Kuril Islands

Sylvia Earle Premium Arctic Expedition Ship
Sylvia Earle
132 Passengers
Starting 2022 Season

Draped across the north Pacific Ocean from Hokkaido, Japan, to Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, the 22 islands and 30 islets of the Kuril Islands form a necklace of active volcanoes and sea-sculpted coastlines waiting to be explored. Nutrient-rich waters washing this ‘Pacific Rim of Fire’ teem with marine life, from sea otters to harbor seals, Steller sea lions to orcas, Dall’s porpoise to beaked and sperm whales. The islands form a natural ‘flyway’ for migratory birds including both horned and tufted puffins, whiskered and rhinoceros auklets and exquisite little murrelets. You’ll Zodiac into flooded calderas, beneath soaring bird cliffs, to landings where brown bears fish for salmon. The fittest may even attempt to climb a volcano. Every day brings new adventure.


HIGHLIGHTS
• Marveling at the sun-kissed beauty of snow-capped volcanoes, slowly revealed by rising sea mists
• Supercharged birdwatching along a migratory flyway alive with Siberian ruby throats, rough legged buzzards, snow buntings, spectacled pigeons, tufted puffins and rhinoceros auklets
• Zodiac cruising through waters boiling with Steller sea lions and pups, thousands of crested auklets and into the flooded caldera of Broutana Bay, an abandoned, secret submarine base from Soviet time
• Trekking through a kaleidoscope of landscapes, from megaherb and coniferous forests to grasslands, lava fields and the flanks of active volcanoes. Watch for brown bears and cubs, and historical remains of Ainu (indigenous Japanese) settlements and World War II battles

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Tokyo, Japan
Day 2 Fly to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy for embarkation
Days 3 & 4 Russkaya Bay & Vestnik Bay
Day 5 Shumshu Island, Ataslova Island
Day 6 Onekotan Island
Day 7 Ekarma Island; Shiashkotan Island
Day 8 Srednego Islands; Lovyshki Island
Day 9 Yankicha Island
Day 10 Brat Chirpoyev, Chirpoy Island
Day 11 Bliznecy Island, Novokuril'skaya Bay (Urup Island)
Day 12 Tyuleniy Island
Day 13 Moneron Island
Day 14 Korsakov
Day 15 Disembark in Otaru, Japan

Day 1 — Tokyo

Check-in at Hotel Nikko Narita Airport. At our voyage briefing, enjoy a welcome drink and meet fellow expeditioners, before spending the night in preparation for your charter flight to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy.

Day 2 — Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy

Board our charter flight to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy to embark the Sylvia Earle. After boarding, there is time to settle into your cabin before our important safety briefings. This evening meet your expedition team and crew at the captain’s welcome dinner.

Days 3 & 4 — Russkaya Bay & Vestnik Bay

Lush valleys and snow-capped volcanoes welcome you to Kamchatka’s east coast, where brown bears feast on berries and salmon. In Vestnik Bay, we explore the coast of Utashud Island by Zodiac, home to shy otters, Steller sea lions, seabirds and Kamchatka brown bears. Rounding Cape Lopatka, Kamchatka’s most southern point, you land in Kambalnyi Bay, to stretch your legs beneath the magnificent, 7,100 ft (2,161m) volcano, Kambal'naya Sopka. Across Kuril Strait, cruise kelp beds off Shumshu Island in search of curious otters ferrying pups, and the bobbing heads of spotted seals. Explore the bird cliffs of Ptichi Islands alive with puffins.

Day 5 — Shumshu Island, Ataslova Island

Ashore, on Shumshu, a peaceful river snakes through grassy wetlands where lady-slipper orchids and wild roses bloom. On Atlasova, you land beneath a wind-sculpted hill of volcanic ash to explore remains of a Soviet gulag in the shadow of a near-perfect 7,675 ft (2,339m) volcano, Alaid, the highest in the Kurils. You’ll watch for nesting cormorants, buzzards, Eurasian wigeons, and tufted ducks, while peregrine falcons sometimes soar above the beach.

