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Russian Arctic to Japan: Petropavlovsk to Maizuru

Russian Arctic and Japan Cruise

Summary : Join a 5-star expedition to discover the origins of the world, a part of our planet that is still unknown to most, where Ocean and Fire have fashioned a wild, free and almost forgotten paradise. Discover the Kuril Islands, which extend all the way to Japan. Travel in virgin lands that stretch on forever where you’ll feel like you’ve reached the end of the Earth. Discover more than 200 volcanoes, geysers, primary forests, wild nature, brown bears fishing for salmon, colorful taiga, and so many more reasons to bring your best camera!

Click to read more about the secrets of the Kuril Islands.

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture


Prices from
$999,999,999 to $0

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Day 1
Petropavlovsk, Russia

Embark your vessel for introductions to experienced crew and fellow travelers. Settle in to life on board as your cruise begins its voyage.

Day 2
Petropavlovsk, Russia

Situated on high hills and surrounded by volcanoes, Petropavlovsk is nestled in amongst volcanoes and mountains. Experience its remote location as no roads connect the Kamchatka Peninsula to the rest of the world.

Day 3
Atlasova Island

The highest volcano of the Kuril Islands, its near perfect conical shape gave rise to many legends among the peoples of the region.

Day 4
Paramushir Island

A volcanic island in the northern part of Kuril Island chain, Paramushir supports healthy populations of brown bears, red foxes and Arctic hares on its alpine tundra landscape which produces edible mushrooms, lingonberries and Arctic raspberries. Keep your eyes on the water as the straits between Paramushir and Shumshu Island support a notably dense population of sea otters and harbor seals.

Day 5
Shumshu Island

Shumshu has abundant fish, marine mammals and birdlife in the area. It is the least elevated in the entire Kuril group of islands with a height of only 620 feet. The terrain is low-lying and covered with numerous lakes and marshland.

Day 6
Onekotan Island

Onekotan Island is an uninhabited volcanic island located near the northern end of the Kuril Islands. It still has an active volcano with the most recent eruption, in 1952, forming a small lava dome on the island's coast.

Day 7
Day 8
Matua Island

Discover this island’s complex stratovolcano with two main peaks.

Day 9
Yankicha Island / Shimushir Island

A southern island, it consists of a summit caldera and is breached on the south, forming a sea-water crater bay. Remains of Ainu huts have been found on the northern slopes of Yankicha’s crater bay.

Sail Shimushir Island's caldera on the north side formed after the violent eruption of an ancient volcano. Over time, the ocean has worn down the rock walls of the crater allowing seawater to rush in and form a lake. But this is no ordinary caldera, at one time it was the site of a top-secret Russian submarine base.

Day 10
Chirpoy Island

In 1952, upon signing the Treaty of San Francisco, Japan renounced its claim to this island. The remains of a partially submerged volcanic caldera, Chirpoy is known for its numerous bird population and sea lion rookeries.

Day 11
Day 12
Korsakov, Russia

Korsakov has changed hands between Russia and Japan a couple of times and is now part of Russia. In the shuffle, cultural structures were created and destroyed, but the old Japanese bank building remains standing today. The town features a museum with an exhibit describing the local frontier history, and the Japanese possession of the city (1905–1945). The Local market on Sovetskaya Street offers great strawberries in the summer, and nicely prepared Korean delicacies all year round.

Day 13
Otaru, Japan

The southern portion of the city is characterized by the steep slopes of various mountains, notably Tenguyama, that collide sharply with the sea. A quaint canal adorned with Victorian-style street lamps runs through the town.

Day 14
At Sea

Explore the ship and enjoy time to take advantage of onboard amenities. Relax in the spa, read in the library, workout in the fitness center, enjoy a delicious meal, or watch incredible views from the panoramic lounge.

Day 15
Kanazawa, Japan

The name Kanazawa means "marsh of gold”, derived from the legend of a peasant who was digging for potatoes when flakes of gold washed up. Kanazawa-Haku is gold which is beaten into a paper-like sheet. Gold leaf plays a prominent part in the city's culture and there is even a gold leaf museum.

Day 16
Maizuru, Japan

Maizuru is a city rich in nature, located on the scenic Maizuru Bay. Conclude the expedition and disembark.


Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Travel Insurance:
Passengers shall be responsible for subscribing to cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s). ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.

Meet and greet by representatives at the destination airport; transfer from Petropavlovsk airport to ship; all meals on board the ship from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation; Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; evening gatherings, organized entertainment and events; mineral water, tea, filter coffee, a selection of white, red and rosé wines offered during meals; afternoon tea; open bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request), port and safety taxes, fuel surcharge and gratuities; luggage transfer from pier to the ship and vice versa; 24 hour room service (special selection); English speaking lecturer on selected sailings identified by “lecturer on board” logo; highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team for all programs identified with “Expedition” logo; parka.

Not Included:
Airport taxes; any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones included; day rooms and other services at arrival and departure, before embarkation and after disembarkation; visa, disembarkation taxes, environmental taxes and/or national park fees; optional shore excursions (sold on board); insurances; personal expenses such as onboard medical consultations and drug prescriptions, use of spa, laundry and hair salon; expedition photo disc and video (approx $85); other drinks not included in open bar.

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