keep a look out for marine mammals and of course seabirds.

    • Day 4/6 - Franz Josef Land

      This is a huge archipelago of 192 islands located only 10 degrees from the North Pole. They were named in 1870 after the Hungarian Emperor when they were discovered by the Austro-Hungarian Payer-Weyprecht Expedition that was searching for the NE Passage. During our time here we plan multiple landings in search of history, wildlife and flora.

    • Day 7/8 - Kara Sea

      The Kara Sea is one of the coldest seas in Russia. It lies between Novaya Zemlay, Franz Josef and Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago.

    • Day 9/11 - Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago

      The Severnaya Zemlya Islands are on the border of the Kara and Laptev Seas and are an extension of the Taimyr Peninsula. The islands were not discovered until 1914-15 by the Russian explorer Vilkitski. They are heavily glaciated with deep fiords and majestic glaciers which make them magnificent for cruising. There is also a great selection and abundance of Arctic wildlife including Polar Bears, Arctic Foxes, Arctic Hares and walruses.

    • Day 12/13 - Crossing the Laptev Sea

      This sea is bounded in the west by the Taymyr and the Severnaya Islands and the Novosibirskie Islands in the east. Look out for the Laptev Sea Walrus known only in this sea.

    • Day 14/16 - Noviye Sebirskiye (New Siberian Islands)

      These islands mark the border between the Laptev and East Siberian Seas and consist of three major groups: Southern, Central (Anzhu) and Northern (De Long) Group. The islands are virtually unexplored and are uninhabited apart from the researchers at a couple of weather stations. We will explore the islands with a number of landings in search of Arctic flora and wildlife.

    • Day 17 - East Siberian Sea

      It was in this sea that the Jeannette, captained by George Washington De Long, became stuck fast in ice, drifted and was crushed and sunk in 1881. Wreckage from the Jeanette was found in Greenland in 1884 giving Nansen the idea for the now famous 1893-96 Fram Expedition.

    • Day 18 - Medvezhyi Islands

      There are no permanent settlements on these little known and seldom visited islands. They are covered in tundra and known to have a good population of Polar Bears.

    • Day 19 - Ayon Island and Village

      This island and village is home to a small group of Chukchi Reindeer herders. We enjoy their hospitality and learn about reindeer herding.

    • Day 20 - East Siberian Sea

      This sea occupies the area between the Novosibirskie Islands and Wrangel Island. Three of Siberia’s major rivers flow into it – the Indigirka, Alazaya and the Kolyma. It was in this sea that the Soviet vessel Chelyuskin with 111 people on board became trapped in ice and sank in 1934.

    • Day 21/23 - Wrangel Island

      Wrangel Island is one of those islands that you have to visit to appreciate. It is a Federal Nature Reserve of international significance and importance and also a World Heritage Site. A lot of its significance lies in the fact that it is a major Polar Bear denning area. It is also the last landfall for migratory species flying north. Each summer thousands of birds migrate here to breed, including Snow Geese, Snowy Owls, skuas, Arctic Terns, Ross’s, Sabine’s and Ivory Gulls.

    • Day 24 - Kolyuchin Island

      Early this morning we will pass close by the place where the Swedish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiold wintered over in 1878. Later this morning we plan to land on Kolyuchin Island, where there is an abandoned Polar research and weather station and some great bird cliffs.

    • Day 25 - Cape Dezhnev and Uelen Village

      Early this morning we will be at Cape Dezhnev, the eastern extremity of the Eurasian continent. This afternoon we visit the nearby village of Uelen. Here we enjoy the hospitality of the local people who are predominantly Chukchi and enjoy a cultural performance and visit the bone-carving studio.

    • Day 26 - Whale Bone Alley and Gil’mimyl Hot Springs

      We visit Whale Bone Alley on Yttygran Island, one of the most significant and intriguing archaeological sites in the Arctic. This afternoon we plan a landing at the Gil’mimyl Hot Springs.

    • Day 27 - At Sea

      Crossing the Gulf of Anadyr there will be opportunities for pelagic birding, marine mammal watching and lectures.

    • Day 28 - Anadyr

      The expedition finishes in Anadyr. After a final breakfast it will be time to disembark. There will be a complimentary transfer to the airport or to a central downtown hotel.

      IMPORTANT: If you are taking the charter flight to Nome, Alaska at the end of your voyage, you will arrive Nome, Alaska on the 24 September 2017.

