Wildlife cruises to Kamchatka and Chukotka, Russia

The eastern seaboard of Russia dominates the North
Pacific and yet very few people know anything about
it, let alone have experienced it. Its isolation has
protected one of its most valuable assets its wilder
ness and to some degree, its wildlife.

 

ITINERARY

 

Day 01:

All expedition members will arrive in Anadyr. If you are travelling
direct to Anadyr and require pre or post cruise accommodation or
excursions, please contact us. Depending on your time of arrival
time you may have the opportunity to explore Anadyr, the
administrative centre of the Chukotka region, before getting to
know your fellow voyagers and crew on board the Spirit of Enderby.


 

Day 02:

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. In the
afternoon we hope to visit a well known Walrus haul out
lying between Meinypil'gyno and Cape Navarin. We also
plan a landing in Bukhta Gavila. The Bukhta or bay was
named after Commander Vitus Bering's ship, the St.
Gabriel, of the First Kamchatka Expedition.

 

Day 03

We start the day with the visit to the delta of Pika river a well
known Walrus haul out and one of the few places in the southern
part of the range that still get thousands of animals coming to rest
on the beach. 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. But the spirit is still alive and the village ensemble will
perform for us some of their traditional dances a chance to enjoy
real Chukchi hospitality. Meinypil'gyno is also an important breeding
spot for many species of migratory birds, including Red Knot and
critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper.

 

Day 04:

Along the Koryak Coast there are many beautiful fiords
(Bukhtas or bays) and none are more beautiful than Bukhta
Natalia. This fiord has two smaller fiords that drain into it
from the south; called Bukhta Pavla and Bukhta Petra

 

Day 05:

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. This fiord was
blocked by a large terminal moraine during the last period
of glaciation.

 

Day 06:

We will start the morning in Brown Bear country, an
undisturbed habitat within the Koryakskiy Reserve, where
will go bear watching and Zodiac cruising along the coast.
Brown Bears come down to the sea coast and into the
nearby hills very frequently, and the area is completely
protected and rarely visited.

 

Day 07:

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. There is
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.


 

Day 08 & Day 09

The wildlife-rich Commander Islands were first discovered
by the 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.

 

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 is quite
different to what we will have been experiencing before with lush
Kamchatka forests coming right down to the beach line.

 

Day 11:

This morning we explore the Zhupanova River by Zodiac.
This journey allows us to explore a river habitat which is
common in Kamchatka. The Kamchatka Rivers (of which
there are over 1,800) are important ecosystems that
support a wide variety of wildlife. They are especially
important for salmon spawning one of Kamchatka's
valuable natural resources. Steller's Sea Eagles are known
to nest in the lower reaches of the river. And we are very
likely to see many young of the year as well as few adults
still hanging around their nesting sites.

 

Day 12:

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

 

Day 13:

You will disembark the ship in the morning at and there will
be a complimentary coach transfer to either a hotel of your
choice in the city or the airport. To allow time for
disembarkation procedures we do not recommend booking
flights before 13:00hrs. Please contact us if you would like
to arrange any additional post-cruise accommodation and
activities.