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14 day - Voyage to Far East Russia along the Kamchatka coast.
Siberia’s eastern coastline is undoubtedly one of the most remote and least visited regions of the globe. It is home to several groups of indigenous people, including the Itelmen, Koryak, Even and Chukchi. Fur trappers and sealers plundered the regions natural resources in the name of the Tsar in the early 17th Century.
Travel through this region is heavily regulated and virtually impossible for the independent traveller. There is little or no infrastructure, only a few kilometres of road, no hotels apart from in the main towns of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy and Anadyr. These towns have scheduled air services, but access to the rest of the region either by air or sea even for locals is at best ‘unpredictable’.
Throughout its chequered human history its rich natural history has largely gone unnoticed and unknown by the rest of the world. It is an amazing coastline dominated by the volcanoes of Kamchatka in the south, the fiords of what was formally the Koryak region and the rich estuarine areas and tundra of Chukotka.
This coastline has one of the most diverse assemblages of wildlife and habitats of anywhere of a similar latitude on the globe and virtually no people or visitors to disturb them. One of the most iconic species is the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper that is endemic to the region.
- Wildlife galore with virtually no visitors to disturb them - walrus, whales, birds, bears, Sea lions
- Marine mammal spotting along Kamchatka Coast
- Koryak & Chukotka Coast - uninhabited region, nearly inaccessible for independent travellers
- Join researchers in their work to protect the endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper and visit Meinypil’gyno
- Meet fascinating indigenous people
- Superb birdwatching - Steller’s Sea Eagle, Albatross, Petrels, Auklets, Kittiwake, Puffins...
- Zodiac cruise Zhupanova River looking for Largha Seals and Steller's Sea Eagles
- Humpback, Orca, Sperm, Northern Minke Whales
- Walrus haulout near Cape Navarin
- Breathtaking snow capped mountains and volcanoes
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Zhupanova River
- Days 3 - 4
- Commander Islands
- Day 5
- Karaginsky Island
- Day 6
- Verkhoturova Island and Govena Peninsula
- Days 7 - 10
- Koryak and Chukotka Coast
- Days 11 - 12
- Day 13
- Cape Navarin and Keyngypilgyn Lagoon
- Day 14
- Port of Anadyr
- Start Place
- Petropavlovsk, Russian tours
- End Place
- Anadyr, Russian tours
- Destinations Visited
- Russian tours
- Kamchatka tours
- 14 Days
- Group Size
- Easy independent voyage suitable for singles & couples
The Spirit of Enderby is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and is perfect for Expedition Travel. She carries just 50 passengers and was refurbished in March 2013 to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows or portholes and ample storage space.
On board there is a combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room. The cuisine is excellent and is prepared by top NZ and Australian chefs.
Pre/post cruise transfers, all on board ship accommodation, meals and all expedition shore excursions.
All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks & gratuities. International/domestic flights, visas and travel insurance.
Optional Kayaking Supplement: US$1,050 pp, Local payment
Day 1 - Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
Arrive into Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the capital and administrative centre of the Kamchatka Region and transfer to the port to board the Spirit of Enderby.
Day 2 - Zhupanova River
We plan to spend the morning Zodiac cruising on the Zhupanova River. Our main target here is the Steller’s Sea Eagle and there are usually some occupied nests close to the river. Good numbers of Largha Seals are also often hauled out on sandbars in the river and we should see a good variety of waterfowl and waders.
By late afternoon, we should be over deep water heading for the Commander Islands and new species to look for include Laysan Albatross, Mottled Petrel and the Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel. The Kamchatka Trench can also be excellent for cetaceans and we have previously seen Blue Whales on this crossing.
Days 3 - 4 - Commander Islands
The wildlife-rich Commander Islands were first discovered by the Commander Vitus Bering when his ship was wrecked here in 1741. We intend to explore the islands through a combination of landings and Zodiac cruises and our first stop will be the village of Nikolskoye, where there is an interesting museum. Zodiac cruising is often spectacular and we hope to encounter Red-faced Cormorant, Red-legged Kittiwake, Pigeon Guillemot, Horned Puffin, as well as Parakeet, Crested and Whiskered Auklets and Sea Otters. Our plans also include a ship cruise along the southern coast of Bering Island, as this area is excellent for cetaceans with Humpback, Sperm, Northern Minke, Orcas and Baird’s Beaked Whales all regularly encountered.
