Sailing from Sakhalin, we explore the Russian Far East to see its rich cetacean life on a unique voyage across the Sea of Okhotsk, then along the Kamchatka Peninsula to the remote Commander Islands.
Accompanied by renowned zoologist and explorer Mark Carwardine and his expert team, this is a rare opportunity to visit the Russian Far East, which is almost impossible to get to any other way. The region was closed (even to Russians!) for decades, and it is only now – some two decades after perestroika – that it is possible to travel here. Consequently, few people have been to many of the places we visit. Yet this is one of the richest corners of the world for marine life, in both variety and sheer abundance.
We have chartered the 50-passenger Spirit of Enderby – a comfortable, ice-strengthened polar expedition ship – for this wonderful, far-reaching 16-night voyage. Travelling through some of the world's most remote and least-visited regions, we go in search of many different whales, and along the way pack in Zodiac cruises and shore landings for close encounters with a wide variety of exciting wildlife. Our journey takes us from Sakhalin Island to the Shantar Islands, then across the Sea of Okhotsk and through the northern Kuril Islands, before sailing along the Kamchatka Peninsula and across the Bering Sea to the incredibly remote Commander Islands.
In Mark Carwardine's words: “This has to be one of the most exciting whale-watching trips ever – in a part of the world that some people may find difficult to point to on a map. We hope to see critically endangered North Pacific right whales, bowhead whales, blue whales, humpback whales, fin whales, minke whales, rarely-seen western grey whales, eastern grey whales (perhaps even some of our old friends who will have migrated 6,000 miles from Baja California in Mexico), sperm whales, Baird's beaked whales, Cuvier's beaked whales, two different killer whale ecotypes, Pacific white-sided dolphins, harbour porpoises and Dall's porpoises, as well as huge colonies of tufted puffins, horned puffins and other seabirds, and everything from Steller's sea eagles, ribbon seals and northern fur seals, to Kamchatka brown bears and sea otters.
The full itinerary detail is available on our website.
You should note: This tour is highly dependent on weather and sea conditions; although we will follow the above itinerary as closely as possible, it may change to make the most of local conditions. Depending on airline schedules which are finalised closer to departure, it may be possible to eliminate the overnight in Moscow on the way back to London at the end of the trip (effectively reducing the duration by one day).
This is a group trip with fixed departure dates. Please refer to our website for further information.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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