Summer expedition with ethnologist to Chukotka: Lorino whalers, reindeer herders of polar tundra and Cape Dezhnev

CHUKOTKA

August 6 to 20, 2021
Tour Chukotka, Russia

summer tour to Chukotka with ethnologist expedition to whalers sea hunters reindeer herders tour Chukchi Inuits Eskimos whales walruses

Tours and Expeditions to Russia Far North of Russia Chukotka peninsula Anadyr
To find yourself in the place, where day turns into night, where from the eastern hemisphere to the western one is only one step, where myriad colonies of walruses are fond of rookeries on the Earth's edge, and whales splash the waters of Pacific Ocean with their tails.
Here survive Inuit and Chukchi cultures, who have adapted to live in harmony with nature, hunting whales and pinnipeds and migrating with their reindeer herds across the endless tundra of the Chukotka Peninsula.

Our expedition will reach Cape Dezhnev - the easternmost point of Eurasia, from where America is visible.

Throughout the expedition we are accompanied by ethnologist, big professional in indigenous peoples of Chukotka.

Tour to Chukotka. To find yourself in the place, where day turns into night, where from the eastern hemisphere to the western one is only one step, where myriad colonies of walruses are fond of rookeries on the Earth's edge, and whales splash the waters of Pacific Ocean with their tails.
Here survive Inuit and Chukchi cultures, who have adapted to live in harmony with nature, hunting for whales and pinnipeds and migrating with their reindeer herds across the endless tundra of the Chukotka Peninsula.
Throughout the expedition we are accompanied by ethnologist, big professional in indigenous peoples of Chukotka.

SСHEDULE AND COST:

Dates: August 6 to 20, 2021

Duration: 15 days / 14 nights

Number of participants: 8 – 12

Cost per person:
- 229 000 Russian rubles subject to 11 participants,
- 236 000 Russian rubles subject to 8 participants, based on double/twin accommodation.

Everything is included (incl. domestic flights in Chukotka and full board meals) except for:
- international flight to Anadyr (roundtrip),
- international medical insurance,
- Russian visa (if needed).
Estimated cost of the flight Moscow – Anadyr – Moscow: 46000 – 70000 rubles (to be purchased by your own).

Single supplement: 47 000 Russian rubles. Provided everywhere except for overnights in yaranga




TRAVEL PROGRAM: TOUR TO CHUKOTKA
Day 1. August 6, 2021. Arrival in Anadyr

Arrival in Anadyr at 12:40 pm (UTair flight 533 from Moscow).
Meeting with a guide at the airport, crossing the estuary by ferry and entering the city of Anadyr.
Registration at the border guard office and check-in in the hotel "Anadyr".
Free time, acclimatization. Dinner at the hotel.
Meals: dinner
Accommodation: hotel "Anadyr" in double/twin rooms


Day 2. August 7, 2021. Anadyr

After breakfast we go for city tour (monuments of Grinevetsky, Rytkheu, Mandrikov, St. Nicholas) and an observation point overlooking Anadyr. After lunch, we will walk to the passengers' pier, where at low tide beluga whales and seals catch salmon, staying against the current in the estuary. Photographing white whales and seals.
In the evening stories about local rituals and traditions: the ritual of feeding the spirits. Local delicacies: red fish, caviar and other.
Meals: lunch, dinner
Accommodation: hotel "Anadyr" in double/twin rooms


Day 3. August 8, 2021. Anadyr
After breakfast we move to sea shore to Tawaiwam village for observation of salmon fishing. Picnic: tasting of just made red caviar. Buying caviar.
Visiting museum "Heritage of Chukotka" and buying souvenirs.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: hotel "Anadyr"


Day 4. August 9, 2021. Anadyr – Laurentius – Lorino

After breakfast we cross the estuary and head to the airport for flight from Anadyr to Laurentius.
Registration at the border guard office and lunch in the local café. Walking tour around the village, visiting the local museum.
Land transfer to Lorino (40 km, 1 hour), photographing tundra along the way. Accommodation at the apartment and having dinner.
An ethnologist's lecture on the history of whaling on the seashore with a visual study of canoes, harpoons and other whale hunting tools. Communication with sea mammals hunters in an informal environment.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: apartment


