Embark on the voyage of a lifetime on an unparalleled exploration of the region known as the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’. The cruise from Hokkaido Province, Japan to the distant Kuril Islands and the remote reaches of Kamchatka is one of the world’s great ocean journeys, beckoning nature lovers, history buffs and those with a thirst for adventuring where few have gone before. Marvel at the dramatic scapes of this ancient land of fire and ice – its towering volcanic mounts, alpine forests, fast flowing rivers and pristine tundra. Our fleet of Zodiacs will allow us to climb ashore to observe flourishing seabird colonies and dozing seals in their thousands, and we’ll be constantly on the look-out for whales and sea lions. Life aboard is good, with no shortage of fresh local caviar and vodka. Whatever your speed, this soul-stirring smorgasbord of volcanoes, wildlife and unique indigenous culture will enthral and inspire you.
- Tyuleniy Island in the Sea of Okhotsk is tiny in size, and so densely populated with mammals and birds the island itself is barely visible. The shoreline is carpeted with murres and other seabirds, straining to be heard above the racket of tens of thousands of roaring, barking and bellowing seals and sea lions
- Our zodiacs follow the high tide to the very centre of mist-shrouded Yachika Island, where an inundation of seawater has transformed a massive caldera into a lagoon. Hiking the grassy ridges, we’ll keep our eyes out for the elusive Arctic fox
- Hundreds of northern fur seals and Stellar sea lions haul out on Kuril’s Lovyshky Islands. Cruising close to shore on the zodiacs, we’ll be able to closely approach these noisy, entertaining animals in their element
- Atlasova Island rises out of the water as a near-perfect cone. The highest volcano in the Kuril chain is a striking sight, inspiring various legends among the traditional Ainu inhabitants
- The highly maneuverable Zodiacs will forge upstream along Kamchatka’s Zhupanova River. Here we can spot rare birds including Stellar’s sea eagles. Brown bears are sometimes seen fishing for salmon at the river’s edge
- Take a history lesson in oceanic exploration on a visit to the Komandorsky (Commander Islands). Visit the burial site where Captain Vitus Bering’s ill fated second Kamchatka Expedition came to an end. We’ll also drop in on Nikolskoye, the only settlement on the Commanders, where we’ll experience a cultural performance by the local Aleut community