Our Russian Far East cruises explore some of the richest seas in the northern hemisphere and take us to remote lands, little explored by naturalists. Our Russia’s Ring of Fire cruise explores three quite distinct and unique geographical regions: the Kamchatka Peninsula, and the Commander and Kuril Islands. Referred to as the “Ring of Fire” for the prevalence of its active volcanoes, this wilderness still supports spectacular numbers of wildlife. These range from a dozen alcid species, including the highly sought-after Whiskered Auklet, to healthy Sea Otter and Orca populations. We also have excellent chances for finding a number of superb cetaceans, Steller’s Sea Lion and outstanding birds, such as Steller’s Sea Eagle, Short-tailed Albatross and numerous Asian passerines.
Little known outside of Russia and seldom visited by westerners, Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk dominates the Northwest Pacific. Bounded to the north and west by the Russian continent and the Kamchatka Peninsula to the east, with the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin Island guarding the southern border, it is almost entirely landlocked. Its coasts were once home to a number of groups of indigenous people: the Nivkhi, Oroki, Even and Itelmen, and their traditional name for this sea simply translates as ‘Sea of Hunters’ or ‘Hunters Sea’, which gives us a clue as to the abundant wildlife to be found here.
Siberia’s Forgotten Coast expedition takes us to one of the remotest coastlines on earth in search of some very special birds and wildlife. Primary on our list of targets is the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper, of which fewer than 200 pairs are thought to now make the annual migration to Northern Kamchatka and Chukotka to breed. Other potential highlights on this epic adventure include an incredible 13 species of alcids, Red-legged Kittiwake and Emperor Goose. The seas also support a rich diversity of cetaceans, while on the surrounding coastline we will look for Brown Bear, Kamchatka Marmot and Arctic Fox.
Our Jewel of the Russian Far East cruise explores a previously off-limits area to foreigners and includes the Koryak and Kamchatka coastlines, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, as well as two full days at the Commander Islands. Birdlife is prolific with thousands upon thousands of birds migrating to the region in Spring and Summer to take advantage of the abundant food in the surrounding seas.
Across the Top of the World – Wrangel and Herald Islands takes us literally across the top of the world as we sail through the Bering Straights to Wrangel and Herald Islands, home to high densities of Polar Bears, Walrus, Musk Ox, Snowy Owl, Snow Goose, Ross’s and Ivory Gulls and other High Arctic fauna. In fact research shows that Woolly Mammoths survived on Wrangel until 1,650BC, thousands of years after dying out elsewhere! This fascinating voyage is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to visit the world’s most remote inhabited region.