|Season duration:||July 21 - August 03, 2009|
|Number of days:||14 days / 13 nights|
|Route:||Yakutsk – Tiksi - Yakutsk|
Day 1. Yakutsk
Arrival in Yakutsk. Transfer to the River port. Accommodation in cabins. Currency exchange. Lunch. City tour. Visit to the Museum of Local Lore. Souvenir and Jewelry shops.
Yakutsk is a capital of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) with population of almost 300 thousand people which composes 28% of the total population of the Republic. It was established in 1632 by Petr Beketov, the Enisey Cossack. Yakutsk is situated on the left bank of the river Lena on Tuymaada valley. It is the biggest city located on permafrost zone. Its territory is 122 square km. Yakutsk is an administrative and cultural center of the region (there are 7 theatres including Opera and ballet theatre, Northern circus). The industrial sector is presented by branches that support the life activity of the city.
In the evening – ship departure
Day 2. The Lena Pillars
Stay in the “Lena Pillars” national park where one can see steep rocks - unique natural phenomen - in the form of 200 meters high pillars that are stretched for 80 km along the river. One can distinguish colonnades, arches, battlements in their shapes. You will enjoy a wonderful rest in this fairy “land”. After having a welcome ceremony with ritual dance and “Purifying with fire” ceremony you are guided to rock massif (a trip for strong and tolerant ones!). Up there one can experience unrenderable feelings. From the top of one of the “towers” you will get a grandiose view of the great river, endless taiga zone, rocks and the sky of different color shades that makes a man feel himself a part of virgin nature and the great Universe.
Day 3. The Green staging post.
In this area the Lena river enters Central-Yakut lowland. Its valley enlarges up to 20-40 km., a plain breadth is 7-15 km. There are many lakes and marshes in the river plain. A river bed is branchy, a navigable channel is quite changeable. Its depth can reach 16-20 meters. On the route of the boat trip there is an outflow of the Aldan river, one of the largest tributary of the Lena river. During the river cruise one can see beautiful sights of the Verkhoyansk Mountains. The Lena banks keep disappearing, a vast area of the river valley is occupied by isles and creeks. Deserted unsettled banks pass by for many hundred kilometers in the boundless river environment.
Day 4. The Viluy river estuary
The Viluy River is the largest left tributary of the Lena River. Its length is 2650 km., the basin area is 454 square km. In the up-river of the Viluy there has been constructed a dam: rocks of the Ulakhan Khan rift serve as its foundations. The dammed waters of the reservoir stretch up along the river valley for 400 km. There Chernyshevsk village was established for builders and workers at the Viluy hydro-electric station.140 km. lower from it on the Achygyi Khan rift there has been constructed new Svetlinsky hydro-electric power station. The river Viluy is navigable at its 1170 km from the estuary up to Chernyshevsk village. The main quays of the Viluy river are: Vilusk, Nyurba, Chernyshevsk. The river and lakes of the Viluy river basin are rich in fish (sturgeon, taimen, goldilocks, Siberian white salmon, nerfling). Deposits of diamond, coal, natural gas, and halite were prospected in the basin of the river.
Day 5. Zhigansk
Zhigansk is the first settlement beyond the Polar circle. The Zhigansk stockaded town was established in 1632 as Yakutsk town. The name of “Zhigansk” comes from the Tungus language and means “an inhabitant of lower lands”. Main occupation of population is hunting, fishing and cattle-breeding. Zhigansk is an administrative district center with population of over 3 thousand people. Our ship will anchor on the river due to insufficient water depth, and you will reach the bank on a small ferry. You will be impressed by performance of local actors who will present a music of blowing snow and wind whistle, whisper of leaves and grass, water hush, rush of flying bird wings through improvised epic songs and charming accords of ritual dancing. You will listen to a real music which is a world of nature and feelings.
Day 6. Kusur
Stay in Kusur, a small settlement in the North of the Arctic Circle. Men are engaged in reindeer husbandry and hunting, women make beautiful national clothes decorated with fur and beads. Kusur will impress you by simplicity of village life typical to the Extreme North areas, warm and sincere attitude of local people. Look of the rural settlement will strongly impress you as severe climate and strong winds influence on houses and streets. Local places here are known for their tragic history connected with hard life of emigres from the Baltic states and Central Yakutia.
