Chukotka General Information including visa rules!

Special permission

Chukotka Autonomous Okrug (Region) is a closed border region. In order to enter Chukotka, you will be required to have a special permission entry form issued by the Government of Chukotka Autonomous Region with an approval from the Russian Federation Security Service and Border Control Service. This entry form is known to Russians as propusk. It takes about 60 working days to process all the necessary paperwork associated with the special permission entry form. For details contact us.

You will be checked, double checked, counted and observed, at every place you enter in Chukotka where it is possible for one of the special Border Guards to access you. When you arrive at Anadyr, as a foreigner, the security officer will take you aside and check their list for the flight you have just arrived on. You must be on that special list. If you come ashore at some remote point, by boat, and there is a border police post nearby they will need to know you are there and 'check you off!

Visa invitation.

In addition to a special permission to enter Chukotka, foreign visitors to Russia are required to have a Russian entry visa. To apply for a visa, you will need to have a visa invitation. We obtain the visa invitation and it has the appropriate authority for registration.

After you receive your visa invitation, you can apply for a visa directly with one of the Consulates General of Russia. The consulate you apply to depends on the physical location of your current residence.

Air travel

Flights from Nome, Alaska, to Provideniya and Anadyr', Chukotka, are available by charter service and with limited seat availability. Provideniya and Anadyr' are the only two international airports in Chukotka that will accept charter flights from the other countries.

We can also advise on other routes, via Moscow for example, or depending on schedules when you enquire, via Vladivostok, Yakutia or Khabarovsk. Brent, from Passport Travel who recently did an expedition cruise in this region, flew via Moscow. A flight via Nome (Alaska) is probably the best solution if you are based in Canada, or the U.S. From Europe you are best to connect via Moscow. From Australia the cost via Moscow is a bit cheaper than via Nome, but obviously longer time wise. However the savings can contribute to a stopover in Moscow! In addition you can then 'tick off' one of those 'Travel Records'. The flight from Moscow to Anadyr is the longest scheduled domestic flight within a country - 9 hours 45 minutes. This excludes flight from a country's off shore dependency - ie from the island of Reunion (French) in the Indian ocean to Paris. At this point in time no commemorative T-Shirts are known to exist!

Travel inside Chukotka

Most communities and areas in Chukotka are very remote and cannot be reached via road or scheduled aircraft service. General aviation practically doesn't exist there. Chukotavia, based near Anadyr' in Ugo'nye Kopi, is the only airline that operates inside of Chukotka with infrequent scheduled flights to Markovo, Cape Shmidt, Egenkinot, Provideniya, Beringovskiy, Lavrentiya, Pevek, and Keperveem. The only way to get to remote locations is by chartering a helicopter or a boat (if it is a coastal community).

From Provideniya one can travel by road to New Chaplino, by boat in summer to Yanrakynnot, Lorino and Lavrentiya and by helicopter to Lavrentiya and Uelen. These facts were correct at time of writing, but can change at any time.

Anadyr's airport is located across from the city on the other side of the Anadyr' Lagoon. There is no road from the airport to the city. Crossings are made during the summer via a ferry barge, motor boat "Kamchatka", or hovercraft; during winter in a vehicle across the ice road (make the arrangements ahead of time); during spring break-up or fall seasons via helicopter.

Upon arrival

Please remember that if you intend to stay in Russia longer than seven days, you must register your passport and visa with the local police (militia) department. Our hotels take care of this process for you, and you will be asked to give your passport to the hotel reception upon arrival. The passport will be returned to you within a period of a few hours to a day.

Food and incidentals

Food and groceries are readily available in Anadyr, which boasts several restaurants, a nice supermarket, and a number of grocery stores; however, in the other communities food can be scarce.

Marine mammal products Don't break the law!

It is possible that the locals will present you with a Native craft, or offer to sell you such items. Please make sure that the materials it is made of do not contain any marine mammal products which are forbidden by international, or your local country, laws.

A lot of the beautiful carving and scrimshaw use the ivory tusks of walrus, which the indigenous people hunt as a food source continuing their traditional ways. Some argue this is a sustainable practice as they are no longer hunted in the numbers required were this to be a main source of food. In  addition, this is done as a 'cultural practice'. Other will argue that there is no longer the need so the the practice should stop.

Importation of Ivory products from endangered species is banned by most countries with proper outlooks on such matters. There is no official paperwork available from these craft producers to indicate their material comes from a sustainable practice (their terms), so you might experience problems when returning home. Carved work using bones from Reindeer won't bring such problems. The debate is still open regarding the carving done to the bone from a walrus penis - I kid you not there is such a bone!

Back = Ivory carving. Foreground = Reindeer bone carving

Back left = Scrimshaw on ivory. Item in front (dark tinges) = carved Walrus penis bone.