Once all guests have embarked, you be introduced to important members of the crew and your expedition team. This evening we invite you to familiarize yourself with your new home away from home, meet some of your fellow travelers, and enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.
During our second day we will have an opportunity to explore Petropavlovsk. The town of Peter and Paul derives its name from the two sailing ships used by Vitus Bering when the great explorer reached Avacha Bay in 1740. It is the only major city on the peninsula and one of the oldest. Petropavlovsk is also the scientific and cultural centre of the region, and today local guides will take us on a comprehensive tour including the museum of ethnography and natural history, the art school, the gold-domed Russian Orthodox Cathedral and the marketplace.
In the evening we depart on our spectacular expedition “Wilderness of Kamchatka”.
By cruising the Zhupanova River with our highly maneuverable Zodiacs, we will have the ability to stop and go ashore wherever we expect to find the best birding and nature walks. Heading upstream, we are likely to spot up to 40 different bird species and may even see brown bears fishing for salmon in the river. Our main goal today is to spot Steller Sea Eagles. This majestic bird is known to frequent this area, and we hope to have good views of at least one of the eagles.
The Komandorskiye or Commander Islands are named after famed Commander Vitus Bering who had been commissioned by the Russian Tsar to search for a land bridge between Asia and America. After having been to Alaska he was forced to overwinter here. He was buried on the island, but part of the crew managed to return to Petropavlovsk. We will try to go ashore to see the graves of Bering and some of his crew.
Today we intend to visit a Steller sea lion rookery on the north side of Cape Severozapadniy. If we manage to land, we will walk along a sometimes waterlogged dirt road which leads to a blind overlooking the rookery. Apart from the sea lions arctic foxes can often be seen; they are curious, and will watch us from a safe distance.
Before lunch Silver Explorer will sail to Nikolskoye, which was established in 1826 by fur traders. This fishing village on Bering Island has colorful buildings and an Orthodox Church–one of Russia’s newest and one of the eastern-most–and a small museum where we will learn about the Aleut people and their culture. It also contains much information on Bering, as well as the bones of a Steller’s sea cow. During our visit we will enjoy a concert and be entertained by a presentation of local games.
While Silver Explorer cruises the Bering Sea, help our birders looking for albatrosses or learn a few tips for better editing your photographs by our onboard photographer.
Attend a lecture by one of our specialists and test your knowledge at Team Trivia.
During the early morning we will arrive at Yuzhnaya Glubokaya, where we might do a short Zodiac cruise and we will visit an abandoned fishing village that today is covered in wildflowers. This is an area well-liked by brown bears and activities will much depend on their presence.
Depending on tidal conditions we will either do a Zodiac cruise in Lavrova Bay or at Tintikyn Lagoon. Lavrova Bay features a Russian shipwreck dating back to the 1970’s and another abandoned fish camp where we offer a Zodiac cruise and short nature walk. The entrance to Tintikyn Lagoon is extremely tidal dependent, and we will only be able to enter at rising tide. The mountains surrounding the lagoon are well liked by brown bears and, in case we could enter the lagoon, we should be able to spot them grazing on the slopes.
During the morning Silver Explorer will still be at sea, giving our lecturers time for a talk or seminar. Shortly before noon we will arrive at our destination. Named after one of the ships used for the Bering expedition, Pyotr Bay is a sheltered bay and offers two hikes: one near the lighthouse close to the entrance of the bay with little climbing and only a short distance to cover; the other at the end of the bay, heading towards two lakes situated well above sea-level. While Largha seals can be expected at the first landing, the other promises a longer hike, spectacular landscape and more birding.
In the afternoon we plan to cruise and explore Bogoslav’s shore by Zodiac. Arches and caves will be found along the coast around most of the island and we hope to see a walrus haul-out and Slaty-backed Gulls, Pigeon Guillemots, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Tufted Puffins, Horned Puffins, Common Guillemots, and Harlequin Ducks.
We plan to cruise and explore this region by Zodiac, hoping to see a walrus haul-out and seals. Birders will be on the lookout for Slaty-backed Gulls, Pelagic Cormorants, Horned Puffins, Tufted Puffins, Black-legged Kittiwakes, and White Wagtails, White-fronted Geese, Bean Geese and Whooper Swans.
Depending on the conditions we might go ashore by Zodiac for nature walks amid a landscape surrounded by conical peaks and jagged cliffs, separated by valleys with lakes, waterfalls and tumbling streams and glimpses of arctic voles and ground squirrels.
While Silver Explorer heads north you have another opportunity to learn more about this remote part of the world, its nature and its inhabitants. Attend a lecture, partake in a seminar, or perhaps watch our chef prepare a delicacy before lunch. There are many ways to spend a relaxing day at sea.
Yttygran offers a unique natural history experience on this voyage. An array of bowhead whale bones and rock arrangements is stunning–it is a place of great archaeological importance combined with natural beauty. An early morning landing will add to the magic and mystery of the place due to the soft hues and the muffled light conditions. For the more energetic passengers a hike up the steep nearby hill provides an excellent leg stretch.
During lunch Silver Explorer will reposition to be closer to the Proliv Senyavina Hot Springs. We will go ashore by Zodiac, will enter a small lagoon and hike across tundra and some rolling hills to reach a stream with some hot springs. You can choose to either enter a small pool prepared by the local fishermen, or to go into the stream.
In Provideniya we will only stop for our outward clearance. While the Russian authorities make sure all formalities are completed, we will start our last day on board with final lectures, summing up our experiences during the last 11 days. Though today is technically considered Day 12 of our voyage, it is one very “short” day that includes approximately 19 hours of cruising the Bering Sea and crossing the International Date Line. We will actually arrive in Alaska before we left Provideniya thanks to 24 hours gained crossing the International Dateline from west to east.
After breakfast, disembark Silver Explorer.
Note: Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your expedition leader and captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity.
* Itinerary may be subject to change