Kamchatka - The Lost World

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 22nd Aug 2018
Kamchatka adventure

Discover everything that makes Kamchatka paradise for nature lovers and intrepid adventures whose dream is to wander far from the well-trodden path. Our comprehensive Kamchatka adventure tour takes place over 18 of the most memorable days you’ll ever experience. With almost three weeks to explore the peninsula, this uncommon journey allows you to traverse vast distances to remote lands and explore all the most breathtaking highlights of Russia’s mythical Far East. Staying in a mix of hotels, wooden cabins, and spectacular campgrounds and travelling by helicopter and 4WD, we visit as many unique habitats as possible. Feast your eyes and cameras with the volcanic ranges and lava fields of the Pacific Ring of Fire, untouched swathes of old growth forest, mountain hot springs, majestic coastline and the wind-swept tundra where Kamchatka’s last nomads make their summer camps alongside their reindeer herds.

Kamchatka Adventure in a Lost World Highlights:

  • Fly to Kurilskoye Lake via helicopter. During salmon season, Kuril Lake is one of the few places you can observe brown bears in their natural habitat at close proximity. To get the best chance of heart-stopping close encounters and amazing photos ops, we’ll watch the bears feeding along the shore from a motorboat, as well as on-land from a viewing platform overlooking prime fishing territory
  • Travel cross-country on remote roads to Central Kamchatka, home of the Even and Koryak tribes, the “people of the reindeer”, who set up their summer camps near the village of Esso. You’ll be granted the extraordinary privilege of experiencing traditional nomad life, spending a night camped out with the herders in their tents
  • Embark on a 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

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Lake Baikal Photography Expedition

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 22nd Aug 2018
Lake Baikal Photography Tour

This Lake Baikal Photography Tour will grant intrepid photographers the honour of focusing their lenses on some of Siberia’s most famously beautiful frozen landscapes. Summer sees the bulk of tourist activity in the area, but it’s in winter that the most devoted photographers make the pilgrimage, hoping to capture once-in-a-lifetime images of the natural world at its most powerful and surreal.

Trip Highlights:

  • Climb to the top of Khoboy Cape for a breathtaking panoramic view showing the true scale of Siberia’s “inland sea”. The cape contains a labyrinth of grottoes where sunlight dances off ceilings jagged with icy stalactites
  • Khorin-Igri Bay: an ideal spot to photograph the natural phenomenon of frozen bubbles under Lake Baikal, rising to the surface in perfect discs suspended in the clear, dark water
  • Budun Cape is a rugged natural monument surrounded by shard-like ice mounds. An unreal sight with a huge variety of shapes, lines and geometry allowing for some creative perspectives

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Golden Eagle, Luxury Trans-Siberian Express

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 10th Oct 2018
Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Moscow to Vladivostok tour, Trans-siberian railway, Trans-siberian express

The world’s greatest railway journey, the Trans-Siberian Railway runs like a steel ribbon across Russia, connecting  Moscow to the East over the Urals, the forested mountain range separating Europe from Asia. Skirting alongside the shore of the world’s largest freshwater lake, the rail line then crosses the Mongolian border into a land of baking deserts, majestic steppe country and vast grasslands where columns of smoke still rise from the nomad camps of the last of the Mongol horsemen.

To travel along this route is by far the best way to experience the vastness and grandeur of Russia’s rarely visited interior. This private 15 day Trans-Siberian Railway tour spans the entire 9,288km length of the world’s longest rail line, with a total of 12 days aboard the luxurious Golden Eagle, beginning in Moscow and ending in the Russian port city of Vladivostok, close to the Chinese and North Korean borders.

TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Moscow City Tour: Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of one of the world’s biggest metropolises on a guided exploration of Moscow, taking in the Red Square, the Kremlin, St Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Tomb and the world-famous Moscow Metro tour
  • Kazan is the epicentre of ethnic Tartar culture. Discover the city’s mediaeval Islamic influence, tour the grounds of the picture-perfect Kazan Kremlin and enjoy a private concert of the music of Feodor Chaliapin, Kazan’s most famous opera singer

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Naadam Festival - Trans-Mongolian Express

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 10th Oct 2018
Naadam Festival, discover Mongolia, Trans-Mongolian Express railway

One of the most celebrated events on the Mongolian calendar, Naadam Festival is the Mongol version of the Olympic Games and a source of deep national pride. Railway cruising on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Mongolia to Russia (or vice versa) is a fantastic way to absorb the rich culture of the Naadam Festival and the cinematic landscape of both countries. Our exclusive Trans-Mongolian Express tour through Russia and Central Asia combines first-class customer service and a romantic room with a constantly changing view from the Mongolian steppes to the Siberian taiga. On a private trip travelling aboard the luxurious Golden Eagle train, we’ll make numerous stops along the route, providing a memorable exploration of the cultures, customs and cuisine of each unique region we visit.

