In the Footsteps of Vitus Bering

Silver Discoverer
Silver Discoverer

Expedition Highlights:
• Visit the very remote Russian Far East.
• Marvel at spectacular natural landscapes, pristine tundra and massive volcanoes.
• Travel along the historic routes of explorers and traders.
• Meet the indigenous Chukchi, Aleut and Koryak peoples .
• Be on the lookout for grey whales, reindeer, Arctic fox and brown bears.
• Photograph walrus haul-outs and black lava beaches.
• Identify countless birds including puffins, guillemots, cormorants, Steller’s sea eagle,
Brown-headed thrush, Siberian Ruby throats, Alder-thickets, Black-legged kittiwakes, and Crested or Whiskered Auklets.
• Fly to the Valley of the Geysers in the Kronotsky Nature Reserve on an optional helicopter excursion.
• Cruise and explore by Zodiac, watching for sea otters at play in the surrounding waters.
• See northern fur seals and Steller sea lions in their natural habitat.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1Nome, Alaska, U.S.A.
Day 2Provideniya, Russia (Cross the International Date Line and lose a day)
Days 3–5Chukotka Province, Russia
Day 6Verkhoturova Island and Tymlat Village, Russia
Day 7Karaginskiy Island, Russia
Day 8Komander Islands, Bering Sea
Days 9–10Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
Day 11Pertropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia
Days 12–15Kuril Islands, Russia
Days 16–17Sea of Okhotsk, Russia
Day 18Otaru, Japan

Day 1 — Nome, Alaska, U.S.A.

Once all guests have embarked, we depart on our spectacular 15-day, In the Footsteps of Vitus Bering expedition. This afternoon you will be introduced to your expedition team and participate in the safety drill. Tonight we invite you to familiarize yourself with your new home away from home, meet some of your fellow travelers, and enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.

Day 2 — Provideniya, Russia (Cross the International Date Line and lose a day)

Though today is technically considered Day 2 of our voyage, it is one very long day that includes crossing the International Date Line and approximately 19 hours cruising the Bering Sea before we arrive in Russia and the former Soviet military port of Provideniya. This coastal area is the easternmost point of the Chukotka region. After making our first shore landing by Zodiac, we will be treated to a cultural dance performance and join our local guides for a walking tour of the town and its small museum.

Days 3–5 — Chukotka Province, Russia

Today we begin our exploration of Russia’s remote northeast, specifically the land of the indigenous Chukchi people. Our adventures will be determined by weather, sea and wildlife conditions. So, in the true spirit of expedition cruising, we embrace this flexibility and pursue the best possible opportunities the day provides. Here are some of the places we hope to visit:

Gabriel Bay
Today we take a hike among the wetlands that dot the coastline, revealing the wildflowers that carpet the tundra, such as forget-me-nots and dwarf azaleas. The animals here regularly move between locations, so finding them is a matter of luck. However, we will be on the look out for walruses, brown bears and Beluga whales.

Dezneva Bay
We plan to cruise and explore this region by Zodiac, hoping to spot many of its animal species, which include grey whales, walrus, reindeer and brown bears. Birders will be on the lookout for white-fronted bean geese and whooper swans.

Lavrova Bay
Go ashore by Zodiac for nature walks amid a landscape surrounded by conical peaks and jagged cliffs, separated by valleys with waterfalls and tumbling streams.

Day 6 — Verkhoturova Island and Tymlat Village, Russia

A short hike up to the cliff tops of Verkhoturov will expose us to a magnificent seabird colony with fantastic views of Tufted Puffins, Brünnich's Guillemot, Pelagic Cormorants and Black-legged Kittiwakes.

Located in the Russian Far East on the Tymlat River that flows into the Bering Sea, is the Tymlat village. Arriving on Zodiac, we will be treated to some local hospitality and a sampling of their food, which includes: salmon, navaga (a member of the cod family), herring, and caviar. The renowned cultural group, “Mengo”, may even treat us to a performance of folk songs and dance.

Day 7 — Karaginskiy Island, Russia

Our proposed landing site is a patchwork of boggy tundra, ponds, and shingle spits. Mostly uninhabited, this is a great site to view an interesting range of waders including the Pacific Golden Plover, Red-necked Stint and Red-necked Phalarope.

Day 8 — Komander Islands, Bering Sea

The Komander 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. Again, our experiences will be determined by weather, wildlife and sea conditions. Here are some of the places we hope to visit:

Cap Severo-Zapadnyi
Cruising by Zodiac we will get close to the many horned and tufted puffins.

