Sylvia Earle has been meticulously designed for luxury expedition cruising, featuring a heated swimming pool and jacuzzis where you can admire the impressive scenery from the top deck.
|17 Days||£13195||Jul & Aug 2022||Arctic Russia||Small Group Safari|
Set sail along the rugged coastline of eastern Russia, a remote and seldom-visited area that is home to breathtaking landscape and rich wildlife.
Zodiac cruise along black-sand beaches, where Kamchatka brown bears and cubs forage, and share swift rivers with Steller’s sea eagles diving on salmon. Soak in coastal hot springs serenaded by thundering waterfalls.
Visit the Commander Islands (‘South Georgia of the North Pacific’) where seabirds populate a breathtaking maze of arches and sea stacks. Red-legged kittiwakes, red-faced cormorants, parakeet and whiskered auklets are on show. Look out for sea lions, fur seals and busy sea otters, as well as orcas and humpback whales patrolling the bays.
In Chukotka enjoy tundra wildflowers, cliff-climbing bears and a warm welcome by reindeer herders and more.
Trips will be aboard the Sylvia Earle.
Today you will arrive into Tokyo where there will be a voyage briefing and a welcome drink and the opportunity to meet fellow expeditioners, before spending the night in preparation for your charter flight to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy.
Overnight: Hotel Nikko Narita Airport
Board the charter flight to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy to embark the Sylvia Earle. After boarding, there is time to settle into your cabin before meeting the expedition team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner.
Wake to the wild beauty of Kamchatka’s east coast. Remnant snow fields dot surrounding mountains as we watch for harbor seals in Morzhovaya Bay. We zodiac cruise the salmon-rich Zhupanova River, dodging rippling shallows to look for brown bears and magnificent Steller’s sea eagles.
Kronotskiy Biosphere Reserve has stunning (active) volcanoes, Eurasia’s greatest concentration of brown bears, Steller sea lions, fur seals and a range of whales. Keep your binocular focussed for geese, loons and perhaps the spoon-billed sandpiper. Soak in soothing hot springs of Kamenistaya Bay and trek lowlands covered in cottongrass, aspens and birch. As we turn towards the Commander Islands, our team of experts share enthusiastic, informative talks on the adventures that await us.
Spectacular bird cliffs, arches and stacks signal our arrival to the Commander Islands. On both land and sea, the abundance of wildlife is staggering. At Peregegrebnaya Bay we visit red-legged and black-legged kittiwake rookeries; spot albatross and whales at Cape Monati, and at Ariy Kamen be surrounded by thousands of guillemots. Tufted Puffin Rock speaks for itself.
We visit a fascinating museum at Nikolskoye village which is an Aleut community, and we have the opportunity to pay tribute to explorer Vitus Bering at his grave and memorial.
We land on the terraced, uplifted coastline of Soldatskaya Bay, and search out endangered seabirds like the long-billed murrelet. At Tymlat village, Koryak reindeer herders and marine mammal hunters warmly greet us with tales of their way of life. Time permitting, we get a glimpse of life in one of Kamchatka’s more remote coastal villages.
A zodiac cruise along Govena Peninsula reveals the broad fjord of Lavrova Bay and the narrower Yuzhnaya Glubokaya where bears often visit the abandoned herring factory. Orcas and Bryde’s whales frequent surrounding waters and an afternoon walk reveals succulent roseroot, magenta-coloured pixie eyes, and cheery purple-blue of Jacob’s ladder and chance sightings of Arctic hare. Continue past waterfalls to a glacial moraine and a spectacular vista of the rugged Pylginsky Range.
Wake to spectacular mountains rising above Natalia Bay. Zodiac cruise beneath Bogoslov Island’s cliffs where puffins, kittiwakes, guillemots and cormorants breed and climbing bears raid their nests, while walrus haul out nearby. Hike to hidden alpine lakes and gaze upon the dramatic glacier-carved valleys of Peter and Glybokaya bays. Golden rhododendron and dwarf azaleas carpet the tundra and if you listen carefully, you might hear the song of bluethroat.
Encounter a walrus haul-out in Anastasia Bay, also a great spot for birdlife, including bluethroat and Siberian rubythroat. Dezhneva Bay offers a coastal lagoon that’s heaven for birders. Keep your binoculars ready to spot white-fronted bean geese and nesting whooper swans. Other wildlife that you may encounter here include gray whales, walrus, reindeer, and brown bears.
Explore Gabriel Bay’s wide river mouth and lagoon, classic stone tundra country dotted with cheery pale-blue blossoms of forget-me-not. We may encounter local Chukchi fisherman still living a traditional lifestyle, and inspect an abandoned polar weather station. Listen for the alarm whistle of ground squirrels, watch for brown bears, and offshore, beluga whales.
Weather dictates our plans today. We may visit Arakamchechen Island, home to guillemots, tufted puffins and crested auklets, where walrus haul out and gray whales stir the waters. Yttygran Island is home to the ancient Chukchi whaling camp where the remains of bowhead and gray whales stretch along the beach for nearly half a kilometre, earning the name Whale Bone Alley.
Provideniya, ‘Gateway to the Arctic’, is Chukotka’s administrative centre where we visit an excellent museum, enjoy a traditional Yupik dance performance and say goodbye to Russia.
As we pass through Bering Strait, separating Russia and North America by only 100km, we hope to see beluga and grey whales. Conditions permitting, we land at King Island and explore the eerie, ancient village Ukivok, now abandoned after a tragic run of events. Murres and kittiwakes frequent the surrounding sea cliffs. As we depart, we celebrate the voyage with a farewell dinner.
Disembark in Nome, bid farewell to your expedition team and crew, and transfer to the airport and board our charter flight to Anchorage, where we spend the night.
Overnight: Hilton Anchorage (or similar)
After breakfast, it’s time to say your farewells before your transfer to the airport and onward journey.
This is a small group safari departing on two dates in July and August 2022.
The trip departing 6th July starts in Tokyo and ends in Anchorage, and the trip departing 14th August starts in Anchorage and ends in Tokyo.
Please note that the trip price does not include the price of international flights.
Talk to one of our specialists for further details on our small group safaris in Russia.