northeast passage cruise silver explorer luxury expedition

Northeast Passage

  • Overview

    Remote, extreme and starkly beautiful, join the Silver Explorer on her second historic voyage across the Northeast Passage. Few people have even heard of this isolated part of the world let alone say that they have experienced it for themselves – the fascinating local culture, the unbelievable plethora of wildlife, the sheer magnitude of nature. Get set for encounters with whales, polar bears, walrus and Snowy Owls to name just a few.

       Our Northeast Passage voyage will retrace the voyages of famous explorers like Nordenskiöld, Nansen, DeLong and Amundsen! See how far north Silver Explorer can get and visit islands few people have even heard of. You will be amazed by the dramatic scenery and the resilient wildlife of the Russian High Arctic with a chance to spot walrus and polar bears in this harshest of landscapes. 

       Encounter fascinating local cultures in Chukotka and visit Wrangel Island, home to thousands of walrus and polar bears. Throughout the voyage, learn about the history, geology, wildlife and botany of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.  

    The Silver Explorer will be one of the smallest expedition vessels to traverse the incredibly exciting Northwest Passage in 2020. 

    IMPORTANT: Please note that cabin fares onboard this voyage are dynamic and as such may change at any time. Pricing shown is also the early bird pricing and requires payment in full by 30 Oct '18 to confirm. Due to the crossing of the International Date Line our system is showing the voyage as 27 days in duration, but it is only 25 days.

    Expedition Highlights:

    • Cape Dezhnev and Uelen Village, Chukotka, Russia
    • Wrangel Island, Chukotka, Russia
    • Medvezhyi Islands, East Siberian Sea
    • Cruise towards the Ice Edge
    • Novaya Zemlya, Russia
    • Champ Island, Franz Josef Land, Russia
    • Hall Island, Franz Josef Land, Russia
    • Hooker Island, Franz Josef Land, Russia
    • Murmansk, Russia 
    • Gjesverstappan Islands, Norway 

    Wildlife Highlights

    • Polar bears, reindeer, musk oxen, Arctic ground squirrel, snow hare
    • Pacific walrus, ringed seals, ribbon seals, spotted seals, bearded seals
    • Humpback whales, grey whales, bowhead whales, beluga whales and white-beaked dolphins
    • Birds of note: Northern Fulmar, Short-tailed Shearwater, Northern Gannet, Horned Puffins, Tufted Puffins, Atlantic Puffins, Great Skua, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Red-legged Kittiwakes, Black Guillemots, Pigeon Guillemots, Common Guillemots, Parakeet Auklet, Least Auklet, Snow Buntings, White-tailed Eagles, Great Cormorants
    Duration: 27 days
    Passengers: 130 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Nome, Alaska
    Disembarkation Point: Tromso, Norway
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Nome, Alaska: Embarkation day

      Nome is located on the edge of the Bering Sea, on the southwest side of the Seward Peninsula. Unlike other towns which are named for explorers, heroes or politicians, Nome was named as a result of a 50 year-old spelling error. In the 1850's an officer on a British ship off the coast of Alaska noted on a manuscript map that a nearby prominent point was not identified. He wrote "? Name" next to the point.

      Please Note: Due to the crossing of the international date line, this voyage is 25 days in duration, even though the itinerary reads as 27 days.

    • Day 2 - Date Line Crossing - Lose a day

      Today we cross the international date line en route to Russia.

    • Day 3 - Provideniya

      Provideniya is a former Soviet military port at the southern limit of the Arctic ice pack. With slightly less than 2000 inhabitants, many of whom are Yupik, it is the largest town and administrative center of the Providensky District. Started as a depot for the Northeast Passage traffic, it now is a port of entry to the Russian Far East and since the decline of the Soviet Union eco-tourism has boosted the local economy. The town has a Technical School and a fascinating museum with interesting and well-presented exhibits about the natural history and wildlife of the region.

    • Day 4 - Cape Dezhnev & Uelen Village

      Located between the Chuchki Sea and the Bering Sea, Cape Dezhnev comprises the easternmost mainland point in all of Eurasia. The cape was originally named East Cape by Captail James Cook, but has since been renamed for Semyon Dezhnev, the first recorded European to round its peninsula. The cape is the edge of a rocky headland with steep, carved-looking cliffs. Ashore can be found one of Russia’s most famous lighthouses and the monument honouring Dezhnev. The cape was a center for trade between American and European whalers, as well as fur traders.