Nikolskoye
Established in 1826 by fur traders, this fishing village on Bering Island has a small museum where we will learn about the Aleut people and their culture. During our visit we will enjoy a concert and be entertained by a presentation of local games.

Days 9–10 — Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia

Scenic bays, picturesque waterfalls, and the rugged crater landscape of extinct volcanoes are characteristic of the panorama that awaits us. Here are some of the places we hope to visit:

Kamenistaya Bay
Here we will have a chance to walk in the meadows and see the amazing landscape of extinct volcanoes and rugged coves.

Chazma River
Follow the lead of the Expedition Team on a nature hike to the area’s hot springs. Birders will be keen to spot at least one Steller’s sea eagle – a species known to frequent this area, and incredibly impressive simply for its sheer size.

Morzovaya Bay
Be on the lookout for the Kamchatka brown bears that often can be seen along the bank of the river that flows into the bay. Here we can also see an abandoned trapper's hut and an old Japanese shipwreck.

Zhupanova River
By cruising the river with our highly maneuverable 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.

Day 11 — Pertropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia

Petropavlovsk is 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, and today we see just why that is, as our local guides take us on a comprehensive tour of the city’s highlights. We will visit the museum of ethnography and natural history, the art school, the gold-domed Orthodox cathedral and the marketplace.

As an exciting alternative to the complimentary city tour, guests have the option to book a helicopter excursion to the Valley of the Geysers in the Kronotsky Nature Reserve. These natural hot springs are a truly impressive spectacle and the steaming clouds of mist make it easy to understand why the indigenous people consider the valley an important sacred site.

Days 12–15 — Kuril Islands, Russia

This chain of volcanic islands stretches over 800 miles from the southern tip of the Kamchatka peninsula to the north-easternmost point of Japan, where the archipelago is instead known as the Chishima Islands. As we travel southward, here are some of the places we hope to visit:

Shumshu Island
Watch sea otters at play in the waters surrounding our Zodiacs, and observe the activities of the many cormorants that reside in the harbor-side bird cliffs.

Atlasova Island
At a height of over 2,000 meters, Alaid is the highest volcano in the Kurils. 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.

Lovyshki Islands
The clusters of rocks that comprise this island group are home to huge populations of sea mammals and birds. At Skala Luvushkky 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.

Matua Island
Matua is home to one of the Kuril’s most active volcanoes, with more than 14 documented eruptions in the past 250 years. We will learn about the Japanese military base that was set up here during WWII and how the Japanese used to capture geothermal heat from the volcano to keep the runway, which normally freezes over during winter, permanently usable. Hikers will be rewarded with good views of the abandoned military positions and hopefully get a glimpse of the island’s population of Brown-headed thrush, Siberian Ruby throats and Alder thickets.

Yankitcka Island
Yankitcka is a fascinating place. It is actually a sinking 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 (if we are lucky) we may also catch a glimpse of an Arctic fox or even the rare and elusive whiskered auklets during our nature walks.

Chirpoy Island
Huge numbers of fulmars, kittawakes, puffins, auklets and Steller sea lions are regularly seen in the area surrounding Chirpoy, and we will have the best opportunity to see them all by exploring with our Zodiacs.

Days 16–17 — Sea of Okhotsk, Russia

Tyuleniy Island
Located off the East coast of Sakhalin Island in the Sea of Okhotsk, we can witness a natural paradise – this small island (only 2 sq. km) is an ideal place to observe large colonies (over 250,000) of 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.

Korsakov, Russia
This port once served as a penal colony and achieved literary fame after a travel report by Anton Chekhov. We will have just enough time to get a glimpse of this city during a brief morning excursion before returning to the Silver Discoverer and beginning the process of immigration clearance out of Russia

Day 18 — Otaru, Japan

After breakfast, disembark the Silver Discoverer.

Note:

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.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

Only show rates under
$ X
Use the up/down arrows on your keyboard to adjust price.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2015
Explorer Suite
View Suite
Vista Suite
Veranda Suite
Medallion Suite
$8,950
 
$9,950
 
$14,850
 
$17,850
 
 
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

NOTE: If a Cabin Category is BLANK for a given date, it is waitlisted and not available at this time. Fares are cruise only. Single Occupancy and Third Guest Rates are available upon request.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.


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