Jewel of the Russian Far East Cruise

J.E. Ross
Bukhta Lavrova offers visitors unparalleled vistas
Katya Ovsyanikova
Local girls perform a song for visitors
J.E. Ross
Explore the Koryaksky Reserve by foot when you hike to Tintikun Lagoon
J.E. Ross
It looks like this Russian Arctic fox's nap was interrupted
Meghan Kelly
Photographers take advantage of the Zodiac's proximity to get an ideal walrus shot!
A. Russ
Views from the Spirit of Enderby's Western Pacific Odyssey
Sea bird
The eastern seaboard of Russia dominates the North Pacific and yet very few people know anything about it, let alone have experienced it. This isolation has protected one of its most valuable assets - its wilderness and to some degree, its wildlife. Late summer and early autumn is a beautiful time to discover this wilderness. The onset of autumn paints vibrant colors on the tundra cloaked hillsides making the landscape a picture perfect postcard. On this 13-day journey from Anadyr to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, make numerous landings along these remote coastlines so that you can discover for yourself this untamed and beautiful landscape.

Day 1

    Anadyr / Embark

    Arrive in Anadyr, the administrative center of the Chukotka region, before transfer to your ship and getting to know your fellow voyagers and crew on board.

    Day 2


      There is more to this small town on the shores of Kresta Bay than first meets the eye. It was built by Gulag prisoners in 1946 as a port to supply the Lul’tin mining complex some 200km inland, the prisoners also constructed the road to the mine. Today the Lul’tin mining complex is closed but the town and Port of Egvekinot is the terminus for a new road through to Pevek and its associated gold mines. The town has an excellent museum which you can visit. Moreover, Egvekinot is only a few miles south of the Arctic Circle and today travel by Ural (a 6WD ‘go anywhere’ Russian truck) to the point where the Arctic Circle crosses the road to Lul’tin. Venture even further to experience the tundra habitat which dominates so much of Chukotka.

      Day 3

        Bukhta Gavriila

        This coastline is rich in marine mammals and one creature to look for, in particular, is the walrus. The animals do regularly move between locations, so finding them is always very much a matter of luck. In the afternoon try to visit a well-known walrus haul out lying between Meinypil’gyno and Cape Navarin.

        A landing is also planned for Bukhta Gavriila. The bukhta (or bay) was named after Commander Vitus Bering’s ship, the St Gabriel, of the First Kamchatka Expedition. Behind the expansive beach there is a lagoon you can explore for waterfowl and waders. You may also visit what used to be the oldest weather station in Chukotka and the southernmost in the Arctic, which is now abandoned.

        Cape Navarin marks the place where the land bridge to North America began when sea levels were much lower. Because of strong tides around the cape there is an abundance of food and it is not uncommon to see large numbers of seabirds and good numbers of Gray Whales which often congregate here too.

        Day 4

          Pika River and Meinypil'gyno

          Start the day with a visit to the delta of the Pika River – a well known walrus haul out and one of the few places in the southern part of the range that still get thousands of animals coming to rest on the beach.

          Later in the day, visit Meinypil’gyno, a small settlement located on a 40km-long spit. It is a traditional village although renovated under the recent Chukotka government. But the spirit is still alive and the village ensemble performs some of their traditional dances, a chance to enjoy real Chukchi hospitality.

          Meinypil’gyno is also an important breeding spot for many species of migratory birds. Even though the breeding season is over by September, there is a chance of getting migrants on their way south and see the location where the research team is working hard to save the Spoon-billed Sandpiper.

          Day 5

            Bukhta Natalii

            Along the Koryak Coast there are many beautiful fiords (bukhtas or bays) and none are more beautiful than Bukhta Natalii. This fiord has two smaller fiords that drain into it from the south; called Bukhta Pavla and Bukhta Petra (named after St Peter and St Paul by Commander Vitus Bering).

            Cruise to the head of Bukhta Pavla and make a landing. This is a great opportunity to explore the inland as we hike from one bay to be picked up by the ship in another. The magnificent mountain landscapes and tundra vegetation surround you, along with the possibility of Snow Sheep sighting, who are often seen in the area. There is a historic walrus haul out on Bogoslova Island which guards the entrance to these fiords.

            Day 6

              Tintikun Lagoon

              Much of the southern Govena Peninsula was recently made into a state reserve. There are a number of fiords included in the reserve; one of the most spectacular is Tintikun Lagoon.

              This fiord was blocked by a large terminal moraine during the last period of glaciation. A shallow river surrounded by jagged mountains, glaciers and forested slopes has breached the moraine, allowing access to one of the most picturesque locations found anywhere in the world. Take the Zodiacs onto the lake and attempt to make several landings with Eurasian Nutcracker, Dusky Warbler, Siberian Rubythroat and Siberian Accentor amongst the possibilities. There is also a large population of brown bears and these should be feeding in and around the river mouths that drain into the head of the lagoon.

              Day 7

                Koryakskiy Reserve and Verhoturova Island

                Start the morning in brown bear country, an undisturbed habitat within the Koryakskiy Reserve, where you can go bear watching and Zodiac cruising along the coast. Bears come down to the sea coast and into the nearby hills very frequently, and the area is completely protected and rarely visited.

