Siberia’s Forgotten Coast aboard Heritage Adventurer

Siberia’s Forgotten Coast aboard Heritage Adventurer

From USD $9,450


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 region’s natural resources in the name of the Tsar in the early 17th Century. Stalin and subsequent leaders encouraged economic development in this part of the Soviet Union.

As the iron curtain was drawn and the Cold War escalated, this region became forbidden territory. Travel to and within the area was strictly controlled, the number of military installations increased, early radar warning stations proliferated and Russia’s Pacific fleet patrolled the coastline. This all changed in the early 1990s with Perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Military installations were abandoned, there were mass migrations of workers back west and towns and industries were simply abandoned. As the heavily subsided economy collapsed, the indigenous people were forced back to traditional ways of life.

Even now, travel through this region is still heavily regulated and virtually impossible for the independent traveller. There is little or no infrastructure, only a few kilometres of road, and 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 to 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.

Since 2011 we have supported BirdLife International and Birds Russia research teams working on this species. This support now includes other seabirds and waders as researchers monitor potential changes in their populations and distribution due to a variety of reasons.

Trip Name
Siberia's Forgotten Coast aboard Heritage Adventurer
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship Length: 124 metres Passenger Capacity: 140 Built: 1991 Heritage Adventurer is a true pioneering expedition vessel of exceptional pedigree. Often referred to as the ‘Grande Dame of Polar Exploration’ due to her celebrated history and refined design, she was purpose-built for adventure in 1991 at Finland’s Rauma shipyard and specifically designed for Polar exploration.Setting a peerless standard in authentic expedition travel, Heritage Adventurer (formerly known as MS Hanseatic) combines the highest passenger ship ice-class rating (1A Super) with an impressive history of Polar exploration. Having held records for the most northern and southern Arctic and Antarctic navigations, and for traversing both the Northwest and Northeast Passages, makes Heritage Adventurer perfect for pioneering New Zealand-based Heritage Expeditions signature experiential expedition travel.Originally designed to accommodate 184 guests, Heritage Adventurer now welcomes just 140 expeditioners ensuring spacious, stylish and comfortable voyages, while a fleet of 14 Zodiacs ensures all guests are able to maximise their expedition adventure. Heritage Adventurer proudly continues our traditions of exceptional, personalised expedition experiences as Heritage Expeditions flagship. Observation Lounge – One of the most celebrated and best-known features of Heritage Adventurer is the awe-inducing Observation Lounge, Library and Bar. Located on Deck 7 and perched directly above the Bridge, enjoy sweeping 270-degree views through floor to ceiling windows, perfect for wildlife spotting and quick access to the outer deck. Bring your binoculars to spot wildlife, observe the ever-changing landscape, write in your journal or relax with a book. Observation Deck – Enjoy 360-degree views from the highest point on the ship. The Observation Deck sits above the Observation Lounge and provides exceptional outside viewing options. Stretching the full width of the vessel, this is the perfect spot to take in the surrounding land and seascapes. Perfect on a sunny day, recline in the comfortable sun loungers protected from the wind and elements and watch your voyage unfold.  The Bridge – No expedition is complete without visiting Heritage Adventurer’s busy nerve centre. Located on Deck 6, Heritage Expeditions’ Open Bridge Policy means you are welcome to observe the Captain and crew at work while enjoying some of the ship’s best views. It’s a fascinating place to learn about navigation and vessel operations, however please note the Bridge will be closed when departing or arriving at port. Dining Room  – Indulge in fine international cuisine from our talented chefs in the lavish surrounds of our Dining Room on Deck 4. Sensational 270-degree views provide a stunning backdrop to meals here along with an international wine list featuring many outstanding regional wines. With relaxed seating arrangements, all guests can enjoy dining in a single sitting from hearty breakfasts setting you up for the day’s adventure to sumptuous lunches and multi-course evening dining. Bistro  – Simple fast and delicious meals and snacks are on offer in our relaxed Bistro on Deck 6. Perfect for early risers to enjoy tea, coffee and light breakfast options the Bistro provides great views and opens directly onto a covered and heated teak-deck outdoor dining area. The Bar and Lounge  – The social hub of  Heritage Adventurer, the Bar and Lounge on Deck 5 features seating for all guests. Enjoy a beverage at the bar, sink into an armchair, relax on one of the many spacious loungers and watch the world go by through the panoramic windows or make new friends at the communal seating. This multi-tasking space also doubles as the location of daily briefings and evening recaps with the expedition team. The Gym – Featuring spectacular ocean views, the well-equipped gym is adjacent to the pool, hot tub and sauna in Deck 7’s wellbeing zone. Maintain your routine with an elliptical cross trainer, treadmill, rowing machine, stationary bikes, TRX as well as free weights, yoga mats and fitness balls. Towels are provided with change room and shower amenities nearby. Sauna and Steam Room – True to her Nordic origins, Heritage Adventurer features a dry-heat Finnish sauna and European steam room on Deck 7. Perfect for warming up post Polar plunge or unwinding after a day’s adventures, the sauna and steam room include change room facilities, showers and towels. Swimming Pool and Hot Tub – Surrounded by relaxed teak seating including sun loungers, the open-air saltwater pool can be heated or chilled. Encased in glass the hot tub ensures all-weather use, perfect for those who like to relax with a view following a day of exploring. Lectures and Presentations – Enjoy informative and entertaining lectures on history, biology, wildlife, and ecology in the comfort of the Presentation Theatre. With state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, our world-renowned expedition team will bring your adventure to life through interactive presentations and discussions.


