silversea

Otaru To Petropavlovsk (Kamchatsky)

RUSSIAN FAR EAST expedition cruise Silver Explorer

Take advantage of the mid-summer sun and travel on nature’s terms. This is one of the world’s great journeys, an expedition that beckons nature lovers, history buffs and the intrepid explorer within. Marvel at spectacular natural landscapes, pristine tundra and massive volcanoes, spot a multitude of rare bird species without forgetting to enjoy some of the delicious fresh local caviar and vodka.
Voyage 7814

Book by 15 July, 2018 and enjoy $1,000 onboard credit per suite and one-category suite upgrade*

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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.
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.
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.
Close to Matua are the Lovyshki Islands of the central Kuril Islands archipelago in far eastern Russia. The Lovyshki Islands are comprised of clusters of rocks grouped together, making them a natural home to huge populations of sea mammals and birds. At Skaly Lovyshky visitors may see Northern fur seals and Steller sea lions. Pigeon Guillemots, smaller dark grey water birds with white wings and bright red feet, may also be spotted as they swim around the rocky outcrops of the islands.
Onekotan is one of the northernmost of the Kuril Islands, located southwest of Kamchatka’s southern tip. Although uninhabited now, the name refers to a former village: Onekotan had been settled by the Ainu until the 1880s. The island has two prominent stratovolcanoes, with a lake in each of the calderas, and several rivers. Despite strong winds, Siberian dwarf pine does grow in protected gullies. Peregrine Falcon, Tufted Puffins and Wagtails can often be seen along the beach and open areas near the river mouths.
Makanrushi is another uninhabited volcanic island. North of the Evreinov Strait, It is a roughly rectangular island with almost 50 sq. kilometres. As there are no sandy beaches, but mostly steep cliffs, we will intend a ship or Zodiac cruise along the shore and hope to have good views of the island’s highest peak.
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.
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.
South of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy is the 15 kilometre long Ruskaya Bay. The northeast to southwest direction and narrow body of water have made this bay a perfect place to look for shelter in foul weather -and fishing fleets and WWII convoys headed for Vladivostok have made ample use of the bay. Two shipwrecks can still be seen close to the bay’s southeastern shore. A river, used as a source of freshwater in former times, meanders through the valley and with our Zodiacs we will have to see how far we can explore, or if we hike to the small stands of trees found there.
Northeast of Petropavlovsk, on the eastern side of the Kamchatka Peninsula, is the mighty Zhupanova River. Strewn with ever changing shallows and sand bars, the 160-kilometer (100-mile) long river is used year-round by rainbow trout. Anglers are attracted by the pink, cherry, coho, dog and red salmon, as well as Arctic and white-spotted char. At the mouth of the river is a fish processing factory that is busy with local salmon during the summer season. Kamchatka brown bears also like salmon and there is a high chance of spotting a Steller’s Sea-Eagle fishing the river.
On the east side of Bering Island is Commander Bay (Komandor Bay) and Vitus Bering’s final resting place on this windswept isolated island after his ship, the St Peter, was wrecked. Despite trying to survive on seaweed and the now-extinct Steller’s Sea Cow, Bering and several of his men perished here. These days Commander Island is protected as a Nature Reserve. A small monument accompanies the graves of Bering and the men who died there. Close to the graves is a creek that runs into Commander Bay and teems with salmon.
Today we intend to visit a Steller sea lion rookery on the north side of Cape Severozapadniy. If we manage to land, we will walk along a sometimes waterlogged dirt road which leads to a blind overlooking the rookery. Apart from the sea lions arctic foxes can often be seen – they are curious, and will watch us from a safe distance.
Located just over 100 nautical miles off the coast of Kamchatka, the Komandorski or Commander Islands are named after Vitus Bering who as a commander had been commissioned by the Russian Tsar to search for a land bridge between Asia and America. Nikolskoye is a settlement of around 750 inhabitants established in 1826 by fur traders. This fishing village on Bering Island has colorful buildings and an Orthodox Church – one of Russia’s newest and one of the eastern-most.
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.

