silversea

HOKKAIDO (Otaru) To HOKKAIDO (Otaru)

RUSSIAN FAR EAST expedition cruise Silver Explorer

Take advantage of the brief summer thaw and travel to one of the least visited places on the planet. Extraordinarily far from mainland Russia, the RFE is a geothermal playground of hot springs and volcanoes, not to mention chock full of wildlife. Be on the lookout from your Zodiac for thousands of Northern fur seals and Steller sea lions, as well as parliaments of puffins and pods of breaching whales.
Voyage E1200618018

Book and pay in full by 03 January, 2019 and save 10%

Fares shown are per guest

Cruise itinerary

Our itineraries are second-to-none – below please find detailed information regarding ports of call, arrival and departure times, as well as supplemental information about the destinations you’ll visit
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Otaru is a small harbor city west of Sapporo. Famous for its many hills and a nearby ski resort, the town has been an important trade and herring fishing center. A wide canal that led from the port to the old town’s warehouses has been maintained for touristic purposes and the old stone or brick-built warehouses have been beautifully converted to restaurants and boutiques.
Korsakov is used as a technical stop for ships clearing in and out of Russia. In addition to being a port of call for these formalities, the city was once home to an Ainu fishing village frequented by regional traders and early Russian expeditions. History also suggests that there may have been a significant Japanese population here at one time with reports of a Japanese religious temple on record.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Piltun Lagoon is tucked into the remote northeastern shores of the immense Sakhalin Island in the Sea of Okhotsk. The shallow waters at the mouth of Piltun Lagoon are known to harbor a rare gray whale population. It is believed that the relatively warm waters are favored calving grounds for the whales. In the distance, across the slate-colored lagoon sits a tall lighthouse that acts as an excellent landmark on explorations ashore to find Steller Sea Eagles, Aleutian Terns, Pine Grosbeaks, Siberian Rubythroats and Dusky Warblers.
Iony (or Jonas) Island is a small and isolated point of land in the expansive Sea of Okhotsk. It is home to a Steller sea lion colony, but great numbers of Northern Fulmars and Brünnich’s Guillemots will be the first sign that the island is close at hand. On closer inspection it becomes obvious that the sea lions take up almost every available spot for resting close to the water. Overhead, guillemots and kittiwakes circle the cliffs by the thousands. Whiskered, Least and Parakeet Auklets fill the air and float in communal rafts on the water.
The city of Okhotsk is located on the banks of the Okhota River that gives its name to both the town and the surrounding sea. For many years Okhotsk was the most important port in the Russian Far East. It was from here that Vitus Bering left for his two expeditions in the early 18th century, but the town had lost its importance in the 19th century and today counts only about 4,000 inhabitants. The puddled, unpaved streets give visitors the feeling of having stepped back in time.
Researchers occasionally visit Talan to monitor the seabirds here including Steller’s Sea Eagles, Parakeet Auklets, Ancient Murrelets and Spectacled Guillemots. The breeding seabirds on the island have been counted for nearly 30 consecutive years. The counts have revealed that the number of Tufted Puffins has increased. At last tally 120,000 were breeding on Talan. In addition, Horned Puffin populations are stable at 80,000 individuals. However, the results are not always encouraging. Originally 1.5 million Crested Auklets were found breeding on Talan, and lately that number has been halved.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Three small islands form Utashud and seem to be the remnants of a former volcano raising 80 meters (262 feet) out of Vestinik Bay. Although the island is deprived of forest, fragments of giant petrified trees have been found on its shores. Utashud is one of the richest islands on the southeastern side of Kamchatka in terms of wildlife. The island is notable for its population of sea otters (up to 300 individuals). In fact, native people from Kamchatka used to visit this island to hunt for sea otters, valuing the thick fur of their pelts.
The Kamchatka Peninsula is part of the Eastern frontier of Russia. Due to its close proximity to the United States, the region has played a strategic role in the defense of Russian territory throughout modern history. As a result, the territory was closed for many years to foreigners and Russians alike. Fortunately, the region's isolated position played a significant role in preserving and protecting its unique wilderness and rich biodiversity. With few roads, most regional transportation is by plane, boat, or helicopter.