                In the afternoon visit Verkhoturova Island, where you have a chance to climb to a seabird colony. The breeding season is over, however, some of the birds that may still be around the colony include Tufted and Horned Puffins; Pigeon, Common and Brunnich’s Guillemots and also Parakeet and Least Auklets.

                Day 8

                  Karaginskiy Island

                  A few miles to the south of Verhoturova Island is the much larger Karaginskiy Island. Here we encounter some of the first ‘forests’ of the voyage. This is a change from the tundra that we have seen, a sure sign that we are getting further south. There are a large number of Red Foxes that live on the island and many migratory birds come here to their breeding grounds and on the way south. The autumn is the best time for the wild berries and we can marvel at the richness of the local flora, as many of them would be at their best. A proposed landing site is a patchwork of boggy tundra, ponds and shingle spits where you can find an interesting range of waders and waterfowl.

                  Days 9-10

                    Commander Islands

                    The wildlife-rich Commander Islands were first discovered by Commander Vitus Bering when his ship was wrecked here in 1741. He perished on the island along with many of his men. The reports from those that survived led to a ‘fur rush’ and the settlement of the islands.

                    There are two large islands (Bering and Medny) with two smaller islands Ariy Karmen and Toporkov. These islands are located at the western extremity of the Aleutian chain. Explore the islands through a combination of landings and Zodiac cruises.

                    Day 11

                      Olga Bay

                      Olga Bay is a part of the very large Kronotskiy Reserve, which also includes the world-famous Valley of the Geysers. The habitat is quite different to what you have seen thus far. There is a possibility of seeing brown bears and other forest fauna, as well as multiple bird species that live in this habitat. The seas around Olga Bay are frequented by large numbers of Gray Whales that are usually quite friendly to the visiting boats, if the conditions are right, join a Zodiac whale-watching cruise.

                      The rising volcanoes in the background provide a beautiful setting to explore real Kamchatka wilderness.

                      Day 12

                        Zhupanova River and Bukta Bechevinskaya

                        This morning make your way along the Zhupanova River by Zodiac. This journey allows you to explore a river habitat which is common in Kamchatka. The Kamchatka Rivers (of which there are over 1,800) are important ecosystems that support a wide variety of wildlife. They are especially important for salmon spawning. In the afternoon, depending on permits, there is a possibility of visiting Cape Shipunsky and Bechevinskaya Bay where there was a secret military submarine base during the Cold War. It was completely abandoned after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but it provides an amazing image of the face of the Cold War.

                        Alternatively, we may cruise nearby to Krasheninnikova Island – a rocky island that has a number of seabirds nesting on it, including Spectacled Guillemot and some other Bering Sea endemics. As you spend your last night at sea, celebrate and recap your voyage highlights with fellow passengers.

                        Day 13


                          During the night the Spirit of Enderby enters Avacha Bay which is one of the greatest natural harbors in the world. On the shores of Avacha Bay is Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, the capital and administrative center of the Kamchatka Region. After breakfast, disembark and take your complimentary transfer to a downtown hotel or the airport.

                          To allow time for disembarkation procedures we do not recommend booking flights before 13:00hrs.

                           Main Deck TripleMain deckSuperiorSuperior PlusMini SuiteHeritage Suite
                          Landing fees: $500 per person
                          Private one-way charter flight from Nome to Anadyr: $1000
                          - Travel Insurance is mandatory for all passengers aboard the Spirit of Enderby.
                          - Single clients are matched with a sharer of the same sex in a twin-share cabin. Payment of a single supplement guarantees a single cabin. The single supplement is 1.8 times the price of the voyage with the exception of the suites which are double the single rate.
                          - Included in the cruise fare is a pre-departure hotel night, group dinner as well as breakfast the next day prior to embarkation.
                          Trip Inclusions: Pre/post cruise transfers, all on board ship accommodation and meals and all expedition shore excursions.

                          Not included in cruise fare: Government landing fees.

                          Special Itinerary Note: You can join this expedition either in Anadyr, Russia (Day 1) or in Nome, Alaska. Those starting in Nome will fly by a charter flight (approximate fee of $1000) to Anadyr and will join the ship and the expedition members who have traveled direct to Anadyr. Sample Itinerary is as follows: Day 0: Nome Those departing from Nome, Alaska, should arrive in Nome before midday and preferably the previous night. On arrival, check in with Bering Air at the Nome Airport for your charter flight. During this flight you will cross the International Date Line, arriving into Anadyr on Day 1 of the expedition itinerary above. You will clear Russian Customs and Immigration.

                          Note: During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and/or opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.
                          Asia, Arctic, Europe, Russia, Russia, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Commander Islands, Goven Peninsula, Bukhta Natalii, Meinypil'gyno, Anadyr, Karaginskiy Island, Zhupnova River, Egvekinot, Bukhta Gavriila, Verhoturova Island, Bukhta Bechevinskaya
                          Contact Us
                          First Name
                          Last Name
                          What's Your Adventure?
                          Articles & Info

                          Asia Information

                          Arctic Information

                          Europe Information

                          Traveler Stories