Days 5 - 6. August 10 - 11, 2021. Chukchi whale hunting in Lorino

After early breakfast, boat trip for observation of gray whales and observation of the full process of traditional whaling craft. We will witness distribution of the whale meat among local population. Traditional hunting for whales is officially permitted among the Chukchi people, within allocated quotas, which amounts to about 120 – 140 gray whales and 2-4 Greenland whales a year.
Lunch made of meat of sea animals.
Walking tour around the Lorino village – world capital of whaling. Meeting with representatives of the Inuit and Chukchi cultures, a discussion on issues of intercultural interaction.
The Chukchi are an indigenous people inhabiting the Chukotka Peninsula and the shores of the Chukchi Sea and the Bering Sea region of the Arctic Ocean within Russia. They speak the Chukchi language. Chukchi originated from the people living around the Okhotsk Sea. According to most recent genomic research, Chukchi people are the closest cousins of the First Americans in Asia. Chukchi are traditionally divided into the Maritime Chukchi, who had settled homes on the coast and lived primarily from sea mammal hunting, and the Reindeer Chukchi, who lived as nomads in the inland tundra region, migrating seasonally with their herds of reindeer. The Russian name "Chukchi" is derived from the Chukchi word Chauchu ("rich in reindeer"), which was used by the Reindeer Chukchi to distinguish themselves from the Maritime Chukchi, called Anqallyt ("the sea people").
The Inuit (Eskimo, Yupik) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, Chukotka and Alaska. The Inuit languages are part of the Eskimo-Aleut family. Inuit are the descendants of what anthropologists call the Thule culture, who emerged from western Alaska around 1000 CE. They had split from the related Aleut group about 4,000 years ago and from northeastern Siberian migrants, possibly related to the Chukchi language group, still earlier, descended from the third major migration from Siberia. They spread eastwards across the Arctic.
Visit to a bone carving workshop, explanation about a traditional craft. Here you can also order souvenirs made of walrus tusk, bone or whalebone.
Dinner and overnight in the apartment.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: apartment
* As an option, at extra fee, concert of folklore group.


Day 7. August 12, 2021. Lorino – Reindeer herders camp in tundra

After early breakfast, leaving by motor boat or by caterpillar all-terrain vehicles for the reindeer herders brigade (brigade of Neshkan, Yanrakynnot or Lorino, depending on the location of the nomads). The way by boat takes at least 4 hours, by all-terrain vehicle – at least 6 hours and may take even much more, depending on location and road and weather conditions. Taking pictures of tundra on the way.
If we travel by sea towards Yanrakynnot, we will stop at the Masik (Mechigmen) "whale alley", where ancient settlements of whalers of the 13th century are located. Here you can still find the remains of so called "jaw dwellings", built in the form of semi-dugouts from the bones of the jaws and ribs of bowhead whales. Picnic en route.
Meeting reindeer herders and sharing gifts.
Dinner from venison and food of reindeer herders. Talking with reindeer herders, stories around the campfire about life in tundra. Night in traditional yaranga in a very basic conditions.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: yaranga (traditional Chukchi dwelling).


Day 8. August 13, 2021. Reindeer herders camp in tundra

We spend the day in the camp of reindeer herders, participating in the life of the reindeer herders' brigade.
Trip to the herd. Master class on lassoing. Ritual slaughtering of a deer.
Master classes on cooking dishes from venison.
For lunch and dinner – the food of reindeer herders.
If during the days of our stay the nomads decide to migrate, then we participate in the transferring of the entire camp, together with reindeer and all belongings, to a new place in the tundra.
Communication with reindeer herders, stories about tundra around the fireplace.
If the reindeer herding team is located relatively close to Lorino, it is possible to return to Lorino in the evening and spend the night at an apartment.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: yaranga or apartment
* Optionally, at the additional cost, we can organize the migration in our dates.


Day 9. August 14, 2021. Chukchi reindeer herders camp in tundra – Lorino

After breakfast in brigade we return to Lorino with picnic and stops on the way.
Visit to an underground lednik (kind of natural permafrost underground fridge) used for storing meat.
In the evening we have a traditional banya (steam bath).
Dinner and ethnologist's lecture on the traditional exchange between reindeer herders and sea mammals hunters.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: apartment


Day 10. August 15, 2021. Walrus traditional hunting in Akkani

Early departure to the old settlement of Akkani. We visit old abandoned village of Akkani which now serves as a hunters' base for the local community. Akkani is located in a picturesque bay with numerous whale skulls and bones along the coast.
Observation of traditional hunting of indigenous people for pinnipeds. Demonstration of traditional cutting pinnipeds, tasting of cooked dishes from walrus meat.
Lunch made of meat of sea animals, mushrooms and berries.
After a walk around the area we return to Lorino or stay for overnight in Akkani, depending on time.
Dinner and ethnologist lecture on the history of the development of Chukotka.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: apartment


Day 11. August 16, 2021. Dezhnev Cape - the easternmost point of Eurasia and the ancient Eskimo settlement of Naukan

After breakfast we will travel to the End of the World. We will make a sea trip to the northernmost part of the Bering Sea, pass through the raging waters of the Bering Strait, and if weather permits, we will go out to the Chukotka Sea relating to the waters of the Arctic Ocean. Here is our main goal - Cape Dezhnev, the extreme eastern point of Russia and the entire continent of Eurasia. In good weather and visibility, you can see not only the outlines of the islands of Ratmanov (Russia) and Kruzenshtern (USA), but also the mainland coast of America - Alaska. If weather permits, we go until Uelen – another settlement located on the northern part of Chukotka Peninsula.
On the way we will observe gray whales beating their tails, walruses in the water and sometimes at rookery and numerous bird colonies.
We will go ashore in the immediate vicinity of Cape Dezhnev, where there is a monument to Semyon Dezhnev, the discoverer of the strait between Eurasia and America. His notes were published only after his death, a hundred years after he discovered the strait, so all the laurels went to Bering, who saw the strait seventy years later, and Dezhnev just got the name of the cape.
There is also the ancient Eskimo settlement of Naukan of the 11-12th century and the Ekven burial ground dating back to the 2nd century BC. This place, with the remains of half-dugouts of dwellings and utility rooms of the Eskimos: built with stone and whale bones, is located in a stunningly beautiful place and makes an extremely strong impression, atmospherically surpassing the famous Cape Roca in Portugal, located on the opposite end of Eurasia.
Lunch at the easternmost point of Eurasia, next to the Dezhnev monument and the border service point.
Return to Lorino and farewell dinner.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: apartment


