Severo-Zapadny Cape & Nikolskoye Village

Aug 04, 2019 - National Geographic Orion


Wow, what a day we had as we revisited the Aleutian Islands – this time in Russia! The Commander Islands (“Komandorskiye Ostrova” in Russian) are a small archipelago in the western most section of the Aleutian chain, arcing 1,200 miles (1,800 kilometers) from the mainland of Alaska toward the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. Comprised of two large islands, Bering Island and Medny Island as well as several smaller island and islets, the vast majority of this space has been set aside as the Komandorskie Nature Preserve and is federally protected.

Our morning just off Severo-Zapadny Cape on the northwestern corner of Bering Island was teeming with wildlife, including curious northern fur seals as well as tufted puffins and murres dedicatedly taking small fish like juvenile cod and capelin to their chicks nearby. During lunch, National Geographic Orion repositioned to nearby Nikolskoye Village, approximately 22 miles from Server-Zapandy Cape where we were welcomed ashore by local youngsters and who were excited to escort us into town. In the village, we visited several locations, such as the visitor center and a local art museum as well as monuments of Danish explorer Vitus Bering and Soviet Russia leader Vladimir Lenin. The time ashore was highlighted with a song and dance performance at the local cultural center. Guests and staff alike were overjoyed with our warm welcome and visit to Nikolskyoye Village on Bering Island.

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About the Author

Annie Fiske

Expedition Leader

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest and spending her first nights in a tent at the tender age of six weeks old, Annie grew up with a love for the outdoors and adventuring. Raised in Tacoma, Washington, she considers herself lucky to have grown up in an area that allowed her to fall in love with the mountains and sea as one. Attending college in Alaska fostered an even stronger love for the untamed beauty of wilderness that Annie holds close today. After spending years working as a research assistant on Kodiak Island, Alaska, and teaching outdoor education, conservation, and guiding in places like Catalina Island, Denali National Park, and Olympic National Park, Annie transitioned into small ship exploration in 2012 and has not looked back.

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