Winter expedition with ethnologist to Arctica: photographing polar bears and Chuckchi reindeer herders


March 25 to April 4, 2022
Tour Chukotka, Russia

winter tour to Chukotka with ethnologist expedition to reindeer herders tour stay in yaranga tundra polar bears phototour Chukotka photo tour Chukchi sea mammals hunters

For those who are not afraid of the harsh winds of the Arctic Ocean and the limitless distances of the polar tundra in pursuit of the dream of photographing polar bears.

The Bear Patrol will lead us to the den in the season when female polar bears and cubs leave the lair. You will see the real wild Chukotka, from Anadyr to the Egvekinot, from the Amguema tundra with its reindeer herders to the polar Vankarem with the Chukchi-sea-hunters and wildlife.

The ethnologist, a big expert in the field of indigenous peoples of Chukotka, leads and lectures throughout the expedition.

For those who are not afraid of the harsh winds of the Arctic Ocean and the limitless distances of the polar tundra in pursuit of the dream of photographing polar bears.

The Bear Patrol will lead us to the den in the season when female polar bears and cubs leave the lair. You will see the real wild Chukotka, from Anadyr to the Egvekinot, from the Amguema tundra with its reindeer herders to the polar Vancarem with the Chukchi-sea-hunters and wildlife.

Dates: March 25 to April 4, 2022*

* Dates of expedition dates can be shifted 1 week back or forward, depending on the flight schedule and the schedule of other expeditions in Chukotka.

Duration: 11 days / 10 nights

Number of participants: 4 – 6

Cost per person**:
- 269 000 Russian rubles subject to 6 participants
- 299 000 Russian rubles subject to 5 participants
- 335 000 Russian rubles subject to 4 participants

**10% early booking discount (in case you book before November 25, 2021)

Everything is included 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: upon request


Day 1. March 25, 2022 (Friday). ANADYR – UELKAL

Arrival in Anadyr. Meeting at the airport.
Lunch at the airport cafe.
Getting the luggage and passes in the border service.
Acquaintance with the guides. Equipment inspection, instructions.
Departure for the route Anadyr - Uelkal (180 km, 4 - 5 hours) by the comfortable all-terrain vehicle "Burlak".
Picnic on the way at the "Wing" - a lost aircraft from the Second World War.
Arrival in the Eskimo village of Uelkal. Acquaintance with the culture and traditions of the Eskimos.
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.
Dinner - traditional Eskimo food, stories about the village and its history.
Performance by the Eskimo folklore group "Imla".
Overnight at the local club (in sleeping bags).

Meals: lunch, dinner
Accommodation: local club

Day 2. March 26, 2022 (Saturday). UELKAL – EGVEKINOT

Excursion to the military cemetery of Alsiba pilots and to the tropospheric station, the history of the Second World War and the Cold War.
Departure along the route Uelkal - Egvekinot (120 km, 3 - 4 hours).
Picnic on the way.
Arrival in Egvekinot, accommodation in cottages or apartments.
Walking tour of the village, visiting the local museum, ski slopes, sea bay.
Dinner at cafe 13 or at home. Acquaintance with local traditions, the ritual of feeding the spirits.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: cottage or apartment

Way from Egvekinot to Amguema (90 km)
Stop at the sign "Arctic circle", picnic, "sprinkling to the spirits", converting into the polar explorers, granting certificates. Breakfast
Arrival in Amguema. Acquaintance with the village, lunch.
Meeting interesting people such as N. Tyneru – respected herder, discussing the program.
Departure to the reindeer herding brigade, subject to its close location (up to 60 km, 1 - 2 hours).
Acquaintance with the brigade, exchanging gifts, visit to the herd.
Dinner, talking around the fire.

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").
Accommodation in a yaranga or all-terrain vehicle for the night.

