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

Sea cruise along the Kuril Islands

Most popular
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
Start date
29 June 2024
  • 29 June 2024
  • 29 September 2024
End date:
9 July 2024
from 5 672 EUR

The Kuril Islands is an archipelago of 56 islands that stretches from Sakhalin to Kamchatka. A sea cruise is the best way to discover this gem of the Pacific Ocean. On this voyage, you will sail along the entire Kuril chain and explore its most picturesque islands.

Most popular
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
Start date
29 June 2024
  • 29 June 2024
  • 29 September 2024
End date:
9 July 2024
from 5 672 EUR

Experiences you'll have

The voyage 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 region experts and reserve scientists. Exploring picturesque bays on expedition boats, you will watch birds' colonies and sea lions' rookeries up close. You may see whales in the coastal waters and bears and Arctic foxes on the shores.

You will travel more than 1200 nautical miles on an expedition vessel and visit 9 islands of the Kuril Archipelago. Trekking and climbing on the islands and sea wildlife watching during boat trips await you on this voyage.

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

  • walk along the fantastic pumice White Cliffs on Iturup Island and see the unique Stolbchaty Cape on Kunashir
  • climb Krenitsyn and Zavaritsky volcanoes, and trek to the side craters of Alaid volcano, the highest of the Kuril Islands
  • explore Kraternaya and Broughton bays, the most beautiful bays of the Great Kuril Ridge
  • capture a magnificent view of 4 active volcanoes on Paramushir Island
  • relax in hot thermal springs on Iturup and Yankicha Islands
  • explore the region's rich wildlife during zodiac boat trips

The cost of the cruise depends on the type of cabin and the date of travel. 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.

 

Please note: the cruise starting September 29 will sail in the opposite direction, from Kamchatka to Sakhalin. You will need to buy air tickets to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and return tickets from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

 

This is a general plan of the expedition, the route may vary depending on the weather.

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 meet your expedition team. When the ship sails, a welcome lunch will be arranged for you on board.

 

In the evening, you will pass the rocky Aniva Cape, where you will admire the ancient Japanese lighthouse at sunset, and then sail towards the Southern Kurils.

Day 2 Kunashir Island, Golovnin volcano

Today you will reach Kunashir Island. This is the southernmost and largest island of the Great Kuril Ridge. There are 3 active volcanoes here: Golovnin, Mendeleev, and Rurui.
 

You will trek to Golovnin volcano's caldera (14 km in both directions). The final point of the trekking is Goryachee (Rus. for "Hot") and Kipyashchee (Rus. for "Boiling") lakes, located inside the volcanic caldera. The color of the lakes varies from bright turquoise to matte gray depending on the season and weather. There are boiling mud pots and fumarole fields around Kipyashchee Lake. 

Day 3 Kunashir Island, Stolbchaty Cape

Today you will visit another natural sight of Kunashir, the unique Stolbchaty (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 shape appeared out of solidified basalt lava as a result of a volcanic eruption.

Day 4 White Cliffs of Iturup Island

Exploration of the largest island of the entire archipelago, Iturup, awaits you today. 

 

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

 

The cliffs formed of soft pumice were shaped by a volcanic eruption. Strong winds and storms deformed the pumice, and that is why the surface of the cliffs got an unusual, rugged relief. The cliffs contrast with the black sand from below, and the bright greens that cover tops from above.

 

Then you will go to the thermal springs. They are located at the foot of Baransky volcano and are connected to its fumarole field. The flow of hot water spreads through numerous baths and tubs – created by nature and improved by man. The closer you get to the spring, the higher the temperature of the water. In the topmost basins, the water is constantly boiling. 

Day 5 Chirpoi and Simushir islands

In the morning, you will reach Chirpoi Island. This small island nevertheless has room for two active volcanoes. By zodiac boat, you will approach its rocky shores to capture sea lions's rookeries and huge seabird colonies.

 

Then you will land on Simushir Island. Trekking to Zavaritsky volcano awaits you here. The route will be quite challenging, but you will be rewarded with a stunning view of the ruined and flooded caldera of the volcano. If the weather is good, you can see part of the Great Kuril Ridge from here.