      Located north of Cape Dezhnev in Chukotka along the Bering Strait, the small coastal village of Uelen is the furthest east settlement in all of Eurasia (and is also the closest Russian settlement to the United States). The village is near the Uelen Lagoon and is known by the local Yupik as “Land’s End,” and has a population of around 700 inhabitants. When during soviet times it had been decided to abandon many of the smaller settlements in favor of larger consolidated ones, Uelen was chosen as one of the four villages to take in the inhabitants of other settlements.

    • Day 5 - Kolyuchin Island

      Kolyuchin Island is a small island in the Chukchi Sea that is uninhabited and covered with tundra vegetation. The island is the site of a famous rescue operation after a Russian icebreaker was crushed by ice nearby. Located close to the Siberian shore this island has been used as the base for a now-abandoned meteorological station at its western end, while walrus hunters had a few huts on the eastern side. The island has steep, dramatic bird cliffs teeming with Pelagic Cormorants, Thick-billed Murres and kittiwakes.

    • Day 6 - Krasin Bay

      Krasin Bay is one of several landing points to explore Wrangel Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site rich with Arctic vistas and wildlife. Most noteworthy that can be seen from Krasin Bay are the remains of ancient inhabitants of Wrangel Island, a 3,400 year old Paleo-Eskimo camp. In addition, nature trekking to look for land mammals, birds and the varied flora is recommended. Wildlife sightings may include walrus, musk oxen, and possibly even polar bears.

    • Day 7 - Cape Waring & Ostrov Gerald

      Cape Waring is a dramatic approach to Wrangel Island, an important nature reserve on the Chukchi Sea and a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its Arctic beauty and diverse wildlife and flora. Sail between blue and white ice floes, approaching a rocky cliff covered in seabirds and hugged by low-lying clouds. The ice floes are a favorite hang-out spot for walrus as well as seabirds such as Brunnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres), petite and hearty black-and-white water birds.

      Ostrov Gerald is a small, isolated granitic island in the Chukchi Sea, less than 40 nautical miles to the east of Wrangel Island. It was named after a survey vessel, the HMS Herald, which visited the island in 1849 while searching for the vanished expedition of Sir John Franklin, and it’s English name is in fact, Herald Island. Steep cliffs ring the island in all but one slim area of accessible shoreline at the northwestern point of the island. Here the cliffs have eroded into piles of rock and one can find the only possible landing spot on this unglaciated, remote, and uninhabited island.

    • Day 8 - Wrangel Island

      Located in the Arctic Ocean between the Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea, Wrangel Island is worth a longer visit to experience the Arctic wildlife that resides here. This protected nature area and UNESCO World Heritage Site has the largest amount of polar bears and apparently was the last place where woolly mammoth roamed. The name of the island goes back to the search for land north of the Chukchi Peninsula by Ferdinand von Wrangel, who went in search of the island with coordinates but did not find it on his first expedition.

      Cape Florens is located on the less icy northeast edge of Wrangel Island. This bay offers access to tundra nature walks, where visitors will tread upon permafrost and be able to explore the diverse and beautiful vegetation, including shrubs, sedges, grasses, mosses and lichens. This protected nature area and UNESCO World Heritage Site has a large amount of polar bears, which might be spotted if the timing is right.

    • Day 9/24 - At sea

      Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

    • Day 10 - Ayon Island

      Ayon Island is located off the coast of Chukotka at the eastern end of the Kolyma Gulf. Its size of 2,000 square kilometres permits the small local Chukchi population to herd reindeer. The local population welcomes the rare visitor with warmth and hospitality. The village of Ayon has a school with a museum that was put together by the children of the school. Displayed are mammoth tusks, stuffed birds and some Paleo Eskimo artifacts. The Russian polar station on Ayon Island is one of the few meteorological stations still in use and is staffed by 12.

    • Day 11 - Medvezhiy Islands

      Also known as Bear Islands, the Medvezhyi are an uninhabited group of islands at the western side of the Gulf of Kolyma in the East Siberian Sea. It is not so much the bears, but the flora and geology that make these six islands stand out. This is a commercial fishing area despite the existence of fast ice that surrounds the islands during much of the year. On Chetyrokstolbovoy Island, flowers, lichen, mosses and mushrooms are abundant.

    • Day 13 - Ostrov Bennetta

      Ostrov Bennetta in Russian, or Bennett Island as it is known in English, is the largest of the De Long group of islands located in the northern extents of the East Siberian Sea. Mount De Long dominates Bennett Island and is the highest point in the archipelago topping 426 meters (1,398 feet). The frosty white landscape of Bennett Island is the largest permanent ice cover within the De Long Islands. In recent years scientists have been able to map four separate glaciers forming the solid ice cap of this island.