Day 12. August 17, 2021. Lorino

Today we will go fishing salmon at one of the nearest rivers or go to the sea shore, where we will catch crabs with nets. And in the evening we'll cook them with beer.
Upon return, visit Lorino hot springs in the tundra halfway from Lorino to Laurentius. Bathing in the springs and return to the village.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: apartment


Day 13. August 18, 2021. Lorino – Laurentius – Anadyr

After early breakfast, visiting the office of the territorial-neighbors community of sea mammals hunters during the morning meeting. Say goodbye to the hunters. Buying souvenirs and transfer to the airport of Laurentius, flight to Anadyr.
Transfer and check-in at the hotel Nord in Aeroport town or in appartments in Pervomaisky town in Anadyr suburbans. Sharing impressions, dinner.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: hotel "Nord" or apartments


Day 14. August 19, 2021. Abandoned military base Gudym

After breakfast, visiting the abandoned military base Gudym. Gudym, built in late 1950th, served as a nuclear weapon base during the Cold War period and was completely hidden underground. Explore secret tunnels. Picnic at the military base with packed army ration.
Farewell dinner. Performance of a folk group: throat singing or dancing. Dinner and ethnologist lecture on Chukotka.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: hotel "Nord" or apartments


Day 15. August 20, 2021. Return flight

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and flight Anadyr - Moscow by UTair airline, departure at 3:40 pm (flight UT534).
Meals: breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: no


* If these dates will host a festival of sea mammals hunters "Beringiya", we can participate in the festival. Beringiya Festival usually takes place on the third weekend of July. Exact dates of the festival are determined by local Administration and can be last moment changed.

** The operator reserves the right to change the order of execution of the program subject to keeping of all activities.

*** The program depends on the local flights schedule and availability of flying weather.

Cost includes:

  • Domestic flights from Anadyr to Laurentius (roundtrip)
  • transportation costs in Chukotka (transfers, taxi, ferries, boats, all-terrain vehicles)
  • twin/double accommodation in hotels and apartments,
  • accommodation in yaranga
  • full board meals
  • permit to the border zone
  • entry to the national park zones (payments and permits),
  • tickets to the museums
  • all activities and visits according to the program
  • English and Spanish speaking guide and team leader, local guides
  • ethnologist's lectures about Chukotka.


Cost excludes (to be additionally paid):

  • Tickets to Anadyr roundtrip,
  • medical insurance,
  • Russian visa (if required),
  • additional extra food, alcohol and souvenirs,
  • additional optional activities which are not listed in the program.



To take with:

• Wear sets fitting weather conditions, including summer wear (trousers, T-shirts, long sleeve shirts) and warm wear (fleece, jamper),
• warm windstopper jacket
• thermal underwear
• hats for all types of weather: baseball cap/hat/suncap and windstop warm hat for sea journeys
• windstopper gloves
• buff
• swimsuits
• raincoat
• comfortable closed trekking footwear (with membrane) and comfortable light shoes (snickers) for walking
• rubber boots (up to you)
• sleeping bag for 0 degree
• anti mosquito net for sleeping (up to you)
• personal hygiene items: towel, wet tissues
• personal medical kit (analgesics, antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, your personal medications)
• sunblock set (cream, sunglasses, cap) and wind protection means
• facial anti mosquito net (up to you)
• repellents: sprays, creams
• big backpack for stuff
• small backpack for radial walks (25-30 liters)
• forehead torch
• thermos (up to you)
• photo and video camera, spare batteries
• dry bag for camera and documents (up to you)
• insurance confirmation copy
KEY FEATURES:
Tour to Chukotka
Chukotka peninsula, Russia

Best season: July - September



Lorino, the capital of whalers, where Chukchi and Inuit people are engaged in whale and walrus hunting, that we can witnesses.

Life in yaranga traditional dwelling of the Chukchi reindeer herders, deep dive into their life and culture, nomading with the camp to a new place in tundra.

Gray whales and walrus rookeries – the unique wildlife of Chukotka.

Cape Dezhnev - the easternmost point of Eurasia.

Underground "lednik" - a giant natural fridges for storage of meat of sea animals.

Bering Strait dividing Eurasia and America. The unique place – the border of the Eastern and Western hemispheres, place where 180th meridian and the Arctic Circle cross.

Ethnologist's lectures about Chukotka, its indigenous peoples, traditions and cultures.

Old settlements of Naukan, Akkani and Masik "Whale valley"

Salmon, red caviar, walrus meat, mantak and other Chukchi delicacies.
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