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
This extraordinary Franz Josef Land cruise is as unique and authentic as the place itself. Franz Josef Land, part of the Russian Arctic National Park, is a nature sanctuary. Starting in Longyearbyen in the Norwegian territory of Svalbard, the Sea Spirit cruise ship crosses the icy, wildlife-rich Barents Sea to the Russian High Arctic. This remote wilderness is home to a variety of wildlife, including polar bears. In the surrounding icy waters, it is possible to spot seals, walruses, and the elusive bowhead whale. The archipelago also hosts an abundance of nesting Arctic seabirds such as the rare ivory gull.
Franz Josef Land and Svalbard Cruise Trip Highlights:
- Upon our arrival in Franz Josef Land, we’ll spend a week exploring this uninhabited archipelago. We’ll navigate the shallow waters of the isles by Zodiac and make as many on-shore landings as possible. Made up of 192 islands, glaciers cover 85% of the land, carving out a spectacular terrain of steep valleys, caves and pinnacles
- Our mission during our time in Franz Josef Land is to observe (sometimes at an extremely close range) the iconic Arctic animal species that call the islands home, including polar bears, walruses, beluga whales and narwhals
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.
Cruise to Wrangel Island, an area 140km off the northeast coast of Siberia, separated from northern Alaska by the Chukchi Sea. For 10 frozen months of the year, this lonely wilderness is completely cut off from the outside world. Reaching Wrangel and braving its polar climate is not for the faint of heart. Only the most dedicated nature lovers make the journey – but the rewards are without parallel. There is simply no better destination than to meet the wild denizens of the Arctic up-close, virtually undisturbed by human interference, and in numbers that will simply astound you.
Wrangel Island Expedition Cruise HIGHLIGHTS
- Whale Bone Alley is the name given to a beach on Yttygran Island in the Bering Sea. Landing on the beach, you’ll take in the haunting atmosphere of this ancient site, where gigantic whalebones appear to sprout out of the ground, stretching along the coast for nearly half a kilometre
- Uelen, the most northeasterly village in Russia, home to a predominantly Chukchi population. The village is one of the foremost centres for Chukchi and Inuit art. On our visit, we’ll be entertained by local folklore and a visit to the bone-carving workshops
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