    • Day 14 - Ice edge cruising

      Imagine being surrounded on all sides by glistening sea ice on top of dark, frigid waters. The sound of the ship’s bow crunching through the crusty rime carries on the crisp air with a resounding echo. Perhaps in the distance, the expedition team spots an inconsistency of colour on the ice – a vaguely yellow patch against the bright white of the snow. Excitement on deck grows as the ship draws closer, and with baited breath it becomes obvious to all aboard that a polar bear is plodding along, jumping from floe to floe, in its eternal quest for the next meal.

    • Day 16 - Akhmatov Gulf

      Akhmatov Gulf is also known as Akhmatov Bay and Akhmatov Fjord. It is a deep, glacially carved arm that runs almost mid-way through the mass of Bolshevik Island, the southernmost island of Severnaya Zemlya in far northern Russia. The fjord has a wide mouth (approx. 9 nautical miles across) on the island’s northeastern side and is clogged by ice much of the year. Steep, ice-polished mountain slopes drop into the water on either side of the broad channel.

    • Day 17 - Ostrov Isachenko

      Isachenko is an island of the Kirov group in the Kara Sea north of Russia. A level beach, under the right conditions, can provide a landing site for access to this remote island. Ashore, it is possible to see a deserted station, the operation of which was likely discontinued in 1993. Evidence of the station’s abandonment is everywhere with scattered pieces of equipment and a host of other materials left behind by the station crew in the now slowly decaying huts.

    • Day 18 - Uyedineniya Island

      Uyedineniya Island, Lonely Island or Solitude Island, as it is also known, is located in the Kara Sea between Novaya Zemlya and Severnaya Zemlya. The small, relatively flat island’s tundra, when free of ice and snow, grows green vegetation in the summer. In addition to tundra, there are bogs and small lakes on the island. A long spit of land dominates its northeastern side and ice floes are commonly found in the waters here, even in the summer.

    • Day 19 - Novaya Zemlya & Ostrov Oranskiye

      The Russian word, Zhelaniya means 'wish,' and leads one to wonder why such a poetic name was ascribed to this remote headland on the northern end of Severny Island, part of Novaya Zemlya in the Russian Federation. The cape is an important geographical landmark although quite a desolate and exposed location, especially in the bitter Arctic winters. It is the physical point of reference that marks the boundary between the Barents Sea and the Kara Sea.

      Located a few nautical miles north of Cape Zhelaniya at the northern tip of the massive island of Novaya Zemlya lies tiny Ostrov Oranskiye; one of a small group known as the Orange Islands. Willem Barentz, a Dutch navigator sailed this region in the late 1500s on the small ship Mercury. The Mercury was one of three ships attempting to enter the Kara Sea in order to find the Northeast Passage above Siberia. It is reported that the Mercury’s crew discovered a massive herd of walrus on the Orange Islands and proceeded to attack them with hatchets and pikes to harvest their fabulous ivory tusks.

    • Day 20 - Cape Tegetthoff

      Over 190 islands complete the Franz Josef Land group, covering an area of more than 16,000 square kilometres. Hall Island is one of many islands in the archipelago that is almost totally covered by glaciers. Its highest point is over 500 meters, and is located on top of an ice dome. Cape Tegetthoff is a headland on the south end of Hall Island, one of the largest islands in the Franz Josef Land group. Hall Island was named after American Arctic explorer Charles Francis Hall.

    • Day 21 - Champ Island & Hooker Island

      In the Franz Josef Land archipelago, an estimated 85% of the islands are glaciated. Champ Island is ice-capped as well, but probably best-known by the few people who have had the opportunity to visit, for its rounded stone geodes, an almost unique phenomenon, even on a worldwide scale. At Cape Triest numerous geodes are partly stuck in the crumbling rock faces. A geode is sedimentary in origin and is essentially a hollow, spherical mass of mineral matter that often forms with crystals in the centre.

      Hooker Island is located in the heart of the Franz Josef Land archipelago, deep in the Arctic Ocean. A small bay provides an anchorage that can be busy with seabirds from nearby bird cliffs. Rubini Rock in Tikhaya Bay is an impressive rock formation with an intricate surface structure of curved basalt columns. Stark colour contrasts are enhanced by bright lichens and lush green summer vegetation in less steep parts of the island.

