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Russia's Ring of Fire
Russia's Ring of Fire

Journey to Kuril and Commander Islands and Kamchatka

Russia's Ring of Fire
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 140 person
Duration
13 days

Accommodation during the trip

12 nights

Languages

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

Discover terra incognita, where no more than 100 tourists reach in a season: the itinerary of this cruise covers the protected and hard-to-reach islands of the Russian Far East. You will explore volcanic expanses, amazing wildlife, and learn the fascinating history of the pioneers of these places.

Russia's Ring of Fire
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 140 person
Duration
13 days

Accommodation during the trip

12 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

Cruise to Russian Far East

On this trip, you will visit three regions at once: the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Commander and the Kuril Islands. During the day you will take boat trips and walk around the uninhabited islands accompanied by guides – experts on the region. And in the evening you will taste gourmet cuisine in the onboard restaurant, relax in the sauna and admire the ocean expanses from the captain's bridge or the open deck.

Your joyrney will take place on a comfortable ice-class vessel Heritage Adventurer, and you will be accompanied by professional guides

3 reasons to go on this cruise:

  • you will visit hard-to-reach places, which can be accessed only by sea: you will go by boat inside the submerged caldera of Yankich island, see famous two-tier volcano Krenitsyn on Onekotan and visit all the main islands of Komandor archipelago
  • get acquainted with the richest and diverse fauna of the world: you will meet Kamchatka brown bears and Arctic foxes, seals and sea otters, orcas and whales, as well as Steller's sea eagles and numerous seabirds
  • learn about the fascinating story of Vitus Bering's discovery of the Commander Islands and visit his grave on Bering Island

The cost of the cruise depends on the category of the chosen cabin. See details in the Accommodation section.

Photos by Sergei Dolya, Igor Ozherelyev and Pavel Matveev.

Itinerary

Your journey will start in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and end in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsk. We are ready to help with the purchase of tickets, if necessary, leave a comment in the application.

 

Here is the general plan of the expedition, the route may vary depending on the weather and ice conditions.

Day 1 Arrival in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

You will arrive in the administrative center of Sakhalin, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk city. You will be transferred to Korsakov port (about 1 hour) and board the ship. In the afternoon the ship goes to the sea and heads for the Kuril Islands. If the weather is clear, you can see the volcano Tyatya, which rises above the expanse of Kunashir Island.

Day 2 Kunashir, Kuril Islands

In the morning you will disembark on the coast of the largest island of the Kuril Archipelago – Kunashir. You will explore the nature of the Kuril Nature Reserve, accompanied by our guides. You will walk through the tropical forest, which reaches 1.5 meters in height and see picturesque volcanic landscapes. 

Day 3 Iturup, Kuril Islands

On this day you will disembark on Iturup Island and ascend Baransky volcano, which will offer dizzying views. You can also swim in the thermal springs.

Day 4 Simushir and Yankich Islands, Kuril Islands

In the morning aboard expedition boats, you will go inside a huge submerged volcanic caldera in the northern part of Simushir Island, where you will admire fantastic panoramas. Just a quarter of a century ago, the Soviet submarine base and the settlement where its personnel lived were located here: you will be able to walk around this abandoned town.

 

In the afternoon you can explore another submerged caldera on Yankich Island. This place is considered the most beautiful in the entire Kuril Archipelago. During the landing, you can see foxes and seabird colonies.  

Day 5 Ecarma and Onekotan Islands, Kuril Islands

The first half of the day will be spent exploring Ekarma Island, which itself is an active volcano. Onboard the expedition boats you will approach the coastal cliffs where noisy bird colonies nest. Among the inhabitants of the colonies are tufted and horned puffins, the brightest birds of the Far East. 

 

In the afternoon the ship will approach Onekotan Island. During the trekking to Black Lake, you will see the famous "volcano in volcano" Krenitsyn. Also on Onecotan, you can see traces of World War II: Japanese pillboxes and bunkers, soldiers' helmets and remnants of military equipment.

Day 6 Atlasova Island and the Bird Rocks, Kuril Islands

Today you will explore the northernmost island of the Big Kuril Ridge, Atlasova Island. Here is the highest volcano in the entire archipelago situated – Alaid (2340 m). The Japanese considered the shape of Alaid to be even more perfect than that of the famous Fuji. 