 

In the evening, you will round the island and spend the night near Broughton Bay in the northern part of Simushir.

Day 6 Broughton Bay and Yankicha Island

In the first half of the day, you will explore Broughton Bay. This is the neck of а long extinguished and flooded volcano, which was artificially widened by powerful explosions to make it accessible for warships. On the shore of the island, you will see the military town abandoned in the 90s. It used to be one of the largest bases of the Pacific Fleet of the Soviet Union. Fishing from the shore or boats is possible here.

 

The ship will make a short passage to Yankicha after you are back onboard. On zodiac boats, you will go to the submerged volcanic caldera Kraternaya (Rus. for "Crater") Bay. This is one of the most picturesque places on the Kuril Archipelago. In the center of the bay, you will see two towering islands, surrounded by emerald shores and thermal springs.

 

Here you can watch a variety of seabirds, including rare species: red-throated pipit, tringa nebularia, rough-legged buzzard, peregrine falcon, and others.

Day 7 Onekotan Island, Krenitsyn Volcano

In the morning, you will land on Onekotan Island. Today 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 center of which is another, 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 up to 600 m. However, the incredible view from the top is well worth the effort.

Day 8 Paramushir and Antsiferov Islands

In the morning, you will approach Paramushir Island. The ship will enter Krasheninnikov Bay, where you will see a magnificent view of 4 active volcanoes. The most beautiful of them, Fussa volcano, has a perfect conical shape and a height of 1.7 km above sea level.

 

You will go on a boat trip along the shores of Paramushir to get close to giant bird colonies. Whales and orcas are often seen in the coastal waters.

 

In the evening your vessel will approach the shore of small Antsiferov Island where you can see the largest sea lion's rookery in the entire archipelago.

Day 9 Atlasov Island, Alaid volcano

Your exploration of the Kuril Archipelago will end on Atlasov Island, the northernmost island of the Great Kuril Ridge. The highest volcano of the archipelago, Alaid (2,340 m), is located here. Its perfect shape is often compared to the famous Fuji Mount.

 

You will land on the northwest shore and make a trek 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 Kamchatka, 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 wildlife of the peninsula.

 

There are Steller sea lions rookeries 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 vessel will come to Avacha Bay, the largest natural harbor in the world. You will disembark in the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and have a transfer to your hotel or the city center.

Most popular
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
Start date
29 June 2024
  • 29 June 2024
  • 29 September 2024
End date:
9 July 2024
from 5 672 EUR

Accommodation during the trip

Your voyage will take place on the expedition ice class vessel Professor Khromov.

 

The ship is specially equipped for navigation in places where passage of larger vessels is impossible. The ice class of the vessel allows cruising in polar regions.

 

Facilities on board: bar, restaurant, lounge, library with a collection of thematic literature, lecture hall, sauna. Access to the navigation bridge, wildlife, and marine life viewing from open decks.

 

Rates depend on the type of cabin and the date of travel

 

Cruise starting June 29 (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk – Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky)

  • Triple, shared bathroom – 550,000 RUB (6,352 USD) per person
  • Double, shared bathroom – 616,000 RUB (7,114 USD) per person
  • Superior – 781,000 RUB (9,020 USD) per person
  • Superior Plus – 896,500 RUB (10,354 USD) per person
  • Mini Suite – 1,226,500 RUB (14,165 USD) per person
  • Owner's Suite – 1,485,000 RUB (17,150 USD) per person

 

Cruise starting September 29 (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky – Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk)

  • Triple, shared bathroom – 605,000 RUB (6,987 USD) per person
  • Double, shared bathroom – 677,600 RUB (7,826 USD) per person
  • Superior – 859,100 RUB (9,922 USD) per person
  • Superior Plus – 986,150 RUB (11,389 USD) per person
  • Mini Suite – 1,349,150 RUB (15,581 USD) per person
  • Owner's Suite – 1,633,500 RUB (18,865 USD) per person

 

The base rate is in RUR. The price in USD depends on the exchange rate of the Central Bank of Russia minus 2% and is valid as of January 18, 2024. The price is per person with double occupancy in a cabin​​​.

