Across the Top of the World
This unique journey not only includes the isolated Wrangel and Herald Islands but also a significant section of the wild North Eastern Siberian coastline. It is a journey made possible only in recent years by the thawing in the politics of the region and the retreat of the summer pack ice in the Chukchi Sea. Right on the border between Soviet Russia and the USA, the area was known as the Ice Curtain and today remains one of the last undiscovered wonders of the world.
We sail through the Bering Strait west along the north Siberian coastline before crossing the Longa Strait to Wrangel Island and there spend 4-5 days under the guidance of local Rangers on the Nature Reserve. Untouched by glaciers during the last ice age, this is a treasure trove of arctic biodiversity and is perhaps best known for the multitude of Polar Bears that breed there. We hope to catch many glimpses of this beautiful animal as well as walrus, reindeer, Snow geese and other migratory species that nest here annually. Of equal importance is the ‘mammoth steppe’ vegetation complex, a rich and diverse relic from the Pleistocene epoch, nurturing over 400 plant species.
Changing hands from Britain, America, Canada and Russia the islands’ human histories are not without interest either and our expert expedition team will take time to give lectures and background to the landscape we move through and the encounters we enjoy. We will undertake numerous landings during our voyage, look for whales, visit huge bird colonies, walrus haul-outs and native villages and will take every opportunity to discover the region’s rich biodiversity. NOTE: You can join this expedition either in Anadyr (see ‘Getting to and from the Russian Far East’) or you can join in Nome, Alaska. Those starting in Nome will fly by a Heritage Expeditions charter flight to Anadyr where you will join the ship and the expedition members who have travelled direct to Anadyr.
Additional charges:Landing Fees $500.00 USD pp
Across the Top of the World itinerary:
Spirit of Enderby
The Spirit of Enderby is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and is perfect for Expedition Travel.
She carries just 50 passengers and was refurbished in November 2004 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.
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. It also celebrates Enderby Island, arguably the greatest Subantarctic Island in the world.
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.
- Heritage Suite: Has a large lounge area, a separate bedroom with double bed, a single bed in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe, drawers. There is a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. There are large forward and side facing windows to allow great views.
- Mini Suites: Have a separate bedroom with a double bed and a single bed or a sofa in the lounge, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. The Mini Suites have windows.
- Superior Plus cabins: Have two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
- Superior cabins: Have bunks (an upper and lower berth), wardrobe, drawers, a desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
- Main deck cabins: Have two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, a desk, washbasin and porthole. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main deck cabins.
- Main deck triple: Has one bunk (one upper and one lower) and one lower berth, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and wash basin. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main deck cabins.
Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 72 meters
Beam: 13 meters
Speed (average): 10 knots
Built / refurbished: 1984 / 2004
Capacity: 48 (twin & triple cabins)