 

Then your expedition vessel will pass the Second Kuril Strait and approach the Bird Rocks. You will see a lot of seals, among which you can spot a rare mammal, the sea otter. The Bird Rocks are home to huge colonies of birds, including puffins, cormorants and other species of seabirds.

Day 7 Russkaya Bay, Kamchatka

Today you will come to Russkaya Bay. When the weather is clear, you can enjoy a panorama of volcanoes in the southern part of Kamchatka. Bears on the shores, sea lions, largha seals, sea otters, and killer whales in the coastal waters are often seen here.

Day 8 Zhupanova River, Kamchatka

You will travel up the river on the zodiac expedition boats to see the largest Steller's sea eagles on the planet. Encounters with bears are also likely. The landscapes of these places are very picturesque: you can admire pristine forests and smoking volcanoes in the background.

Day 9 Olga Bay, Kamchatka

Olga Bay is a part of the Kronotsky Nature Reserve. From here you can see the panorama of several volcanoes at once, among which one of the most beautiful is Kronotsky. Gray whales often feed in the waters of the bay. If you are lucky, from here you can take fantastic photos of whale tails against the background of Kronotsky volcano.

Days 10-11 Commander Islands

For 2 days you will explore the Commander Islands. They were discovered in 1741 by the expedition of commander Vitus Bering, after whom they were named. You will visit all the main islands of the archipelago – Bering, Medny (Rus. for Copper) and Ariy Stone. 

 

Your exploration of the islands will begin with a visit to the only settlement on the islands – Nikolskoye. The local museum is the only one in the world, where you can see the skeleton of Steller's cow, which was completely exterminated by man in the 18th century.

 

Then you will visit Bering Island in Commander's Bay, where the grave of Vitus Bering and several members of his expedition is located. The discoverers, who reached the islands already sick and exhausted, could not survive the long and difficult wintering. 

 

On Bering Island, near Northwest Cape, you will see a colony of seals, numbering more than 2000 animals, as well as Steller's sea lions and sea otters. Also here you can see Arctic foxes wandering among the thickets of wildflowers. In the waters of the southern coast of Bering Island, there are many cetaceous: humpback whale, northern minke whale, sperm whale, killer whale and Baird's beaked whale.

 

Next, the zodiac boats will take you to the bird colonies of Ariy Stone Island. Even if you are not into ornithology, you will not be left indifferent by the noisy colonies of feathered birds. Here you can see the most beautiful representatives of the bird world of the Far East, one of which is red-faced cormorant.  

 

On Medny Island, you are surrounded by amazingly beautiful landscapes. In the coastal waters, you are also likely to see sea otters.

Day 12 Course to the coast of Kamchatka

You will spend the day at sea, heading for the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Day 13 Arrival in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

In the morning your expedition vessel will drop anchor in the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. You will be transferred to the airport and return home.

Russia's Ring of Fire
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 140 person
Duration
13 days

Accommodation during the trip

12 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

Your voyage will take place on the ice-class expedition vessel Heritage Adventurer. It was built in 1991 in Finland specifically for polar research and has a rich history of expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic.

 

The ship has a bar, a restaurant, a cozy lounge with a panoramic view, a library with a large collection of thematic literature and a lecture hall. Guests have access to a fitness center, sauna and hammam, jacuzzi, and outdoor pool. The spacious captain's bridge is always open for passengers. Wildlife and sea animals can also be watched from the open decks of the ship.

 

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

  • accommodation in a Main Deck Triple cabin — 9950 USD
  • accommodation in a Superior Triple cabin — 10 450 USD
  • accommodation in a Superior cabin, deck 4 — 12 450 USD
  • accommodation in a Superior cabin, deck 5 —12 950 USD
  • accommodation in a Main Deck Single cabin — 14 940 USD
  • accommodation in a Superior Single cabin — 15 540 USD
  • accommodation in a Worsley Suite cabin — 15 950 USD
  • accommodation in a Heritage Suite cabin — 21 950 USD

The price is per person. Payment is made in rubles at the exchange rate of the Central Bank +2%.

 

Types of cabins:

 

Main Deck Triple – 22.sq.m. cabin with 2 portholes, located on deck 3. There are 2 cabins on the ship. The cabin has two single beds and one upper bunk, a lounge area with a sofa, a desk, an armchair, and a TV. Private bathroom with a shower.

 

Main Deck Single  22 sq.m. cabin with 2 portholes, located on deck 3. There are 12 cabins on the ship. The cabin has one large king-size bed, a lounge area with a sofa, a desk, an armchair, and a TV. Private bathroom with a shower.