Day 7. Tiksi (Neelovo)
You will be offered an excursion to Tiksi settlement- the sea gates of Yakutia if weather allows. The name of Tiksi is translated from the Yakut language as a “place of meeting, mooring place”. Tiksi appeared on the map in the middle of 1930ss. Navigable period here is extremely short-2,5 months. During 9-10 months the Laptev sea is glaciated; the ice thickness is up to 1,5-2 meters or more. In winter there are polar nights: the sun seems to forget about this area. Darkness arrives for several months. Sometimes one can observe Polar lights in the dark sky of the night. In summer there is a period of white nights. The midnight Yakut sun gives its smile almost 24 hours a day. Being one of the most beautiful towns of Yakutia in the Soviet period Tiksi at present feels significant economic difficulties.
Day 8. Run
The Lena river is one of the greatest rivers of Siberia belonging to the biggest water arteries of the world. There is hardly a river in the Asrctic Eurasia that forms such a big estuary with the area of over 32 000 square km. The Lena river delta is a net consisting of big and small streams, canals and lakes with more than 1 500 isles of different areas. Here the Lena river ends its run to the Arctic ocean. Today we will spend our time on the ship board.You will see the so-called Lensk “pipe”. Steep rocky 400 meters high isles in some places are hung above the leady water. The watercourse breadth becomes narrow up to 2 km or less and this stresses mighty and greatness of the bank rocks.
Day 9. Natara
Stay in the Natara river estuary where a settlement for Tungus fishermen is located. It was founded in 1920. You will see no telephones and hear no car noise. Time seems to stop here. Only two deserted houses and an old cemetery have remained here from former settlement. Today just one family lives in Natara. The family members are engaged in fishing and hunting. You will feel here a breath of ancientry and experience common life. Natara is a beautiful blessed place in the Lena river area. Here a man can feel himself a part of northern nature.
Day 10. The Polar circle.
The Polar circle is an imaginary line on the Earth and a parallel in the northern hemisphere with the latitude of 66’33’38’’. During the winter solstice (December 21-22) northward of the Polar circle the sun does not rise at all and during the summer solstice (June 21-22) period the sun does not set. The Polar circle is constantly moving, its geographic location is not stable. In fact, it moves approximately for 2 meters during a day and almost for 100 meters during one year. A polar circle position can be easily determined any time with the help of modern technologies. During the trip our ship will cross the Polar circle in the area of Zhigansk district. On the initiative of Zhigansk citizens on the left bank of the river Lena there has been established a symbolic sign titled “The Polar circle”.
Day 11. Run
Leaving the endless water environment beyond the Northern Polar circle we pass the estuaries of the rivers Viluy and Aldan. Water breadth here is unbelievable. Between Zhigansk district and the Viluy river estuary there is a natural boundary called “40 isles”. In fact, the isles number is bigger and you will really be impressed by this isles fairy show.
Day 12. The Green staging post
It is one of the most beautiful virgin places where you will enjoy a beauty of the picturesque green staging post. You can have a walk on this wild bank, see bounty of nature and enjoy a beautiful sunset. In the evening in honor of the cruise completion there will be made a symbolic Fire of friendship, songs in different languages will be performed.
Day 13. Sottintsy
An excursion to historic-architecture open-air museum “Druzhba” (“Friendship”) located on the place of the primary foundation of the “Lensk stockaded town” founded by Russian cossacks, the future city of Yakutsk. The Museum presents samples of ancient wooden architecture in traditional Russian and Yakut styles. Expositions of wooden home utensils, national Yakut clothes and monuments of Russian Orthodoxy are of great interest. Wonderful landscapes and interesting historical excursions make the museum visit both informative and pleasant.
Day 14. Farewell, Yakuta
Breakfast. Luggage check. Transfer to airport. Departure from Yakutsk.
Everyday lectures on Yakutia, Russian classes for foreigners, foreign language classes for Russians are offered. Movie demonstration. In the evening you will have captain cocktail, thematical entertaining program in musical saloon.
Please note that program is subject to changes due to weather and other
We also invites you to have cruise along the Lena river on “Mikhail Svetlov” comfortable ship and offers you additional tours: “The Lena Pillars” (3 days/2 nights), “Yakutsk-Sottintsy-the Lena Pillars” (2 days), “Yakutsk-Lena schyoki (cheeks)” (12 days/11 nights).