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.
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 viewing migrants on their way south and seeing the location where the research team is working hard to save the spoon-billed sandpiper.
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 fjords.
This fjord 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 - these should be feeding in and around the river mouths that drain into the head of the lagoon.
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.
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.
The rising volcanoes in the background provide a beautiful setting to explore real Kamchatka wilderness.
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.
To allow time for disembarkation procedures we do not recommend booking flights before 13:00hrs.