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Whale Bay
Whale Bay

Auto expedition to the Shantar Islands

Most popular
Whale Bay
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 16 person
Duration
11 days

Accommodation during the trip

6 nights
4 nights

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
19 July 2020
  • 19 July 2020
  • 20 August 2020
End date:
29 July 2020
209 305 RUB

The Shantar Islands are an amazing natural corner of Russia. There are no people here, and the wildlife is preserved in its original form. Huge Greenland whales and killer whales, rocks with bird colonies, bears, salmon going to spawn — the journey to the Shantar Islands has all the chances to become a lifetime experience.

Most popular
Whale Bay
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 16 person
Duration
11 days

Accommodation during the trip

6 nights
4 nights

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
19 July 2020
  • 19 July 2020
  • 20 August 2020
End date:
29 July 2020
209 305 RUB

Experiences you'll have

Journey to the Shantar Islands

The expedition begins with moving by minibus to the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk. You will cross the Amgun river, drive along the Baikal-Amur Mainline, through the taiga and gold mining quarries.

This trip is the most affordable way to get to the Shantar Islands to watch bowhead whales, thanks to car transfer to the Sea of Okhotsk shore

Once you get to Shantars, you will have daily hiking and sea trips to the islands of the archipelago:

  • you will watch whales, killer whales and belugas from the shore, while sailing on a motor boat, and can try SUP surfing near them
  • you can take photos of bears, seals and sea birds
  • go fishing in the sea and from the shore, try to catch salmon going to spawn directly with your hands
  • you will find multicolored pieces of different minerals: bright red and greenish jasper, white quartz and marble
  • if the weather is good, you will get to the weather station, where only 2 people live all year round

 

Watch a documentary filmed on the Shantar Islands:

 

 

Photos by Sergey Dolya

Itinerary

The journey begins in Khabarovsk, where you should 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.

 

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

Day 1 Route to the Sea of Okhotsk coast

After meeting with the group, you will go to the sea of Okhotsk. The distance to the coast is more than 1000 km, the trip will take 20-36 hours, taking into account the possible overnight stay on the way.

 

The route will pass along the administrative road, through the industrial center of the region — Komsomolsk-on-Amur. After lunch in the city you will continue travelling along the Baikal-Amur Mainline.

 

Then you will overcome 600 km of taiga road and cross the Amgun river by ferry. Further you will pass the mountain pass, covered by taiga and make a stop to see a huge gold mining quarry.

Day 2 Moving to the Wrangel Bay

Your auto part of the expedition will end on the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk.

 

Then a speed boat will take you from the Nicholas Bay to the Vrangel Bay (1.5 hours by sea). Here you will stay at the base, relax and go to the bathhouse.

 

Please note, the transition from the Nicholas Bay to the base depends on the tidal phases. During low tide, you will not be able to go to the base, since the sea leave the shore for several kilometers. There may be objective delays and unplanned overnight stays in tents at the Nicholas Bay.

Days 3-5 Whale watching in the Vrangel Bay

These days you will spend in the Wrangel Bay, watching the bowhead whales. Their weight reaches 150 tons, and their length is 22 meters. Most of the bowhead whales inhabiting the Sea of Okhotsk lives in this place. Encounters with killer whales in the bay are also possible.

 

At night, during high tides, you will admire the unusual glow of the sea water surface. It comes from single-celled organisms, bioluminescent algae, and phytoplankton during the breeding season.

 

While staying at the bay, you can go sea fishing by motor boats or try to catch salmon or chum salmon going to spawn in the coastal stream even with your hands.

Day 6 The Ongachan Bay

Early this morning you will go with a speed boat to the Ongachan Bay crossing the Academy Gulf (60 km, 2-2,5 hours). The route will pass through the open sea. You will meet flocks of seabirds such as hatchets, ducks, gulls. The route is designed so that you can watch whales and killer whales.

 

Upon arrival to the Ongachan Bay you will be accommodated at the tourist base, have dinner and can visit the steam bath.

Day 7-8 The Shantar Islands

During these days, you will travel through the Shantar archipelago. These are wild islands where the national park is located.

 

You will visit Bolshoy Shantar Island and get acquainted with the employees of the meteorological station, who live here all year round. Also you will visit the remains of a American whale factory that was located here in the 19th century. At Cape Raduzhny you will admire big jaspidean cliffs: their colour vary from red to green. 

 

One of these days you will come to Maly Shantar Island and explore Utichyi Island, where thousands of birds nest. All these days you will spend the night in tents.

Day 9 Return to the Ongachan Bay

Today you will return to the base the Ongachan Bay. In the evening you will have dinner, relax in the sauna and watch the sunset. You can also climb to the observation point, which offers a beautiful view of the southern coast of the Sea of Okhotsk.

Day 10 The road to Khabarovsk

On this day, you will go to the Nicholas Bay, from where you will move to Khabarovsk by minibus

 

The route will start from the local fish farm, where you can buy fresh red caviar and watch the process of salmon preparing.

Day 11 Departure

Today in the afternoon you will arrive to Khabarovsk. We recommend to take return tickets for the next day.

Most popular
Whale Bay
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 16 person
Duration
11 days

Accommodation during the trip

6 nights
4 nights

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
19 July 2020
  • 19 July 2020
  • 20 August 2020
End date:
29 July 2020
209 305 RUB

Accommodation during the trip

In the Wrangel Bay you will stay at a tourist base. There is electricity here, which is supplied by generators. If desired, you can stay in a common house or in tents on the base territory. Every day you can visit the steam bath.

 

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. 

 

While being on routes outside of bases, you will stay in tents. Accommodation in Khabarovsk you should book on your own. We recommend hotels "Lime", "Verba", "Boutique Hotel", "Sapporo" and "Chaika".

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Common questions

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What transport is used +

You will go to the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk by Toyota Hiace minibuses.

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 photography equipment:

  • waterproof backpack and a dry bag

 

Other:

  • personal medicines, tooth brush, wet towel wipes, etc.
  • knife or multitool 
  • wetsuit (for SUP surfing, optionally)

Booking

Most popular

Whale Bay

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 16 person
Duration
11 days

Accommodation during the trip

6 nights
4 nights

Languages

EN
guide
209 305 RUB
What's included in the price:
  • accommodation at touristic bases and in tents 

  • three meals per day including fresh seafood and local delicacies

  • transfer from the hotel, transfers to the Sea of Okhotsk shore by minibus

  • guides and cooks' services

  • permission for visiting the national park, for travelling along private roads and through protected facility

  • daily hiking and sea excursions 

  • group equipment rental

  • boat rental, fuel

  • visiting a steam bath (daily)

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

  • accident insurance (including the helicopter evacuation)

  • rent of insulated sleeping bag (+35 EURO)

  • transfer to/from the airport of Khabarovsk

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

  • three meals per day including fresh seafood and local delicacies

  • transfer from the hotel, transfers to the Sea of Okhotsk shore by minibus

  • guides and cooks' services

  • permission for visiting the national park, for travelling along private roads and through protected facility

  • daily hiking and sea excursions 

  • group equipment rental

  • boat rental, fuel

  • visiting a steam bath (daily)

  • 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

  • accident insurance (including the helicopter evacuation)

  • rent of insulated sleeping bag (+35 EURO)

  • transfer to/from the airport of Khabarovsk

19 Jul 2020, Sun — 29 Jul 2020, Wed
209 305 RUB
20 Aug 2020, Thu — 30 Aug 2020, Sun
209 305 RUB
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