Russian Arctic Cruise
Bear, bears bears and more bears! With some of the highest density populations of polar bears in the world you are almost guaranteed a brace of bears on Wrangel and Herald Islands
A land of huge skies, snow capped mountains, towering bird cliffs, tundra wilderness and trees that you can look down on, beguiling bleak, the definition of a truly remote destination
This region is home to a number of indigenous groups including Chukchi, Inuit, Yupik and Sami whom you can visit in their remote villages experiencing their culture first hand
Steppes Travel cut its teeth selling trips to Russia in 1989 and have been offering voyages to the Russian Arctic for the past three seasons. Sue travelled to Wrangel and Herald Islands aboard the Spirit of Enderby and was lucky enough to encounter 103 Polar bears along with 2 Brown bears on the Russian coast. She counts this as definitely one of her top wildlife destinations, encountering Musk Ox and Polar bears at close quarters on foot, read her blog for a detailed account of the trip.
The Russian Arctic stretches from Murmansk in the west round to Anadyr in the east, encompassing the Barrents, Kara and Laptev Seas along with the Bering Straits. The remote islands and archipelagos such as Wrangel, Herald, Novaya Zemla, Franz Josef Land and Severnaya Zemlya support a stunning array of birds and wildlife. Wrangel Island, the world's northernmost UNESCO World Heritage site, has polar bears in such great densities that voyages here often experience 100 plus sightings.
The waters of the Arctic Ocean are rich in marine life, Anadyrskiy Bay and the Lena river delta are a great place to see belugas. Grey, Orcas and Humpback whales are all frequently seen, along with the occasional Narwhal.
During the Cold War this region stretching from Europe and almost touching America was strategically import to the Russians and you can visit a number of abandoned stations and submarine bases. These are some of the most godforsaken military postings you can ever imagine, a side of the Russian Arctic most visitors are not expecting.
Cruises and Voyages in the Russian Arctic