 

Superior Triple – 22 sq.m. cabin with large panoramic windows, located on deck 5. There are 2 cabins on the ship. The cabin has two single beds and one upper folding bunk, a lounge area with a sofa, a desk, an armchair, and a TV. Private bathroom with a shower.

 

Superior – 22 sq.m. cabin with large panoramic windows, located on decks 4 and 5. There are 46 cabins on the ship. The cabin has one king-size bed or two single beds, a lounge area with a sofa, a desk, an armchair, and a TV. Private bathroom with a shower.

 

Superior Single – 22 sq.m. cabin with large panoramic windows, located on deck 5. There are 6 cabins on the ship. The cabin has one large king-size bed, a lounge area with a sofa, a desk, an armchair, and a TV. Private bathroom with a shower.

 

Worsley Suite  22 sq.m. cabin with large panoramic windows, located on deck 6. There are 8 cabins on the ship. The cabin has one king-size bed or two single beds, a spacious lounge area with a sofa, a desk, an armchair, and a TV. Private bathroom with a shower.

 

Heritage Suite – the most spacious cabin of 44.sq.m. with large double panoramic windows, located on deck 6. There are 4 cabins on the ship. The cabin has one king-size bed, a spacious living room with a sofa, coffee table and chairs, a big desk, a storage cupboard, a multimedia system, a TV. Large bathroom with double sinks, a bathtub, and a shower.

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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 +

You will have three meals a day. Breakfast is a buffet, for lunch – a hot meal, salad and dessert, for dinner – a hot meal, vegetables and dessert. Chefs can cook according to your diet if you inform them in advance.

 

Tea, coffee, cookies and soups are available 24 hours a day in the library bar. Alcohol sale is open one hour before dinner. The wine list features New Zealand wines.

What to bring with me +

When choosing clothes and shoes, consider the features of the cruise. The temperature on the Northern route points can drop to 0°C. Sometimes there are no disembarkations, and the boats go along the shore.

 

In order not to distract you from the harsh beauty of northern nature, remember that the coast can be very windy, which increases the temperature effect. On a boat in a small amount of swell, you can not avoid splashing, so your clothes should be waterproof and windproof. The main heat loss goes through the head, hands and feet – give them maximum attention. We recommend you take a camping seat with you. Do not forget about your technique equipment, too: you need a waterproof cover to take pictures in the rain and drizzle.

 

Clothing: warm pants, waterproof pants, thermal underwear, sweater, turtleneck, wool cap with ears covering, balaclava/scarf, warm socks, waterproof windproof jacket with hood. For the farewell evening, you can take 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 drop-offs (preferably waterproof), warm and waterproof gloves, sunglasses, cream (in windy weather, preferably oily nourishing), lipstick, binoculars, earplugs, swimsuit (for bathing and optional swimming in the ocean).

 

You will have two towels (bath towel and hand towel), which are changed three times per cruise along with the linens. You can ask for an extra towel if needed. There is always soap and gel in the cabin and shower.

 

Documents: passport, boarding pass (issued or mailed in advance), plane ticket, copy of insurance.

Booking

Russia's Ring of Fire

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 140 person
Duration
13 days

Accommodation during the trip

12 nights

Languages

EN
guide
10 433 EUR
What's included in the price:
  • accommodation on the ship in a cabin of the chosen category

  • meals (full-board)

  • transfer to the airport on the day of disembarkation

  • all excursions and landings as per program

  • lectures, presentations and services of expedition leader and guides

  • rubber boot rental

  • port fees

Extra charge:
  • air tickets to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (starting at 360 USD)

  • transfer to the Korsakov port on the day of boarding

  • personal expenses, communication, laundry and bar services aboard the ship

  • mandatory health insurance with emergency evacuation coverage

  • visa

  • tips (optionally)

In the price:
Included Extra charge
  • accommodation on the ship in a cabin of the chosen category

  • meals (full-board)

  • transfer to the airport on the day of disembarkation

  • all excursions and landings as per program

  • lectures, presentations and services of expedition leader and guides

  • rubber boot rental

  • port fees

  • air tickets to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (starting at 360 USD)

  • transfer to the Korsakov port on the day of boarding

  • personal expenses, communication, laundry and bar services aboard the ship

  • mandatory health insurance with emergency evacuation coverage

  • visa

  • tips (optionally)

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