National Geographic plans 3 cruises to Russian Arctic in 2019

National Geographic plans 3 cruises to Russian Arctic in 2019 Photo: Jason Auch

The Russian Arctic is an ideal choice for those looking for an adventurous cruise destination, believes TravelPulse website. The region is not only a repository of Earth's richest oil and gas deposits, it also preserves a unique ecosystem due to dominating permafrost. The indigenous population with its isolated culture and lifestyle is worth getting acquainted with.

The alliance between Lindblad Expeditions travel company and National Geographic has announced a programme of voyages for 2019 that will venture into the Russian Arctic, reports Each of the three planned journeys gives an opportunity to discover spectacular wildlife, intriguing native culture and rich exploration history.

The first itinerary runs from Alaska's Katmai National Park to the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula and presents the abundance and variety of marine mammals and seabirds. This route is the longest one: it covers more than 3,800 nautical miles. The second one includes Provideniya urban locality known as ''the Gateway to the Arctic'' and the Pribilof Islands, a naturalist's paradise described as ''the Galapagos of the North''. On the islands, there is the largest breeding rookery of northern fur seals comprising about half the world's population. The last route runs along the remote Siberian coastline to Wrangel Island located well above the Arctic Circle.

All the journeys involve acquaintance with the life of local inhabitants as the human element is one of the richest aspects of visiting the Arctic. Here, communities of Siberian Yup'ik people still follow traditional methods of hunting seals and whales, while the coastal Koryak and Chukchi people have developed into incredible reindeer herders living off the land.

Russian Arctic is considered to be one of Earth's most wildlife-rich regions. Photo:

''I have visited the region since 2004 and immediately fell in love with its landscape, abundant wildlife and charming people of many cultures,'' said Lindblad Expeditions' Field Staff and Expedition Development Director Jen Martin. ''Over several years of travel there, the wildlife never became commonplace for me – it was spectacular every time.''

The voyages are set aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, a luxury expedition ship equipped with everything needed to explore the environment, including kayaks, Zodiac landing crafts and a remotely operated underwater vehicle. The ship is designed to safely explore the remote regions of the planet. Rates depend on the chosen itinerary and begin at $16,230 per person.

By Anna Litvina