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Kamchatka coast: Siberia's Forgotten Coast
13 days 12 nights
Cruise from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Anadyr
A truly unique cruise to the place where Siberia's eastern coastline teems with wildlife including brown bears, walrus, a range of birdlife including the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper and the majestic Steller's Sea Eagle, surrounded by spectacular volcanoes, fjords and rolling tundra.
PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY • Zhupanova River • Commander Islands • Karaginskiy Island • Govena Peninsul • Bukhta Natalii • Bukhta Natalii • Anadyr
Siberia's eastern coastline is undoubtedly one of the most remote and least visited regions of the globe. It is home to several groups of indigenous people, including the Itelmen, Koryak, Even and Chukchi. Fur trappers and sealers plundered the regions natural resources in the name of the Tsar in the early 17th Century. Stalin and subsequent leaders encouraged economic development in this part of the Soviet Union. Soviet towns were built, bonuses were paid to those who would immigrate and work there and attempts were made to collectivise the traditional way of life. As the iron curtain was drawn and the Cold War escalated, this region became forbidden territory. Travel to and within the area was strictly controlled, the number of military installations increased, early radar warning stations proliferated and Russia's Pacific fleet patrolled the coastline.
This all changed in the early 1990s with Perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Military installations were abandoned, there were mass migrations of workers back west and towns and industries were simply abandoned. As the heavily subsided economy collapsed the indigenous people were forced back to traditional ways of life but permits to travel through the area did become a little easier to obtain. Twenty five years on, travel through this region is still heavily regulated and virtually impossible for the independent traveller. There is little or no infrastructure, only a few kilometres of road, no hotels apart from in the main towns of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy and Anadyr. These towns have scheduled air services, but access to the rest of the region either by air or sea even for locals is at best ‘unpredictable'.
Throughout its chequered human history its rich natural history has largely gone unnoticed and unknown by the rest of the world. It is an amazing coastline dominated by the volcanoes of Kamchatka in the south, the fiords of what was formally the Koryak region and the rich estuarine areas and tundra of Chukotka. This coastline has one of the most diverse assemblages of wildlife and habitats of anywhere of a similar latitude on the globe and virtually no people or visitors to disturb them. One of the most iconic species is the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper that is endemic to the region. For the past 5 years we have supported BirdLife International and Birds Russia research teams working on this species. Our expedition not only continues that support but it expands it to include other seabirds and waders as researchers monitor potential changes in their populations and distribution due to a variety of reasons including climate change.
Day 1: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy
Arrive into Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, the capital and administrative centre of the Kamchatka Region and transfer to the port to board the Spirit of Enderby.
Day 2: Zhupanova River
We plan to spend the morning Zodiac cruising on the Zhupanova River. Our main target here is the Steller’s Sea Eagle and there are usually some occupied nests close to the river. Good numbers of Largha Seals are also often hauled out on sandbars in the river and we should see a good variety of waterfowl and waders. By late afternoon, we should be over deep water heading for the Commander Islands and new species to look for include Laysan Albatross, Mottled Petrel and the Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel. The Kamchatka Trench can also be excellent for cetaceans and we have previously seen Blue Whales on this crossing.
Days 3 to 4: Commander Islands
The wildlife-rich Commander Islands were first discovered by the Commander Vitus Bering when his ship was wrecked here in 1741. We intend to explore the islands through a combination of landings and Zodiac cruises and our first stop will be the village of Nikolskoye, where there is an interesting museum. Zodiac cruising is often spectacular and we hope to encounter Red-faced Cormorant, Red-legged Kittiwake, Pigeon Guillemot, Horned Puffin, as well as Parakeet, Crested and Whiskered Auklets and Sea Otters. Our plans also include a ship cruise along the southern coast of Bering Island, as this area is excellent for cetaceans with Humpback, Sperm, Northern Minke, Orcas and Baird’s Beaked Whales all regularly encountered.
