Ice and weather conditions permitting, we will spend these days on Wrangel Island, and include a visit to nearby Herald Island. Wrangel Island is one of those islands that you have to visit to appreciate. The earliest human occupation is dated 3200 years BC, and it has been established they were seasonal hunters from Siberia. Wrangel was also formerly a large weather station with a staff of over 80, and for a few years indigenous people grazed reindeer. Today it is a Russian Federal Nature Reserve of international significance and importance, sometimes referred to as a polar bear maternity ward on account of the large number of cubs born each year. Local Rangers will accompany us during our stay. Our expedition program will be determined by the weather, sea and ice; but there are many landings that we can make to search out wildlife, wildflowers and Arctic landscapes. Polar bears will be high on our list of animals to see, and with a little patience we should be rewarded with a number of encounters – hopefully including females with cubs. Musk Oxen and reindeer were brought to the Island long ago, and we hope to see these in various locations. It is also the last landfall for migratory species flying north. Each summer thousands of birds migrate here to breed, including Snow Geese, Snowy Owls, Skuas, Arctic Terns, Ross’s, Sabine and Ivory Gulls. We will also visit a number of historic sites like Dragi Harbor, where the Karluk’s crew overwintered in 1914 after their ship was crushed by ice. And if conditions permit, we will explore Herald Island to the east of Wrangel Island.