Day 1: Meet the expedition team in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk for transfer to the ice strengthened Spirit of Enderby. Board the ship and settle into your cabin as we set sail for the Sea of Okhotsk.
Day 2: Tyulenly Island. This small island is home to many Northern Fur Seals and Steller Sea Lions. We hope to land if sea conditions permit to photograph these fascinating mammals.
Day 3: Piltun Bay, Sakhalin Island. This area is an important habitant for Gray Whales. When we find them we will take to the Zodiacs for a closer look.
Day 4: Iony Island. This is a tiny island which supports a huge population of wildlife. Birds appear to take up every available ledge and crevice and the sky is dark with millions of wings. Species include guillemots, kittiwakes and auklets. Sea Lions rest on the rocky coastline wherever they can find a spot.
Days 5 & 6: Shantar Archipelago. This is the last area of the Sea of Okhotsk which becomes ice free each year. It is here we find the ice seals and we hope to see Bearded, Ringed, Largha and the beautiful Ribbon Seal. We will make landings wherever possible.
Day 7: Mal'minskie Islands. Birds are everywhere here - in the air, on the water and on the land. Numerous species breed here including spectacular numbers of Spectacled Guillemot. The impressive Steller's Sea Eagles can also be seen in this area. Landing is restricted to a small gravel spit but once ashore we should be able to enjoy a good walk.
Day 8: Okhotsk Town. This town has featured in many tales of Russian Far history since the early Cossak explorers arrived. Today it is the centre of fishing in the region and exports significant quantities of salmon. We will visit the town centre and enjoy mingling with the locals who love to share their songs and dances with visitors.
Day 9: Talan Island. This island is famous for the hundreds of thousands of Crested Auklets that nest here. Steller's Sea Eagles are attracted to the island as a result of this regular food source. We plan to circumnavigate the island before landing and will return in the late evening to enjoy the spectacle of massive flocks of Crested Auklets amassing at sea before coming ashore.
Day 10: Koni Peninsula. This mountainous region offers protection for the brown bears and snow sheep that roam here. We will scout out the best landing spots to see these and other wildlife.
Day 11: Yamskiye Islands. Some biologists claim these islands are the largest bird colony in the North Pacific. Recent counts indicate that there are around 7 million birds nesting on Matykil Island alone. Bird species include Common and Brunnichs Guillemot, Crested, Parakeet and Least Auklets, Tufted and Horned Puffins and Northern Fulmars. We will spend time cruising the islands by Zodiac as no landings are permitted.
Day 12: Magadan. The name of this town is unfortunately synonymous with Stalin's oppressive Gulags or prisons, despite there being very little evidence now of this dark past. We plan to arrive about midday and disembark in the early afternoon.
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