Crossing the Bering Strait?
Feb 12, 2006
Having a rough draft now seems much more useful than a polished draft later. This page will can serve as a place to pool our knowledge about making the crossing.
Much of this info comes from Matt on tribe.net. Thanks Matt!
If you have any questions, or additional info, please post them in the comments section below.
UPDATE: I previously had a link to an article which stated that no one had ever crossed the bering strait by land. That was incorrect. While extremely difficult and dangerous, it is possible to walk across the Bering Strait. I would _not_ recommend it unless you really know what you're doing.
The two were arrested in Chukotka province for failing to register with the authorities ... All visitors are required to register with police within three days of their arrival in Russia, even if they have visas. ... they reached Chukotka province Friday. It took them 15 days to walk the 56 miles from Alaska to Russian territory.
Bushby wants to be the first person to walk all the way around the world, his Web site says. Since the beginning of his journey on Nov. 1, 1998, he has covered 17,000 miles, walking through South, Central and North America.
Here is a link to Bushby's website: [ link ]
However, traveling a bit further South, by boat from Siberia to Alaska is much less dangerous and is done year-round by fishing boats. The only question is if you can hitch a ride in one?
Here's what I know...
First of all, some maps
Detailed maps of all of Siberia. Siberia Maps
A fantastic topographical road map of Kamchatka. Kamchatka Maps
Moscow => Vladivostok
You can take the Transiberian railway directly to Vladivostok.
Info here: Seat 61
Moscow => Magadan
You can also travel by land up to Magan. It's tough, but possible. Some crazy guys even did it on their bicycles in the middle of Winter. [link]
I believe that there are NO roads at all after Magadan.
UPDATE: Here's some info that Cash posted below.
Pusan, South Korea => Vladivostok
You can get a ferry from Pusan to Valadivostok, about 46-50+ hours. Safe trip and economic.
Valadivostok is beautiful, but very dangerous at night, Mafia rules the town. We had body guards first time in (1992) and we were thankful.
Vladivostok => Alaska
Valadivostok to Alaska will also be hard to do by boat. But maybe (???) you can find a boat from Vladivostok up to Kamchatka.
See the volcanos, tundra's, hot springs, wild animals, thermal pools etc... you can get there by a cheap taxi ride out of town. Lenin Square, city markets and the "GUM" - state dept. stores. Ride in an old MI-8 helicopter touring the region (don't let the duct tape on the rotors scare you, it held up nice).
Places to stay: Hotel Virginia, Hotel Avacha, Hotel Petropavlovsk
Kamchatka => Alaska
Only way I can see you do that via boat is to get a job on a freight/commercial ship. I don't want to say never, but plan on getting a seat on an Alaska Air or Aeroflot to AK.
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski is probably the best place to try and hitch a ride. Being in Petropavlovsk (P-K) will give you many more options, the most important one the airport, if all else fails. There are a few companies that sail frequently to the US. A few of the companies are more likely to take bribes than others - I don't want to post that info here, but you can mail me for it.
Most American ships are heavily regulated (liability issues) so I think your chances of hoping on a commercial liner will be better with a Russian flagged vessel. Figure the cost from Kamchatka to Alaska by air then give the captain half (US currency only) along with some vodka (if he drinks, most likely he will). Ports in Kamchatka have many vessels, start talking to the local Seamen to finds the ones sailing for Alaska and start talking. Try trampers and smaller crabbers / trawlers.
You should look out for are the Asian fleets. These vessels are mostly trampers and containers. These guys are from Korea, Japan and China. They sail for Alaska quit frequently to pick up supplies and finished catch from American vessels in the Aleutian Islands. I hear these guys like to drink as well so that might be an opening in you bargaining.
I suggest getting a hotel and frequent the local markets, restaurants, and bar. Talk to the locals, as they have wealth of information and may be able to help you out in seeking the right vessel.
Most ships sailing from Kamchatka/Petropavlovsk to Alaska seem to be Dutch Harbor bound. Depending on weather and ship; the trip should take approximately 5 days.
Magadan => Alaska
If you don't make it up to P-K, Magadan has ports similar to Kamchatka and has regular service to US ports.
I'd hate to miss Kamchatka though... it sounds amazing.
Dutch Harbor => Alaskan Mainland
You should be able to make the trip by boat, but you may have to work for the ride.