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Archipelago of discoveries
Archipelago of discoveries

Expedition to the Shantar Islands

Most popular
Archipelago of discoveries
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
from 10 to 15 person
Duration
11 days

Accommodation during the trip

5 nights
3 nights

Languages

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

You will see whales — it is guaranteed in this journey. There are so many of these giants near the Shantar Islands, that you can take photos of them even from a shore. Thanks to difficult access to the archipelago you will have true solitude and union with nature here. 

Most popular
Archipelago of discoveries
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
from 10 to 15 person
Duration
11 days

Accommodation during the trip

5 nights
3 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

A trip to the Shantar Islands

For getting to the islands you will have transfers with bus and helicopter.  This is not just a trip, it is a true expedition for the ones who want to see places, where no man has ever set foot. 

The main citizens of this region are bowhead and killer whales, seals, bears and Steller's sea eagles. During the journey you will see them in their natural habitat. 

The nature of this place will awaken an explorer in you. Flying aboard a helicopter over the Sea of Okhotsk, you will enjoy the picturesque bays of the archipelago. In the marine expedition, you will witness breathtaking sceneries and wild nature as it is. 

You will have a chance to try paddleboarding with whales in the Wrangel Bay — whales will swim at arm's length.

If desired, a helicopter excursion to mountain ridges Dusse-Alin can be organised. You will see Bear Lake and waterfalls. Please check "Common Questions" section.

 

Watch a documentary filmed on the Shantar Islands:

 

 

Note: the schedule and itinerary of the tour can be changed depending on weather conditions, whales presence and other objective reasons. 

 

The author of photos in the gallery is Sergey Dolya

Itinerary

The journey begins in Khabarovsk, where you must travel to on your own. You should be in the city one day before the start of the program. In the end of the trip it is better to have one extra day after completion of the program. With planning the journey in this way, you will have rest before a long road in the beginning of the trip and then after a long voyage in the end of the travel. 

 

In the first day of the program you will be picked up from the hotel. We are ready to assist with the purchase of flight tickets and choosing a hotel in Khabarovsk. If necessary, leave a comment in your application.

Day 1 Khabarovsk — Briakan

The group of participants will meet at 16 pm. After that, you will have a night transfer to the village of Briakan (travel time is 12 to 14 hours). You will travel with a comfortable touristic bus — for a group with 15-16 participants there is a bus with 45 seats. 


The route will go through Komsomolsk-on-Amur city. Then, a gravel road will start.  

Day 2 Arrival in the Ongachan camp

You will have breakfast in the village of Briakan. Weather permitting, there will be a 1,5-hour helicopter flight to the Ongachan camp. There, you will accommodate in houses, have lunch and then rest. 

 

In case of bad weather on the helicopter landing site in Ongachan Bay, alternative helipads will be chosen. From there, with a high-speed powerboat you will go to the Ongachan camp.

 

The Ongachan Bay is in the Tugursky peninsula. Landscapes here are really picturesque. A large lake with a river flowing from it, red fish going for spawning and whales swimming not far away from the shore — this is a daily picture here. Bears and foxes are also frequent guests in this place. 

 

If there is enough time, you will have a short excursion to the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk. You will walk along the coast or will visit a viewing point, from where you can see whales. And also, you will meet the first sunset in the Ongachan Bay —  they are especially beautiful here. 

Day 3 Maly Shantar Island and the Abrek Bay

This day, you will have a journey to the Abrek Bay — it is located on the Maly Shantar Island. Here, hundreds of seals live. They hide from killer whales in this place — a low water level does not let the predators hunt, so seals feel safe in the bay.  

 

In the evening, you will come to the Ongachan Bay, have rest and relax in a steam bath. 

Day 4 Bolshoy Shantar Island

Today, you will visit Bolshoy Shantar Island. This is the biggest island of the archipelago. Here, a meteorological station is located — the only one in this region. 4 people live and work here all year round. 

 

You will go to a river mouth and visit remains of a whale factory that was located here in the 19th century. The guide will tell you about American whalers that caught whales for making fat from lard of the animals. 

 

Also, you will visit the Raduzhny Cape — one of the brightest geological objects of the archipelago. There are big jaspidean cliffs here: their colour vary from red to green. 

