Provideniya & Chukotka Autonomous Okrug

Jul 08, 2019 - National Geographic Orion


As of 6:30 a.m. National Geographic Orion cruises northward in bright sunlight over the shining, royal blue Bering Sea. We are accompanied by a host of black-legged kittiwakes and northern fulmars that seem to be acting as our guides. Some of us are having a much deserved lie-in after the revelry of last night’s amazing talent show put on by our crew.

We are now bound for Provideniya, the administrative center of Providensky District of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. This small seaport locality is found on the Chukotka Peninsula just across the Bering Strait from the Seward Peninsula and Nome, Alaska. Formerly a booming port city across Komsomolskaya Bay from a large military base, Provideniya fell on hard times following the collapse of the USSR and the sudden departure of the military from the area. The population declined from several thousand to under 2,000 persons, but with some recent growth has 2,500 citizens today.

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About the Author

Grace Winer

Naturalist

Geologist and naturalist, Grace is a Montanan now living in Seattle. Grace received her degrees in geology (BS and MSc) from Montana State University. Funded by a grant from the National Geographic Society, she pursued her master’s degree in Alaska’s remote Pribilof Islands. Here she investigated the volcanic evolution of St. Paul Island, creating a geologic map, and predicting volcanic hazards in the event of a future eruption. Her knowledge of the Pribilof Islands and the Bering Sea region led to her work as a consulting geologist on St. George Island for NOAA’s Pribilof Restoration Project.

About the Photographer

Ralph Lee Hopkins

National Geographic Photographer

National Geographic photographer Ralph Lee Hopkins is the founder and director of the Expedition Photography program for the Lindblad-National Geographic alliance. For more than 20 years he has lead expeditions from the Arctic to Antarctica and points in between.

About the Videographer

James Napoli

Video Chronicler

Jim was born in rural New England where he quickly developed an appreciation for the outdoors and a love of exploration.  Four years with the U.S. Navy further enhanced his appetite for travel. Always interested in the visual arts, he studied Television at Boston University and Northeast College of Communications, landing his first job in the industry working as an editor at a Boston television station. His wanderlust drew him to a job with two major cruise lines; installing and managing broadcast centers onboard a total of over a dozen ships. He has since moved on to specialize in expedition travel and wildlife productions.  

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