Approaching Yttygran Island off the southern tip of the Chukchi Peninsula, a strikingly haunting image comes into view: rows of giant whale skulls, jaws, ribs, and other bones stretching for nearly a third of a mile along the island’s northern coast. The massive scale of Whale Bone Alley signifies the importance of this “Chukcha Stonehenge,” first discovered in 1977. Yet the eerie boneyard remains shrouded in mystery: Was this an ancient Eskimo ceremonial site? Some sort of religious complex? Archaeologists have determined that the alley, created around 600 years ago, actually was used as a sort of whale slaughterhouse, where local Native tribes would gut the great beasts and store their meat. Supporting this theory: more than 100 pits found behind the bones had fossilized whale bits still in them. Seabourn guests venture ashore via Zodiac to explore this unearthly site with your ship’s Expedition Team, perhaps joining a hike through the lush, tundra-covered landscape for an elevated perspective of the boneyard.
Alternatively, guests may join an optional kayaking excursion along the shoreline of Yttygran Island close to Whale Bone Alley. The site is located near a whale migration route, and the chance to encounter whales and other marine life is always present.