Day 6 — Onekotan Island

Hike across Onekotan’s tundra, as it wakes to summer, and through bonsai pine forests to Black Lake, watching for red foxes and remains of Ainu dwellings. From Onekotan Island, we explore the coastline of nearby volcanic Kharimkotan or Makanrushi Islands by Zodiac.

Day 7 — Ekarma Island; Shiashkotan Island

Explore Ekarma, sanctuary to many birds, including puffins, auklets, fulmars and cormorants. Sea otters swim just off the northeastern cape. Vast nesting colonies of storm petrels and remains of Ainu villages await you on Shiashkotan.

Day 8 — Srednego Islands; Lovyshki Island

Zodiac cruised around the rugged columnar stacks of the Srednego Islands, home to thousands of nesting seabirds including northern fulmars, guillemots, black-legged kittiwakes, and whiskered auklets. Nearby Lovyshik Islands are small, often fog-bound, rocky islets where you are approached by boisterous Steller sea lions northern fur seals.

Day 9 — Yankicha Island

Intriguing and beautiful, this uninhabited island hides a flooded volcanic caldera of emerald green waters. Accessible by Zodiac only at high tide, the lagoon, offers you fumarole fields, hot springs and bubbles rising from the sea floor. Walk to the crater rim in search of blue foxes, while at dusk, watch as spectacular concentrations of crested and whiskered auklets stream back from the sea.

Day 10 — Brat Chirpoyev, Chirpoy Island

Evocative mists often engulf Chirpoy islands, lifting to reveal dramatic basalt columns of Brat Chirpoyev as you approach by Zodiac, surrounded by thousands of northern fulmars, kittiwakes, the odd puffin and sea otters. Otherworldly roars herald the Steller’s sea lion colony on Chirpoy, with the promise of a hike up the flanks of an active volcano when you land.

Day 11 — Bliznecy Island, Novokuril'skaya Bay (Urup Island)

Urup offers 75 miles (120 km) of stunning volcanoes, lush vegetation, lakes and rivers. Cruise the ‘Twins’, a geological wonderland of twisted basalt sea cliffs, hike to Japanese bunkers with spectacular views and tufted puffin nests. On the west coast, you may Zodiac through basalt tunnels of Petroskov Rocks.

Day 12 — Tyuleniy Island

Meaning seal in Russian, Tyuleniy attracts as many as 250,000 individuals that gather here each summer during their breeding season. You’ll be greeted by a cacophony of barks as you approach the island by Zodiac. Search the sea cliffs for nesting black-legged kittiwakes; crested, whiskered and rhinoceros auklets; tufted puffins, common and thick-billed murres, and ancient murrelets.

Day 13 — Moneron Island

Located in Sakhalin Oblast region, Moneron Island is an uninhabited nature reserve that features a fascinating mix of both Russian and Japanese monuments and landmarks including a Japanese Shinto temple, pedestrian bridge, a Russian cemetery and the remains of a Soviet frontier post dating back to the 1940s. The clarity of the water surrounding Moneron Island comes from the pure water that flows directly from the mountains into the sea. On walks and by Zodiac, we discover the island’s waterfalls and rock shelters, and search for kittiwakes, black-tailed gulls, cormorants horned puffins, and the rare long-billed sea parrot.

Day 14 — Korsakov

At Korsakov, at the southern tip of Sakhalin Island, we clear Russian customs for entry into Japan. For much of its history, control of Korasakov oscillated between Japan and Russia, until the town was ceded to the Soviet Union at end of World War Two. You might explore the port town while the Sylvia Earle finalizes its exit clearance before departing for Otaru, Japan.

Day 15 — Otaru

Disembark in the harbor city of Otaru, Hokkaido. Transfer to Sapporo to continue your journey.

