Journey to Wrangel Island

Journey to Wrangel Island

Russian bloger Sergey went to this island and here is his story below:

People often ask me: “Are there places where you haven’t been, but really want to get there?” of course, such places exist, and one of them is Wrangel Island in the Chukchi Sea.

The remoteness and the lack of any logistics make it almost impossible to visit. The most convenient and comfortable way is to sit on the expedition ship Professor Khromov that commits several expeditions to the island each year.

This is exactly what I did for the implementation of my dream and today I’ll tell you the story about this amazing journey.

Journey to Wrangel Island

Our expedition started in Anadyr. Despite the fact that the city stands on the water, there was no a suitable berth to which Khromov could moor. Therefore, passengers on the ship were transported by barge. Usually, these barges move cars from one bank to another.Journey to Wrangel Island

But without cars it is more comfortable:


Journey to Wrangel Island

On the day of our departure there was a stormy sea: Journey to Wrangel Island

Ship statistics:

Length 71.6 meters
Width 12 meters
Draft 4.5 meters
Tonnage 2 140 tonnes
1 screw + two thrusters
2 engines
22 crew members
50 passengers

Journey to Wrangel Island

Barge moored to Khromov and we quickly went to the ship:Journey to Wrangel Island

It is equipped with two lifeboats on 40 persons each:Journey to Wrangel Island

The first two decks are for the crew, and the passengers are locateв with from third to fifth. On the sixth there is a radio room and the captain’s bridge:Journey to Wrangel Island

There are many different types of cabins on the ship. I lived in a small cabin without conveniences and with two beds. I lived alone, so it was quite comfortable. There was was a sink in the cabin but a shower and a toilet were down the hall:Journey to Wrangel Island

The main places where all gathered was a bar or a library:Journey to Wrangel Island

Here was all the informal communication:Journey to Wrangel Island

The ship is in a multi-year long-term lease from the New Zealand company (which, in fact, organized the cruise),  so all of the sockets in the bar were from New Zealand. We had to use the adapters:Journey to Wrangel Island

Ship’s Hospital is equipped with everything what is necessary for emergency operations. For example, there can be easily cut out appendicitis, but the major problem which confront the doctor is seasickness. Although, admittedly, we slightly trembled just a couple of days. I bought 15 packs with pills for nausea. During the journey I ate less than a packaging: Journey to Wrangel Island

At the breakfast there was a buffet, for lunch and dinner we had salad, main course and dessert:Journey to Wrangel Island

All passengers sat in a new place every day, only we – Russians – had a separate table for ourselves, and no one was allowed to join. In the early days, foreign passengers had attempts to sit down at our table, but soon everybody got used to the thing that this was a “Russian table” and no one bothered us anymore:Journey to Wrangel Island

The bridge was opened for us around the clock:
Journey to Wrangel Island

The same as the prow of the ship:Journey to Wrangel Island

Schedule each day was individual. They reported on speakerphone about all active, tours, lectures, briefings, breakfast, lunch and dinner in English and Russian languages:
Journey to Wrangel Island

Landing on the beach or other cruises were almost every day. On one of the sides there was a ladder using which we descended into the boat:

*Professor Khromov*

Journey to Wrangel Island

There was a boat with a Russian guide for Russian-speaking tourists. The rest was distributed as soon as reaching the land: Journey to Wrangel Island

Usually in the boat there were 8 passengers + guide:Journey to Wrangel Island

Journey to Wrangel Island

It was very convenient to shoot the animals from the boat. Usually, it was possible to come very close to them:Journey to Wrangel Island

During the cruise there were very many landings ashore. To do this, they gave us rubber boots:
Journey to Wrangel Island

During a strong wave, guides had been catching each boat and helped to jump ashore:Journey to Wrangel Island

Journey to Wrangel Island

On board all 22 crew members were Russian + two Russian guides. There were only 7 passengers from Russia:Journey to Wrangel Island

Cellular communication stopped working as soon as we got out of Anadyr and just once blinked near Whalen but it was unstable and short-lived. The rest of the time I used my Iridium which traveled with me half the world. This time I took a satellite modem Iridium GO in addition to my phone, in the hope that I can send photos to instagram:Journey to Wrangel Island

It is more convenient than the regular Iridium phone because it can connect up to five smartphones, and it is much easier to type SMS with it than with a push-button phone, where in order to accumulate any letter you should press the button several times before it appears in the display:Journey to Wrangel Island

I want to finish the story about the ship with the Northern Lights. During the cruise, we had 5 nights with bright Northern Lights. It usually started around 11 pm. At that time I was already asleep. They announced on speakerphone about the Lights, I woke up but I could make myself get out of bed and go to shoot it only at the first night. It was late and I had a chance to shoot only its ending:Journey to Wrangel Island

Journey to Wrangel Island

Journey to Wrangel Island


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