Sea Kayaking in Kamchatka

Kayak the wild Pacific coast of Kamchatka, home to orcas, whales and sea lions
©Photo by Artem Gromov
Kayaking in Kamchatka you’ll explore secluded bays, islets and sea caves, getting you closer to the wild inhabitants than you ever imagined.
This epic Kamchatka kayaking tour covering roughly 110km of rarely visited Pacific Coast will take you to parts of this dramatic region only accessible by small sea craft. Tracing the peninsula’s shoreline south from the calm waters of Avacha Bay, you’ll paddle beneath the shadows of snowy volcanoes and explore mysterious sea caves. Visit the incredible Starichkov Island Nature Reserve – one of the Pacific’s largest seabird colonies, and impressive Russkaya Bay for world-class marine mammal encounters. Discover a side of the Kamchatkan wilderness only a few have ever experienced on an unforgettable Russian sea kayaking adventure.

Kamchatka Kayaking Tour Highlights

  • Be immersed in the scenic splendour of Avacha Bay, a tranquil harbour surrounded by soaring cliffs and coastal forests. Dramatic rock formations rise from the water, including the ‘Three Brothers’, said to be the guardians of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
  • The vast colonies of seabirds that nest on Starichkov Island Nature Reserve are a breathtaking sight. You’ll see thousands of cormorants, gulls, guillemots and puffins, while in the morning, dozens of largo seals can be found sunbaking on the rocks
  • With its 3km sandy beach, Zhirovaya Bay is one of the most beautiful locations on the Kamchatkan coast. Here you’ll find the mouth of the Zhirovaya River, surrounded by lush green hills and hot springs
  • Drop in at Sabotajnaya Bay for some chill-out time, fishing in the local lagoon. Brown bears often come here to catch spawning salmon, providing awesome opportunities for a photo session
  • Russkaya Bay is located in the south-western part of the Avacha Gulf, whose craggy shores are reminiscent of the Norwegian fjords. The panoramas of imposing inland volcanoes add to the dramatic impact of being inside this spectacular bay.

Vast, rugged, and largely uninhabited, the peninsula’s coastline is truly spectacular. A Kamchatka kayaking expedition is truly the adventure of a lifetime.

Our journey begins in Avacha Bay. One of the world’s largest bays, Avacha provides a safe harbour for ships servicing the Kamchatkan capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. From here, we start paddling southwest, savouring the unique experience of maneuvering between the hulls of huge ships anchored in near the port. We traverse through the narrowest part of Avacha Bay, enclosed on all sides by lush green hills and snowy volcanoes. Out here in the vastness of the Pacific, you’ll ride swirling waves like a giant carousel.

As we venture further south into a sparsely populated territory, we’ll spot more and more amazing wildlife, as the chances of heart-stopping close encounters with ocean giants such as whales and Stellar sea lions increases. Throughout this Kamchatka kayaking trip, you’ll be sharing the waters with orcas, humpback and minke whales, while sea otters and seals are guaranteed to make a regular appearance. Brown bears are often spotted ambling along beaches of the peninsula’s uninhabited bays.

This is a challenging backcountry kayaking and camping expedition, suitable for experienced long distance ocean paddlers. You’ll put your skills against some of the most remote tracts of wilderness on the planet, navigating past dramatic capes and riding the swirling Pacific surf. Accompanied by an experienced guide, you’ll experience coastal Kamchatka as a true pioneer of adventure travel. The majestic landscapes, thrilling wildlife encounters and sheer remoteness of Russia’s Far East are sure to leave you in a state of amazement not soon forgotten.

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Arrival

Departure

Accomodation

Trip style

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Mixed (hotel, tents)

Sea Kayaking

Duration

Action rating

Group size

Type of tour

8 days / 7 nights

     

2-8 people

Private

Itinerary View map

Day 1:Welcome to Kamchatka

Arrive in Petropavlovsk -Kamchatsky, the administrative, cultural and industrial centre of Kamchatka and home to around 180,000 people.

From the airport, you’ll be transferred to a guesthouse in town, where you will take your time to relax and acclimatise.

Meet a guide for a tour of Petropavlovsk, allocation of equipment and a short briefing on a tour ahead.

Day 2:Avacha Bay and Starichkov Island

Set out from the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

Head southwest, traversing the calm waters of Avacha Bay, enclosed on all sides by green hills and snowy volcanoes. Venture out into the open ocean. Ride swirling waves to Starichkov Island Nature Reserve and observe seabirds in incredible numbers.

Our journey begins at Srednyaya Lagernaya Bay, the small part of scenic Avacha Bay – one of the word’s biggest bays. From here we start paddling southwest, savouring the unique experience of manoeuvring between the hulls of huge ships anchored in the bay. We traverse through the narrowest part of Avacha Bay, enclosed on all sides by lush green hills and snowy volcanoes. Out here in the vastness of the Pacific, you’ll ride swirling waves like a giant carousel.

