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North America / Alaska Cruises / Unites States of America

Cruises to Attu Island

Cruises timetable and data for this port of call

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Attu Island main data and map

Attu is the last island in the Aleutians, the most remote and rarely-visited area of the United States. We used to provide tee-shirts to our participants that read «It's not the last place on earth, but I can see it from here.» Those shirts might need revision, because if you check the bend in the International Date Line, you will see that Attu will be the last place on earth to enter the new millennium! Attu has a tragic history, as one might guess from some of the names of the island's features: Terrible Mountain, Massacre Bay, Murder Point. Beginning with the Russian fur-trader slaughter of native Aleuts, and ending with the second-bloodiest Pacific battle of World War II, in which over 2500 Japanese and Americans died, it has seen more than its share of grief. But the Peaceful River also runs on Attu, and it is now a wildly beautiful and majestic island that is peacefully remote. We have found it even more remote and peaceful than some areas of the Antarctic. When you are on Attu, you can expect to hear a plane about twice a month, and the odds are you'll never see a ship. The only year-round inhabitants of Attu are about 24 Coast Guard personnel who operate a LORAN navigation station. Spring brings migrants to the island—birds from Asia and birders from North America. runs its own little village, which temporarily quadruples the population of the island. We have been visiting Attu since 1976, and organizing trips there since 1979. It is fair to say that a trip to Attu is the most coveted birding trip in North America. That's primarily because of the birds—more first and second ABA Checklist records have been recorded on Attu than at any other single birding location. But Attu is special in other ways, too. So much so that some of our participants return again and again, not even expecting to see new birds. (Around 30–40% of the participants on each of our trips have been to Attu with us before.) Attu is widely recognized as the ne plus ultra (both literally and figuratively!) of North American birding. No other birding trip in North America is like it, nor have any others been written about so frequently, or praised as highly.

Schedule for the upcoming cruises to Attu Island

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