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The Commander Islands
The Commander Islands

Sea journey to the Russian Far East

New
The Commander Islands
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Group size
to 18 person
Duration
6 days

Accommodation during the trip

5 nights

Languages

EN
guide
We update the dates and tour price.
Leave your email and we’ll notify you when get this info.

The Commander Islands is one of the most outlying and one of the hardest places on the Earth to reach. There is only one human settlement and the rest of the islands is uninhabited. Uninhabited by people, not by numerous seals, sea lions, polar foxes and the great variety of seabirds. Some of the species have been recently discovered and are still scantily explored. Have you ever dreamt to become a wildlife explorer? This expedition will give you such a chance!

New
The Commander Islands
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Group size
to 18 person
Duration
6 days

Accommodation during the trip

5 nights

Languages

EN
guide
We update the dates and tour price.
Leave your email and we’ll notify you when get this info.

Experiences you'll have

Wildlife watching

This expedition to the Commander islands you will give you an opportunity to witness the unusual variety of animals, many of which are the rarest in the world and can be found only in this area of the Pacific ocean. This is one of the few places on the planet where you can observe the life of seabirds and animals that do not hide from you but, on the contrary, also watch you with interest.

The experienced biologists will join you in this expedition. They will tell you about the wildlife of the Commander islands.  During the boat trips by Zodiacs you can see orcas, cachalots, grey whales, humpback whales — 21 species of cetaceans are registered on the Commander Islands

Just in 6 days of the expedition you will:

  • explore the wildlife of the Kronotsky state reserve
  • visit Cape Yushin, where one of the largest rookeries of seals, sea otters and sea lions is located — you can watch the animals at a very close distance from a special overpass
  • observe huge colonies of sea birds such as guillemots, cormorants, puffins, gulls at the Ariy Kamen island
  • learn about the famous Second Kamchatka Expedition under the command of Vitus Bering who reached the Commander islands in 1741-1742
  • get acquainted with the history of the first settlement founded at the Commander islands, visiting the Aleutian local lore museum in Nikolskoye village
  • have a chance to see grey whales in Olga Bay — at this time they migrate from Mexico to Japanese coast, making a stop in the bay to subsist 

 

Photos by our tourist Yury Matveev

Itinerary

The journey begins in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, where you should travel to on your own. We can help with the purchase of tickets. If necessary, leave a comment on the application.

Day 1 Arrival to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Upon arrival to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky you will move to the port and will board the expeditionary boat. You will be accommodated in cabins and will get acquainted with the crew. After a safety briefing your journey to the Commander islands will start.

 

At 12 pm the ship will leave the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the open sea. You will have a boat trip to Cape Shipunsky. Here you can see sea lions and spotted seals, also known as the largha seals. Picturesque rocks stretch along the coastline far out to the sea. Also you can see the old buildings preserved here from the time, when the military unit and the lighthouse were located at the cape.

 

After the excursion to the cape by motor boats you will return to the ship and continue the sea voyage to the Kronotsky Peninsula.

Day 2 The Kronotsky Peninsula

In the morning the ship will arrive to Kozlov's Cape on the Kronotsky Peninsula. The territory of the Peninsula and the adjacent ocean water area are a part of the famous Kronotsky Reserve.  

 

During the excursion on the motor boats around Kozlov's Cape you will see the sea lions rookery, which is considered to be one of the largest rookeries of the eastern coast of the Kamchatka peninsula. Also guillemots and gulls are usually observed here. At the end of the walk you will return to the ship and will move to the Commander islands.

 

You will get more information from the experienced tour guides during the voyage. Interesting lectures are going to take place every day in the saloon. Also you will watch the documentary from which you will learn interesting facts about the area where the tour takes place.

Day 3 Cape Manati and Medny island

At 6 am the ship will get to the south-eastern tip of the Bering island – Cape Manati. This part of the island is strictly protected, and landings are prohibited. You will take a walk along the picturesque coast by Zodiac boats, watching the sea lions and sea otters and admiring the waterfalls.

 

Then you will move to the uninhabited Medny Island, which is considered to be the most beautiful one in the northern part of the Pacific ocean because of its magnificent rocks, waterfalls, bays, inlets and rivers. On zodiac boats you will go along the Bering sea coast of the island past the Beaver Stones to the Rock of Matvey and then to the Preobrazhenskaya Bay.

 

Until 1970 the village of Preobrazhenskoye was located in this bay, further until 2001 there was the frontier post. This bay is very cozy, and the rocks bordering it are stunning. You will visit the old Aleutian settlement and cemetery located on the southern slope. 

 

Here you will meet the main inhabitants of the Commander islands  – arctic foxes. The most daring and curious animals will approach you for a couple of meters. After exploring the Preobrazhenskaya bay you will move to Southeast Cape of the Medny Island where the biggest seal rookery is situated.