    • Day 22 - Bell Island

      The Franz Josef Land archipelago was first spotted by Norwegian sealers in 1865. The climate is severe most of the year with the average summer temperature around 35° F (2° C). Sparsely vegetated by lichens, mosses, and a few species of Arctic flowering plants, islands like Bell Island can be home to mammals including polar bears and the Arctic fox, with the potential for numerous seabird species to be nesting on the island. Bell Island is located in the western portion of the island chain and is home to the historic hut of explorer Benjamin Leigh Smith, dating back to 1881.

    • Day 25 - Murmansk

      The last city founded by the Russian Empire, Murmansk has long been an important ice-free naval and commercial shipping port. The smoke stacks, port cranes, and Soviet-era architecture are unappealing, but the natural surroundings draw visitors to ski and snowmobile in winter, and in summer to fish the thousands of lakes and rivers, and party away the long, light nights.

    • Day 26 - Gjesvӕrstappan Islands

      Almost a hundred islands and rocks make up the Gjesvӕrstappan Nature Reserve, one of Europe’s largest and most accessible nesting areas for Atlantic seabirds. Less than 10 nautical miles from Nordkapp more than one million nesting birds have been counted on Storstappen, the largest of the islands, and the minor islands next to it. One of the most significant Atlantic Puffin colonies in North Norway is found in this nature reserve.

    • Day 27 - Tromso, Norway; Disembarkation

      Tromsø surprised visitors in the 1800s: they thought it very sophisticated and cultured for being so close to the North Pole—hence its nickname, the Paris of the North. It looks the way a polar town should—with ice-capped mountain ridges and jagged architecture that is an echo of the peaks. The midnight sun shines from May 21 to July 21, and it is said that the northern lights decorate the night skies over Tromsø more than over any other city in Norway. Tromsø is home to only 69,000 people, but it's very spread out—the city's total area, 2,558 square km (987 square miles), is the most expansive in Norway. The downtown area is on a small, hilly island connected to the mainland by a slender bridge.

      Please Note: Due to the crossing of the international date line, this voyage is 25 days in duration, even though the itinerary reads as 27 days.

    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

    Champ Island, Franz Josef Land, Russia

    Arctic Skuas, Little Auks, Black-legged Kittiwakes and Black Guillemots nest on the island, but the most famous attractions are the stone spheres that reach up to 2 metres in diameter.

    Cruise towards the Ice Edge

    While heading west we will get a feeling for the different approaches to these frigid waters by explorers like Nansen, Nordenskiöld and Amundsen. Considering that several explorers tried to reach the ice to drift towards the North Pole, our aim is to venture as far north as possible –where few others have been- and continue searching for seals, walrus, and polar bears on the ice.

    Wrangel Island, Chukotka, Russia

    Silver Explorer will be exploring Wrangel Island for three days. This protected nature area and UNESCO World Heritage Site has the largest amount of polar bears and apparently was the last place where woolly mammoth roamed. Grey whales, bowhead whales and beluga whales are known to be in the Chukchi Sea and the island is an important breeding ground for walrus.
    At Cape Florence we hope to offer a walk looking for the two types of lemmings found on Wrangel, Arctic foxes, Snowy Owls and obviously the tundra flora. While at Krassin Bay, a 3,400 year old Paleo-Eskimo camp will be one of the goals of our exploration. With our onboard naturalists and our Russian park rangers we hope to hike, looking for the remains of ancient inhabitants of Wrangel Island and will continue to look for land mammals, birds and the varied flora.

    Cape Dezhnev and Uelen Village, Chukotka, Russia

    Considered Russia’s easternmost settlement, the small coastal village of Uelen is north of Cape Dezhnev. The cape had been rounded by Dezhnev 130 years before Captain Cook, and has one of Russia’s most famous lighthouses and the monument honouring Dezhnev. Known by the local Yupik as "Land’s End“, the village has a population of around 700 inhabitants. The Chukchi and Inuit that live here are known as excellent carvers, working in walrus, whalebone and reindeer. Going ashore we will have a welcome and cultural presentation with an opportunity to see many of the excellent carvings.

  • Inclusions

    Transfers & Accommodation

    You arrival and departure transfers are included in your expedition, as is the first nights accommodation at the cruise hotel

    Bar & Gratuities

    On board the Silver Cloud select wines and premium spirits, coffee and sof drinks are included, as are all crew gratuities and Wifi throughout the ship

    Complimentary Parka

    You voyages includes a complimentary Haglöfs expedition jacket.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - In-suite dining and room service
    - Beverages including select wines / premium spirits / coffee / soft drinks and your own tailored mini-bar
    - Butler service
    - On board Gratuities
    - All shore excursions and lectures in the itinerary

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption / emergency and medical travel insurance
    - All items of a personal nature
    - Phone & Internet charges
    - Spa treatments
    - Passport and Visa expenses
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Additional hotel nights
    - International & internal airfares
  • Map
    Iex   alaska to norway
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    SILVER EXPLORER

    Purpose-built luxury Silver Explorer expedition cruise ship has been designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions. A strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger vessels enables the Silver Explorer Expedition Cruise Ship to safely push through ice floes with ease. A fleet of Zodiac boats allows guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations and an expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding to each unforgettable Silver Explorer luxury cruise adventure.

