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Siberia's Forgotten Coast
Siberia's Forgotten Coast

Sea cruise in the Russian Far East

Siberia's Forgotten Coast
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 50 person
Duration
14 days

Accommodation during the trip

13 nights

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
23 June 2020
  • 23 June 2020
End date:
6 July 2020
462 427 RUB

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.

Siberia's Forgotten Coast
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 50 person
Duration
14 days

Accommodation during the trip

13 nights

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
23 June 2020
  • 23 June 2020
End date:
6 July 2020
462 427 RUB

Experiences you'll have

Expedition to Russian Far East

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. Soviet towns were built, bonuses were paid to those who would immigrate and work there and attempts were made to collectivise the traditional way of life.
 

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 but permits to travel through the area did become a little easier to obtain.
 

Twenty-five years on, 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 is unknown to the rest of the world. It has 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. For the past 5 years we have supported BirdLife International and Birds Russia research teams working on this species. Our 2017 expedition not only continues that support but it expands it to include other seabirds and waders as researchers monitor potential changes in their populations and distribution due to a variety of reasons including climate change.
 

The cost depends on the type of cabin. Find out more in the "Accommodation" section.

Itinerary

The journey begins in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, and you have to get there on your own. 

Day 1 Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy

Arrive into Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, the capital and administrative centre of the Kamchatka Region and transfer to the port to board the Spirit of Enderby.

Day 2 Zhupanova River

We plan to spend the morning Zodiac cruising on the Zhupanova River. Our main target here is the Steller’s Sea Eagle and there are usually some occupied nests close to the river. Good numbers of Largha Seals are also often sprawled out on sandbars in the river and we should see a good variety of waterfowl and waders.


By late afternoon, we should be over deep water heading for the Commander Islands and new species to look for include Laysan Albatross, Mottled Petrel and the Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel. The Kamchatka Trench can also be excellent for cetaceans and we have previously seen Blue Whales on this crossing.

Days 3-4 Commander Islands

The wildlife-rich Commander Islands were first discovered by the Commander Vitus Bering when his ship was wrecked here in 1741. We intend to explore the islands through a combination of landings and Zodiac cruises and our first stop will be the village of Nikolskoye, where there is an interesting museum.


Zodiac cruising is often spectacular and we hope to encounter Red-faced Cormorant, Red-legged Kittiwake, Pigeon Guillemot, Horned Puffin, as well as Parakeet, Crested and Whiskered Auklets and Sea Otters. Our plans also include a cruise along the southern coast of Bering Island, as this area is excellent for cetaceans with Humpback, Sperm, Northern Minke, Orcas and Baird’s Beaked Whales all being regularly encountered.

Day 5 Karaginskiy Island

Our proposed landing site is a patchwork of boggy tundra, ponds and shingle spits where an interesting range of waders can be found including Pacific Golden Plover, Red-necked Stint and Red-necked Phalarope. We also hope to see Bluethroat and Pallas’ Reed Bunting.

Day 6 Verkhoturova Island and Govena Peninsula

Verkhoturova Island has some huge seabird colonies and by following a short trail to the cliff top we should be able to enjoy some fantastic views of Tufted Puffins, Brunnich’s Guillemots, Pelagic Cormorants and Black-legged Kittiwakes. Both Steller’s Eider and Harlequin Duck come here too and we may also see some Steller Sea Lions, as they often lay out on some offshore rocks. Later in the day, there will be either a Zodiac cruise or landing on the Govena Peninsula. Good numbers of brown bears can often be found here.

Days 7-10 Koryak and Chukotka Coast

During these days of the expedition we will travel along this largely unknown part of the coast. It comprises deep forested fiords where we should see brown bears, Red Fox and with luck, mountain sheep and Kamchatka Marmots. In the many lagoons and shallow bays there is a vast array of birdlife including Tundra Bean Goose, Steller’s Eider, Great Knot, Long-tailed Stint, Gyrfalcon, Siberian Accentor and Asian Rosy Finch.


This area is also a stronghold of the Kittlitz’s Murrelet and we should see several during our journey. In our previous expeditions we have explored much of this coastline, documenting the distribution and abundance of many species. In 2011 we recorded a previously unknown breeding population of Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Working alongside researchers from BirdLife International and Birds Russia who will be travelling with us, we plan to revisit many of these areas to monitor changes and search for new breeding colonies. There will be unique opportunities for photography, for hiking and ‘birding’ in country where literally only a few ‘westerners’ have ever been and we know there is a rich diversity of species.

Days 11-12 Meinypil’gyno

Meinypil’gyno, located on a 40km long shingle spit is the most important site in the world for breeding Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Here about fifteen pairs are monitored by members of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Recovery Taskforce. We will be guests of the Taskforce and if possible we may be guided to one of their monitored nests. The area is extremely rich in other wildlife, so we may also find Emperor Goose, Pacific Diver, White-billed Diver and Sandhill Crane. The lagoon entrance often has Largha Seal, Gray and Beluga Whales and a spectacular number of gulls.

