Summary : Visit the very remote Russian Far East. Marvel at spectacular natural landscapes, pristine tundra and massive volcanoes. Travel along the historic routes of explorers and traders. Meet the indigenous Chukchi, Aleut and Koryak peoples. Be on the lookout for grey whales, reindeer, Arctic fox and brown bears. Photograph walrus haul-outs and black lava beaches. Identify countless birds including puffins, guillemots, cormorants, Steller’s sea eagle, Brown-headed thrush, Siberian Ruby throats, Alder-thickets, Black-legged kittiwakes, and Crested or Whiskered Auklets. Cruise and explore by Zodiac, watching for sea otters at play in the surrounding waters. See northern fur seals and Steller sea lions in their natural habitat on this trip of a lifetime. Travel in the company of experts including an ecologist, marine biologist and wildlife veterinarian.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking
$999,999,999 to $0
Embark the Silver Discoverer for this amazing expedition. Meet your Expedition Team and attend a safety briefing. Familiarize yourself with your new home away from home, and meet some of your fellow travelers.
Cross the International Date Line and lose a day. After clearance into Russia through the former Soviet military port of Provideniya, enjoy a traditional welcome of Vodka, black bread, and sweets before watching a cultural dance performance and joining our local guides for a walking tour of the town and its small museum.
Today we begin our exploration of Russia’s remote northeast, specifically the land of the indigenous Chukchi people. Our adventures will be determined by weather, sea and wildlife conditions. So, in the true spirit of expedition cruising, we embrace this flexibility and pursue the best possible opportunities the day provides. Here are some of the places you might visit:
Take a hike among the wetlands that dot the coastline, revealing the wildflowers that carpet the tundra, such as forget-me-nots and dwarf azaleas. The animals here regularly move between locations, so finding them is a matter of luck. However, be on the lookout for walruses, brown bears and Beluga whales.
Cruise and explore this region by Zodiac, hoping to spot many of its animal species, which include grey whales, walrus, reindeer and brown bears. Birders will be on the lookout for white-fronted bean geese and whooper swans.
Go ashore by Zodiac for nature walks amid a landscape surrounded by conical peaks and jagged cliffs, separated by valleys with waterfalls and tumbling streams.
A short hike up to the cliff tops of Verkhoturov reveals a magnificent seabird colony with fantastic views of Tufted Puffins, Brünnich's Guillemot, Pelagic Cormorants and Black-legged Kittiwakes.
Located in the Russian Far East on the Tymlat River that flows into the Bering Sea, is the Tymlat village. Arrive on Zodiac and be treated to some local hospitality and a sampling of their food which includes: salmon, navaga (a member of the cod family), herring, and caviar. The renowned cultural group, “Mengo”, may even treat us to a performance of folk songs and dance.
A patchwork of boggy tundra, ponds, and shingle spits dot the landscape for places to land the Zodiacs. Mostly uninhabited, this is a great site to view an interesting range of waders including the Pacific Golden Plover, Red-necked Stint and Red-necked Phalarope.
The Komander Islands are named after famed commander Vitus Bering who had been commissioned by the Russian Tsar to search for a land bridge between Asia and America. Experiences will be determined by weather, wildlife and sea conditions. Here are some of the places you might to visit:
Cruising by Zodiac get close to the many horned and tufted puffins.
Established in 1826 by fur traders, this fishing village on Bering Island has a small museum to learn about the Aleut people and their culture. During the visit, enjoy a concert and be entertained by a presentation of local games.
Scenic bays, picturesque waterfalls, and the rugged crater landscape of extinct volcanoes are characteristic of the scene that awaits. Here are some of the places you might visit:
Walk in the meadows and see the amazing landscape of extinct volcanoes and rugged coves.
Follow the lead of the Expedition Team on a nature hike to the area’s hot springs. Birders will be keen to spot at least one Steller’s sea eagle – a species known to frequent this area, and incredibly impressive simply for its sheer size.
Be on the lookout for the Kamchatka brown bears that often can be seen along the bank of the river that flows into the bay. Observe an abandoned trapper's hut and an old Japanese shipwreck.
Cruising the river in highly maneuverable Zodiacs allows for stops to go ashore wherever the best birding and nature walks are found. Heading upstream, spot up to 40 different bird species and watch for brown bears fishing for salmon in the river.
Petropavlovsk is the only major city on the peninsula and one of the oldest towns in the Russian Far East. It is also the scientific and cultural center of the region. Accompany local guides on a comprehensive tour of the city’s highlights. Visit the Museum of Ethnography and Natural History, the art school, the gold-domed Orthodox Cathedral and the marketplace.
This chain of volcanic islands stretches over 800 miles from the southern tip of the Kamchatka peninsula to the north-easternmost point of Japan, where the archipelago is instead known as the Chishima Islands. Heading southward you might visit:
Watch sea otters at play in the waters surrounding our Zodiacs, and observe the activities of the many cormorants that reside in the harbor-side bird cliffs.
At a height of over 2,000 meters, Alaid is the highest volcano in the Kurils. Land by Zodiac on the black lava beach of the island and walk to see the remains of the Taketomi tufa cone.
The clusters of rocks that comprise this island group are home to huge populations of sea mammals and birds. At Skala Luvushkky, search for northern fur seals and Steller sea lions and hope and look for pigeon guillemots that often swim around the rocky outcrops of the islands.
Matua is home to one of the Kuril’s most active volcanoes, with more than 14 documented eruptions in the past 250 years. Learn about the Japanese military base that was set up here during WWII and how the Japanese used to capture geothermal heat from the volcano to keep the runway usable. Hikers will be rewarded with good views of the abandoned military positions and hopefully get a glimpse of the island’s population of Brown-headed thrush, Siberian Ruby throats and Alder thickets.
Yankitcka is a fascinating place. It is actually a sinking volcanic caldera, accessible only by Zodiac and only during high tide. Once inside the magnificent lagoon, we can still see traces of the tremendous forces that created the island long ago. Watch for crested auklets and if lucky, a glimpse of an Arctic fox or even the rare and elusive whiskered auklet.
Huge numbers of fulmars, kittawakes, puffins, auklets and Steller sea lions are regularly seen in the area surrounding Chirpoy with great visibility exploring by Zodiacs.
Located off the East coast of Sakhalin Island in the Sea of Okhotsk, witness a natural paradise. This small island is home to over 250,000 northern fur seals and Steller sea lions, as well as tens of thousands of common guillemots and Black-legged Kittiwakes that have made their nests in the cliffs above.
This port once served as a penal colony and achieved literary fame after a travel report by Anton Chekhov. Get a glimpse of the city during a brief morning excursion before returning to the Silver Discoverer and beginning the process of immigration clearance out of Russia.
Following breakfast, disembark the vessel.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
This trip crosses the International Date Line on the second day of the voyage and thus will lose a day. The trip arrives into Otaru, Japan on Sept 1st.
Suite accommodations; onboard meals and entertainment; butler service; parka; backpack; water bottle; gratuities aboard ship (except spa); complimentary beverages aboard ship (including select wines, champagnes, spirits, soda, water and coffee).
Airfare; transfers and luggage handling; optional shore excursions; park entrance fees; government fees and taxes; passport and visa expenses; Visa Invitation Letter $40; some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes and cigars; laundry or valet services; items of a personal nature such as boutique purchases, medical care, and spa services; fuel surcharge may apply.