Summary : A geothermal wonderland of volcanoes and hot springs await as you follow in the footsteps of Vitus Bering. Remote and rarely visited destinations offer sensational wildlife spotting opportunities with countless birds nesting in the area. Zodiac tours will fascinate, extraordinary topography will captivate and the whole journey will enthral.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Once all guests have embarked, you will participate in the safety drill. Later you will be introduced to important members of the crew and your Expedition Team. This evening familiarize yourself with your new home away from home, meet some of your fellow travelers, and enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.
By cruising the Zhupanova River with Zodiacs, enjoy the ability to stop and go ashore to find the best birding and nature walks. Heading upstream, spot up to 40 different bird species and maybe even see brown bears fishing for salmon in the river. Your main goal today is to spot Steller Sea Eagles. This majestic bird is known to frequent this area.
The Komandorskiye or Commander 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. After having been to Alaska he was forced to overwinter there. He was buried on the island, but part of the crew managed to return to Petropavlovsk. Go ashore to see the graves of Bering and some of his crew.
Today visit a Steller sea lion rookery on the north side of Cape Severozapadniy. Walk along a sometimes waterlogged dirt road which leads to a blind overlooking the rookery. Apart from the sea lions, arctic foxes can often be seen – they are curious, and will watch us from a safe distance.
Before lunch Silver Explorer will sail to Nikolskoye, which was established in 1826 by fur traders. This fishing village on Bering Island has colorful buildings and an Orthodox Church, and a small museum to learn about the Aleut people and their culture. It also contains much information on Bering, as well as the bones of a Steller’s sea cow. During your visit enjoy a concert and be entertained by a presentation of local games.
While Silver Explorer cruises the Bering Sea, help birders looking for albatrosses or learn a few tips for better editing your photographs by your onboard photographer. Attend a lecture by one of the specialists and test your knowledge at Team Trivia.
During the early morning arrive at Yuzhnaya Glubokaya, where you might do a short Zodiac cruise and visit an abandoned fishing village that today is covered in wildflowers. This is an area well-liked by brown bears and activities will much depend on their presence.
Depending on tidal conditions either do a Zodiac cruise in Lavrova Bay or at Tintikyn Lagoon. Lavrova Bay features a Russian shipwreck dating back to the 1970’s and another abandoned fish camp for a Zodiac cruise and short nature walk. The entrance to Tintikyn Lagoon is extremely tidal dependent, and need to enter at rising tide. The mountains surrounding the lagoon are well liked by brown bears and you might be be able to spot them grazing on the slopes.
During the morning Silver Explorer will still be at sea, giving lecturers time for a talk or seminar. Shortly before noon arrive at your destination. Named after one of the ships used for the Bering expedition, Pyotr Bay is a sheltered bay and offers two hikes: one near the lighthouse close to the entrance of the bay with little climbing and only a short distance to cover; the other at the end of the bay, heading towards two lakes situated well above sea-level. While Largha seals can be expected at the first landing, the other promises a longer hike, spectacular landscape and more birding.
In the afternoon plan to cruise and explore Bogoslav’s shore by Zodiac. Arches and caves will be found along the coast around most of the island and you may see a walrus haul-out and Slaty-backed Gulls, Pigeon Guillemots, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Tufted Puffins, Horned Puffins, Common Guillemots, and Harlequin Ducks.
Cruise and explore this region by Zodiac, hoping to see a walrus haul-out and seals. Birders will be on the lookout for Slaty-backed Gulls, Pelagic Cormorants, Horned Puffins, Tufted Puffins, Black-legged Kittiwakes, and White Wagtails, White-fronted Geese, Bean Geese and Whooper Swans.
Depending on the conditions go ashore by Zodiac for nature walks amid a landscape surrounded by conical peaks and jagged cliffs, separated by valleys with lakes, waterfalls and tumbling streams and glimpses of arctic voles and ground squirrels.
While Silver Explorer heads north you have another opportunity to learn more about this remote part of the world, its nature and its inhabitants. Attend a lecture, partake in a seminar, or perhaps watch your chef prepare a delicacy before lunch. There are many ways to spend a relaxing day at sea.
Yttygran offers a unique natural history experience on this voyage. An array of bowhead whale bones and rock arrangements is stunning – it is a place of great archaeological importance combined with natural beauty. An early morning landing will add to the magic and mystery of the place due to the soft hues and the muffled light conditions. For the more energetic passengers a hike up the steep nearby hill provides an excellent leg stretch.
During lunch Silver Explorer will reposition to be closer to the Proliv Senyavina Hot Springs. Go ashore by Zodiac to enter a small lagoon and hike across tundra and some rolling hills to reach a stream with some hot springs. You can choose to either enter a small pool prepared by the local fishermen, or to go into the stream.
In Provideniya stop for outward clearance. While the Russian authorities make sure all formalities are completed, you can start your last day on board with final lectures, summing up your experiences during the last 11 days. Though today is technically considered Day 12 of your voyage, it is one very “short” day that includes approximately 19 hours of cruising the Bering Sea and crossing the International Date Line. You will actually arrive in Alaska before you left Provideniya thanks to the 24 hours gained from crossing the International Dateline from west to east.
After breakfast, disembark Silver Explorer.
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.
Although travel insurance is not mandatory to participate in this voyage, ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Ship accommodation; Wi-Fi aboard ship; onboard meals; butler service; complimentary beverages served throughout the ship (an assortment of complimentary wines, champagne and spirits); parka and backpack; all onboard gratuities (except spa); port charges and handling fees; Silver, Medallion, Grand and Owner's Suite guests receive laundry service and dinner at Officer's table. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; transfers and luggage handling; travel insurance; government fees and taxes; visa and passport expenses; gifts and items of a personal nature such as laundry and spa options, fuel surcharge may apply.
Photo Credit: © Creative Services at Silversea Expeditions, © Richard Sidey (puffin, eagle, bears), © Elliott Neep (walrus)