In the Footsteps of Vitus Bering
• 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 Gray 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 Rubythroats, Black-legged Kittiwakes, and Crested or Whiskered Auklets.
• 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.
|Day 1||Nome, Alaska, U.S.A.|
|Day 2||Provideniya, Russia (Cross the International Date Line and lose a day)|
|Days 3 to 5||Chukotka Province, Russia|
|Day 6||Verkhoturova Island and Tymlat Village, Russia|
|Day 7||Karaginskiy Island, Russia|
|Day 8||Komander Islands, Bering Sea|
|Days 9 & 10||Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia|
|Day 11||Pertropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia|
|Days 12 to 15||Kuril Islands, Russia|
|Days 16 & 17||Sea of Okhotsk, Russia|
|Day 18||Otaru, Japan|
Once all guests have embarked, we depart on our spectacular '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.
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.
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:
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 lookout for walruses, brown bears and Beluga whales.
We plan to cruise and explore this region by Zodiac, hoping to spot many of its animal species, which include gray whales, walrus, reindeer and brown bears. Birders will be on the lookout for white-fronted bean geese and whooper swans.
Go ashore by Zodiac for nature walks amid a landscape surrounded by jagged peaks and steep cliffs, separated by valleys with waterfalls and tumbling streams.
A Zodiac cruise along the cliffs of Verkhoturova Island 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 warm local hospitality and a sampling of their food, which includes: salmon, navaga (a member of the cod family), herring, and caviar.
We may even be treated to a performance of folk songs and dance by the renowned cultural group “Mengo.”
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.
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:
Cruising by Zodiac we will get close to the many horned and tufted puffins.
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.
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:
Here we will have a chance to walk in the meadows and see the amazing landscape of extinct volcanoes and rugged coves.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Watch sea otters at play in the waters surrounding our Zodiacs, and observe the activities of the many cormorants that reside in the bird cliffs.
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.
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 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 and Siberian Rubythroats.
Yankicha 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.
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.
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.
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.
After breakfast, disembark the Silver Discoverer.
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
|Per Person USD|
Rates Arctic 2016
Special: Single Supplement reduced to 25% for Veranda and below.
Fares are cruise only. Single Occupancy and Third Guest Rates are available upon request.
There is NO Twinshare rate available on this ship and single supplement is 2x the Twin Price listed above.
All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.
Silver Discoverer Deck Plan
Silver Discoverer Suite Descriptions