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The Gem of the Pacific Ocean
The Gem of the Pacific Ocean

Sea cruise around the Kuril Islands

New
The Gem of the Pacific Ocean
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.
Age
12 y.o.
Group size
to 50 person
Duration
11 days

Accommodation during the trip

10 nights

Languages

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

The Kuril Islands is an archipelago of 56 islands that stretches from Sakhalin to Kamchatka. On this cruise, you will sail along the entire Kuril chain and explore its most picturesque islands. It is hard to find a better way to experience this gem of the Pacific Ocean.

New
The Gem of the Pacific Ocean
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.
Age
from 12 y.o.
Group size
to 50 person
Duration
11 days

Accommodation during the trip

10 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

The sea journey to the Kuril Islands

Most of the Kuril Islands are uninhabited: here, far from man, nature reigns. Incredible landscapes and rich fauna of the archipelago impress even seasoned travelers. You will discover islands and volcanoes, accompanied by reserve scientists and gamekeepers. Exploring picturesque bays on expedition boats, you will watch birds' colonies and sea lions' rookeries up close. In the coastal waters you may see whales and dolphins, and on the shores — bears and Arctic foxes.

You will travel more than 1200 nautical miles and visit 11 islands of the Kuril Archipelago on an ice-class expedition vessel. А varied program of lectures by professional guides, film screenings and seafood cooking masterclasses are waiting for you on board.

In one trip you will visit many natural and historical sights:

  • walk along the white cliffs on Iturup Island and see the unusual Stolbchatiy Cape on Kunashir
  • go on trekking to Krenitsyn and Zavaritsky volcanoes, and a walk to the side craters of Alaida volcano
  • visit the famous "Edge of the earth" Cape on Shikotan and enjoy the panorama of active volcanoes on Pamushir
  • see the traces of World War II on Shumshu Island and the ghost town on Simushir
  • go by boat to the most beautiful bays of the Kuril range – Kraternaya and Broughton

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

Itinerary

Your journey will start in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and end in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Airfare is paid separately. We can help with the purchase of tickets, if necessary, leave a comment in the application.

 

Note: on dates from August 28 to September 7, the cruise goes in the opposite direction from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Sakhalin.

 

This is a general plan of the expedition. The itinerary can be changed due to weather conditions.

Day 1 Departure from Sakhalin Island

In the morning you will be transferred from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to the port of Korsakov, where the cruise to the Kuril Islands will start.

 

You will board the expedition vessel and get acquainted with the crew. Then you will have a safety briefing and listen to the cruise itinerary. When the ship sails, a welcome dinner will be arranged for you on board.

 

In the evening you will pass the rocky Cape Aniva, where you will admire the ancient Japanese lighthouse at sunset, and then sail towards the South Kuril Islands and Shikotan Island.

Day 2 Shikotan Island

This day you will visit the biggest island of the Kuril Islands Minor Ridge – Shikotan. In the morning, even before approaching the island, you will be able to watch orcas and whales – the probability of encountering them in this area is especially high.

 

In the afternoon your boat will reach the northeastern part of Shikotan. You will see the so-called "Edge of the earth" – the famous stone cape, protruding into the sea for more than a kilometer. Its steep cliffs rise above the waves for 40-50 meters. The zodiac boats will take you to the island where you can walk around.

 

After returning to the ship, you will continue your journey toward Kunashir Island.

Day 3 Stolbchatiy Cape on Kunashir

Today you will reach Kunashir Island. This is the southernmost and largest island of the Big Kuril Ridge. Its name means "Black Island" in the Ainu language. Perhaps it got such a name because of the dark coniferous forests and the sullen Tyatya volcano. Also on Kunashir are three other active volcanoes: Golovnin, Mendeleev and Rurui.

 

When you reach the island by zodiac boats, you will visit the unique Stolbchatiy (Rus. for "Pillar") Cape. The vertical walls of the cape are formed by the small stone columns, which stand right next to each other. Such an interesting relief appeared out of solidified basalt lava as a result of a volcanic eruption. An alternative route on this day is a bus trip to Golovnina volcano caldera with bathing in thermal springs.

Day 4 White Rocks of Iturup Island

This day will be dedicated to the Iturup – the largest island in the entire Kuril Archipelago.

 

The island is famous for its White Rocks – unusual in shape and color rock formations that stretch for 28 kilometers along the coastline.

 

The rocks consist of soft pumice formed after a volcanic eruption. Strong winds and storms of the Sea of Okhotsk deformed the pumice, and that is why the surface of the rocks got an unusual, rugged relief. The cliffs contrast with the dark gray sand from below, and the bright green vegetation that covers their tops from above.

 

You will walk along this picturesque ridge and swim in the thermal springs afterward.