 

A 65% prepayment is needed to make a reservation. The remaining 35% must be paid 90 days before the cruise starts.

 

Cabins Description: 

 

Triple (12 sq.m.) two lower and one upper berth, porthole, desk, closet, bedside tables, washbasin. The toilet and shower are on the deck.

 

Double (12 sq.m.): two lower berths, sofa, porthole, desk, closet, bedside tables, washbasin. The toilet and shower are on the deck.

 

Superior (12 sq.m.): upper and lower berth, sofa, window, desk, closet, bedside tables, shower, toilet, and washbasin.

 

Superior Plus (12 sq.m.): two lower berths, sofa, window, desk, closet, bedside tables, shower, toilet, and washbasin.

 

Mini Suite (18 sq.m.): bedroom with double bed, living room with single bed, windows, TV, desk, closet, bedside tables, shower, toilet, and washbasin.

 

Owner's Suite (27 sq.m.): bedroom with double bed, living room with single bed, sofa, TV, fridge, closet, windows on the bow and sides of the ship, shower, toilet, and 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 me +

When choosing clothing and footwear, take into account the peculiarities of the Arctic region. Temperatures can drop below freezing at the northern points of the route. Sometimes there are no landings on the shore and the boats go along the shore.

 

Keep in mind that it can be very windy on the coast, this adds to the temperature effect. There will be splashing on the boat even in small waves, so clothing should be waterproof and windproof. The main heat loss occurs through the head, arms, and legs – pay maximum attention to these places. We recommend taking a camping seat with you. Don't forget about equipment: you need a waterproof case for shooting in rain and drizzle.

 

Clothing: warm pants, waterproof pants, thermal underwear, sweater, turtleneck, wool hat covering ears, balaclava/scarf, warm socks, waterproof hooded jacket. You can bring dressy clothes for the farewell party (heeled shoes are not recommended).

 

Footwear: trekking boots (not compulsory, but recommended for long walks on the shore). If you prefer trekking boots to rubber boots, you should bring them with you in your backpack and change them on the shore. Boots with grooved soles will give you the most stable footing. Rubber boots are also necessary, but they can be given free of charge on the first day of the cruise. It is important to bring warm insoles with you. If you plan to bring your boots, they should be mid-calf height or higher with thick ribbed non-slip soles. Some landings will require stepping into water up to 25 centimeters deep. It can also be quite slippery on the ice and on the shore. Make sure the boots fit comfortably with a wool sock. You will also need sandals, sneakers, or any other comfortable shoes for the ship, and flip-flops for the shower.

 

Other: a small backpack for landings (preferably waterproof), warm and waterproof gloves, sunglasses, cream (in windy weather preferably greasy nourishing), lipstick, binoculars, earplugs, swimsuit (for baths, hot springs, and optional bathing in the ocean), towel.

 

Documents: passport, boarding pass (issued in advance or mailed), airplane 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 and cancellation terms +

A 65% prepayment is needed to make a reservation. The remaining 35% must be paid 90 days before the cruise starts.

 

If you decide to cancel your booking 180 days or more before the start of the cruise, we will refund the full cost of the trip excluding the service charge of 56,000 RUB/pp. If you cancel 179 to 91 days before the start of the tour, 25% of the total cost of the trip will be deducted. If you cancel your booking later than 90 days before the start of the tour, the cost of the trip will not be refunded.

Special offer +

Purchasing this cruise will give you a 5% discount on all future journeys with RussiaDiscovery. 

Booking

Most popular

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
from 5 672 EUR
What's included in the price:
  • accommodation on the ship in a cabin of the chosen category

  • meals (full-board)

  • group transfers between airports and port according to the program

  • 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:
  • airfare to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky or in reverse

  • 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)

  • group transfers between airports and port according to the program

  • 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

  • airfare to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky or in reverse

  • 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)

29 Jun 2024, Sat — 9 Jul 2024, Tue
from 5 672 EUR
29 Sep 2024, Sun — 9 Oct 2024, Wed
from 6 239 EUR
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