Waterproof Cruises

Jewel of the Russian Far East

The onset of autumn paints vibrant colours on the tundra cloaked hillsides making the landscape a picture perfect postcard.

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The Jewel of the Russian Far East

The Chukothka, Koryak and Kamchatka Coastline.

The eastern seaboard of Russia dominates the North Pacific and yet very few people know anything about it, let alone have experienced it. This isolation has protected one of its most valuable assets - its wilderness and to some degree, its wildlife.
The area was considered an important 'frontier zone' during the Cold War, so it was off-limits to foreigners. Even Russians had to get special permission to travel here. These limitations were changed in 1992/93 with Perestroika but that didn't make it more accessible.
Late summer and early autumn is a beautiful time to discover this wilderness. The onset of autumn paints vibrant colours on the tundra cloaked hillsides making the landscape a picture perfect postcard.

We will make numerous landings along these remote coastlines so that you can discover for yourself this untamed and beautiful landscape. We will select sites that few people visit such as river mouths, fiords, bays and islands that in our experience offer the natural history enthusiast, the photographer, the historian and travellers the most unique of opportunities.

Come with us and discover the jewel that is the Russian Far East.

Note:
This is a sample itinerary. We do our utmost to guarantee the best experience, unfortunately we have no control over the weather or wildlife behaviour. Ports of embarkation and disembarkation and sites may change depending on vessel and departure dates, weather- and ice conditions.

  • Day 1

    All expedition members will arrive in Anadyr, the administrative centre of the Chukotka region and transfer to the Spirit of Enderby.

    Day 2

    This coastline is rich in marine mammals and one creature we 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 we can explore for waterfowl and waders.

    Day 3

    We start the day with a visit to the delta of Pika River – a well known walrus haul out. Later in the day, we visit Meinypil'gyno, a small settlement located on a 40 kilometre long shingle spit. It is a traditional village although renovated under the recent Chukotka government; we enjoy local hospitality from the village ensemble who perform some of their traditional dances for us.

    Day 4

    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. We hike from one bay to another whilst surrounded by the magnificent mountain landscapes and tundra vegetation.

  • Day 5

    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 which is one of the most picturesque locations found anywhere in the world. A large population of brown bears inhabits this area which we may be fortunate to catch sightings of.

    Day 6

    We will start the morning in Kamchatka Brown Bear country, an undisturbed habitat within the Koryakskiy Reserve, where we will go bear watching and Zodiac cruising along the coast. Brown bears frequently visit this area which is completely protected and rarely visited. In the afternoon we go to Verkhoturova Island where Tufted and Horned Puffins, Pigeon, Common and Brunnich's Guillemots and also Parakeet and Least Auklets can be seen. On nearby rocky islets there is a regular non-breeding haul out of Steller Sea Lions.

    Day 7

    A few miles to the south from Verhoturova Island is the much larger Karaginskiy Island. Here we encounter some of the first 'forests' of the voyage. This is a change from the tundra that we have seen so far depicting a sure sign that we are getting further south. Autumn is the best time for the wild berries and we can marvel at the richness of the local flora, as many of them should be at their best.

  • Day 8 - 9

    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 Medny) with two smaller islands Ariy Karmen and Toporkov. We intend to explore the islands through a combination of landings and Zodiac cruises. We plan to stop at the village of Nikolskoye. We visit the Fur Seal rookery at North-West Cape and Zodiac cruise around the impressive bird colony at Ariy Kamen. We will also possibly visit the gravesite of Commander Vitus Bering or the remarkable Medny Island.

    Day 10

    Olga Bay is a part of the very large Kronotskiy Reserve, which also includes the world-famous Valley of the Geysers. The habitat has 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 visiting boats. The rising volcanoes in the background will provide a beautiful setting to explore real Kamchatka wilderness.

  • Day 11

    This morning we make our way along the Zhupanova River by Zodiac. This journey allows us to explore a river habitat which is common in Kamchatka. Steller's Sea Eagles are known to nest in the lower reaches of the river.

    Day 12

    During the night the Spirit of Enderby will enter Avacha Bay which is one of the greatest natural harbours in the world. On the shores of the Bay is Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, the capital and administrative centre of the Kamchatka Region.

    We end our expedition today, however due to outbound flight schedules we are pleased to be able to offer two disembarkation options:

    a) Disembark the vessel today we will provide a complimentary transfer to the airport.

    b) Disembark the vessel on day 13. If you select this option, day 12 will be free for exploring and we will be offering a number of optional excursions 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.

    Day 13

    For passengers who stayed on board, we will disembark the ship after breakfast.

Dates and Rates

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