The near-perfect cone of Alaid volcano dominates Atlasova Island with its 2000-meter (6,500-foot) peak. It is the highest volcano in the Kuril Islands and over time generated the black lava beaches and the eroding Taketomi tufa limestone cone near the landing site. At one time a women’s prison, or gulag, was located on Atlasova. The women, many of them political prisoners during the Soviet rule, were sent here to raise foxes for fur. Peregrine Falcons can sometimes be spotted flying above the beach, while buzzards, Eurasian Wigeons, and Tufted Ducks have all been observed on the island.
Any articles published about the Kuril Islands are likely to linger over the impressive Yankicha Island. It is the southernmost of two islets forming Ushishir Island. Yankicha is distinct in having at its center a caldera that is accessible by small boat only during high tide. Inside this extraordinary lagoon are fumaroles and hot springs, both traces of the tremendous forces that created the island long ago. Fortunate visitors may encounter an Arctic fox or the rare Whiskered Auklet. Ashore it is also possible to see Arctic Warblers and Middendorff’s Grasshopper Warblers.
The oftentimes fog-shrouded coasts of Chirpoy Island teem with a profusion of wildlife including Steller sea lions, Northern Fulmars, kittiwakes, puffins and auklets. Whales, and specifically orcas, have also been seen around Chirpoy. The dramatic volcanic nature of the island is apparent in the subtly shaded layers of sediment flanking the sides of the active Snou volcano.
Thousands of Northern fur seals and Steller sea lions call Tyuleniy Island their home. The island is appropriately named, as the word tyuleniy means “seal” in Russian. During the summer months, tens of thousands of seals and sea lions haul ashore here during the breeding season. The cacophony of their barks, belches, grunts and groans is difficult to imagine. Bulls, their harems, and many thousands of young black pups all jostle for space on the crowded beaches that flank the small rocky island.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Otaru is a small harbor city west of Sapporo. Famous for its many hills and a nearby ski resort, the town has been an important trade and herring fishing center. A wide canal that led from the port to the old town’s warehouses has been maintained for touristic purposes and the old stone or brick-built warehouses have been beautifully converted to restaurants and boutiques.

SELECT YOUR SUITE AND REQUEST A QUOTE

Owner's Suite

728 ft² / 67m² including private balcony

From US$ 38,700 with early booking bonus
Grand Suite

618 ft² / 57m² including a private balcony

From US$ 33,300 with early booking bonus
Silver Suite

422 ft² / 39m² including 2 French balconies

From US$ 30,150 with early booking bonus
Medallion Suite

400 ft² / 37m² including a private balcony

From US$ 28,260 with early booking bonus
Veranda Suite

216 ft² / 20 m² including a french balcony

From US$ 23,850 with early booking bonus
Vista Suite

192 ft² / 18m² with large picture window

From US$ 16,920 with early booking bonus
View Suite

192 ft² / 18m² with view window

From US$ 16,200 with early booking bonus
Explorer Suite

190 ft² / 18 m² with view window

From US$ 14,940 with early booking bonus
Adventurer Suite

167 ft²/15 m² with 2 portholes

From US$ 14,400 with early booking bonus
Fares shown are per guest
  • *Excluding All Full World Cruise and Grand Voyages
  • *If required by air connection. Free Transfers, Hotel are available only for guests utilizing Silversea air offer. In case Promotional Flights are not available or for guests not utilizing the promotional bundle offer, we are pleased to offer a $1,500 Air credit. Terms and conditions.

Silver Explorer

Silversea’s purpose-built luxury Silver Explorer expedition cruise ship has been designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions.  A strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger vessels enables the Silver Explorer Expedition Cruise Ship to safely push through ice floes with ease. A fleet of 12 Zodiac boats allows Silversea Expedition guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations and an expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding to each unforgettable Silver Explorer luxury cruise adventure. 

Suites

Silversea's oceanview suites are some of the most spacious in cruising, and all include the services of a butler. Select your suite and Request a Quote - guests who book early are rewarded with the best fares and ability to select their desired suite.

Suites

Silversea's oceanview suites are some of the most spacious in cruising, and all include the services of a butler. Select your suite and Request a Quote - guests who book early are rewarded with the best fares and ability to select their desired suite.

Owner's Suite

728 ft² / 67m² including private balcony

From US$ 38,700 with early booking bonus
Grand Suite

618 ft² / 57m² including a private balcony

From US$ 33,300 with early booking bonus
Silver Suite

422 ft² / 39m² including 2 French balconies

From US$ 30,150 with early booking bonus
Medallion Suite

400 ft² / 37m² including a private balcony

From US$ 28,260 with early booking bonus
Veranda Suite

216 ft² / 20 m² including a french balcony

From US$ 23,850 with early booking bonus
Vista Suite

192 ft² / 18m² with large picture window

From US$ 16,920 with early booking bonus
View Suite

192 ft² / 18m² with view window

From US$ 16,200 with early booking bonus
Explorer Suite

190 ft² / 18 m² with view window

From US$ 14,940 with early booking bonus
Adventurer Suite

167 ft²/15 m² with 2 portholes

From US$ 14,400 with early booking bonus
Fares shown are per guest

Restaurants

Discover our collection of onboard venues where you'll enjoy spending time with like-minded travellers and of course, our personalized all-inclusive service.

Public Areas

Renowned for culinary excellence and innovative spirit, Silversea's luxury cruises offer a choice of open-seating dining options throughout the fleet, as well as several specialty venues aboard all non-expedition ships.

2 Hotels

Our land programmes (multi-day mid-, pre- or post-cruise) provide additional opportunities to discover more of the highlights and hidden treasures of the lands you visit.

