Jewel of the Russian Far East

Jewel of the Russian Far East

  • Spirit of Enderby
  • Research Ship
  • 50 Capacity
  • 14 Days
  • View Departure>
  • Price from
  • $999,999,999

Summary : The eastern seaboard of Russia dominates the North Pacific and yet very few people know anything about it, let alone have experienced it. Its isolation has protected one of its most valuable assets – its wilderness and to some degree, its wildlife. With an option of joining from Nome, Alaska, the expedition begins in Anadyr, the administrative center of the Chukotka Autonomous Region. Travel south along the Koryak and Kamchatka coastlines to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy. Along the way, make numerous landings, including two full days at the Commander Islands. View the thousands of birds that migrated here as they prepare to leave after taking advantage of the phenomenal abundance of food.

Activities : Birding

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Itinerary
Day 1
Nome, Alaska

You can join this expedition either in Anadyr or in Nome, Alaska. Those starting in Nome will fly by a private charter flight to Anadyr and will join the ship and the expedition members who have traveled direct to Anadyr.

Those departing from Nome, Alaska, should arrive in Nome before midday and preferably the previous night.

Day 2
Anadyr, Russia

Explore Anadyr, the administrative center of the Chukotka region, before getting to know your fellow voyagers and crew on board the Spirit of Enderby.

Day 3
Egvekinot

There is more to this small town on the shores of Kresta bay than first meets the eye. It was built by Gulag prisoners in 1946 as a port to supply the Lul'tin mining complex some 200km inland, the prisoners also constructed the road to the mine. Today the Lul'tin mining complex is closed but the town and Port of Egvekinot is the terminus for a new road through the Pevek and its associated gold mines. The town has an excellent museum, with a planned visit. Egvekinot is only a few miles south of the Arctic Circle and today you'll travel by Ural ( a 6WD "go anywhere" Russian track) to the point where the Arctic Circle crosses the road to Lul'tin and then some distance beyond so that you can see and experience the tundra habitat which dominates so much of Chukotka.

Day 4
Bukhta Gavrilla

This coastline is rich in marine mammals and one creature you will be looking for, in particular, is the walrus. The bukhta (or bay) was named after Commander Vitus Bering’s ship, the St Gabriel, of the First Kamchatka Expedition. Behind the expansive beach, there is a lagoon you can explore for waterfowl and waders.

Day 5
Pika River / Meinypil’gyno

Start the day with a visit to the delta of Pika River – a well known walrus haul-out and one of the few places in the southern part of the range that still get thousands of animals coming to rest on the beach.

Later in the day, visit Meinypil’gyno, a small settlement located on a 40 kilometer long shingle spit. It is a traditional village although renovated under the recent Chukotka government.

Day 6
Bukhta Natalia

Along the Koryak Coast there are many beautiful fiords (bukhtas or bays) and none are more beautiful than Bukhta Natalii. This fiord has two smaller fiords that drain into it from the south; called Bukhta Pavla and Bukhta Petra (named after St Peter and St Paul by Commander Vitus Bering).

Day 7
Tintikun Lagoon

Much of the southern Govena Peninsula was recently made into a State Reserve. There are a number of fiords included in the Reserve; one of the most spectacular is Tintikun Lagoon.

Day 8
Koryakskiy Reserve / Verhoturova Island

Start the morning in Brown Bear country, an undisturbed habitat within the Koryakskiy Reserve, where you will go bear watching and Zodiac cruising along the coast. Brown Bears come down to the sea coast and into the nearby hills very frequently, and the area is completely protected and rarely visited.

Day 9
Karaginskiy Island

A few miles to the south from Verhoturova Island is the much larger Karaginskiy Island. Encounter some of the first ‘forests’ of the voyage. This is a change from the tundra that you have seen so far depicting a sure sign that you are getting further south.

Autumn is the best time for the wild berries and you can marvel at the richness of the local flora, as many of them would be at their best.

Day 10 – 11
The Commander Islands

The wildlife-rich Commander Islands were first discovered by Commander Vitus Bering when his ship was wrecked here in 1741. He perished on the island along with many of his men. The reports from those that survived led to a ‘fur rush’ and the settlement of the islands.

There are two large islands (Bering and Medney) with two smaller islands Ariy Karmen and Toporkov. These islands are located at the western extremity of the Aleutian chain. Explore the islands through a combination of landings and Zodiac cruises.

Day 12
Olga Bay

Olga Bay is a part of the very large Kronotskiy Reserve, which also includes the world-famous Valley of the Geysers. The habitat is quite different to what you will have been experiencing before with lush Kamchatka forests coming right down to the beach line.

The area around Olga Bay is frequented by large numbers of Grey Whales that are usually quite friendly to the visiting boats. The rising volcanoes in the background will provide a beautiful setting to explore real Kamchatka wilderness.

Day 13
Zhupanova River / Bukhta Bechevinskaya

This morning make your way along the Zhupanova River by Zodiac. This journey allows you to explore a river habitat which is common in Kamchatka.

Day 14
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy

During the night the Spirit of Enderby will enter Avacha Bay which is one of the greatest natural harbors in the world. On the shores of the Bay is Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, the capital and administrative center of the Kamchatka Region. The town was founded in the 1700s by Commander Vitus Bering during the Second Kamchatka Expedition. All through the Cold War, it was home to significant part of Russian Pacific Fleet which included a large submarine base. The city and region was "closed" to foreign visitors until 1992.

After breakfast, disembark for your complimentary transfers to a downtown hotel or the airport. To allow time for disembarkation procedures, it is recommended to book flights after 1pm.

Disembark the vessel today (15th Sept*) and a complimentary transfer to the airport will be provided.

B) Disembark the vessel on day 14* (16th Sept*). If you select this option, day 13 will be free for exploring and a number of optional excursions will be offered, including a trip into the world-famous Valley of the Geysers, an excursion to one of the nearby volcanoes or a day exploring the city, including the museums and markets.

Notes

You can join this expedition either in Anadyr or in Nome, Alaska. Those starting in Nome (9/3/2013) will fly by a charter flight and join the ship in Anadyr.

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on any Heritage Expeditions program, all passengers must purchase full medical and emergency evacuation insurance for the specific areas they will be visiting. The minimum coverage requirement is $100,000 for all Heritage Expeditions programs. The policy provider, policy number and contact phone number must be provided prior to departure date. We also strongly recommend that all passengers purchase comprehensive travel insurance which would include coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.

Included:
Cabin accommodations; all meals on board the ship; onboard lectures and access to public areas; services of expedition leaders; shore excursions as described; services of expedition team; pre- and post-cruise transfers; accommodation on day 13 for those who select option B.

Not Included:
Airfare to and from your home to the port of departure and port of arrival; private charter flight from Nome to Anadyr; passport and visa fees; travel insurance; items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks and medical services; gratuities; landing fees ($500 per person); fuel surcharge may apply.