Day 1 - Day 1: Petropavlovsk- Kamchatskiy, Russia
Arrive into Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, the capital andadministrative centre of theKamchatka Region and transferto the port to board your ship. Wesuggest you arrive at least a coupledays earlier and spend some timeexploring the area. We can helpyou with accommodation and touroptions including the world famousValley of the Geysers. It is an historictown and there are a number ofmuseums and monuments worthvisiting. Please enquire about yourpre-voyage packages.
Day 2 - Day 2: Zhupanova River
We plan to spend the morningZodiac cruising on the ZhupanovaRiver. Our main target here is theSteller’s Sea Eagle and there areusually some occupied nests closeto the river. Good numbers ofLargha Seals are also often hauledout on sandbars in the river andwe should see a good variety ofwaterfowl and waders. The river isan important salmon fishery and wehope to have the opportunity tovisit a nearby fishing camp.By late afternoon we should be over deep water heading for theCommander Islands and newspecies to look for include LaysanAlbatross, Mottled Petrel andthe Fork-tailed Storm-petrel. TheKamchatka Trench can also beexcellent for cetaceans and wehave previously seen Blue Whaleson this crossing.
Day 3 - Days 3 to 4: Commander Islands
The wildlife-rich CommanderIslands were first discovered by theCommander Vitus Bering whenhis ship was wrecked here in 1741.We intend to explore the islandsthrough a combination of landingsand Zodiac cruises. Our first stopwill be the village of Nikolskoye,where we will visit one of the onlymuseums in the world to display a skeleton of the famed (but nowextinct) Steller’s Sea Cow. Zodiaccruising is often spectacular andwe hope to encounter Red-facedCormorant, Red-legged Kittiwake,Pigeon Guillemot, Horned Puffin,as well as Parakeet, Crested andWhiskered Auklets, and Sea Otters.Our plans also include searchingfor cetaceans with Humpback,Sperm, Northern Minke, Orcasand Baird’s Beaked Whales allregularly encountered. Weatherwill determine where and whenwe can land, but there are anumber of very interesting sitesnearby including Medny Islandand Commander Bay where VitusBering died when his ship waswrecked in 1741.
Day 4 - Day 5: Karaginskiy Island
This large uninhabited island onthe east coast of the KamchatkaPeninsula offers a wide variety ofhabitats. Our proposed landing siteis a patchwork of boggy tundra,ponds and shingle spits where aninteresting range of waders canbe found including Pacific GoldenPlover, Red-necked Stint and Red-necked Phalarope. We also hopeto see Bluethroat and Pallas’ ReedBunting.
Day 5 - Day 6: Verkhoturova Island and Govena Peninsula
Verkhoturova Island has some largeseabird colonies which we can get close to by following a short, butsteep trail to the clifftop. We shouldbe able to enjoy some fantasticviews of Tufted Puffins, Brunnich’sGuillemots, Pelagic Cormorantsand Black-legged Kittiwakes. BothSteller’s Eider and Harlequin Duckoccur here too, and we mayalso see some Steller Sea Lions,as they are often hauled out onoffshore rocks.In the late afternoon we willZodiac cruise the GovenaPeninsula in the KoryakskyReserve in search of theKamchatka Brown Bear. Thereis a high population of bearshere and they are often seenpatrolling the beaches.
Day 6 - Days 7 to 9: Koryak and Chukotka Coast
During these days of the expeditionwe will explore this remote andseldom part of the coast makingmultiple landings to observeand photograph the wildlife. Thecoastline comprises deep forestedfiords where we should see brownbears, Red Fox and, with luck,mountain sheep and KamchatkaMarmots. In the many lagoons andshallow bays there is a vast arrayof birdlife including Tundra BeanGoose, Steller’s Eider, Great Knot,Long-tailed Stint, Gyrfalcon, SiberianAccentor and Asian Rosy-finch.This area is also a stronghold of theKittlitz’s Murrelet and we should seeseveral during our journey. In our previous expeditions wehave explored much of thiscoastline, documenting thedistribution and abundanceof many species. In 2011 werecorded a previously unknownbreeding population of Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Researchersfrom BirdLife International andBirds Russia will be travellingwith us to monitor changesand search for new breedingcolonies. Their programme willprovide unique opportunities forphotography, hiking and ‘birding’in a country with a rich diversity ofspecies, and where literally only afew ‘westerners’ have ever beenbefore.
