Cruise the Wild Side
Named after Danish explorer Vitus Bering, the Bering Sea is one of the most remote and wild places on earth. This frigid body of water is part of the Pacific Ocean, bordered to the north by the Bering Strait, the south by the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands, the east by mainland Alaska and to the west by Russia.
For thousands of years, the Bering Sea coast and islands have been home to the Aleut and Eskimo. During a visit to a Native village, one can still witness residents living a traditional, subsistence lifestyle, and speaking their native language. Traditional skills such as ivory carving, beadwork and basket weaving is still practiced.
The Bering Sea covers over 800,000 square miles, and a cruise through this wilderness will surely be a trip of a lifetime! Many species of marine mammals make their home in the Bering Sea such as the polar bear, sea otter, Steller sea lion, several species of seals, walrus, whales, and dolphins, including the Orca. The Bering Sea is a place where many birders go to add more species to their “life list”. Birds such as the Red-legged kittiwake, which only breeds in a few select areas of the Bering Sea can be seen around several islands in and around waters of both Alaska and Russia.
For well over a century, people have been attempting to locate a navigable passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to allow trade without having to travel south around Africa. The first to successfully locate and navigate this passage was Norwegian, Roald Amundsen in 1905. Until very recently, the Northwest Passage was usually too “locked up” in ice for cruise ships, or private vessels to navigate these waters. With changes in the world's climate, the ice has been receding, enabling vessels to travel through this passage more frequently.
There are several companies that offer trips through the Bering Sea, and some through the Northwest Passage. Check out the below links!
For anyone arriving into Nome by sea, please stop by the Visitors Center and tell us about your voyage!