Kamchatka Photography Expedition

Written by 56th Parallel on 4th Feb 2015
Kamchatka Bears, Kamchatka photo expedition

On this 2 week Kamchatka tour designed especially for landscape, nature and wildlife photography enthusiasts, stay on the shores of the iconic Kurilskoye Lake and take part in some of the best brown bear photo opportunities anywhere in the world, as the bears gorge themselves during the annual salmon run. Hike to the summits of some of Kamchatka’s active volcanoes for thrilling shots of steaming vents, acid lakes, and smoking craters. Your aim – to return to “Earth” with images of alien landscapes and wild nature worthy of the pages of National Geographic. This tour will suit the professional and amateur photographers, active and adventurous travellers. No prior mountain climbing experience is required, but a decent level of fitness is strongly recommended.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Brace yourself for a bone rattling journey on a Russian 6WD all-terrain vehicle on a road tracing the western coast of Kamchatka (complete with river crossing) to isolated Pauzhetka village. Pauzhhetka is a tiny settlement between the Sea of Okhost and Kuril Lake, surrounded on all sides by towering volcanoes
  • Fly to Kurilskoye Lake via helicopter for a two day shooting and photo workshopping season among the brown bears who gather at the lake in large numbers during the salmon season To get the best chance of heart-stopping close encounters and amazing photos ops, we’ll watch the bears on land and on boat, staying overnight in log cabins close to the lake shore
  • Russkaya Bay Cruise: Set sail from the capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and explore the wildlife rich waters of Russkaya Bay and the Starichkov Island seabird capital. Try your hand shooting marine mammals including whales and seals and enjoy a lunch of freshly caught seafood
  • Embark on full day trek to the summit of Mutnovsky, a hike containing some of the of the scenically beautiful landscapes in Kamchatka. Feel as if you’re witnessing the earth’s creation as you gaze down from the rim of the crater upon glaciers and mineral lakes and the torches of sulphur spewing fumaroles far below
  • Trek to the top of Mount Gorely (1,829m), one of the most active volcanoes in Russia. Enjoy a picnic lunch on a rock ledge just below the crater, with magnificent views of the vivid blue acidic lake below

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Lake Baikal Ice Adventure

Written by 56th Parallel on 11th Nov 2014
Lake Baikal winter tour

Our Lake Baikal Ice Adventure tour takes place during late February and March. The beginning of spring in the Baikal region, at this time of year, the temperature climbs above zero, but the surface of the lake is still largely frozen, covered by solid winter ice so clear you can see rocks and other objects at the bottom of the lake as far as 40m below. During spring, Baikal receives few visitors compared to the summer high season, allowing you to feel an inspiring sense of isolation and communion with undisturbed nature during this handcrafted 6 day tour. Be amazed by the frozen beauty of the world’s oldest and deepest lake and experience real-life walking on water. We’ve included a few activities exclusive to the cooler months such as ice skating, ice rafting and ice golf to add a sprinkle of spills and thrills to this thoroughly enjoyable adventure.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Embark on an over-ice expedition by 4WD to Olkhon Island, the largest of Lake Baikal’s islands and the centre of shamanic energy for the Buryat people. Spend two nights on the island and discover pristine beaches, craggy capes and untouched Siberian forests 
  • While on Olkhon Island, participate in a round of special activities for Baikal’s ‘ice travellers’. Take your pick from ice golf, tube riding or ice skating, or just head out on to the ice for a once-in-a-lifetime photoshoot! 
  • Visit Buguldeika on Olkhon Island, a small rural village amid spectacular natural surround including forested mountains and ancient caves in the valley of the Buguldeika River. Spend the night in a real hunters cabin hidden in the middle of the taiga 
  • Our over-ice driving 4WD expedition continues on to Peschanaya Bay, part of the Baikal National Park and widely considered to be the most beautiful sandy bay in all of Baikal 
  • Ice Rafting: Indulge in an amazing experience unique to Baikal – rafting down the Angara River near Listvyanka village on a raft made of solid ice cut from the surface of the lake, enjoy mulled wine, chocolate and cheese along the way

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Sea Kayaking in Kamchatka

Written by 56th Parallel on 6th Mar 2013
Kamchatka kayaking tour, Kamchatka sea kayaking

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.

TRIP 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.

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About 56th Parallel

56th Parallel is a travel company specialising in providing packaged tours and travel services in Russia.

Our goal is to redefine travel to Russia, focusing on creating the most rewarding experiences, which help travellers unfolds the soul of this exciting destination.

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