Day 1: Arrive in Anadyr and transfer to the Spirit of Enderby. We set sail in the late afternoon.
Day 2: We spend the day around the town of Egvekinot on the shore of Kresta Bay. This town was built by Gulag prisoners who were then forced to build a road to the nearby mine. Visit the excellent museum and take a drive across the Arctic Circle.
Day 3: Bukhta Gavrilla. This coastline is rich in marine mammals and one we particularly want to see is the walrus. Once ashore we will take a walk around the lagoon looking for waterfowl and waders.
Day 4: Pika River and Meinypil'gyno. We start the day at the Pika River - a known walrus haul out. Later we visit Meinypil'gyno which is best known as the base for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force. We will be entertained by the village ensemble who will perform some of their traditional dances.
Day 5: Bukhta Natalii. This afternoon at Bukhta (or Fiord) Natalii, we have a unique opportunity to explore the ‘hinterland’. It is a wonderful location for an extended walk, photography and botanical exploration, with autumn colors at their height. Nomadic reindeer herders and walrus often frequent the vicinity.
Day 6: Tintikun Lagoon. A large number of brown bears inhabit this spectacular reserve.
Day 7: Koryakskiy Reserve and Verhoturova Island. We begin the day in brown bear country once again. Hopefully we will be able to see them foraging nearby. In the afternoon we will visit Verhoturova Island where Tufted and Horned Puffins, Pigeon, Common and Brunnich's Guillemots and also Parakeet and Least Auklets can be seen. Steller Sea Lions are often seen hauled out on rocky islets just off shore.
Day 8: Karaginskiy Island. On this island we encounter some of the first ‘forests’ of the voyage. This is a change from the tundra that we have seen so far, and a sure sign that we are getting further south. We will make an expedition landing to explore these forests on the western shoreline where the trees should be in full autumn splendour.
Days 9 - 10: Commander Islands. These islands sit at the western extremity of the well-known Aleutian Islands. These Islands are Russian territory discovered by the explorer Vitus Bering. Bering and his men were shipwrecked here and he perished along with many of his men. The reports from those that survived led to a ‘fur rush’ and settlement on the Islands. The Commander Islands were an important strategic military and Border Control post during the Cold War, but since the collapse of communism in 1991-1992 many of the people have moved away. We visit Nikoi’skoye, the one small village that remains, meet some of the locals and visit the small museum before investigating some of the known wildlife colonies, including a large number of seabird and seal colonies.
Day 11: Olga Bay. This is part of the Kronotskiy Reserve which also includes the world famous 'Valley of the Geysers'. Large numbers of Gray Whales can be seen here and they seem to be attracted to ships so often come quite close to the vessel.
Day 12: Zhupanova River and Bukhta Bechevinskaya. Today we explore the Zhupanova River by Zodiac. This journey allows us to explore a river habitat common in Kamchatka. These rivers are important ecosystems that work in tandem with the seacoast to support a wide variety of wildlife. Stella’s Sea Eagles are known to nest in the lower reaches of the River, and hundreds of tons of salmon are harvested from these rivers each year. We will make a stop at a salmon fishing camp – an ideal opportunity to learn about this important industry.
Day 13: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy. Early this morning we sail into Avacha Bay, one of the world’s best natural harbours and disembark once formalities have been completed.
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