Siberia's Forgotten Coast: Kamchatka Coast

“I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to go on this cruise”

“I recently went on the "In the Wake of Bering" cruise with Heritage Expeditions which travels north from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy to Anadyr (a couple of degrees shy of the Arctic Circle) along the east coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East. It was an amazing experience. Being my first sea voyage and visit to this area, everything was novel and exciting - even the fact that I quickly got over my one small episode of seasickness on the first evening and nothing further. I enjoyed the fact that the ship,Professor Khromov, known by its original name in Russian waters, is small enough that you get a chance to get to meet all the passengers and many of the friendly Russian crew. The whole organisation of the daily activities, the meals and the helpful staff was wonderful. Every day we had at least one jaunt in the Zodiacs with landings on the coast and islands off shore so we had opportunity to see both land, sea and shore birds and mammals, sometimes at quite close quarters! The ever changing scenery from the volcanoes in the south (though often obscured by cloud) to the beautiful flower-filled tundra in the north was magnificent. My main reason for the cruise, the birding, exceeded all expectations and with the help of the Heritage and Nature Trek ornithologists (and not to mention many of the very knowledgeable fellow passengers) I learned to recognize the Jiz of many northern hemisphere birds new to me. It was great to see some of the waders that I had previously known only in their non-breeding plumage in the southern hemisphere. Of course the Highlight was seeing the rare and increasingly endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper. We were very lucky. We also saw walrus, sea-otters, sea-lions, different species of seals and whales, many bears, snow sheep, Arctic fox and some of the smaller mammals. The many beautiful flowers seen on our walks on the hills, marshes and tundra were identified by the enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff botanist. It was also very interesting to see and learn about some of the history and culture of this part of Russia. I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to go on this cruise and have many photographs to keep refuelling my memories! ”


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