Day 7 - Day 10: Meinypil’gyno
The village of Meinypil’gyno,located on the inside of a 40kilometre long shingle spit, isthe most important site in theworld for breeding Spoon-billedSandpiper. Members of theSpoon-billed Sandpiper TaskForce monitor about 15 breedingpairs here. We will be guests ofthe Task Force and if it is possiblewe will be guided to one of theirmonitored nests. The area is extremely rich in other wildlife, sowe may also find Emperor Goose,Pacific Diver, White-billed Diverand Sandhill Crane. The lagoonentrance often has Largha Seal,Gray and Beluga Whales, and aspectacular number of gulls
Day 8 - Day 11: Preobrazheniya Bay
At Preobrazheniya Bay we lookto Zodiac cruise its spectaculartowering granite cliffs hometo thousands of nestingbirds including Black-leggedKittiwakes, Horned and TuftedPuffins, Common, Brünnich’s andPigeon Guillemonts, Glaucousand Vega Gulls, Parakeetand Crested Auklets, NorthernFulmars, White Wagtails, Short-tailed Shearwaters and Red-throated Pipit. We will also belooking for Resident Killer Whales/Orca, known to frequent thecoastline.
Day 9 - Day 12: Yttygran Island & Bukhta Penkingney
Yttygran Island is home to themonumental ancient aboriginalsite known as Whale Bone Alley,where whale bones stretch along the beach for nearly halfa kilometre. There are manymeat pits used for storage andother remains of a busy whalingcamp that united severalaboriginal villages at a time. Inone location, immense BowheadWhale jawbones and ribs areplaced together in a stunningarch formation. Gray andHumpback Whales are frequentlyseen around the island. Thisafternoon we plan to visit BukhtaPenkingney. This long fiord, cutinto the coastline by glaciers, is apopular spot for whale watching.Exploring this scenic locationwe will be looking for wildlifeincluding brown bear.
Day 10 - Day 13: Provideniya
Today there will be anopportunity to explore thisfascinating former Soviet militaryport and administrative centre.After clearing Russian Customsand Immigration in Provideniyawe will set sail for Nome acrossthe Bering Strait. One of theworld’s most nutrient-richstretches of water, each springthe Bering Strait is the scene of one of the planet’s largest wildlifemigrations. Beluga, Bowheadand Gray Whales, walrus, RingedSeals and numerous seabirds areall known to frequent the straitso there is plenty of opportunityfor wildlife encounters. Join theexpedition team for a recap anddisembarkation briefing beforeenjoying a farewell dinner tocelebrate our journey as we sailback across the InternationalDate Line.
Day 11 - Day 14: Nome, Alaska, USA
After breakfast and clearingUS Immigration and Customsformalities it will be time to sayour farewells. There will be acomplimentary transfer to takeyou to the airport or a designatedcentral location.
Day 12 - Please Note:
During our voyage,circumstances may make itnecessary or desirable to deviatefrom the proposed itinerary.This can include poor weatherand/or opportunities for makingunplanned excursions. YourExpedition Leader will keep youfully informed.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
28-06-202211-07-2022USD $9,450MAIN DECK TRIPLE CABINS
28-06-202211-07-2022USD $9,950SUPERIOR TRIPLE CABINS
28-06-202211-07-2022USD $11,950SUPERIOR CABIN DECK 4
28-06-202211-07-2022USD $12,450SUPERIOR CABIN DECK 5
28-06-202211-07-2022USD $14,440MAIN DECK SINGLE CABINS
28-06-202211-07-2022USD $15,040SUPERIOR SINGLE CABINS
28-06-202211-07-2022USD $15,450WORSLEY SUITES
28-06-202211-07-2022USD $21,450HERITAGE SUITES


    • Visit Zhupanova River
    • Explore Commander Island
    • Discover Karaginskiy Island, Verkhoturova Island and Govena Peninsula
    • Travel to Koryak and Chukotka Coast
    • Sail to Yttygran Island & Bukhta Penkingne