SELECT YOUR SUITE AND REQUEST A QUOTE

Owner's Suite

728 ft² / 67m² including private balcony

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Grand Suite

618 ft² / 57m² including a private balcony

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Silver Suite

422 ft² / 39m² including 2 French balconies

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Medallion Suite

400 ft² / 37m² including a private balcony

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Veranda Suite

206-216 ft² / 19-20m² including a French balcony

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Vista Suite

192 ft² / 18m² with large picture window

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View Suite

192 ft² / 18m² with view window

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Explorer Suite

175-190 ft² / 16-18m² with view window

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Adventurer Suite

157-167 ft²/14-15 m² with 2 portholes

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Fares shown are per guest

included in the cruise fare

  • Personalised service – the best crew-to-guest ratio in expedition cruising
  • Butler service in every suite and stateroom – all guests are pampered equally
  • Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar
  • In-suite dining and room service – available 24 hours aboard Silver Explorer, and from 06:00 to 23:00 aboard Silver Galapagos and Silver Discoverer
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Gratuities always included in your fare
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Complimentary Parka
  • *If the one-category upgrade is not available, guests receive instead $500 onboard credit per suite for a total of $1,500 onboard credit per suite.

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.

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

Day 1 — Otaru, Japan
Once all guests have embarked, a mandatory safety drill will be conducted before Silver Explorer leaves Otaru.

You will then be introduced to important members of the crew and your Expedition Team. We will have a sail away cocktail while we depart on our spectacular expedition “Expedition Kurils and Kamchatka”.

Tonight we invite you to familiarise yourself with your new home away from home, meet some of your fellow travellers, and enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.

Day 2 — Korsakov, Russia
During the morning you can relax, have a leisurely breakfast and attend the first of several lectures about the Russian Far East, its history, its people and above all its wildlife.

Korsakov once served as a penal colony and achieved literary fame after a travel report by Anton Chekhov. We will have enough time to get a glimpse of this city during an afternoon excursion with a cultural program. We intend to see Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk's beautiful Cathedral of the Resurrection. The church was only completed in 1995, and the gold on the onion domes has very recently been laid, shining brilliantly. From the church continue to the Sakhalin Regional Museum, which is housed in a beautiful Japanese-style structure, due to the previous ruling of its southern neighbour. The museum covers all the facets of Sakhalin Island, from its flora and fauna, to its geology and history and its indigenous populations. At the Gagarin Park, with its adventure playgrounds and numerous beer and barbeque spots, the afternoon might end with a traditional performance of Russian song and dance.

Day 3 - Tyuleniy Island
Located off the East coast of Sakhalin Island in the Sea of Okhotsk, we can witness a natural paradise – this small island of only 2 sq. kilometres is an ideal place to observe large colonies of estimated more than 250,000 Northern fur seals and Steller sea lions, as well as tens of thousands of Common Guillemots and Black-legged Kittiwakes that have made their nests in the cliffs above. We will take our Zodiacs to cruise along the shore and marvel at the unbelievable amount of birds and mammals.
 
Day 4 – At sea
Our lecturers will take this day at sea to present lectures, seminars, and discussions about the Russian Far East and the impact human exploration has had in the different areas we have seen and intend to visit.

If you would like to relax, you can make use of the Spa, the Connoisseurs Corner, use the Fitness Centre or simply take in the fresh air on the Sun Deck. Enjoy lunch al fresco and meet with new friends for a cocktail.
                                                                                                                                                                                            
Day 5 — Yankicha Island and Lovyshky Islands
Yankicha is a fascinating place. It is actually a flooded volcanic caldera, accessible only by Zodiac and only during high tide. Once inside the magnificent lagoon, we can still see – in the fumarole fields and hot springs – traces of the tremendous forces that created the island long ago. The island is also home to thousands of Crested Auklets and we may catch a glimpse of an Arctic fox or even the rare and elusive Whiskered Auklets during our nature walks. 