Note: In the spirit of expedition travel, we encourage exploration and adventure offering flexibility in challenging environments. This itinerary is only a guide and is subject to change due to weather, sea and other conditions beyond our control.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Rates Arctic 2022
Aurora Stateroom Triple
Aurora Stateroom Twin
Aurora Superior Stateroom
Balcony Stateroom C
Balcony Stateroom B
Balcony Stateroom A
Superior Balcony Stateroom
Junior Suite
Captain's Suite
Kayak
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 $15,495$13,171$16,395 $16,795$13,436$17,795$13,346$19,095$14,321$20,895$16,716$26,095$22,181$30,895$26,261
Kayak
Charter Air: Tokyo-Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy / Nome-Anchorage

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$15,995 $16,395$14,756$17,295 $17,795$14,236$18,795$15,036$20,095$16,076$21,995$18,696$27,595$22,076$32,695$27,791
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Kayak, Snorkeling
Charter Air: Anchorage-Nome / Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy-Tokyo

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Kayak, Snorkeling
Charter Air: Tokyo-Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy

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International Airfare Not Included. Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single occupancy cabin pricing surcharges arw an additional 50%. Twin share, with no supplement, is available in Aurora Stateroom and Balcony Stateroom categories.

Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Optional Activities: Kayaking- Kamchatka & Chukotka, Chukotka & Kamchatka ($940), Kuril Islands ($870). Photography Free. Snorkeling- Chukotka & Kamchatka ($650), Kuril Islands ($580).

Gratuities for ship crew included.

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance Required. All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

DeckPlan_SylviaEarle

Cabin Descriptions

         Captain's Suite *
480 Sq Ft / 44.5 m² including balcony
Deck 4
The largest of all our rooms, the singular Captain's Suite will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite.
Twin or king bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • Separate lounge area • 42" flat-screen TV
         Junior Suite *
450-470 Sq Ft / 42-43.5 m² including balcony
Deck 7
The four Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage points on Deck 7. When you aren't enjoying a landing, you can relax in the suites' separate lounge area, or just watch the world float by from the private balcony.
Twin or king bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV • Separate lounge area
         Superior Balcony Stateroom
300-405 Sq Ft / 28-37.7 m² including balcony
Decks 4 and 6
With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Balcony Stateroom Superior cabins are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. The Staterooms feature floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area. Some of these rooms are equipped with wheelchair accessible bathrooms.
Twin or double bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV
         Balcony Stateroom-A, Balcony Stateroom-B, Balcony Stateroom-C
225-270 Sq Ft / 21-24.8 m² including balcony
Decks 4 & 6
Our 23 Balcony Stateroom–A cabins are our premium cabin, and the most abundant on board. These cabins are located in preferred positions which provide easy access between decks via the internal stairs or elevator.
Our 17 Balcony Stateroom–B Cabins are our standard cabin, many fitted with interconnecting features making them great for families or groups.
Our 11 Balcony Stateroom–C cabins are our most economical, fitted with all the necessities, and comfortable for up to 2 people.
Twin or double bed • Private En-suite • Floor to ceiling window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV
      Superior Stateroom
215-240 Sq Ft / 20-22.3 m²
Deck 7
With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Aurora Stateroom Superior are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. The Staterooms feature french balconies, floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area.
Twin or double bed (Three twin beds in Triple) • Private En-suite • Porthole window • Desk area • Closet space • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV
         Aurora Stateroom  Twin & Triple (on select voyages)
170-245 Sq Ft / 16.1-22.8 m²
Deck 3
There are two Aurora Stateroom Twin / Triple cabins each featuring portholes and private en-suites. They're close to the mudroom and loading platforms, perfect for adventurers who are looking for a comfortable base that's close to the action. NOTE: There are only 2 possible triple cabins — availability is very limited.
Twin or double bed (Three twin beds in Triple) • Private En-suite • Porthole window • Desk area • Closet space • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV

*

      Suite benefits include:
• One free pair of binoculars per suite
• 1-hour spa treatment (per person)
• Free stocked mini bar (Balcony & Junior stocked once, Captain’s replenished as needed)
• Gratuities/tips for crew included to the value of $15 per person per day
• 1 free bottle of champagne per suite