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Embark with Ponant aboard Le Boréal for an unforgettable expedition cruise to discover the wonders of Arctic Alaska. Over 15 days, cruising between Russia and the United States from Nome to Seward, you will have the chance to sail in the Bering Strait and discover extraordinary landscapes combining ice, volcanoes, and tundra dotted with the ephemeral flowers that bloom during the Arctic summer. This is also a wonderful region for wildlife observation. Listed with UNESCO, the nature reserve on Wrangel Island is a unique ecosystem where the greatest biodiversity in the Arctic can be found. It is home to a large population of walruses, countless sea birds, and of course the lord of the Arctic: the polar bear. Le Boréal will then make its way up the Alaska Peninsula, an emerged part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Here, each island is a volcano crowned with ice. The Aleutian Islands form a barrier between the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean, so the marine wildlife here is particularly abundant. You’ll then reach Geographic Harbor, situated in the heart of the stunning Katmai National Park and Preserve. There is a strong chance you’ll be able to observe grizzlies, as they reign supreme here. At the end of your cruise, you will disembark in the small city of Seward for your return flight to Seattle. Please note: your voyage rates include Flight Seattle / Nome + transfers + flight Anchorage / Seattle
Located along the Bering Strait at the westernmost point of Alaska, Nome offers the rustic charm of a former gold-mining town, set in the middle of magnificent wilderness. As you weave in and out of the brightly coloured houses, you will discover the pioneering legacy that still marks local traditions. Fishing, reindeer rearing, sledge-racing ﾖ people here live from their manual labour. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing Arctic fauna.
Across the Bering Strait from Alaska, which it almost touches and can be glimpsed when the weather is fine, the town of Provideniya seems to keep a watchful eye over ships heading for the East Siberian Sea. Nestled against mountains with peaks of up to 2,000 m, Provideniya is the gateway to the Chukotka Peninsula, a polar region as yet unknown to the general public, with striking landscapes and a primitive beauty like no other.
From your Zodiac®, discover Big Diomede, between Siberia and Alaska. This island, measuring approximately 30 km2 and located in the middle of the Bering Strait, is Russia’s most easterly point. Although it was once inhabited by the Inuit, it is now home to just a handful of Russian soldiers on a military base. Just a few kilometres further east, on the other side of the International Date Line, lies Little Diomede, an American island which Russia sold to the United States in 1867.
Imagine a natural island that is mostly mountainous and, for the rest of its landscapes, alternates between vast tundra plains and areas of great lakes, lagoons and cliffs. Welcome to Wrangel, the most important hotspot of Arctic biodiversity. Situated between the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea, the island was named after the Russian explorer Ferdinand von Wrangel. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island is a rare, precious and very ancient ecosystem with unique vegetation, as well as an exceptional fauna: it is home to the majestic polar bear and the vast majority of the Russian Arctic’s walrus population. The island also holds traces of the last mammoths and is home to several endemic species.
Across the Bering Strait from Alaska, which it almost touches and can be glimpsed when the weather is fine, the town of Provideniya seems to keep a watchful eye over ships heading for the East Siberian Sea. Nestled against mountains with peaks of up to 2,000 m, Provideniya is the gateway to the Chukotka Peninsula, a polar region as yet unknown to the general public, with striking landscapes and a primitive beauty like no other. Saint Matthew island is right in the middle of the Bering Sea, between Siberia and Alaska. Classified as a National Wildlife Refuge by the United States, this island covered in wet tundra corresponds to the northern boundary of the polar bear’s range during winter. It is home to many birds, including the McKay's bunting, an endemic species whose population is estimated at 6,000 individuals. We can also find Arctic foxes there. Although populated by the Aleut during prehistoric times Saint Matthew Island is uninhabited today.
Part of the Earth’s History was written between Alaska and Russia. We invite you to discover a unique environment that seems to stretch out to infinity. Lost in the middle of the Bering Sea, the Pribilof archipelago is made up of four volcanic islands where nature has crafted exquisitely beautiful landscapes. Here, on the islands of Saint Paul and Saint George, you will find majestic volcanoes, lava deserts and crater lakes, offering travelers a magnificent vantage point from which to observe a fauna composed almost exclusively of fur seals. The archipelago is also renowned as a paradise for birds, especially on Saint Paul, as more than 240 different species of seabirds take flight from the top of its majestic cliff.