Day 5 - Karaginsky Island
Karaginsky Island is yet another of Russia's uninhabited islands that lie off the country's northeast coast. The island has flourishing abundance in wildlife and vegetation and is covered with flowers. There are a large number of Red Foxes that live on the island and many migratory birds come here to their breeding grounds and on the way south.
A proposed landing site is a patchwork of boggy tundra, ponds and shingle spits where an interesting range of waders can be found including Pacific Golden Plover, Red-necked Stint and Red-necked Phalarope. We also hope to see Bluethroat and Pallas’ Reed Bunting.
Day 6 - Verkhoturova Island and Govena Peninsula
Verkhoturova Island has some huge seabird colonies and by following a short trail to the cliff top we should be able to enjoy some fantastic views of Tufted Puffins, Brunnich’s Guillemots, Pelagic Cormorants and Black-legged Kittiwakes. Both Steller’s, Eider and Harlequin Duck occur here too and we may also see some Steller Sea Lions, as they are often hauled out on some offshore rocks. Later in the day, there will be either a Zodiac cruise or landing on the Govena Peninsula. Good numbers of brown bears can often be found here.
Days 7 - 10 - Koryak and Chukotka Coast
During these days of the expedition we will travel along this largely unknown part of the coast. It comprises deep forested fiords where we should see brown bears, Red Fox and with luck, mountain sheep and Kamchatka Marmots. In the many lagoons and shallow bays there is a vast array of birdlife including Tundra Bean Goose, Steller’s Eider, Great Knot, Long Tailed Stint, Gyrfalcon, Siberian Accenter and Asian Rosy Finch. This area is also a stronghold of the Kittlitz’s Murrelet and we should see several during our journey. In our previous expeditions we have explored much of this coastline, documenting the distribution and abundance of many species. In 2011 we recorded a previously unknown breeding population of Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Working alongside researchers from BirdLife International and Birds Russia who will be travelling with us, we plan to revisit many of these areas to monitor changes and search for new breeding colonies. There will be unique opportunities for photography, for hiking and ‘birding’ in country where literally only a few ‘westerners’ have ever been and we know there is a rich diversity of species.
Days 11 - 12 - Meinypil’gyno
Meinypil’gyno, located on a 40km long shingle spit is the most important site in the world for breeding Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Here about ten pairs are monitored by members of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Recovery Taskforce. We will be guests of the Taskforce and if possible we may be guided to one of their monitored nests. The area is extremely rich in other wildlife, so we may also find Emperor Goose, Pacific Diver, White-billed Diver and Sandhill Crane. The lagoon entrance often has Largha Seal, Gray and Beluga Whales and Sabine’s Gull.
Day 13 - Cape Navarin and Keyngypilgyn Lagoon
This coastline is rich in marine mammals and one creature we will be looking for in particular, is the walrus, as there is a known haul out. The animals do regularly move between locations, so finding them is always very much a matter of luck, although we have had success here in the past. Good numbers of Gray Whales often congregate here too. To the north of Cape Navarin is Keyngypilgyn Lagoon. On previous visits we have found this an excellent location for waterfowl and waders including Emperor Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, Brant Geese, Whooper Swan, King Eiders, Red Knots and Aleutian Tern.
Day 14 - Port of Anadyr
As we cruise into Anadyr Bay, there is an excellent chance of seeing more Beluga Whales and after a final breakfast on board the Spirit of Enderby, it will be time to disembark. We will provide complimentary transfers to a downtown hotel and the airport.
Price per person.
6 Jul 2020
4 Jul 2021
Interactive Tour Map
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/
Please note for China, Mongolia and Russia, you will need to arrange your visa before you go. We have supplied links to these visa applications within our Visa section. It is your responsibility to do this before your trip but please don't hesitate to speak to us if you need any assistance. It isn't unusual for our guests to have questions particularly about the Russian visa so please call us if you are in any doubt.