Siberia's Forgotten Coast:

Kamchatka Coast

Siberia's Forgotten Coast: Kamchatka Coast

DAYS 14 / SHIP Spirit of Enderby

DEPARTURES 23 Jun 2020

PLACES VISITED Commander Islands / Kamchatka / Chukotka

PRICES FROM $7,380 USD (More Rates)

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy to Anadyr: Combining the best of our ‘In Search of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper' and ‘Wake of Bering' Expeditions with new added opportunities.

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 region's 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.

As the iron curtain was drawn and the Cold War escalated, this region became forbidden territory. Travel to and within the area was strictly controlled, the number of military installations increased, early radar warning stations proliferated and Russia's Pacific fleet patrolled the coastline.

This all changed in the early 1990s with Perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Military installations were abandoned, there were mass migrations of workers back west and towns and industries were simply abandoned. As the heavily subsided economy collapsed, the indigenous people were forced back to traditional ways of life. Permits to travel through the area did, however, become a little easier to obtain.

Twenty five years on, travel through this region is still heavily regulated and virtually impossible for the independent traveller. There is little or no infrastructure, only a few kilometres of road, and no hotels apart from in the main towns of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy and Anadyr. These towns have scheduled air services, but access to the rest of the region either by air or sea, even for locals, is at best ‘unpredictable'.

Throughout its chequered human history its rich natural history has largely gone unnoticed and unknown by the rest of the world. It is an amazing coastline dominated by the volcanoes of Kamchatka in the south, the fiords of what was formally the Koryak region, and the rich estuarine areas and tundra of Chukotka.

This coastline has one of the most diverse assemblages of wildlife and habitats of anywhere of a similar latitude on the globe, and virtually no people or visitors to disturb them. One of the most iconic species is the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper that is endemic to the region. For the past 9 years we have supported BirdLife International and Birds Russia research teams working on this species. Our 2020 expedition not only continues that support, but it expands it to include other seabirds and waders as researchers monitor potential changes in their populations and distribution due to a variety of reasons including climate change.

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy to Anadyr: Combining the best of our ‘In Search of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper' and ‘Wake of Bering' Expeditions with new added opportunities.

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 region's 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.

As the iron curtain was drawn and the Cold War escalated, this region became forbidden territory. Travel to and within the area was strictly controlled, the number of military installations increased, early radar warning stations proliferated and Russia's Pacific fleet patrolled the coastline.

This all changed in the early 1990s with Perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Military installations were abandoned, there were mass migrations of workers back west and towns and industries were simply abandoned. As the heavily subsided economy collapsed, the indigenous people were forced back to traditional ways of life. Permits to travel through the area did, however, become a little easier to obtain.

Twenty five years on, travel through this region is still heavily regulated and virtually impossible for the independent traveller. There is little or no infrastructure, only a few kilometres of road, and no hotels apart from in the main towns of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy and Anadyr. These towns have scheduled air services, but access to the rest of the region either by air or sea, even for locals, is at best ‘unpredictable'.

Throughout its chequered human history its rich natural history has largely gone unnoticed and unknown by the rest of the world. It is an amazing coastline dominated by the volcanoes of Kamchatka in the south, the fiords of what was formally the Koryak region, and the rich estuarine areas and tundra of Chukotka.

This coastline has one of the most diverse assemblages of wildlife and habitats of anywhere of a similar latitude on the globe, and virtually no people or visitors to disturb them. One of the most iconic species is the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper that is endemic to the region. For the past 9 years we have supported BirdLife International and Birds Russia research teams working on this species. Our 2020 expedition not only continues that support, but it expands it to include other seabirds and waders as researchers monitor potential changes in their populations and distribution due to a variety of reasons including climate change.

READ LESS

Send a message to an
Expedition Specialist:

DOWNLOAD
Expedition Brochure
2019 ITINERARY
Siberia's Forgotten Coast: Kamchatka Coast
Expand All

Day 1: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy
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
We plan to spend the morning Zodiac cruising on the Zhupanova River. Our 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 and we should see a good variety of waterfowl and waders. By late afternoon, we 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 we have previously seen Blue Whales on this crossing.

Days 3 to 4: Commander Islands
The wildlife-rich Commander Islands were first discovered by the Commander Vitus Bering when his ship was wrecked here in 1741. We intend to explore the islands through a combination of landings and Zodiac cruises and our first stop will be the village of Nikolskoye, where there is an interesting museum. Zodiac cruising is often spectacular and we hope to encounter Red-faced Cormorant, Red-legged Kittiwake, Pigeon Guillemot, Horned Puffin, as well as Parakeet, Crested and Whiskered Auklets and Sea Otters. Our 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
Our 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. We also hope to see Bluethroat and Pallas’ Reed Bunting.

Day 6: Verkhoturova Island and Govena Peninsula
Verkhoturova Island has some huge seabird colonies and by following a short trail to the cliff top we 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 we 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 to 10: Koryak and Chukotka Coast
During these days of the expedition we will travel along this largely unknown part of the coast. It comprises deep forested fiords where we 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 we should see several during our journey. In our previous expeditions we have explored much of this coastline, documenting the distribution and abundance of many species. In 2011 we recorded a previously unknown breeding population of Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Working alongside researchers from BirdLife International and Birds Russia who will be travelling with us, we plan 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 we know there is a rich diversity of species.

