Join us aboard the National Geographic Orion for an epic journey across the Bering Sea. Sail along the Alaska Peninsula and trace the volcanic Aleutian superchain to its westernmost reaches, visiting uninhabited isles that played a pivotal role in World War II and now harbor an incredible variety of bird and marine mammal species. Cruise along the coasts of Russia’s Kamchatka and Chukotka regions to discover wild shorelines where few humans have ever set foot, and return to Alaska via the legendary Bering Strait.
This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.
Arrive in Anchorage and transfer to Seward to embark the ship.
National Geographic Orion for the entire voyage
Enjoy two full days to explore the shores of Katmai National Park & Preserve, home to one of the largest concentrations of brown bears in the world. Set out by kayak or Zodiac to explore the park’s wildlife-rich inlets, including Geographic Harbor and Kukak Bay, and watch the resident bears dig for clams along the shoreline.
Watch from on deck as our ship cruises past the Baby Islands during a transit of Baby Pass. Dynamic tides here offer the chance to spot sea otters and northern fur seals, as well as rare seabirds such as the whiskered auklet. Arrive at Dutch Harbor on the island of Unalaska—site of a Japanese air attack during World War II, and now an important fishing port for crab, salmon, and a host of other species.
Spend the next several days discovering the Aleutian Islands, a superchain of rugged volcanic isles that span roughly 1,200 miles, separating the North Pacific Ocean from the Bering Sea. Cruise past some of the many active volcanoes that form the Ring of Fire’s concave northern rim, and seek out diverse marine life, including northern fur seals, Steller sea lions, and multiple species of whale. By special permission, disembark to visit the uninhabited isles of Kiska and Attu, both of which were occupied by Japanese forces during World War II. See rusted war relics and shipwrecks, as well as craters left by Allied bombing campaigns. These islands are also home to large colonies of least, whiskered, and crested auklets and red-faced and pelagic cormorants.
Cross the international date line and sail into Avacha Bay, the sea gate to Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula. Visit the port town of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, framed by a trio of soaring snow-capped volcanoes: Koryaksky, Avachinsky, and Kozelsky. The next day, continue north and head inland along the pristine Zhupanova River, teeming with rainbow trout, salmon, and char. As we glide along the lower portion of this 100-mile-long waterway, seek out massive Steller’s sea eagles, as well as spotted seals hauled out on the sandbars.
Sail northeast toward Russia’s Commander Islands—a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve harboring fascinating wildlife of both Asian and North American origin. As we sail the archipelago, watch for Russian sea otters and some of the whale species that inhabit these waters, including the elusive Stejneger’s beaked variety. Go ashore at Bering Island to visit the gravesite of Danish explorer Vitus Bering, and search for arctic foxes and horned and tufted puffins. Weather permitting, ride Zodiacs to Cape Severo-Zapadnyy, home to a northern fur seal rookery.
Over the next several days, we’ll make our way up the seldom-visited Koryak Coast and Chukotka Peninsula in the Russian Far East. Hike the tundra, surrounded by volcanic mountains and minute flora. Photograph brown bears fishing, Pacific walruses feeding, and three species of seals in onshore rookeries. Learn about the local Koryak reindeer-herding culture during a visit to either Tymlat or Ossora village.
At the western edge of the rich transboundary area known as Beringia, Provideniya is known as “The Gateway to the Arctic.” Visit the local museum and witness a traditional Yupik dance performance. The next day, we’ll cross the legendary Bering Strait en route to our disembarkation point of Nome. From here, fly to Anchorage and catch your flight home.