Day 5 Chirpoi and Simushir islands

In the morning you will land on Chirpoi Island. There are two active volcanoes and thousands of seabirds nest here: moths and fat-billed guillemots. 

 

Then you will go to Simushir Island, where you will trek to the top of Zavaritsky Volcano. From here you have a stunning view of the ruined and flooded caldera of the volcano, and if the weather is good, you can see part of the Great Kuril Ridge.

 

In the evening, you will go around the island and spend the night near Broughton Bay in the northern part of Samushir.

Day 6 Broughton Bay and Yankicha Island

On this day you will explore Broughton Cape. This is the "neck" of а long extinguished and flooded volcano, which was artificially widened by powerful explosions for the passage of warships.

 

Also on the shore of Simushir, you will visit a "ghost town" – the military town that was abandoned in the 90s. Then everyone will be able to fish from the shore or from the boats.

 

Back on the ship, you will make a short passage to the island Ushishir (Yankicha). On zodiac boats you will go to the submerged volcanic caldera – Kraternaya (Rus. for "Crater") Bay. This is one of the most picturesque places of the Kuril archipelago: in the center of the bay you will see two towering islands, and in the southern part – cauldrons of volcanic water, which is in a constant state of boiling.

 

Here you can bathe in thermal springs and watch sea birds, among which there are rare species: red-throated pipit, tringa nebularia, rough-legged buzzard, peregrine falcon, and others.

Day 7 Trekking to the crater of Krenitsyn Volcano

In the morning you will disembark at Mussel Bay on Onecotan Island. Here you will ascend to the crater of the Krenitsyn Volcano. This is one of the most unusual volcanoes in the world: the huge caldera of the old volcano is filled with a lake, in the middle of which there is another, the younger volcano of a perfectly symmetrical shape. The large caldera is 17 km in diameter and the volcano is 1,324 m high.

 

Trekking will not be easy: you have to overcome about 15 km in both directions with an elevation gain of 600 m. But the incredible view from the summit is well worth the effort.

Day 8 Paramushir and Shumshu Islands

Early in the morning on zodiac boats you will approach huge bird colonies, where you will see nesting tufted and horned puffins, cormorants and other sea birds.

 

Then you will return to the ship and sail toward Paramushir Island. The ship will enter Krasheninnikov Bay, where you will see a magnificent view of the active volcanoes of Tatarinov, Karpinsky, Chikurachki, etc. Whales and killer whales are often seen in the coastal waters of the bay.

 

Also on this day, you will visit Shumshu Island. You will see Japanese bunkers and visit the sites of fierce battles, where you can still find soldiers' helmets and remnants of military equipment. 

Day 9 Atlasova Island

On this day you will get acquainted with the northernmost island of the Big Kuril Ridge – Atlasova Island. The highest volcano in the entire archipelago, Alaid (2340 m), is located here. The Japanese considered the shape of Alaid even more perfect than that of the famous Fuji.

 

You will land on the northwest shore and walk to the side craters of the volcano, Olympic Gap and Taketomi. From the latter, you will have a magnificent view of Alaid Volcano.

Day 10 Russkaya Bay

On this day the ship will head for the coast of Kamchatka. Aboard zodiac boats, you will take a trip to Russkaya Bay to get acquainted with the animal world of the peninsula.

 

Steller sea lions rook at the entrance to the bay, and seabirds abound on its shores. During spawning season brown bears on the coast and whales in the coastal waters can be seen.

 

In the evening, a gala dinner awaits you aboard the ship to celebrate the end of the expedition.

Day 11 Arrival in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

In the morning the ship will come to Avachinskaya Bay, the largest natural harbor in the world. After breakfast, you will say goodbye to the crew and disembark. From there you will have a transfer to your hotel or the city center.

New
The Gem of the Pacific Ocean
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.
Age
12 y.o.
Group size
to 50 person
Duration
11 days

Accommodation during the trip

10 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 expedition ice-class vessel Akademik Shokalsky. It is specially equipped to sail through the territories, where navigation of large liners is impossible.

 

The vessel has a restaurant, a bar, a sauna, a wardroom, a library with a large collection of thematic literature, a conference room and a lounge. The spacious captain's bridge is always open for passengers, offering stunning views of the ocean and coastal scenery. The ship has Zodiac inflatable rubber motorboats as well, which are used for expedition landings on islands and in bays. There is a satellite communication system onboard. All the ship's cabins have ocean views.