Your expedition will lead to one discovery after another. A complimentary programme of unique, small-group shore experiences, led by team of expert guides and lectures, allows you to fully experience the lands you'll visit.

voyage highlights

Join us on a cruise around the Sea of Okhotsk, one of the least visited areas in the rarely visited Russian Far East. This voyage will offer dramatic scenery and marvellous opportunities for wildlife observation. With Okhotsk we visit a small town linked to Vitus Bering, with Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy we visit the cultural and political centre of Kamchatka, before heading south through the Kuril Islands, a geothermal wonderland of volcanoes and hot springs. During our voyage we will look out for whales, seals and huge populations of migratory seabirds. You can also learn about the history, geology, wildlife and botany of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by the knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.

Voyage Highlights:

Piltun Lagoon, Sakhalin Island, Russia
On the north-eastern shore of Sakhalin, the waters in front of Piltun Lagoon are known to have a grey whale population. Steller Sea Eagles and Aleutian Terns, as well as Pine Grosbeak, Siberian Rubythroat and Dusky Warblers frequent the area. A nearby lighthouse offers a panoramic view of the bay.

Iony Island, Russia
The small and isolated island in the Sea of Okhotsk is home to a Steller sea lion colony, but great numbers of Northern Fulmars and Brünnich’s Guillemots will be the first sign of the island.
Sea lions take up every single space imaginable close to the water, guillemots and kittiwakes will circle the cliffs by the thousands and Whiskered, Least and Parakeet Auklets will be seen in the air and floating as rafts in the water.

Shantar Islands, Russia
The Shantar Islands are in the westernmost part of the Sea of Okhotsk. The sea around these islands is frequented by minke whales and orcas. Several species of seals, including bearded, ringed, largha and ribbon seals can be observed as well.

Okhotsk, Russia
The city of Okhotsk is on the banks of the Okhota River (giving its name to the town and the sea). For many years the most important port in the Russian Far East, the 19th century brought a decline and today there are only some 4,000 inhabitants. It was from here that Vitus Bering left for his two expeditions in the early 18th century.

Utkholok Peninsula and Kvachina River, Russia
The Utkholok Peninsula at the western shore of Kamchatka produces a large percentage of all wild Pacific salmon and hosts the greatest diversity of salmon species on Earth. The Utkholok and Kvachina watersheds are among the most productive and best-protected steelhead rivers on the Peninsula. Apart from the salmon “riches” this is an important lowland tundra ecosystem of the western Kamchatka Peninsula and is one of Russia’s 35 RAMSAR sites.

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Kamchatka, Russia
Petropavlovsk, the town of Peter and Paul, derives is named from the two sailing ships used by Vitus Bering in 1740. It is the only major city on the peninsula and is also the scientific and cultural centre of the region with a museum of ethnography and natural history, an art school, the gold-domed Russian Orthodox Cathedral and a marketplace.

Yankicha Island, Russia
Yankicha is the southern part of Ushishir Island. The island is quite impressive — the southern part (Yankicha) has a caldera accessible only by Zodiac and only during high tide. Inside this extraordinary lagoon with its fumaroles and hot springs, one can still see traces of the tremendous forces that created the island long ago. The number of auklets breeding here is truly incredible.

Tyuleniy Island, Russia
Thousands of Northern fur seals and Steller sea lions call Tyuleniy Island their home - the word tyuleniy means “seal” in Russian. The island has one of the highest concentrations of Northern fur seals in the Russian Far East. During the summer months the island is home to literally tens of thousands of seals and sea lions. A small group of houses is sometimes used by researchers assessing the sea lion and seal populations. There are so many seals on the beach that a landing has been prohibited, as there is simply no space available.

 

Cultural Highlights:

  • Visit sites important to Vitus Bering’s exploration of the Russian Far East  

 

Wildlife Watch List:

  • Bearded, ringed, Largha and ribbon seals, Steller sea lions and sea otters
  • Grey whales, blue whales, humpback whales, orcas
  • Birds of note: Horned and Tufted Puffins; Ancient Murrelets; Rhinoceros Auklet, Parakeet Auklets, and Crested Auklets; Common, Brünnich’s and Spectacled Guillemots; Northern Fulmars; Steller’s Sea Eagles; Aleutian Terns, Pine Grosbeak, Siberian Rubythroat and Dusky Warblers  

 

Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

GEAR UP

Not sure what to wear while onboard? Visit our shop and gear up. We've got layers to keep you dry and warm, breezy wear to keep you covered and cool, and accessories to keep everything packed up and ready to go. So, no matter the weather, you'll be better prepared for your expedition.

Our Gear Shop has an expert outfitting staff and features all the essentials:

Clothes for all types of weather, boot rentals, accessories and more »

Packing List »

restaurants & public areas

Your time on board will be time well-spent. Discover the dining options where you'll savour culinary excellence, and the exciting venues where you'll mingle with international travellers while enjoying our all-inclusive lifestyle.