The remote reaches of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula and the distant and isolated Kuril Islands have fired the imagination of explorers and traders for centuries.
Our past travellers have enthused about the spectacular scenery, the incredible array of wildlife and the native cultures known to only a few privileged visitors. The wildlife is some of the richest in the world and the region is truly a birdwatcher’s paradise with puffins, guillemots, cormorants, Steller’s sea eagle, brown-headed thrush, Siberian Ruby-throats, black legged kittiwakes, and crested or whiskered auklets just some of the species we hope to encounter as we cruise through a pristine environment that calls to nature lovers, history buffs, photographers and the intrepid explorer within.
The Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia’s remote easternmost province is home to the brown bear and on arrival there we will be greeted by a dramatic landscape of fire and ice. Geysers, hot springs and active volcanoes set amidst towering mountains and fast flowing rivers make this area magnificently unique. Marvel at spouting whales, frolicking seals and huge populations of nesting and migratory seabirds. Following our time around the peninsula, we reach the Kurils, a necklace-like chain of volcanic islands where we will find vast forests and wildflower-dappled tundra, backdropped by soaring steam-breathing volcanoes. Basalt stacks rise from the sea, tailormade resting and nesting spots for an unimaginable number of seabirds. Once inhabited by the Ainu, who are thought to be descendants of migrating Mongolians, these islands are home to over 100 volcanoes, 35 of which are active.
Using our fleet of Zodiacs we can explore inlets, bird sanctuaries and land in otherwise inaccessible places and, although we set sail with a set itinerary, it is often the unscheduled events that become the highlight. Sailing in June, we will take full advantage of the mid-summer sun, travelling on nature’s terms, enjoying dramatic scenery and encountering the region’s ancient cultures and fascinating people whose lives are rarely touched by outsiders. We will be joined onboard by an expert expedition team including naturalists, marine biologists and ornithologists who will share their knowledge and enthusiasm during forays ashore and whilst on board.