After a while, you’ll start to notice the accumulation of rocky debris sticking out of the water, signifying our approach to Starichkov Island Nature Reserve. This incredible wilderness is one of the most spectacular sights of Kamchatka – made up of long white beaches, a labyrinth of
weatherworn rocks and colonies of sea birds in breathtaking numbers. Red faced and pelagic cormorants, Pacific gulls, kittiwakes, Pacific and spectacled guillemots, tufted puffins and
horned puffins are just some of the birds that nest here in the summer.

In the evening, we set up a camp on a white pebbly beach on the island. If we have time in the evening, a trek to the middle Starichkov will take us to a solar-powered lighthouse with jawdropping views of Vilychinsky, Koryak, Avachinsky and Kozelsky volcanoes. The evening
provides atmospheric light for photography, with the sun dropping behind the mountains and the Kamchatka sky transformed into a delicate palette of oranges and pinks.

Day 3:Vilyuchinskaya and Zhirovaya Bays

After circumnavigating the island, we head to the most picturesque bays of Kamchatka – Vilyuchinskaya and Zhirovaya.

Vilyuchinskaya Bay goes deep into the land, its coasts are almost parallel to one another and all together stretch for 17.5km. Being one of the most beautiful bays of Kamchatka, it offers a stunning view of the nearby Vilyuchinsky volcano.

Zhirovaya bay stretches for 13.5km between capes Kruty and Razdelny. It offers a 3km long sand beach.

This bay is one of the most
beautiful places in Kamchatka. Several waterfalls flow from the surrounding cliffs. Year-round visitors come here for fishing, kayaking and scuba diving.

Set up a camp at Zelyony (“Green”) Cape and enjoy starry nights sky.

Day 4:Sabotajnaya Bay

Early in the morning we jump into kayaks and head to Sabotajnaya bay. Here we will spend some time fishing in the lagoon, swimming and kayaking in icy Vaivaichik Lake. Brown bears often come here to catch spawning salmon, providing great opportunities for a unique photo shoot.

Day 5-6:Kekurny Cape and Russkaya Bay

Our destination for today is – Kekurny Cape. Here will be greeted by the sight of dozens of largo (common seals) basking in the early morning rays. The seals are bold, playful and curious and
not at all afraid of kayakers. The north side of the island is a reliable spot to watch dolphins play, and to observe the magnificent Steller sea lions, the heaviest of all sea lions and one of the rarest.

Next we head to the charming bay of Russkaya (“Russian Bay”), located in the south-western part of the Avacha Gulf. The craggy shores of the bay offer impressive sights, reminding of a Norwegian fjord and serving as a natural shelter for ships in the past. The panoramas of the imposing inland mountains and volcanoes add to the dramatic impact of being in this spectacular bay. With a bit of luck, we’ll spot whales on their migration route. Killer (“Orca”) whales and dolphins are also common in the surrounding waters.

Day 7:Heading back to the city

Board a Sea Catamaran, from the cruise back to the city. On the way, we will enjoy marine wildlife watching, sea fishing and sunbathing.

Share some stories with your friends about the trip, as today our last day in Kamchatka.

Upon arrival to the seaport, you’ll be transferred to the guesthouse in the city.

Day 8:Departure

It's time to say goodbye as our adventure is finished. After breakfast, you'll be transferred to the airport for your departure back home.

Or prolong your tour in Kamchatka for a coupe of more days end enjoy volcanoes trekking or
helicopter excursions to the best spots of this beautiful region.

Inclusions

Accommodation

Guest house in Petropavlovsk, camping on the shores

Meals

All meals during kayaking days, breakfasts in the guesthouse

Transportation

Group arrival and departure airport transfers, all transportation on tour according to the itinerary

Guides

Local professional English-speaking guide-kayaker

Activities and sights

All activities and sights indicated in the itinerary

Other

Russian visa support documents

*Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for comprehensive visa service here.

Not included

Flights, travel insurance, visa, optional excursions, individual transfers, tips

Dates & Prices

DatesAvailabilityPriceSingle sup. 
Private departures from Jul to Sep 2019
Private Tour
Available US $3,000 US $300 Reserve

Testimonials

Tina DawsonAustralia

"The experience 56th Parallel were able to provide was next to perfect".

Having no clue as what to expect on this once in a lifetime and totally out of my comfort zone adventure, 56th Parallel were able to answer all my questions before deciding to go, and after booking. Although, I was booking from Japan, the ease of the process was comforting.

On the ground, 56th Parallel is teamed up with fantastic operators. They are all very experienced and professional. Kamchatka is a stunning and wild location. We were able to see it in all its glory while kayaking on the Pacific Ocean, trekking on volcanoes and from the air on a day helicopter tour. Your safety is always first and foremost. The experience 56th Parallel were able to provide was next to perfect.

Tina in kamchatka

8 days
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
from
$
3,000
USD
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