Days 11 to 12: Meinypil’gyno
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. We will be guests of the Taskforce and if possible we may be guided to one of their monitored nests. The area is extremely rich in other wildlife, so we 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 and Keyngypilgyn Lagoon
This coastline is rich in marine mammals and one creature we 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 we have had 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 we 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
As we cruise into Anadyr Bay, there is an excellent chance of seeing more Beluga Whales and after a final breakfast on board the Spirit of Enderby, it will be time to disembark. We will provide complimentary transfers to a downtown hotel and the airport. Enquire for a full itinerary.

Our ship: Spirit of Enderby

The Spirit of Enderby (Professor Khromov) 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 May 2019 to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows o...

VIEW SHIP PROFILE

Pricing

Siberia's Forgotten Coast - 23 Jun 2020 to 6 Jul 2020 - Spirit of Enderby

Cabin Category Price USD Description Availablity
Main Deck Triple $7,380 One bunk (one upper and one lower) and one additional lower berth, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private washbasin. Shared shower and toilet facilities nearby with other Main Deck cabins. These cabins have a porthole. Available
Main Deck $8,640 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private washbasin. Shared shower and toilet facilities nearby with other Main Deck cabins. These cabins have a porthole. Available
Superior $9,280 One bunk (one upper and one lower berth), writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Available
Superior Plus $10,000 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Available
Mini Suite $10,420 Separate bedroom with a double bed and a single bed or sofa in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Mini Suites have windows. Available
Heritage Suite $11,430 Large lounge area, separate bedroom with double bed, single bed in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe, drawers, and fridge. There is a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Large forward and side facing windows with great views. Limited
Additional fees

Local Payment: $500.00pp

Includes:

Pre/post cruise transfers, all on board ship accommodation, meals and all expedition shore excursions.

Excludes:

All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities. International/domestic flights, visas and travel insurance.

Private charter flight Anadyr to Nome US$1,000pp

Voyage#2025
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy to Nome
23 June - 5 July 2020

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy to Anadyr
23 June - 6 July 2020

 

Trip Reports

Looking for a taste of what you can expect on our expeditions or want to relive your voyage? Our Trip Reports offer a detailed, day-by-day account of all of our previous expeditions tracking the voyage route and highlighting the numerous wildlife and cultural encounters experienced along the way.

READ MORE

What out travelers are saying:

Did Rodney tell you about the amazing Zodiac rides to see the Walrus haul-out? It was totally incredible and he seriously enhanced the experience by using his hydrophone and letting us hear it too. READ MORE
HELENA
Last week, I returned home from this expedition voyage. I am writing to formally express my thanks for a wonderful trip. As I commented to Marie and Katya on the last afternoon, it was all that I had hoped and better than I had expected. Amidst the bustle of disembarkation, it was difficult to speak to all the staff personally about this. So I would be grateful if you could convey my thanks ... READ MORE
CHRIS
The experience has changed my outlook on life, I am seriously considering returning. READ MORE
KAYE
Better than we ever expected! Birds, bears, whales and walrus galore and the most amazing scenery. Participating in the search for the spoon billed sandpiper was a special privilege. Thanks to Rod and the team. READ MORE
JOHN & ANNE
As a professional bird tour leader, I was impressed by the job that the staff did on this trip, especially in attempting to balance the needs of various interest groups. Chris and Adam are exceptionally knowledgeable birders, and I really appreciated the knowledge, spirit, and skill of all of the Expeditions staff. Having Evegeny and Elena from Birds Russia aboard was a real treat as well. The ... READ MORE
DEREK L
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... READ MORE
HEATHER
Dear Leanne, I would be grateful if you could pass on my thanks for an outstanding expedition to those concerned. Lindsay and Cath produced beautiful meals and their careful presentation combined with their sunny disposition made it feel that I had been invited in to their home rather than eating in a restaurant. I did not require Cam's professional services but we had some great chats... READ MORE
BRIAN BATES
Dear Rodney, During the weeks I have been back home in Rotorua I have had time to reflect on the wonderful holiday I had with you all on the Spirit of Enderby travelling up the Kamchatka Peninsular. For me the holiday offered everything I desired for a perfect holiday. Wilderness experiences, wildlife galore, fantastic company of likeminded people, great accommodation, no responsibilities,... READ MORE
JOAN
From the moment we left Avacha Bay and a Tufted Puffin appeared out of the fog, we knew it was going to be a special trip. In those 2 weeks were spectacular views of Steller's Sea Eagle, multiple sightings of Brown Bears (safely from our zodiac!), and amazingly curious walruses. Not forgetting the thousands of seabirds, and seeing Orcas and other whales from the deck. Rodney runs a tight shi... READ MORE
BARBARA AND DAVID
16 Jul 2018
The recent 'Siberia's Forgotten Coast' #1823 expedition aboard 'Spirit of Enderby' has concluded. The Species List for this voyage is now available...READ MORE
28 Mar 2018
From a March 2018 news bulletin and approved for publishing by EAAFP SBS Task Force. An organisation which accompanied us on multiple expeditions t...READ MORE
26 Jul 2017
The recent 'Siberia's Forgotten Coast' #1724 expedition aboard 'Spirit of Enderby' has concluded. The Species List for this voyage is now available...READ MORE
Send Message
Call Us
Receive e-News
Download Brochure