You will go ashore and climb the upper terrace by a long wooden staircase (320 steps). In good weather it offers a wonderful view of the whole coastline. In the summer there is a scientific station for observing the sea lions, seals and whales.

 

In the evening you will come back to the ship and depart for the Bering island.

Day 4 Exploring the Bering island

Early in the morning you will go ashore in the Commander Bay. Here you will visit the Second Kamchatka Expedition’s necropolis. The expedition was under the command of Vitus Bering who was the most famous Kamchatka explorer. It is the place where the crew had to stay in the winter 1741-1742. Half of the “Saint Peter” packet-boat crew starved to death.

 

Then you will return to the ship and move to the northernmost tip of the Bering island – to Cape Yushin. It is famous for its large fur seal rookery. Further you will visit the Ariy Kamen island, which is a real kingdom of birds. Unfortunately it is impossible to go ashore because of the reefs surrounding the rocks. But even from the boat you can watch the great bazaars of seabirds (guillemots, cormorants, puffins, gulls).

 

Then you will arrive to Nikolskoye village – the only settlement on the entire Commander archipelago. Here you will visit the Aleutian local lore museum, go for a walk to get acquainted with the settlement and meet with the locals. In the evening you will return to the ship and continue the sea passage to the Kamchatka peninsula.

Day 5 The Olga bay

A boat trip to Cape Kamenistiy is waiting for you in the morning. The coastal rocks here have bizarre shapes. You will take the Zodiacs boats and go along the coastline to the southern tip of the cape, where you can admire the picturesque waterfall. There is a big chance to meet bears fishing in the rivers which flowing down from the nearby mountains. 

 

The next point of your voyage will be the picturesque Olga Bay located in the area of the Kronotsky Reserve. During the boar trip you can watch the seabirds and admire the picturesque coastal views. Also gray whales have been regularly observed here in recent years. Migrating from Mexico to Japanese coast, they stop in the bay to subsist. It is also the habitat of the sea otters. 

Day 6 Return to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

In the morning you will cross the Northern part of the Avacha Bay to the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Along the way can watch the sea lions on the rocks of  Cape Shipunsky, as well as see orcas in the ocean.

 

Upon arrival to the port at 12 pm you will farewell to the crew and move to the airport for departing home. Or you can stay at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky for some more days and take some additional excursions.

New
The Commander Islands
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Group size
to 18 person
Duration
6 days

Accommodation during the trip

5 nights

Languages

EN
guide
We update the dates and tour price.
Leave your email and we’ll notify you when get this info.

Accommodation during the trip

You will travel by the expeditionary boat "Athena". It is a comfortable specially equipped passenger vessel designed for voyages in the northern latitude. You will be accommodated in the double cabins of economy class.  Each cabin has a lower and upper berth, private facilities with a shower. 

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Common questions

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Who will be my guide +

The expedition leader and the experienced guides will be with you during the journey. They will 

Meals +

The cost of the tour includes three meals a day on the boat.

What to bring with me +
  • a backpack
  • a sleeping bag
  • a sleeping mat (mat for tent overnight)
  • telescope-type trekking poles
  • trekking boots
  • a jacket (to protect from rain and wind)
  • trousers (to protect from rain and wind)
  • a warm jacket (polartec or fleece type)
  • arain poncho
  • a hat
  • gloves
  • light thermal underwear
  • sandals or other rational footwear for stopping-places
  • dishware (a plate, a cup, a spoon)
  • sunglasses and sunscreen
  • a flashlight
  • a ersonal first aid kit (emplastrum is necessary)
  • mosquito net and repellents (we ask you to pay special attention at this point, the absence of these things can essentially complicate your tour over Kamchatka)
What will the weather be like +

It is necessary to take into account that Kamchatka weather is very changeable and sometimes unpredictable. Abundant precipitation and rushes of wind happen not infrequently. Fogs are very often, they become the main obstruction for sightseeing and passing the route in scheduled time.    

Take into account that sharp change of weather is typical for Kamchatka. Summer tourist season lasts from June to October. It may be quite cold in autumn months, it snows in the highland regions and that impedes to ascent of the volcanoes.    

Booking

New

The Commander Islands

Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Group size
to 18 person
Duration
6 days

Accommodation during the trip

5 nights

Languages

EN
guide
170 772 RUB
What's included in the price:
  • accommodation in the double cabin (economy class) 

  • three meals a day on the expeditionary boat

  • all the permissions and coordination to visit the natural reserve parks and check points

  • excursions on the board and during the landing

  • lectures, presentations and consulting from the guide

  • insurance

  • visa support

Extra charge:
In the price:
Included Extra charge
  • accommodation in the double cabin (economy class) 

  • three meals a day on the expeditionary boat

  • all the permissions and coordination to visit the natural reserve parks and check points

  • excursions on the board and during the landing

  • lectures, presentations and consulting from the guide

  • insurance

  • visa support

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