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Jewel of the Russian Far East (RFE12)
13 days/12 nights, from £5730 per person
Welcome to Far Eastern Russia! Step outside your comfort zone and embrace the vast, unspoiled wilderness on this 13 day adventure tour.
This itinerary is ideal for photographers and nature lovers; in the winter much of the shoreline is choked by ice, in the summer the lack of infrastructure means it is equally inaccessible. During spring and summer the region will have been a hive of activity. The thousands of birds that migrated here to take advantage of the phenomenal abundance of food will be preparing to leave. The reindeer and Mountain Sheep will be feeding in preparation for the harsh winter while the Brown Bears, which will have fed extensively on berries in the early summer, will be concentrated on the rivers and creeks and feeding on salmon. The late summer sun and the onset of autumn colours will make the landscape look like a picture postcard.
This is a fantastic journey you are sure to never forget.
Anadyr • Egvekinot • Bukhta Gavilla • Pika River and Meinypil’gyno • Bukhta Natalii • Tintikun Lagoon • Koryakskiy Reserve and Verhoturova Island • Karaginskiy Island • Commander Islands • Olga Bay • Zhupanova River and Bukhta Bechevinskaya • Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy
Day 1, ANADYR
Welcome to Anadyr, the administrative centre of the Chukotka region! Transfer to the Spirit of Enderby for introductory lectures, an introduction to the staff and ship, and a series of compulsory briefings and drills before you begin your adventure!
Day 2, EGVEKINOT
We spend the day in and around the town of Egvekinot on the shores of Kresta Bay. The town was built by Gulag prisoners who were then forced to construct a road to the mine. Explore the town which has an excellent museum. The town is only a few miles south of the Arctic Circle and today you will travel to the point where the Arctic Circle crosses the road to Lul’tin and beyond, allowing you to see and experience the tundra habitat which dominates much of Chukotka.
Day 3, BUKHTA GAVRIILA
The bukhta (or bay) was named after Commander Vitus Bering’s ship, the St Gabriel, of the First Kamchatka Expedition. This coastline is rich in marine mammals and one creature you will be looking for, in particular, is the walrus. Behind the expansive beach there is a lagoon the group can explore for waterfowl and waders. Cape Navarin marks the place where the land bridge to North America began when sea levels were much lower. Because of strong tides around the cape there is an abundance of food and it is not uncommon to see large numbers of seabirds and food numbers of Gray Whales which often congregate here too.
Day 4, PIKA RIVER & MEINYPIL'GYNO
We start the day with a visit to the delta of Pika River – a well known walrus haul out. Later in the day, we visit Meinypil’gyno, a small settlement located on a 40km long shingle spit. It is a traditional village although renovated under the recent Chukotka government; enjoy local hospitality from the village ensemble who perform some of their traditional dances.
Day 5, BUKHTA NATALII
Along the Koryak Coast there are many beautiful fiords (bukhtas or bays) and none are more beautiful than Bukhta Natalii. This fiord has two smaller fiords that drain into it from the south. Hike from one bay to another whilst surrounded by the magnificent mountain landscapes and tundra vegetation.
Day 6, TINTIKUN LAGOON
Much of the southern Govena Peninsula was recently made into a state reserve. There are a number of fiords included in the reserve; one of the most spectacular is Tintikun Lagoon which is one of the most picturesque locations found anywhere in the world. A large population of brown bears inhabits this area, if you are fortunate you should see a number of them.
Day 7, KORYAKSKIY RESERVE & VERHOTUROVA ISLAND
We will start the morning in Kamchatka Brown Bear country, an undisturbed habitat within the Koryakskiy Reserve, where the group will go bear watching. Brown bears frequently visit this area which is completely protected and rarely visited. In the afternoon visit Verkhoturova Island where Tufted and Horned Puffins, Pigeon, Common and Brunnich’s Guillemots and also Parakeet and Least Auklets can be seen. On nearby rocky islets there is a regular non-breeding haul out of Steller Sea Lions.
Day 8, KARAGINSKIY ISLAND
A few miles to the south of Verhoturova Island is the much larger Karaginskiy Island. Here you will encounter some of the first ‘forests’ of the voyage. This is a change from the tundra, a sure sign that you are getting further south. Autumn is the best time for the wild berries and you can marvel at the richness of the local flora, as many of them should be at their best.
Day 9 & 10, COMMANDER ISLANDS
The wildlife-rich Commander Islands were first discovered by Commander Vitus Bering when his ship was wrecked here in 1741. He perished on the island along with many of his men. The reports from those that survived led to a ‘fur rush’ and the settlement of the islands. There are two large islands (Bering and Medny) with two smaller islands Ariy Karmen and Toporkov. Explore the islands through a combination of landings and Zodiac cruises. Stop at the village of Nikolskoye and visit the fur seal rookery at North-West Cape and Zodiac cruise around the impressive bird colony at Ariy Kamen. The is also the possibility to visit the gravesite of Commander Vitus Bering or the remarkable Medny Island.
Day 11, OLGA BAY
Olga Bay is a part of the very large Kronotskiy Reserve, which also includes the world-famous Valley of the Geysers. The habitat has lush Kamchatka forests coming right down to the beach. The area around Olga Bay is frequented by large numbers of Gray Whales that are usually quite friendly to visiting boats. The rising volcanoes in the background will provide a beautiful setting to explore real Kamchatka wilderness.
Day 12, ZHUPANOVA RIVER & BUKHTA BECHEVINSKAYA
This morning the group will make their way along the Zhupanova River by Zodiac. This journey allows you to explore a river habitat which is common in Kamchatka. Steller’s Sea Eagles are known to nest in the lower reaches of the river.
Day 13, PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY
During the night the Spirit of Enderby will enter Avacha Bay which is one of the greatest natural harbours in the world. From here, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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
Jewel of the Russian Far East is available on enquiry basis - please get in touch with our Destination Managers and they will put together a holiday of a lifetime for you.
Included in price:
• Pr/post cruise transfers
• All on board ship accommodation and meals
• All expedition shore excursions
• Visa support
Tour Does Not Include:
• Visa fees
• Items of a personal nature (laundry, drinks, gratuities etc.)
• International/Domestic flights (please speak with us to get the best prices on flights added to your tour)
• Travel insurance