On April 23, at 12:00, a press conference will be held at the Moscow Headquarters of the Russian Geographical Society, dedicated to summing up the results of the first seven years of the expedition "Baikal – Alaska: the way of Siberian merchants". For the first time in 150 years, its participants repeated the route of the pioneers from Irkutsk to the former capital of Russian America in Alaska – Sitka.
During the meeting, the project participants will share their new plans for the next years. The director of the Department of Expeditionary Activities and Tourism Development of the Executive Directorate of the Russian Geographical Society Sergey Chechulin, the project manager and captain of the expedition Anatoly Kazakevich, representatives of Rostourism and the Russian Military Historical Society will speak at the press conference.
The video footage from the expedition, photographs, excerpts from a film about Russian America, as well as a book will be presented at the press conference.
The project "Baikal – Alaska: the way of Siberian merchants", initiated by the Irkutsk businessman and traveler Anatoly Kazakevich in 2013, is being implemented with the support of the Russian Geographical Society.
About 200 years ago, Siberian entrepreneurs were already active in the territory from the Yenisei to Alaska and Japan. They created one of the most remarkable enterprises in world history – the Russian-American Company. In over the 30 years of its existence, 25 sea expeditions were organized. Among them – 15 round the world. The first large fortunes in Siberia were formed by fishing parties that went to Kamchatka, the Aleutian Islands and the north of the American continent.
In 2013–2019, the members of the “Baikal – Alaska” expedition traveled about 15 thousand km from Irkutsk along the path of the pioneers to Sitka on an ocean-class inflatable catamaran "Seeker", crossed the Okhotsk and Bering Seas. The specific characteristics of the vessel made it possible to visit places that could not be reached by land, helicopter or boat.
The members of the expedition captured unique footage of wildlife, collected data on the customs and traditions of the villagers along the western coast of Alaska. The travelers became the first foreigners to visit these settlements in their entire history, and the “Seeker” was the first sailing ship that managed to overcome all the obstacles of the treacherous relief of the local seabed. The results of the expedition are reflected in the book "Baikal – Alaska: the way of Siberian merchants."
The team plans to prepare a new stage: from Irkutsk to the Shantar Islands. This is the historical path along which the Irkutsk merchants set off to establish contacts with the eastern countries. During 95 days of the route, the expedition members will visit abandoned gold mines, megalithic structures of ancient civilizations and many other interesting places.
The project participants are also creating a theme park-hotel "Baikal – Alaska" in Irkutsk. A square of Siberian merchants will appear on its territory. Work is underway to open a museum of Russian America in the city. It should appear in a historic building where the office of the Russian-American company was once.
The site of the project "Baikal – Alaska: the way of Siberian merchants": https://www.baikal-alaska.ru