 

By the end of the day, you will reach Feklistov Island, where you will make a camp, have dinner and spend night in tents. 

Day 5 Feklistov Island and Utichyi Island

This day, you will see red fish going for spawning in the river Medvezhiya. After lunch, you will move the camp and start a trip to the Ongochan camp. On the way, you will visit Arka Island.  
 

By reaching Utichyi Island, you will see thousands of birds that nest here. They are not afraid of people at all.  Also, you will admire kekurs — cliffs with quaint shapes. 

 

You will finish the day in the Ongachan Bay: dinner and hot steam bath will wait for you in the touristic camp.  

Day 6 The Wrangel Bay

Today, with speed boats you will move to the Wrangel Bay (2 hours). On the way, you will see Belichy Island, Sredny Island and Yuzhny Island — many seashore colonies of birds can be observed here. 
 

Having been reached the Wrangel Bay, you will accommodate on a touristic base in a cozy bay. For its beauty and clean sandy beach tourists call it "a magical bay". Here, you will see rare bowhead whales. 

Day 7 Whale watching

This day, you will watch bowhead whales. 

 

They live in cold waters of the northern hemisphere, the most "southern" herd can be met in the Sea of Okhotsk. They are the only ones from baleen whales that spend the whole life in polar waters. Because of harsh conditions of regions where the whales live, it is usually really hard to reach and see them. But on the Shantar Islands you can observe them from a short distance. Even more — you will have a chance to try paddleboarding with whales. 


Also, today you can try a sea fishing, walk along the shore and get acquainted with quaint geology of the island.  

Day 8 Coming back to the Ongachan Bay

You will watch whales until lunch, then, you will come back to the Ongachan camp. There is a chance that you will meet killer whales in the way. In an open sea you will observe hundreds of birds that form into packs and prepare for migration. 

 

Part of the way will be through Lingdolm Strait. It is named after one of pioneers of Russian whaling industry in the Far East.  


Weather permitting, you will admire a beautiful sunset on the shore. A warm rug and a cup of tea with local herbs will make your evening even better. A bit later, you will spend time by the fire and listen stories about the region of the Sea of Okhotsk and legendary travelers.   

Day 9 A spare day

This day is reserved in case of bad weather or unforeseen circumstances.

 

If the weather is good and it is not necessary to make any changes in the program, you will have a trip to Dragon cliffs. With moving along the southern shore of the Sea of Okhotsk you will reach the northern edge of the Tugursky peninsula. Here, there are dozens of waterfalls and kekurs. Legends say that before dragons lived in this region. 

 

In the evening, a celebratory dinner with fresh fish and seafood is waiting for you.

Day 10 Departure from the Ongachan camp

Today, you will have a helicopter flight back to the village of Briakan. From here, you will start the way to Khabarovsk. 

Day 11 Arrival in Khabarovsk

Early in the morning, you will arrive in Khabarovsk. We recommend to buy flight tickets back home for the following day — in case it will be bad weather that can delay a helicopter flight. 

Most popular
Archipelago of discoveries
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
from 10 to 15 person
Duration
11 days

Accommodation during the trip

5 nights
3 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

In the Ongachan Bay you will stay in houses for 4-6 people. There is shower with hot water, electricity and a steam bath. Accommodation conditions are simple, but comfortable. The president of Switzerland, an Arabian sheikh and a famous traveler Fedor Konikhov stayed here during their travels to the Shantar islands. 

 

In the Wrangel Bay you will live in a common house. There is electricity there. You can go to a steam house every day. If desired, it is possible to set up tents on the territory of the base.  

 

While being on routes outside of bases, you will stay in tents. 

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Common questions

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How to get on a helicopter tour +

If desired, for an additional payment you can go on helicopter excursion to mountain ridges Dusse-Alin. The tour will take place in case there will be a group of 10-16 participants (including accompanying guides).
 
There are two landings in the program — on the Bear Lake and near the waterfall "Neozhidannyi". Every stop will take 1 hour. The landing near the waterfall will depend on the level of water in the river Kuraigagna. If the landing is not possible, you will get to the waterfall "Bride's dress". The flight to excursion will start from the village of Briakan and will take place before the start of the main program. 


