Embark the National Geographic Orion and explore the unique cultural heritage of the Bering Sea, where Russian, American, and Aleut influences intermingle on wild and remote isles. Sail the legendary Bering Strait en route to Provideniya, and glimpse traditions of the indigenous Yupik in this “Gateway to the Arctic.” Visit the incredible wildlife sanctuaries of Alaska’s Pribilof Islands, delve into the region’s fascinating World War II history in Unalaska, and spy brown bears on the Alaska Peninsula.
This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.
Arrive in Anchorage and fly to Nome, where we embark the National Geographic Orion. Spend the next day at sea, and cross the legendary Bering Strait en route to Provideniya, Russia—known as “the gateway to the Arctic.” Weather permitting, we’ll stop at remote Little Diomede Island, located in the strait and home to a tiny Inupiat community.
Disembark in Provideniya to visit the local museum and witness a traditional Yupik dance performance. By special permission, spend the next several days exploring Alaska’s Pribilof Islands, a wildlife-lover’s paradise. Go ashore on St. Paul, home to the majority of the Pribilof’s more than half a million northern fur seals. Then see the cliffs of St. George from the water, aboard our fleet of Zodiacs. Crowded with millions of birds, these rocky outcrops are home to one of the largest seabird colonies in the Northern Hemisphere. Spot horned and tufted puffins, red-legged kittiwakes, crested auklets, and rare Asian vagrant species seldom seen in North America.
Cruise into 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 range of other species. Continue to the Baby Islands, where dynamic tides offer the chance to spot sea otters and rare seabirds such as the whiskered auklet. We’ll watch for wildlife on deck and aboard Zodiacs before continuing our exploration along the remote eastern shore of the Alaska Peninsula.
Go ashore on Unga Island to explore the remains of a petrified forest of sequoia trees that were buried by a volcanic mudslide nearly 25 million years ago. Water has eroded the sediment over time, leaving pieces scattered along the island’s rocky shoreline. The next day, explore Katmai National Park and Preserve, known for its robust brown bear population. Seek out some of the resident brown bears and photograph them from a safe distance as they fish for salmon and dig for clams.
The second largest island in the U.S., Kodiak has a unique cultural heritage that blends Russian, Alutiiq, and American influences. Join our undersea specialist for a dock walk to learn about the marine life found among the fishing boats anchored in Kodiak’s inner harbor. Then photograph the onion-domed Holy Resurrection Cathedral on a photo walk or peruse native art and artifacts at the Alutiiq Museum.
We’ll spend the last full day of our trip cruising along the Kenai Peninsula. Take in views of the Harding Icefield—the source of nearly 40 glaciers—and search for wildlife along rocky coastal cliffs and in the surrounding waters. Arrive in Seward the following morning, and transfer to Anchorage to connect with your flight home.