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Hapag-Lloyd’s expedition ship, the 184-passenger Hanseatic, is offering two special premiere voyages in 2014.
From May 10-27, the Hanseatic will cruise to the Primorye region in Southeast Siberia, which was inaccessible to foreigners until 1991. The region is untouched by tourism, with hidden lakes, nature reserves, small islands, unique native flora and a unique culture.
The cruise sails from Shanghai, China, to Otaru, Japan. Stops include Pusan, South Korea; Siberia (including Zarubino, Rimsky Islands, Vladivostok, Petrov Island, Prosiolochnaya, Neprimentnaya, Olga, Udobnaya Bay, Ternei Bay, Samarga River and Kholmsk); and Rishiri, Japan. Prices begin at $9,360 per person.
From July 28-Aug. 15, the Hanseatic will be exploring the scarcely accessible Wrangel Island in the Chukchi Sea and the rarely visited Chukchi Peninsula. A Russian prohibited zone for decades, the island is the northernmost UNESCO World Heritage Site and an untouched refuge for polar bears, walruses, seals and countless smaller plant and animal species that exist nowhere else.
The Chukchi Peninsula in the north of the Bering Strait, on the most northeastern tip of Russian Siberia, is an ideal destination for bird-watching, and the Hanseatic is one of the few ships in the world to visit not only the east coast but also the north coast. The cruise sails roundtrip from Nome, Alaska, and visits Russia’s Provideniya, Lorino, Kolyuchinskaya Bay, Kolyuchin Island, Cape Vankarem, Cape Deschnyow, Wrangel Island, Big Diomede and Yittigran Island. Prices start from $11,280 per person.