#107. Kamchatka in early summer - Sea mammals, birds, bears, whales, wild flowers and volcanoes (with halibut and salmon fishing!)

SEASON: June 10 th - July 10th
Departure 2008: June 21st and July 6th
Group size - up to 8 pax.

Rhododendrons.This expedition to Kamchatka will take place in early summer - the best time to see migrating and breeding birds, land and sea mammals and wild flowers before the mosquitoes become troublesome. We shall sail from Petropavlovsk on a small newly refurbished ocean-going cutter and explore the southeast coast of the peninsula. This is an extremely remote and seldom visited part since no roads reach it and very few boats venture along its shores. It is a wild and spectacular coast with towering, snow-capped, volcanoes including Viluchinsky and Mutnovsky. There are small islands and sea stacks which are the home of thousands of breeding seabirds including puffins and auks. Steller's Sea Lions haul out on the ledges. In sheltered bays Sea Otters and seals swim and on the high cliffs the magnificent Steller's Sea Eagle breeds. On the black volcanic sands we should see Brown Bears turning over the seaweed, washed up by winter storms, to look for dead fish. At the mouths of rivers and deltas there will be a mixture of migrant land birds, waterfowl and shore birds. Whilst sailing we should see Grey whales and dolphins including Orcas. We shall go ashore to explore the lakes, cliffs, beaches and rivers and possibly visit a hot spring area. We shall combine this ship-based part of the expedition with a land-based visit to two mountainous areas of the peninsula. The ancient volcano, Vachkazhets, is scenically one of the most beautiful places in Kamchatka and we can easily walk into its caldera and visit a beautiful waterfall. Mutnovsky, on the other hand, is still active and after climbing through a canyon past a glacier belching steam we enter the crater with its geysers, fumaroles, mud pools, spectacular rock formations and colours - a "journey to the centre of the earth". There will be plenty of time to savour the atmosphere of Kamchatka and follow our own interests whether they are ornithology, botany, geology, vulcanology, photography or walking.


Day 1. Arrive in Petropavlovsk. Welcome dinner in the restaurant. "Petropavlovsk" Hotel.
Steller sea eagle.Days 2-6. Embark on our boat. Depending on the weather and wind direction these days will be spent sailing along the southeast coast of Kamchatka. We shall go ashore whenever possible and explore bays including Viluchinskaya, Zhirovaya, Russkaya, Tikhirka and Bechevinka; capes including Kekurny, Nalychevo; islands including Starichikova and Krasheninnikova. We shall look for bears, sea mammals, sea birds, and wild flowers.
Day 7. Sail back to Petropavlovsk. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 8. Drive in an all-terrain bus to a small lake beside the ancient volcano, Vachkazhets. Camp.
Day 9. Explore on foot the beautiful caldera and waterfalls of Vachkazhets.
Day 10. Drive to Mutnovsky. Camp.
Day 11. Ascend the active volcano, Mutnovsky, on foot or explore the tundra close to the volcano.
Day 12. Drive to Petropavlovsk. Evening concert at the farm of Sasha Yastrebov. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 13. Depart Petropavlovsk for Moscow.

Cost EUR 2740 per person.

Weather: Variable; may be warm, dry and sunny but may also be cool, cloudy and raining; temperature in the range 4-20C.
Fitness: The pace will be leisurely. The walks are not difficult and are entirely at the discretion of the individual.

Price includes:

  • Full board and accomodations
  • Food and cooking facilities while camping
  • English-speaking rep at arrival and departure in the PKC airport 
  • Transfers by coach
  • City tour and museum entrance
  • Guides, interpreter and cook services
  • Visa invitation and visa registration
Killer whale.
Starichkov Island.
Fresh salmon.
6WD truck-bus.
Rhododendrons field.
our zodiac

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