Day 5: Karaginskiy Island
Our proposed landing site is a patchwork of boggy tundra, ponds and shingle spits where an interesting range of waders can be found including Pacific Golden Plover, Red-necked Stint and Red-necked Phalarope. We also hope to see Bluethroat and Pallas’ Reed Bunting.
Day 6: Verkhoturova Island and Govena Peninsula
Verkhoturova Island has some huge seabird colonies and by following a short trail to the cliff top we should be able to enjoy some fantastic views of Tufted Puffins, Brunnich’s Guillemots, Pelagic Cormorants and Black-legged Kittiwakes. Both Steller’s Eider and Harlequin Duck occur here too and we may also see some Steller Sea Lions, as they are often hauled out on some offshore rocks. Later in the day, there will be either a Zodiac cruise or landing on the Govena Peninsula. Good numbers of brown bears can often be found here.
Days 7 to 10: Koryak and Chukotka Coast
During these days of the expedition we will travel along this largely unknown part of the coast. It comprises deep forested fiords where we should see brown bears, Red Fox and with luck, mountain sheep and Kamchatka Marmots. In the many lagoons and shallow bays there is a vast array of birdlife including Tundra Bean Goose, Steller’s Eider, Great Knot, Long-tailed Stint, Gyrfalcon, Siberian Accentor and Asian Rosy Finch. This area is also a stronghold of the Kittlitz’s Murrelet and we should see several during our journey. In our previous expeditions we have explored much of this coastline, documenting the distribution and abundance of many species. In 2011 we recorded a previously unknown breeding population of Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Working alongside researchers from BirdLife International and Birds Russia who will be travelling with us, we plan to revisit many of these areas to monitor changes and search for new breeding colonies. There will be unique opportunities for photography, for hiking and ‘birding’ in country where literally only a few ‘westerners’ have ever been and we know there is a rich diversity of species.
Days 11 to 12: Meinypil’gyno
Meinypil’gyno, located on a 40km long shingle spit is the most important site in the world for breeding Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Here about fifteen pairs are monitored by members of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Recovery Taskforce. We will be guests of the Taskforce and if possible we may be guided to one of their monitored nests. The area is extremely rich in other wildlife, so we may also find Emperor Goose, Pacific Diver, White-billed Diver and Sandhill Crane. The lagoon entrance often has Largha Seal, Gray and Beluga Whales and a spectacular number of gulls.
Day 13: Cape Navarin and Keyngypilgyn Lagoon
This coastline is rich in marine mammals and one creature we will be looking for in particular, is the walrus, as there is a known haul out. The animals do regularly move between locations, so finding them is always very much a matter of luck, although we have had success here in the past. Good numbers of Gray Whales often congregate here too. To the north of Cape Navarin is Keyngypilgyn Lagoon. On previous visits we have found this an excellent location for waterfowl and waders including Emperor Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, Brent Geese, Whooper Swan, King Eiders, Red Knots and Aleutian Terns.
Day 14: Port of Anadyr
As we cruise into Anadyr Bay, there is an excellent chance of seeing more Beluga Whales and after a final breakfast on board the Spirit of Enderby, it will be time to disembark. We will provide complimentary transfers to a downtown hotel and the airport.
SPIRIT OF ENDERBY
Our cruise adventure ship, the 'Spirit of Enderby' is perfect for expedition travel. The real focus and emphasis is getting you ashore as often as possible for as long as possible with maximum safety and comfort. The expedition ship carries just 50 passengers in very comfortable accommodation (refurbished in New Zealand in Nov 2004). The cuisine is excellent and is prepared by top New Zealand and Australian chefs. Our cruise adventure are accompanied by some of the most experienced naturalists. Our guides have devoted a lifetime to field research in the areas that we visit. The cruise adventure ship is crewed by a very enthusiastic team and most experienced Russian Capitan.