During your cruise, discover an exceptional site: Unalaska Island and its port, Dutch Harbor. Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, on the Aleutian Islands, Dutch Harbor is the only deep water port in the archipelago. As for the island itself, it offers you unique landscapes: volcanic summits swept by the wind and surrounded by the sea, lush green valleys, sometimes covered with bright summer flowers, sometimes with deep winter snow… Unalaska is not only an island with astonishing nature and very varied wildlife, it is also rich in history, where ancient indigenous cultures and remains from World War II can be seen and their tales be told.
Off the Alaska Peninsula hides a small gem: Chankliut. From mountainous terrain to flowery moors and valleys covered in sea lyme-grass, this island, which is part of the Aleutian archipelago, offers landscapes with a unique charm. During your walk around a lake, you will cross a sumptuous meadow where beautiful aconite and willowherb vie for attention. The more courageous will venture onward to the neighbouring valley and its ancient calderas to admire the splendour of the scenery. This totally uninhabited island bears no trace of any past settlement. Small, curious heads will catch your attention, however: crested puffins and horned puffins bask on the water near spotted seals…
Here you are in the heart of Katmai National Park and Preserve. Here, the rocky cliffs are punctuated with white marks. These are the remains of ash deposits that accumulated following a volcanic eruption in the past. Board your Zodiac® and, a little further south, explore every part of Geographic Harbor and its tall cliffs covered in vegetation and plunging into the sea. Along the sandy beach, grizzly bears improvise hunting sessions, in search of fish and clams. In the thickets, these omnivores eat berries, roots and grasses. Brown bears are at home here and the presence of humans doesn’t seem to disturb them. This makes for a fascinating and unforgettable show.
Seward is located on the Kenai peninsula, south of Anchorage. This bustling port, built for the fishing and shipbuilding industries, will show you just how vibrant it is, with its shops and galleries. The entrance gate for the sublime Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward nestles in the heart of very beautiful scenery, between glaciers, mountains and very rich marine life (whales, sea otters, orcas, seals…).
Subject to ice and weather conditions. The expedition highlights and itineraries described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Visits to Wrangel Island are subject to permission being granted by the Russian authorities. This port of calls can only be confirmed once this authorisation has been received, six months before the cruise departure date.
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition / Cruise Ship Length: 142 meters Passenger Capacity: 264 (in twin cabins, 200 in Antarctica) Built: 2011 A superb mega-yacht with 132 cabins, she is the fruit of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. Le Boreal remains faithful to our philosophy - to create a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being. Superior materials, discreet elegance and a tasteful décor combined with exterior and interior lines to reflect a nautical mood, subtly revisited. On board, soothing neutral tones are enlivened by splashes of red, our signature theme linking tradition and innovation to create personal touches in the spirit of a “private yacht”. Cuisine Loyal to the great French tradition, the haute cuisine on board is worthy of the finest restaurants, where discreet, attentive service is the hallmark. Our two restaurants welcome you for breakfasts, lunch and dinner. The Gastronomic Restaurant, with a capacity of 268 persons, is situated on Le Liberte Deck and serves you French and international cuisine accompagnied by fine wine. On the Grill Restaurant, you will have the opportuniny to eat outside and enjoy buffet lunch and themed dinner. Life On Board Whether you want to join other guests in the theatre or games area (Wii™ consoles, etc), or relax on your own in a quiet corner of the library, Le Boreal has been designed to meet the needs of every guest. Everything has been done to preserve the independence of each guest to suit their personal tastes: lounges for lectures and shows, a spa in partnership with Carita™, but also more intimate spaces such as the library and internet corner. Comfortable cabins, nearly all with private balcony, are available forfamilies either as triples or as communicating cabins. There is also a games area with Wii™ consoles, children’s menus, and a baby-sitting ser vice.Just as if you were on a private yacht, your time is your own to do as you please. Fitted with the latest equipment (Kinesis Wall, running machine) and in partnership with the famous Carita™ brand, the Beauty Centre on Le Boreal welcomes you for some unforgettable moments of relaxation and pampering (beauty treatments, hairdresser, hammam, balneotherapy).
• Shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with your naturalist guides. • A cruise amid the stunning Arctic and volcanic landscapes of Alaska and Russia. • Discover the Wrangel Island Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. • Sail in the heart of the Bering Sea, surrounded by the planet’s most remote islands. • Sail in the Chukchi Sea. • Possibility of observing brown bears at Geographic Harbor, in Katmai National Park. • The wildlife: polar bears, grizzlies, walruses, grey whales, sea otters, spotted seals, and seagulls. • Meet the locals: the Aleut, Inuit, and Chukchi people.