Cruise Kuril Islands & Kamchatka

Luxury expedition cruise in Russian Far East
Take advantage of the mid-summer sun and travel on nature’s terms on this 13-day Russia and Japan voyage onboard of luxurious Silver Explorer.
A cruise to the Kuril Islands is one of the world’s great journeys, an expedition that beckons nature lovers, history buffs, and the intrepid explorer within. Marvel at spectacular natural landscapes, pristine tundra, and massive volcanoes, and spot a multitude of rare bird species without forgetting to enjoy some of the delicious fresh local caviar and vodka. Whatever your speed, the smorgasbord of volcanoes, wildlife and culture will enthral you

The island chain known as the Kurils stretches north across the Pacific Ocean from the Japanese island of Hokkaido to the southern tip of Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. Four islands - which Russia calls the Southern Kurils and Japan calls the Northern Territories - are the subject of a 60-year-old dispute between the two nations.

The Kuril Islands are part of what is known as the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and they are also the visible parts of a volcanic mountain range that is submerged under the surrounding ocean. They provide a unique experience due to the features on the islands that boast spectacular landscape views, some isolated coastal communities, boiling lakes, rivers, and the azure-blue lagoons.


13 days
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Trip style

Otaru, Japan

Petropalvlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia

MS Silver Explorer

Expedition Cruise


Action rating

Group size

Type of tour

13 days / 12 nights


up to 130 passengers

Guaranteed Departures


Day 1:Otaru, Japan

Once all guests have embarked, a mandatory safety drill is conducted before Silver Explorer leaves Otaru. Then be introduced to important members of the crew and your Expedition Team.

Day 2:Korsakov, Russia

Korsakov once served as a penal colony and achieved literary fame after a travel report by Anton Chekhov. Have enough time to get a glimpse of this city during an afternoon excursion with a cultural program. See Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk’s beautiful Cathedral of the Resurrection.

From the church continue to the Sakhalin Regional Museum, which is housed in a beautiful Japanese-style structure, due to the previous ruling of its southern neighbor. At the Gagarin Park, with its adventure playgrounds and numerous beer and barbeque spots, the afternoon might end with a traditional performance of Russian song and dance.

Day 3-4:Tyuleniy Island

Located off the east coast of Sakhalin Island in the Sea of Okhotsk, this small island is an ideal place to observe large colonies of fur seals and Steller sea lions, as well as tens of thousands of common guillemots and black-legged kittiwakes that have made their nests in the cliffs above.

Day 5:Yankicha island

Once inside the magnificent lagoon, see traces of the tremendous forces that created the island long ago. The island is also home to thousands of crested auklets and you may catch a glimpse of an arctic fox or even the rare and elusive whiskered auklets during the nature walks.

Day 6: Lovyshky Islands and Makanrushi Island

With the Zodiacs, approach the clusters of rocks that comprise this island group – home to huge populations of sea mammals and birds. At Skaly Lovyshky, go in search for northern fur seals and Steller sea lions. Cruise along the shore and hope to have good views of the Makanrushi island’s highest peak.

Day 7:Atlasova Island and Utashud

Alaid on Atlasova Island is the highest volcano in the Kuril chain with a height of over 2,000 meters. Together with your expedition staff, land by Zodiac on the black lava beach of the island from where you begin your walk to see the remains of the Taketomi tufa cone. In the late morning the ship continues north towards your next stop at the Utashud Islands.

Day 8:Ruskaya Bay

South of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy is the 15-kilometre long Ruskaya Bay. The northeast to southwest direction and narrow body of water have made this bay a perfect place to look for shelter in foul weather.

Fishing fleets and WWII convoys headed for Vladivostok have made ample use of the bay. Two shipwrecks can still be seen close to the bay’s southeastern shore. A river, used as a source of freshwater in former times, meanders through the valley and with the Zodiacs see how far you can explore, or hike to the small stands of trees found there.

Day 9:Zhupanova River, Kamchatka

By cruising the river with your highly maneuverable Zodiacs, have the ability to stop and go ashore to find the best birding and nature walks.

Heading upstream, spot up to 40 different bird species and even see brown bears fishing for salmon in the river. Your main goal today is to spot Steller sea eagles. This majestic bird is known to frequent this area, and you can hope to have good views of at least one of the eagles.

Day 10:Commander Bay, Bering Sea

The Komandorskiye or Commander Islands are named after famed Commander Vitus Bering who had been commissioned by the Russian Czar to search for a land bridge between Asia and America.

After having been to Alaska he was forced to overwinter here. He was buried on the island, but part of the crew managed to return to Petropavlovsk. Go ashore to see the graves of Bering and some of his crew.

Day 11:Nikolskoye, Komandorskiye Islands

Today visit a Steller sea lion rookery on the north side of Cape Severozapadniy. Walk along a sometimes waterlogged dirt road which leads to a blind overlooking the rookery. Apart from the sea lions, arctic foxes can often be seen – they are curious, and watch you from a safe distance.

Day 12-13:Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Spend the last day aboard, sailing for Petropavlovsk, the only major city on the peninsula and one of the oldest towns in the Russian Far East. Attend final lectures and discussions about the area you have traveled through, edit some of the many photos taken, and join the onboard videographer for the documentary of your voyage along the Kuril Islands and Kamchatka.



Luxurious Silver Explorer expedition cruise ship, which has been designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions.


  • All meals onboard
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar


  • Personalised service – the best crew-to-guest ratio in expedition cruising
  • Butler service in every suite and stateroom
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team

Activities and sights

  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team


  • Gratuities
  • One hour free Wifi per day for all guests.

Not included

Airfare, visa, travel insurance

Dates & Prices

DatesAvailabilityPriceSingle sup. 
2 Jul - 14 Jul 2018
Guaranteed Departures
Limited spaces US $10,350 contact us Reserve
13 days
Otaru, Japan to Petropalvlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia
Make an enquiry
13 days
Make an enquiry

If you have any urgent questions or enquiries, please give us a call +61 2 9388 9816