Optional: night drive to Vankarem (190 km from Amguema, about 120 km from the brigade, 3-4 hours). In this case, late in the evening we reach the final destination and spend the night in the sleeping section of the Burlak all-terrain vehicle.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: yaranga (traditional Chukchi dwelling) or sleeping compartment of the all-terrain vehicle

Day 4. March 28, 2022 (Monday). REINDEER HERDERS CAMP – VANKAREM

Breakfast and departure for Vankarem (190 km from Amguema, about 120 km from the brigade, 3-4 hours)
Stop for hot tea at the Vostochny gold mine, where gold of 999 standard is mined.
Arrival to Vankarem. Dinner.
Accommodation at the polar station or with local residents.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: polar station or local house

Days 5 – 8. March 29 – April 1, 2022 (Tuesday – Friday). VANKAREM

Tour of the village and the Cape.
A visit to Chelyuskinskaya school, history of "Chelyuskin"
Meeting the guides and departure on the "Bear patrol", search and observation of polar bears. Photographing polar bears.
Meeting Chuckchi sea mammals hunters. Head to "the ice edge" with hunters for hunting seals (depends on weather conditions).
Visit the ruined tropospheric station "Agate"
Meeting with the locals at the club.
Visit Chuckchi reindeer herders of the brigade number 7 in the tundra.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: polar station or local house

Day 9. April 2, 2022 (Saturday). VANKAREM – AMGUEMA – EGVEKINOT

Early breakfast.
Return to Egvekinot by Burlak all-terrain vehicle (280 km).
Tea drinking at the Vostochny gold mine.
Lunch in Amguema.
Departure to Egvekinot, visiting the sign of crossing the polar circle and the 180th meridian.
Arrival in Egvekinot, accommodation in cottages.
Russian banya (steam bath).

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: cottage or apartment

Day 10. April 3, 2022 (Sunday). EGVEKINOT – UELKAL – ANADYR

Early breakfast.
Departure along the route Egvekinot - Anadyr (300 km).
Lunch in Uelkal. Stops along the way. Tea, photography.
Arrival in Anadyr, crossing the estuary, accommodation at Hotel Anadyr.
Farewell dinner, concert of a folklore group (throat singing or dancing).

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: hotel "Anadyr"

Day 11. April 4, 2022 (Monday). ANADYR. RETURN FLIGHT

City tour (monuments to Mandrikov, Grinevetsky, Rytkheu).
Visit to the Chukotka Heritage Museum.
Crossing the estuary to the airport.
If possible – visit the abandoned nuclear missile base "Gudym".
Picnic - army food ration.
Departure to Moscow.

Meals: breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: no

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

Cost includes:

  • transport service according to the program (transfers, taxis, ferries, boats, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles)
  • Accommodation in hotels in Anadyr, in double rooms,
  • Accommodation in cottage or apartment in Egvekinot,
  • Accommodation in local club in Uelkal,
  • accommodation at the polar station or in local house in Vankarem and in the yaranga traditional Chikchi dwelling at the nomads' camp
  • three meals a day along the whole route
  • registration of passes to enter the border zone
  • tickets to museums
  • English speaking and Russian speaking local guide and team leader,
  • lectures of the ethnologist about Chukotka
  • fees for guides, local guides, financial support for local communities
  • photo and video shooting

Cost excludes (to be additionally paid):

  • flight to Anadyr and back
  • medical insurance
  • Russian visa (if necessary)
  • alcohol drinks and souvenirs
  • additional activities not included into the program
  • single supplement

To take with:

- very warm winter feather coat with windstopper
- wear sets up to the weather (warm wool socks, cotton socks, wool sweater, thermal underwear, warm winter jacket)
- warm boots, warm and waterproof high boots
- buff / balaclava
- sleeping bag for -5/-10 degrees Celsius comfort temperature (can be freezing in the morning in yaranga)
- inflating tourist mattress
- personal hygiene products (incl. towel, hygiene tissues, soap)
- minimum set of favorite snacks and drinks (nowhere to buy)
- personal medical kit (analgetic, antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, intestinal, multivitamins, rehydron, court plaster, your personal medications)
- thermos
- gifts to locals
- sunglasses (alpine skiing glasses)
- sun and wind protection
- head torch
- cameras, spare batteries, tripod
- Gifts for the locals
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