 

The cost of the cruise depends on the category of the chosen cabin:

  • Double cabin – 470 400 RUB (double accommodation) and 705 600 RUB (single accommodation)
  • Superior cabin – 513 030 RUB (double accommodation) and 1 026 060 RUB (single accommodation)
  • Superior Plus cabin – 572 565 RUB (double accommodation) and 1 145 130 RUB (single accommodation)
  • Mini-lux сabin – 607 110 RUB (double accommodation) and 1 214 220 RUB (single accommodation) 
  • Owner's Suite сabin – 684 285 RUB (double accommodation) and 1 368 570 RUB (single accommodation)

The price is per person. The price in USD depends on the ruble exchange rate on the day of purchase.

 

Cabins Description: 

 

Double cabin (12 sq.m.): two lower bunks, a sofa, a porthole, a desk, a closet, bedside tables, a washbasin. The toilet/shower is on the deck.

 

Superior cabin (12 sq.m.): two bunks – upper and lower, a sofa, a porthole, a desk, a closet, bedside tables. The bathroom is equipped with a shower, a toilet, a washbasin.

 

Superior Plus cabin (12 sq.m.): two lower bunks, a window, a desk, a closet, bedside tables. The bathroom is equipped with a shower, a toilet, a washbasin

 

Mini-lux сabin (18 sq.m.): a bedroom with a double bed, living room with a sofa, windows, TV, a desk, a closet, bedside tables. The bathroom is equipped with a shower, a toilet, a washbasin.

 

Owner's Suite сabin (27 sq.m.): a bedroom with a double bed, living room with a sofa, panoramic windows on both sides, a TV, a fridge, a desk, a closet, bedside tables. The bathroom is equipped with a shower, a toilet, a washbasin.

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Common questions

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Who will be my guide +

The ship will have a Russian- and English-speaking crew. The cruise will be accompanied by an experienced expedition leader and experts in the region, who will give a variety of thematic lectures and presentations on board. There will also be wildlife film watching and seafood cooking workshops. A team of chefs and sous chefs from a premium restaurant will work on the ship during the expedition.

Meals +

You will have three meals a day with plenty of seafood. Meals are prepared by the chef of the restaurant.

What to bring with you +

The temperature at the northern points of the route can drop to 0°C. Sometimes there are no landings, and the boats go along the shore. On the coast it can be very windy, this increases the temperature effect.

Clothing:

  • waterproof, non-blowing jacket with a hood
  • warm and waterproof pants 
  • thermal underwear
  • sweater and turtleneck
  • woolen hat with covering ears
  • balaclava/scarf
  • warm socks
  • stylish clothes for the farewell party, optionally (high heels not advised)

Footwear:

  • trekking boots (not required, but recommended for long shoreline hikes) 
  • rubber boots up to the mid-calf height with thick, ribbed, non-slip soles (if you do not have yours, you can borrow them for free on the first day of the cruise)
  • sandals, sneakers, or any other comfortable shoes for the ship
  • flip-flops for showering

Personal belongings:

  • small backpack for drop-offs (preferably waterproof)
  • warm, waterproof gloves
  • warm insoles
  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen and fatty, nourishing cream for windy weather
  • lipstick
  • binoculars
  • earplugs
  • swimsuit (for hot springs, bathing and optional ocean bathing)
  • protective waterproof case for photo and video equipment

Documents:

  • passport
  • boarding pass (issued or mailed in advance)
  • plane ticket
  • copy of insurance
Insurance +

Medical insurance is a mandatory condition. Insurance is not included in the cost of the cruise, it must be paid for additionally. If you need help with its registration, please tell the manager when booking.

Booking

New

The Gem of the Pacific Ocean

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.
Age
from 12 y.o.
Group size
to 50 person
Duration
11 days

Accommodation during the trip

10 nights

Languages

EN
guide
9 098 EUR
What's included in the price:
  • accommodation on the ship in a cabin of the chosen category

  • meals (full-board)

  • transfer from Yuzhno-Kurilsk to the port on the first day and from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky port to the airport on the last day of the cruise

  • all excursions and landings as per program

  • services of the English-speaking expedition leader and experts in the region

  • lectures and presentations on board

  • photo diary of the expedition (to be presented at the end of the cruise)

  • a complimentary branded jacket, rental of rubber boots for the duration of the cruise

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

  • ground service before and after the cruise (hotel, meals, additional excursions)

  • 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 from Yuzhno-Kurilsk to the port on the first day and from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky port to the airport on the last day of the cruise

  • all excursions and landings as per program

  • services of the English-speaking expedition leader and experts in the region

  • lectures and presentations on board

  • photo diary of the expedition (to be presented at the end of the cruise)

  • a complimentary branded jacket, rental of rubber boots for the duration of the cruise

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

  • ground service before and after the cruise (hotel, meals, additional excursions)

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

  • mandatory health insurance with emergency evacuation coverage

  • visa

  • tips (optionally)

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