      IMPORTANT:
      These expeditions are subject to approval from various Russian Federal and Regional Authorities and may have to change depending on these approvals. Permits have been lodged for all the sites mentioned in the itinerary, depending on approvals these may have to be amended or substituted. We will endeavour to keep participants fully informed of any changes in the itinerary as and when they occur.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your captain and expedition leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Charter Flights

    Private charter flight Anadyr to Nome (Departs 28-AUG-17)

    USD 1,300 per person

    Northeast Passage & Wrangel Island

    The Northern Sea Route, or the Northwest Passage as it is more commonly known, is a strategic maritime route controlled by Russia. With changes in the sea ice over recent years, a handful of vessels have been able to navigate the passage each year. On board our suitably constructed ice-breaker, we will be fortunate to explore this historic and fascinating route. We’ll visit indigenous Serbian communities and be given an insight into their unique way of life, as well, we hope to land at Franz Joseph Land and Wrangel Island.

    Wrangel Island is a wildlife hotspot and in particular, contains one of the highest densities of Polar bears in the world. It is a unique little island off the Siberian arctic coastline and will provide us with excellent wildlife opportunities.

    The Polar Bear

    To many people, the polar bear is the Arctic. The sight of such an impressive silky white bear wandering the frozen Arctic seas in search of seals symbolizes the cold, isolated nature of the Arctic so well. Polar bears are marine mammals because they spend so much of their lives away from land. In the high Arctic where there is always some sea ice to travel on, polar bears range over ice floes in the pack ice hunting seals all summer. In some areas (e.g. southern Hudson Bay, southern Svalbard) they are simply forced to come ashore. Polar bears rarely venture inland.

    Northeast Passage & Wrangel Island

    The Northern Sea Route, or the Northwest Passage as it is more commonly known, is a strategic maritime route controlled by Russia. With changes in the sea ice over recent years, a handful of vessels have been able to navigate the passage each year. On board our suitably constructed ice-breaker, we will be fortunate to explore this historic and fascinating route. We’ll visit indigenous Serbian communities and be given an insight into their unique way of life, as well, we hope to land at Franz Joseph Land and Wrangel Island.

    Wrangel Island is a wildlife hotspot and in particular, contains one of the highest densities of Polar bears in the world. It is a unique little island off the Siberian arctic coastline and will provide us with excellent wildlife opportunities.

  • Inclusions

    Landing Fee

    Our expedition rates incorporate the required USD$500 landing fee

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - meals and all expedition shore excursions.
    - all on board ship accommodation
    - Pre/Post cruise transfers
    - Prices are inclusive of the USD$500 per person landing fee

    Not included in your Expedition

    - visas and travel insurance
    - gratuities. International/domestic flights (including charter flights)
    - drinks
    - laundry
    - All items of a personal nature
  • Map
    Map coming soon
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    AKADEMIK SHOKALSKIY

    The Shokalskiy is the sister ship to the Spirit of Enderby, they were both built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and being fully ice strengthened they are perfect for Expedition Travel. She carries just 48 passengers and has been recently refurbished to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows or portholes and ample storage space. On board there is a combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room. The cuisine is excellent and is prepared by top NZ and Australian chefs. The real focus and emphasis of every expedition is getting you ashore as often as possible for as long as possible with maximum safety and comfort. Our Expeditions are accompanied by some of the most experienced naturalists and guides, who have devoted a lifetime to field research in the areas that we visit. The ship is crewed by a very enthusiastic and most experienced Russian Captain and crew.

    Features & Facilities
    • Basic accommodation
    • Small and intimate vessel
    • Bar/Library
    • Lecture room
    • Observation decks
    • Open Bridge
    • Internet
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 48
    Crew #:
    Ice Class: KM
    Speed: 12
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 71m
    Width: 12
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 1764
    Registry: Russia
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates

Main Deck Twin

29 Aug 2017 - 25 Sep 2017
Twin public cabins have shared facilities and are the most economic
USD 20,300pp
USD 20,300pp

Superior Twin

29 Aug 2017 - 25 Sep 2017
Twin cabin with private facilities
USD 21,900pp
USD 21,900pp

Superior Plus Twin

29 Aug 2017 - 25 Sep 2017
Twin cabin with lower bunks and private facilities
USD 24,700pp
USD 24,700pp

Mini Suite

29 Aug 2017 - 25 Sep 2017
Suite cabin with double bed, private facilities and proximity to the bridge
USD 25,700pp
USD 25,700pp

Heritage Suite

29 Aug 2017 - 25 Sep 2017
A perfect corner forward facing suite with the closest proximity to the bridge
USD 27,700pp
USD 27,700pp