TRANS-MONGOLIAN & NAADAM FESTIVAL TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Nadaam Festival: For three days, Mongolians don traditional dress and celebrate games and sports derived from Mongolia’s proud warrior tradition. Witness the primal thrill of outdoor wrestling, impossible archery contests and horse racing across the vast Mongolian grasslands
  • The Siberian city of Ulan-Ude lies at the crossroads of East and West, harbouring a unique Buryat Buddhist culture. It’s also a stronghold of the last of the Russian Old Believers, who we’ll meet on a village visit to discover the unique history and traditions of these proud, welcoming and deeply religious people

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Kamchatka - Kingdom of the Brown Bears

Written by Anna Schneider
Last updated on 10th Oct 2018
Kamchatka tour bears and volcanoes

Perhaps the most potent symbols of Kamchatka’s untamed nature are its towering volcanoes and the mighty Kamchatka brown bears, the furry residents are the ancestor of the Alaskan Kodiak bears. These two iconic natural emblems are the main subjects of our Kamchatka bears and volcanoes tour, an adventure into the wilds of Russia’s Far East that’s equal parts thrilling and humbling. Including three nights staying in a cabin on Kuril Lake at the height of the bear’s salmon hunting season, this Kamchatka wildlife watching tour will get you closer than you ever imagined to the animal inhabitants of the Kamchatka peninsula.

Bears and volcanoes of Kamchatka tour highlights:

  • Kuril Lake during the summer salmon run is one of only a few places where visitors can observe hunting brown bears in their natural habitat at close proximity. To get the best chances of adrenaline-pumping close encounters and amazing photos ops, we’ll watch bears feed and frolick along the shore from a motorboat, as well as on-land from a special viewing platform overlooking prime fishing grounds.
  • Take off in a Russian Mi-8 helicopter for a breathtaking flight to the Khodutka River hot springs, nestled in a forested valley where we’ll bathe, relax and camp for the evening. The largest collection of hot springs in Kamchatka, water temperatures in the various spring pools range from 40 and 60°C.

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Kamchatka Photography Expedition

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 22nd Aug 2018
Kamchatka Bears, Kamchatka photography tour

On this 2-week Kamchatka photography 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 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 is to return to “Earth” with images of alien landscapes and wild nature worthy of the pages of National Geographic. Our Kamchatka photography tour suits all the professional and amateur photographers, as well as active and adventurous travellers. No prior mountain climbing experience is required, but a decent level of fitness is strongly recommended.

Kamchatka Photography Tour 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

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Legend of Lake Baikal

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 22nd Aug 2018
Legend of Lake Baikal, Lake Baikal Summer Tour

Dive into the Legend of Lake Baikal on this glorious summer excursion to the glittering Blue Pearl of Russia. Plummeting to 1,642m at its deepest point, Baikal is also the world’s most voluminous lake. Its mirror-clear waters are a reflection of Siberia’s wildness, its vastness and its beauty. Baikal is a place where shamans still speak to the spirit world, wildlife-rich virgin forests thrive and lake-living seals fish and frolic in freshwater. Surrounded by jagged mountains and taiga of pine, fir and cedar, Lake Baikal is a protected World Heritage site. Unsurprisingly, it is the most famous attraction in Siberia, but Baikal’s sheer size means there’s always an escape from the crowds.

Legend of Lake Baikal Tour Highlights

  • The Taltsy Museum between Irkutsk and Listvyanka is a fabulously comprehensive open-air museum, set over 64 acres. Over 40 historical buildings from both the Russian and Buryat cultures of Baikal have been painstakingly reconstructed and authentically furnished. Wander through the streets of an 18th-century Siberian village and get a feel for life in a nomadic Buryat summer camp
  • Cruise to Olkhon Island, the largest of Lake Baikal’s islands and the “capital” of shamanistic culture. On a day tour of Olkhon’s natural wonders, discover untouched Siberian forests, craggy capes, pristine beaches and jaw-dropping sunsets

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Lake Baikal Ice Adventure

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 5th Sep 2018
Lake Baikal Ice Adventure

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.

Lake Baikal Ice adventure 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 photo shoot! 

