New Zealand company offers unique opportunity on Wrangel | Polarjournal
Wrangel Island, which covers some 7,600 square kilometres, lies in the middle of the Arctic Ocean and is the last mainland area before the North Pole when traveling north from the Bering Strait. Few tourists come here and usually experience the island from the coast. Picture: Michael Wenger

Despite the boom in polar and especially Arctic travel in recent years, there are still some rarely visited areas. It is precisely these that are high on the wish list of experienced polar enthusiasts. One such area is Russia’s Wrangel Island in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. This natural paradise offers a unique diversity both on the coast and in the interior. Heritage Expeditions, New Zealand’s expedition travel specialist, is now offering a unique opportunity for explorers to experience the island extensively on foot and by vehicle for 10 days with park rangers.

During the upcoming Arctic season, plans are in place to offer this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity from July 24 to August 21, Heritage Expeditions announced in a news release. For 10 days, a group of guests accompanied by rangers from the nature reserve will not only experience Wrangel Island’s flora and fauna up close on the coast, but will also explore the island’s interior. Five people will have the opportunity to observe musk oxen, Arctic foxes, snowy owls and geese and other Arctic inhabitants in a unique scenery, to experience the fascinating flora that had not been influenced by glaciation during the last ice age and to hike through a landscape as the last mammoths had experienced it and enjoy the vastness. And all under the expert supervision of a park ranger and expedition guide from Heritage Expeditions. During the 10 days the participants will be accommodated in simple to basic conditions in outstations. A certain amount of adventure and outdoor spirit is required accordingly.

To get to Wrangel Island in the first place, guests will sail from Nome, Alaska aboard Heritage’s flagship Heritage Adventurer bound for Chukotka. During five days guests will have the opportunity to experience the outermost tip of Eurasia and to immerse themselves in the nature and culture of the Chukchi and the Inuit. Afterwards, all guests spend another five days around Wrangel Island, using the ship as a base for Zodiac rides and coastal walks. At the end, the five guests in the group will remain in the care of the park rangers with a guide, while the remaining guests will continue their journey for another five days and experience other areas. The group left behind will then come back on board on the Heritage Adventurer’s next voyage and will also have the opportunity to explore these further parts of Chukotka and the Arctic Ocean with its abundant mammal and bird life. The trip will end back in Nome on August 21. Thus, Heritage offers the opportunity to experience Wrangel Island in a unique way during a total of 20 days and Chukotka for 10 more days.

For Heritage Expeditions this offer is a successful start into the new future with their flagship Heritage Adventurer, which might be known to many as MS Hanseatic. “We are delighted to continue Heritage Expeditions tradition of exceptional, personalised expeditions” says co-owner Aaron Russ. “The opportunity to cruise across the top of the world aboard Heritage Adventurer, our stylish flagship, with the option to stay on stunning Wrangel Island with the rangers who know it best, is a truly unique experience we are very proud to be able to offer exclusively.” The approximately four-week voyage is being offered by Heritage for US$35,000 and, in addition to the 10-day stay on Wrangel Island, includes full services on board the ship and accommodations in a superior cabin, all excursions, meals and shore fees.

Dr Michael Wenger, PolarJournal

Link for more information: Heritage Expeditions “The Ultimate High Arctic Expedition” (English)

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