With our Zodiacs we will approach the Lovyshky Islands, a clusters of rocks home to huge populations of sea mammals and birds. At Skaly Lovyshky we will go in search of Northern fur seals and Steller sea lions and hope to get good views of the Pigeon Guillemots that often swim around the rocky outcrops of the islands

Day 6 – Lovyshky Islands and Makanrushi Island 
With our Zodiacs we will attempt to land at Onekotan to offer a hike and a leisurely amble looking for birds on the wing and the wild flowers in bloom. .

Makanrushi, our evening stop, is another uninhabited volcanic island. North of the Evreinov Strait, It is a roughly rectangular island with almost 50 sq. kilometres. As there are no sandy beaches, but mostly steep cliffs, we will intend a ship or Zodiac cruise along the shore and hope to have good views of the island’s highest peak.

Day 7 — Atlasova Island and Utashud
Alaid on Atlasova Island is the highest volcano in the Kuril chain with a height of over 2,000 metres. Together with our expedition staff we land by Zodiac on the black lava beach of the island, from where we will begin our walk to see the remains of the Taketomi tufa cone.

In the late morning Silver Explorer will continue north towards our next stop at the Utashud Islands.
The Utashud Islands are a small cluster of islets off the coast of Kamchatka with spectacular scenery. The islands feature gentle slopes and steep cliffs which make them ideal habitat for various seabird species. Harbour and possibly spotted seals are plentiful along the shores.  An old rusty ship wreck could be seen on the southwestern side of one of the island slabs.

Day 8 — Ruskaya Bay, Russia
South of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy is the 15 kilometre long Ruskaya Bay. The northeast to southwest direction and narrow body of water have made this bay a perfect place to look for shelter in foul weather -and fishing fleets and WWII convoys headed for Vladivostok have made ample use of the bay. Two shipwrecks can still be seen close to the bay’s southeastern shore. A river, used as a source of freshwater in former times, meanders through the valley.

Day 9 — Zhupanova River,  Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
By cruising the river with our highly manoeuvrable Zodiacs, we will have the ability to stop and go ashore wherever we expect to find the best birding and nature walks. Heading upstream, we are likely to spot up to 40 different bird species and may even see brown bears fishing for salmon in the river. Our main goal today is to spot Steller Sea Eagles. This majestic bird is known to frequent this area, and we hope to have good views of at least one of the eagles. 

Day 10 — Commander Bay, Bering Sea
The Komandorskiye or Commander Islands are named after famed Commander Vitus Bering who had been commissioned by the Russian Tsar to search for a land bridge between Asia and America. After having been to Alaska he was forced to overwinter here. He was buried on the island, but part of the crew managed to return to Petropavlovsk. We will try to go ashore to see the graves of Bering and some of his crew.

Day 11 — Cape Severozapadniy and Nikolskoye, Komandorskiye Islands, Bering Sea.
Today we intend to visit a Steller sea lion rookery on the north side of Cape Severozapadniy. If we manage to land, we will walk along a sometimes waterlogged dirt road which leads to a blind overlooking the rookery. Apart from the sea lions arctic foxes can often be seen – they are curious, and will watch us from a safe distance. 

Before lunch Silver Explorer will sail to Nikolskoye, which was established in 1826 by fur traders. This fishing village on Bering Island has colourful buildings and an Orthodox Church -one of Russia’s newest and one of the eastern-most- and a small museum where we will learn about the Aleut people and their culture. It also contains much information on Bering, as well as the bones of a Steller’s sea cow.

Day 12 — At sea and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia                 
We will spend the last day aboard Silver Explorer, sailing for Petropavlovsk, the only major city on the peninsula and one of the oldest towns in the Russian Far East. It is also the scientific and cultural centre of the region, with a museum of ethnography and natural history, an art school, a gold-domed Orthodox cathedral.
 
Aboard Silver Explorer attend final lectures and discussions about the area you have travelled through, edit some of the many photos taken and join the onboard Videographer for the documentary of our voyage along the Kuril Islands and Kamchatka.

We will arrive in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy in the late afternoon.

Day 13 — Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia      
After breakfast, disembark Silver Explorer.

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, wildlife activity and ice conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

GEAR UP

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