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Lake Baikal Cruise

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 22nd Aug 2018
Lake Baikal cruise, Lake Baikal boat tour

After the winter-time freeze, Baikal becomes a balmy summer boating paradise – a vast expanse of calm water with shimmering azure bays and a shoreline hugged by dramatic mountains, pristine forests and quaint ethnic villages. This relaxing three-day Lake Baikal cruise will take you to some of the most picturesque beauty spots in and around Lake Baikal, travelling on board the modern cruise ship Sibiryak with just 11 other guests. In three days, you’ll be able to take in a truly memorable taste of Siberia’s unique culture and nature – including a scenic journey on the magnificent Circum-Baikal Railroad and a walking tour of the Baikal National Park.

Lake Baikal Cruise Highlights

  • Discover one of the most extraordinary man-made attractions in Baikal, the Circum-Baikal Railway. Cruise to one of the most picturesque stretches of the train line, set between the coast and the dramatic slopes of the Primorsky Range. Later, we’ll disembark for a walking tour of the railway’s abandoned tunnels and galleries
  • Steam into Peschanaya Bay as the sun rises, a secluded cove renowned for its long, white sand beach, clear shallow water and majestic, panoramic mountain backdrop. Hike the scenic two-hour mountain track between Peschanaya and Sennaya Bay within the protected Baikal National Park
  • Olkhon Island is the largest island in Lake Baikal, housing forests, mountains, Buryat settlements and sacred shamanic sites. Pass through the narrow Maloe More, the 70km strait that separates Olkhon from the mainland

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Kayaking Lake Baikal

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 22nd Aug 2018
Kayaking Lake Baikal tour, Lake Baikal kayaking tour

Be swept away by the relaxed and tranquil atmosphere of Lake Baikal. Kayaking Lake Baikal tour takes you across crystal clear waters by day and sleeping on its shores by night. Experience its diverse range of flora and fauna as you paddle your way through breathtaking coves and picturesque bays. Discover pristine golden beaches, ‘walking trees’ and if you’re lucky, get up close and personal with the beloved Baikal seals. From Buguldeika village to Peschanaya, this Lake Baikal Kayaking tour invites guests to feel the energy of the world’s oldest lake as they navigate on its transparent water and camp on its secluded, sandy shores.

Trip Highlights:

  • Sennaya Bay is a ruggedly picturesque bay within Baikal National Park and our first camping destination on this trip. Above the bay, a mountain path winds along the spurs of the Primorskiy Mountain Ridge
  • Peschanaya Bay is considered to be the most beautiful of all Baikal’s bays, with its soft white sand beach, emerald water and ‘walking trees’, featuring stilt-like roots tall enough for people to pass underneath
  • After spending a full morning exploring Peschanaya, we’ll enjoy a scenic paddle down to Srednie Bay, a secluded cove set against a backdrop of dense forest. On this leg there’s a fair chance of spotting freshwater nerpa seals peering at you from the surface of the clear waters of Baikal

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Kamchatka Discovery

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 10th Sep 2018
Valley of the geysers Kamchatka, Kamchatka discovery -Kamchatka Tour

There are adventure travel destinations. And then there’s Kamchatka. If you crave transformative travel experiences, communion with nature and wilderness that is still truly “wild”, our Kamchatka tour will fulfil your frontier travel fantasies. The remoteness and sheer size of the Kamchatka Peninsula don’t always make for a leisurely vacation, but Kamchatka Discovery with private transport makes seeing most of the Siberian spectacular sights possible over eight enthralling days.

To make the most of your time in the peninsula, our Kamchatka tour will take you by 4WD, on foot, and on board a boutique cruising yacht. Perhaps the most ideal way to travel Kamchatka’s great distances is by helicopter. On one of our optional helicopter excursions, land next to Kurilskoye Lake to observe the famous brown bears, or take a fly-over across the Valley of Geysers for an incredible bird’s eye view of the kind of bizarre and beautiful primitive landscapes that make Kamchatka so alluringly otherworldly.

Kamchatka Tour Highlights

  • Avachinskaya Bay cruise: Spend half a day tracing the twisting coastline from tranquil Avacha Bay out to Starichkov Island, a nature reserve renowned for its seabird population
  • Volcano trekking around Mount Vachkazhets: Discover the surprising beauty of the peninsula’s volcanic landscapes on a circuit of the Vachkazhets volcano, an easy four-hour hike passing flower-filled meadows, waterfalls and panoramic mountain viewpoints

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Sea Kayaking in Kamchatka

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 22nd Aug 2018
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.

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

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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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