with Jackie and Elston Hill
In a recent article, National Geographic wrote that "Wrangel Island is one of the world’s least frequented, most restricted nature
reserves—a place that requires several government permits to visit and can be reached only by helicopter during winter or by
icebreaker during summer." We were fortunate to be part of a 28 day tour including a ten day land tour to this wonderful and
unique place as part of a group of five tourists. To get to the island we journeyed up to Wrangel Island on the first voyage of a
Russian ice reinforced research ship, Professor Khromov, operated by Heritage Expeditions. We returned on the second
voyage of this ship. The total length of the trip was four weeks.
We were fortunate to be guided on the ten day land portion of the trip by Alexander Gruzdev, the reserve's director. He was a
fabulous host and imparted a lot of knowledge about the island and its wildlife and spoke English.
In addition to Alexander, we had the services of a ranger/driver as well as our wonderful Russian guide Julia Mishina from
Kamchatka. We met Julia on our flight from Nome to Anadyr. Ironically, the quickest way for her to get to Anadyr from
Kamchatka for our trip was to fly via Anchorage and Nome. Julia was knowledgeable, spoke very good English, and is a very
delightful person. She is also the person responsible for working through the maze of permits to get us to Wrangel Island.
Below are links to the web pages we put together about our trip. You can click on the individual links. Or, just click on the first
link and at the bottom of the page will be a link to the next web page about this trip. If the pictures are too big or too small, you
can adjust their size in most browsers by clicking Control + or Control -.
The staff and crew on this trip were all exceptional. They were very knowledgeable and worked very hard to make the trip a
success. In particular, I appreciate the efforts of Rodney, the founder of Heritage Expeditions, who made this trip possible. I also
wish to thank our good friend Gunther. He was the one who told us about this trip several years ago. And he has been a very
positive influence on our efforts to take some decent wildlife pictures.
And thanks to our wonderful friend Jean Pierre, I am including his map of the whole trip--the voyage up, the land trip, and the
voyage back down.