The 'Spirit of Enderby' measures 72 metres in length and it is fully ice-strengthened. The cruise adventure ship powered by two 1,560 horse power diesel engines, its maximun speed is up to 12 knots. What makes this cruise adventure ship absolutely unique is the equipment we carry including:
• Our fleet of RIB’s, (rigid inflatable boats) sometimes referred to as zodiacs. These extremely safe and stable craft will land you at some of
the most amazing places.
• Our specially designed and built Hovercraft (two) give us unprecedented over ice capability in Antarctica allowing us to land in places
that are inaccessible to other ships.
The name 'Spirit of Enderby' honours the work and the vision of the Enderby Brothers of London. The Enderby Captains were at the forefront of Antarctic exploration for almost 40 years in the early 1800’s. The cruise adventure ship name also celebrates Enderby Island, arguably the greatest Subantarctic Island in the world.
CRUISE ADVENTURE SHIP SPIRIT OF ENDERBY TECHNICAL DETAILS
- Classification: Russian register KM ice class
- Year built: 1984
- Accommodation: 50 berths expedition
- Shipyard: Finland
- Main engines: power 2x1560 bhp (2x 1147 Kw)
- Register: Russia
- Maximum speed: 12 knots (2 engines)
- Cruising speed: 10 knots(one engine)
- Bunker capacity: 320 tons
Has a large lounge area, a separate bedroom with double bed, a single bed in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe, drawers. There is a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. There are large forward and side facing windows to allow great views.
Have a separate bedroom with a double bed and a single bed or a sofa in the lounge, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. The Mini Suites have windows.
Cabins 510, 517
Have two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
Upper deck and middle deck
Cabins 505, 509, 518, 521, 411, 421, 425, 426
Have bunks (an upper and lower berth), wardrobe, drawers, a desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
Cabins 413, 415, 418, 420
Have two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, a desk, washbasin and porthole. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main deck cabins.
Cabins 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 322, 326, 327, 331, 332, 337
Kamchatka Coast: Siberia's forgotten coast is available all year round on enquiry basis.
Please get in touch with our Destination Managers and they will put together a perfect holiday for you.
Included in price:
• Pre/post cruise transfers, all on board ship accommodation with meals and all expedition shore excursions
• Official visa invitations
• Full visa support
Not Included in the price:
• International/ domestic flights
• Charter flight option (1000 USD pp)
• Landing fee paid on board in cash (500 USD)
• Visa fees paid directly to the Consulate
• Travel insurance
• All items of a personal nature
• Optional kayaking programme
Travelling with children: the expedition is designed for adults, but may be suitable for mature teenagers. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please note that there is no on board children’s programme and children will be the responsibility of their parent or guardian whilst on board.
Flights: we arrange international flights to connect with the cruise, charter flights are also available to aid travel to destinations that are not always serviced with regular scheduled air services
Medical matters: the expedition is for persons in generally good health. We will be travelling to remote areas without sophisticated medical facilities. The ship has a medical officer and a small infirmary on board but medical attention is limited to basic care. The fee for medical services rendered or medicines supplied will be added to your account. You will be forwarded a link to a confidential medical questionnaire 4 months prior to departure which we ask that you and, in some cases, your doctor complete and return promptly to enable us to assess if there may be difficulties in you joining the expedition. If there is any substantial change in your medical circumstances between the completion of that document and the expedition departure it is important that you advise us accordingly
Travel insurance: You must have it! You may be barred from embarkation if you have no proof of adequate insurance including full medical evacuation cover. If you are arranging your own insurance, you should check that any pre-existing medical conditions are covered as well as all included activities such as snorkelling, landings, Zodiac excursions and charter flights. We recommend purchasing insurance at time of booking in the event of cancellation.
Cabins: Double beds are available in suite accommodation only. Single clients are matched with a sharer of the same gender in a twin-share cabin. Payment of a single supplement guarantees the sole use of a cabin (1.8 times the p/p rate for cabins, 2 times for suites
If you have any special requirements please let us know upon booking your cruise