Wrangel Island: Polar Bear Maternity Ward & More

Polar bear relaxing at Drem-Khed on Wrangel Island | Rachel Imber
Polar bear relaxing at Drem-Khed on Wrangel Island | Rachel Imber

Wrangel Island in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug of Russia offers the setting for arguably one of the greatest high Arctic journeys in the world. It is often referred to by biologists as the ‘Polar Bear Maternity Ward’ – there are about 500 mothers giving birth each year.

Besides the polar bears, chances for you to see Pacific walrus, grey whales, Arctic fox and large colonies of seabirds are high. Let us introduce you to some of this fantastic wildlife living on one of the most northern islands of the world.


Walrus on Wrangel Island (c)ABrenie

© A Breniere

There are about 20 species of land and marine mammals that call Wrangel Island their home. One of these is the Pacific Walrus.


Group of people watching a reindeer on Wrangel Island - (c) MKelly

© M Kelly

In the 1950s reindeer were introduced to the Arctic island and if lucky, you can spot them during the trip.

Polar bear

Polar bear and cubs on Wrangel Island - World Expeditions arctic holidays

You have a high chance of spotting polar bears, and possibly even their cubs, on our Across the Top of the World trip.


Arcitc holidays with World Expeditions to Wrangel Island - puffins

The island attracts a large range of birdlife and there’s chances for you to see colonies of the colourful Tufted Puffins.

Musk Ox

Musk ox on Wrangel Island (c)MKelly

© M Kelly

Musk Oxen were also introduced to Wrangel Island in the 1950s. You have the best chance to get face to face with a fluffy quadruped near the Tundra River in the Academic Tundra.


Unlike the Antarctic trips which generally depart in our winter months (summer in the southern hemisphere), trips to the Arctic run in August and September. That is of course also the time to see polar bears and other wildlife endemic to the island. We have a few places left for our August departures this year. For more information and booking details, please contact our team of adventure travel experts in our London offices.

Antarctica, Wildlife, Wrangel Island

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