KAMCHATKA COAST:

SIBERIA’S FORGOTTEN COAST 

 

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14 DAYS

Siberia’s eastern coastline is undoubtedly one of the most remote and least visited regions of the globe. It is home to several groups of indigenous people, including the Itelmen, Koryak, Even and Chukchi. Fur trappers and sealers plundered the regions natural resources in the name of the Tsar in the early 17th Century. Stalin and subsequent leaders encouraged economic development in this part of the Soviet Union. Soviet towns were built, bonuses were paid to those who would immigrate and work there and attempts were made to collectivise the traditional way of life.

ITINERARY SUMMARY

DayPlaceHighlights
Day 1Petropavlovsk- KamchatskiyTransfer in the capital and administrative centre of the Kamchatka region and embark on the Spirit of Enderby
Day 2Zhupanova River Zodiac cruise along the Zhupanova River keeping an eye out for the Steller Sea Eagle, Largha Seals, Laysan Albatross, Mottled Petrel and the Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels
Days 3-4Commander Islands Explore the wildlife-rich islands and learn about the history of them dating back to 1741
Day 5Karaginskiy Island This island landing site is a boggy tundra with an interesting range of waders can be found
Day 6Verkhoturova Island & Govena PeninsulaLarge seabird colonies are accompanied by Steller Sea Lions on Verkhoturova Island. The Govena Peninsula is known for it’s large numbers of brown bears
Days 7-10Koryak & Chukotka CoastExplore this unknown region of the coast featuring brown bears, Red Fox, Mountain sheep, Kamchatka Marmots & an abundance of bird life
Days 11-12Meinypil’gynoMost important site in the world for breeding Spoon-billed Sandpiper
Day 13Cape Navarin & Keyngypilgyn LagoonExplore the coastline rich in marine mammals and in particular the walrus
Day 14Port of AnadyrFarewell your fellow travellers and expedition crew as you disembark the Spirit of Enderby

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Ship Offering This Itinerary

Spirit of Enderby
Spirit of Enderby

The Spirit of Enderby is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and is perfect for expedition travel. She carries just 50 passengers and was refurbished in March 2013 to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows or portholes and ample storage space. On board there is a combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room. The cuisine is very good and is prepared by top NZ and Australian chefs.

The real focus and emphasis of every expedition is getting you into zodiacs, or ashore as often as possible for as long as possible with maximum safety and comfort. Our Expeditions are accompanied by some of the most experienced naturalists and guides, who have devoted a lifetime to field research in the areas that we visit. The ship is crewed by a very enthusiastic and experienced Russian Captain and crew.

Day 1 Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy

Spirit of Enderby Jewel's of the Arctic
Overview:

Arrive into Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, the capital and administrative centre of the Kamchatka Region and transfer to the port to board the Spirit of Enderby.

Day 2 Zhupanova River

Heritage Expeditions - Zhupanova River

Plan to spend the morning Zodiac cruising on the Zhupanova River. The main target here is the Steller’s Sea Eagle and there are usually some occupied nests close to the river. Good numbers of Largha Seals are also often hauled out on sandbars in the river along with a good variety of waterfowl and waders. By late afternoon, you should be over deep water heading for the Commander Islands and new species to look for include Laysan Albatross, Mottled Petrel and the Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel. The Kamchatka Trench can also be excellent for cetaceans and there have previously been Blue Whales on this crossing.

Days 3-4 Commander Islands

Sea lions from Commander Islands

The wildlife-rich Commander Islands were first discovered by the Commander Vitus Bering when his ship was wrecked here in 1741. Intend to explore the islands through a combination of landings and Zodiac cruises and the first stop will be the village of Nikolskoye, where there is an interesting museum. Zodiac cruising is often spectacular and the hope is to encounter Red-faced Cormorant, Red-legged Kittiwake, Pigeon Guillemot, Horned Puffin, as well as Parakeet, Crested and Whiskered Auklets and Sea Otters. Plans also include a ship cruise along the southern coast of Bering Island, as this area is excellent for cetaceans with Humpback, Sperm, Northern Minke, Orcas and Baird’s Beaked Whales all regularly encountered.

Day 5 Karaginskiy Island

Heritage Expeditions

The proposed landing site is a patchwork of boggy tundra, ponds and shingle spits where an interesting range of waders can be found including Pacific Golden Plover, Red-necked Stint and Red-necked Phalarope. The hope is to also see Bluethroat and Pallas’ Reed Bunting.

Day 6 Verkhoturova Island & Govena Peninsula

Tufted Puffin

Verkhoturova Island has some huge seabird colonies and by following a short trail to the cliff top you should be able to enjoy some fantastic views of Tufted Puffins, Brunnich’s Guillemots, Pelagic Cormorants and Black-legged Kittiwakes. Both Steller’s Eider and Harlequin Duck occur here too and you may also see some Steller Sea Lions, as they are often hauled out on some offshore rocks. Later in the day, there will be either a Zodiac cruise or landing on the Govena Peninsula. Good numbers of brown bears can often be found here.

Days 7-10 Koryak & Chukotka Coast

Heritage Expeditions Kamchatka Brown Bear

During these days of the expedition you will travel along this largely unknown part of the coast. It comprises deep forested fiords where you should see brown bears, Red Fox and with luck, mountain sheep and Kamchatka Marmots. In the many lagoons and shallow bays there is a vast array of birdlife including Tundra Bean Goose, Steller’s Eider, Great Knot, Long-tailed Stint, Gyrfalcon, Siberian Accentor and Asian Rosy Finch. This area is also a stronghold of the Kittlitz’s Murrelet and you should see several during our journey. In previous expeditions there has been alot of exploration of this coastline, documenting the distribution and abundance of many species. In 2011 there was a recording of a previously unknown breeding population of Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Working alongside researchers from BirdLife International and Birds Russia who will be travelling with you, the plan is to revisit many of these areas to monitor changes and search for new breeding colonies. There will be unique opportunities for photography, for hiking and ‘birding’ in country where literally only a few ‘westerners’ have ever been and there is a rich diversity of species.

Days 11-12 Meinypil’gyno

Spoonbilled Sandpiper

Meinypil’gyno, located on a 40km long shingle spit is the most important site in the world for breeding Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Here about fifteen pairs are monitored by members of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Recovery Taskforce. You will be guests of the Taskforce and if possible may be guided to one of their monitored nests. The area is extremely rich in other wildlife, so you may also find Emperor Goose, Pacific Diver, White-billed Diver and Sandhill Crane. The lagoon entrance often has Largha Seal, Gray and Beluga Whales and a spectacular number of gulls.

Day 13 Cape Navarin & Keyngypilgyn Lagoon

This coastline is rich in marine mammals and the one creature that you will be looking for in particular, is the walrus, as there is a known haul out. The animals do regularly move between locations, so finding them is always very much a matter of luck, although there has been success here in the past. Good numbers of Gray Whales often congregate here too. To the north of Cape Navarin is Keyngypilgyn Lagoon. On previous visits they have found this an excellent location for waterfowl and waders including Emperor Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, Brent Geese, Whooper Swan, King Eiders, Red Knots and Aleutian Terns.

Day 14 Port of Anadyr

Anadyr

This is a mountainous region to the south-east of the town of Magadan, part of which is included in the Magadanskiy Zapovednik Reserve. This reserve protects the brown bear and snow sheep among other animals. Many of the landings are expeditionary, in that although Heritage Expeditions have landed at a number of places along the coast, many will be new and unknown, so it is never quite knwon what you will find. That is part of what makes this style of travel so interesting.

To book this cruise contact us on 1300 784 794 or email: contact@arctictravelcentre.com.au

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.