Day 13 Cape Navarin and Keyngypilgyn Lagoon

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 sunning spot. 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. Good numbers of Gray Whales often congregate here too. To the north of Cape Navarin is Keyngypilgyn Lagoon. On previous visits we have found this an excellent location for waterfowl and waders including Emperor Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, Brent Geese, Whooper Swan, King Eiders, Red Knots and Aleutian Terns.

Day 14 Port of Anadyr

As we cruise into Anadyr Bay, there is an excellent chance of seeing more Beluga Whales and after a final breakfast on board the Spirit of Enderby, it will be time to disembark. We will provide complimentary transfers to a downtown hotel and the airport.

Siberia's Forgotten Coast
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 50 person
Duration
14 days

Accommodation during the trip

13 nights

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
23 June 2020
  • 23 June 2020
End date:
6 July 2020
462 427 RUB

Accommodation during the trip

"Spirit of Enderby" will be a ship for the expedition. It is a small expedition ice-class vessel. In 2013 it was fully refurbished for comfortable accommodation of 50 passengers. 

 

Onboard there is a bar, a cosy lounge, a lecture hall and a library with a big collection of thematical books. A spacious bridge is always open for passengers. You can also view sea animals from open decks.  

 

The cost of the cruise depends on the type of cabin: 

  • Triple cabin accommodation — 7380 USD pp
    There are two lower sleeping berths and one upper sleeping berth in the cabin. A desk, a wardrobe and a nightstand.  A wash-basin. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other cabins. There is an illuminator in the cabin. 
  • Double cabin accommodation — 8640 USD pp
    There are two lower sleeping berths in the cabin. A desk, a wardrobe and a nightstand.  A wash-basin. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other cabins. There is an illuminator in the cabin. 
  • Superior cabin accommodation — 9280 USD pp
    There are two sleeping berths — one lower and one upper one. A desk, a wardrobe and nightstands. A bathroom: shower, toilet, a wash-basin. There is a window in the cabin.
  • Superior Plus cabin accommodation — 10 000 USD pp
    There are two lower sleeping berths in the cabin. A desk, a wardrobe and nightstands. A bathroom: shower, toilet, a wash-basin. There is a window in the cabin.
  • Mini Suite accommodation — 10 420 USD pp
    There is a bedroom with a bouble bed and a living room with a single bed in the cabin. A bathroom: shower, toilet, a wash-basin. There is a window in the cabin.
  • Heritage Suite accommodation — 11 430 USD pp
    There is a bedroom with a bouble bed and a living room with a single bed in the cabin. A bathroom: shower, toilet, a wash-basin. There are panorama windows in the cabin.
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Common questions

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Who will be my guide +

The crew of the ship is Russian-speaking, there are both Russian and English speaking guides.

Meals +

The cost of the tour includes a full board: breakfast — buffet, lunch — main course, salad and dessert, dinner — main course, vegetables and dessert. 

 

Cooks can prepare meals according to your diet if you inform them in advance.

What to bring with me +

Personal equipment required

When choosing clothes and shoes, consider the features of the cruise. The temperature on the Northern route points can drop to 0°C. 

 

Clothing: warm pants, waterproof pants, thermal underwear, sweater, turtleneck, wool cap, covering ears, balaclava/scarf, warm socks, waterproof windproof jacket with hood. At the last retirement party you can bring dressy clothes (heels not advised).

 

Shoes: boots with a grooved sole will allow you to stand most steadily; rubber boots are necessary, but they can be given on the first day of the cruise for free. If you plan to take your own boots, they should be up to mid-calf or higher with a thick ribbed non-slip sole. In some landings will have to step into the water to a depth of 25 cm. Also it can be quite slippery on the ice and on the shore. Make sure the boots sit comfortably on a woolen sock, it is important to bring warm insoles. In addition, you need sandals, sneakers or any other comfortable shoes for the ship and slippers for the shower.

 

Other: a small backpack for landings (preferably waterproof), warm and waterproof gloves, sunglasses, cream, chapstick, binoculars, earplugs.

 

Documents: passport, boarding pass on board (issued or sent by mail), plane ticket, copy of insurance.

Booking

Siberia's Forgotten Coast

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 50 person
Duration
14 days

Accommodation during the trip

13 nights

Languages

EN
guide
462 427 RUB
What's included in the price:
  • pre/post cruise transfers

  • all on board ship accommodation

  • meals

  • all expedition shore excursions

Extra charge:
  •  international/domestic flights

  • visa

  • travel insurance

  • all items of a personal nature

  • laundry

  • drinks

  • gratuities

  • local payment (500 USD)

  • kayaking supplement (1050 USD)

In the price:
Included Extra charge
  • pre/post cruise transfers

  • all on board ship accommodation

  • meals

  • all expedition shore excursions

  •  international/domestic flights

  • visa

  • travel insurance

  • all items of a personal nature

  • laundry

  • drinks

  • gratuities

  • local payment (500 USD)

  • kayaking supplement (1050 USD)

23 Jun 2020, Tue — 6 Jul 2020, Mon
462 427 RUB
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