    Features & Facilities
    • Luxury Accommodation
    • Library
    • Beauty Salon
    • Fitness Centre
    • Observation Library
    • Internet Cafe
    • Panorama Lounge
    • Theatre
    • Spa
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 6
    Guests #: 130
    Crew #: 117
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 14
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 108m
    Width: 15
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 6130
    Registry: Bahamas
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates
silver explorer adventurer suite northeast passage cruise

Adventurer Suite

22 Aug 2020 - 17 Sep 2020
Twin portholes, sitting area, twin/queen bed and private facilities. Due to the Silver Explorer's dynamic pricing structure, please enquire now for exact cabin pricing details. Cabin pricing on the Silver Explorer is dynamic and can change at any time. Prices shown are the early bird fares and require payment in full by 30 Oct 2018 to confirm.
AUD 41,990pp
AUD 41,990pp
silver explorer adventurer suite northeast passage cruise

Explorer Suite

22 Aug 2020 - 17 Sep 2020
View window, sitting area, twin/queen bed and private facilities. Due to the Silver Explorer's dynamic pricing structure, please enquire now for exact cabin pricing details. Cabin pricing on the Silver Explorer is dynamic and can change at any time. Prices shown are the early bird fares and require payment in full by 30 Oct 2018 to confirm.
AUD 43,990pp
AUD 43,990pp
silver explorer view suite northeast passage cruise

View Suite

22 Aug 2020 - 17 Sep 2020
View window, sitting area, twin/queen bed and private facilities. Due to the Silver Explorer's dynamic pricing structure, please enquire now for exact cabin pricing details. Cabin pricing on the Silver Explorer is dynamic and can change at any time. Prices shown are the early bird fares and require payment in full by 30 Oct 2018 to confirm.
AUD 47,700pp
AUD 47,700pp
silver explorer Vista suite northeast passage cruise

Vista Suite

22 Aug 2020 - 17 Sep 2020
Large picture window, sitting area, twin/queen bed and private facilities. Cabin pricing on the Silver Explorer is dynamic and can change at any time. Prices shown are the early bird fares and require payment in full by 30 Oct 2018 to confirm.
AUD 49,950pp
AUD 49,950pp
silver explorer veranda suite northeast passage cruise

Veranda Suite

22 Aug 2020 - 17 Sep 2020
French balcony, sitting area, twin/queen bed and private facilities. Cabin pricing on the Silver Explorer is dynamic and can change at any time. Prices shown are the early bird fares and require payment in full by 30 Oct 2018 to confirm.
AUD 71,280pp
AUD 71,280pp
silver explorer medalion suite northeast passage cruise

Medallion Suite

22 Aug 2020 - 17 Sep 2020
Teak style balcony, sitting area, twin/queen bed and private facilities. Cabin pricing on the Silver Explorer is dynamic and can change at any time. Prices shown are the early bird fares and require payment in full by 30 Oct 2018 to confirm.
AUD $POA
AUD $POA
silver explorer silver suite northeast passage cruise

Silver Suite

22 Aug 2020 - 17 Sep 2020
French balcony, living room, twin/queen bed and private facilities and much more. Cabin pricing on the Silver Explorer is dynamic and can change at any time. Prices shown are the early bird fares and require payment in full by 30 Oct 2018 to confirm.
AUD $POA
AUD $POA
silver explorer grande suite northeast passage cruise

Grande Suite

22 Aug 2020 - 17 Sep 2020
Teak balcony, living room, twin/queen bed and private facilities and much more. Cabin pricing on the Silver Explorer is dynamic and can change at any time. Prices shown are the early bird fares and require payment in full by 30 Oct 2018 to confirm.
AUD $POA
AUD $POA
silver explorer owner's suite northeast passage cruise

Owner's Suite

22 Aug 2020 - 17 Sep 2020
Teak balcony, living room, twin/queen bed and private facilities and much more. Cabin pricing on the Silver Explorer is dynamic and can change at any time. Prices shown are the early bird fares and require payment in full by 30 Oct 2018 to confirm.
AUD $POA
AUD $POA