The Bear Lake is located near the top of mountain ridges Dusse-Alin (1600 meters above sea level). The depth of the lake is 24 meters. For blue water and unique landscapes around the lake is called “the pearl among mountains”. It has been considered to be the most beautiful lake in Khabarovsk area. 


“Neozhidannyi” waterfall is one of the highest waterfalls in Khabarovsk area (more than 70 meters). It is located at a river mouth, flowing from the Bear Lake. Here, there is a 30-meter wide canyon with cliffs that are more than 10 meters high. 
 
The waterfall “Bride's dress” is situated near the border of Bureya Nature Reserve. There are 4 steep cascades, falling down to a valley.

Meals +

The price of the tour includes three meals a day during the active part of the program (breakfasts and dinners, as well as lunches or daily snacks on the routes).

 

Additionally you should pay for meals while moving from Khabarovsk and back (lunches in the cafe). In places where there is no cafe, you will have lunch boxes. 

What to bring with me +

For sea trips:

  • storm suit (overalls or jacket and trousers)
  • high rubber boots (needed for embarkation and disembarkation from a boat)
  • shoes with warm insoles
  • wind-resistant hat
  • thermal socks
  • waterproof gloves
  • balaclava helmet

 

For trekking and time in the camp:

  • light jacket (GORE-TEX with a hood in case of rainy weather)
  • light shoes (e.g. sport shoes)
  • trekking trousers
  • cap or light hat
  • light gloves
  • thermal underwear (2 types with different level of warmth)
  • liner in a sleeping bag
  • fleece jacket
  • underwear, T-shirts, socks
  • towel
  • swimming costume (in case you have a wish to get into water)
  • sleeping bag (+5°С comfort)
  • dry bag
  • head torch with extra batteries
  • light backpack for trekkings

 

For paddleboarding:

  • snorkeling vest (possible to rent. If necessary, please make an order before the start of the trip)

 

For photography equipment:

  • waterproof backpack and a dry bag

 

Other:

  • personal medicines, tooth brush, wet towel wipes, etc.
  • knife or multitool 
Cost of equipment rentals +

You can rent equipment for the period of the tour

 

  • high boots — 1000 RUB
  • warmed sleeping bag — 2000 RUB
  • inflatable mat Therm-a-Rest — 1000 RUB
  • raincoat — 1000 RUB

 

Please, note that all additional services including equipment rentals should be paid before the start of the program. 

Booking

Most popular

Archipelago of discoveries

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
from 10 to 15 person
Duration
11 days

Accommodation during the trip

5 nights
3 nights

Languages

EN
guide
235 632 RUB
What's included in the price:
  • accommodation at touristic bases and in tents 

  • three meals per day including fresh seafood and local delicacies

  • helicopter and bus transfers to the Sea of Okhotsk shore

  • guides and cooks' services

  • permission for visiting the national park

  • daily excursions 

  • group equipment, boots and dishing gear

  • boat rental, fuel

  • steam bath every day

Extra charge:
  • international flights and a flight to Khabarovsk  (starting at 40,000 RUB for a round-trip ticket)

  • hotel accommodation in Khabarovsk the night before the start of the program and the night after 

  • meals on the way

  • health insurance

  • equipment rental (if necessary. Please, check "Common questions" section)

  • helicopter excursion to mountain ridges Dusse-Alin (can be organised at will, +500 000 RUB per group of 10-16 people) 

  • transfer to the airport in Khabarovsk

In the price:
Included Extra charge
  • accommodation at touristic bases and in tents 

  • three meals per day including fresh seafood and local delicacies

  • helicopter and bus transfers to the Sea of Okhotsk shore

  • guides and cooks' services

  • permission for visiting the national park

  • daily excursions 

  • group equipment, boots and dishing gear

  • boat rental, fuel

  • steam bath every day

  • international flights and a flight to Khabarovsk  (starting at 40,000 RUB for a round-trip ticket)

  • hotel accommodation in Khabarovsk the night before the start of the program and the night after 

  • meals on the way

  • health insurance

  • equipment rental (if necessary. Please, check "Common questions" section)

  • helicopter excursion to mountain ridges Dusse-Alin (can be organised at will, +500 000 RUB per group of 10-16 people) 

  • transfer to the airport in Khabarovsk

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