Waterproof Cruises

Siberia's forgotten coast

This unique expedition follows the east coast of Siberia from Kamtchatka, past the Commander Islands and onwards to Anadyr in Chukotka.

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Siberia's forgotten coast

This unique expedition follows in the footsteps of the Danish Explorer Commander Vitus Bering whose instructions from Tsar Peter the Great were to "sail north by north-east... chart the coast and collect information".

Our journey starts in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, in the south of the Kamchatka peninsula, and we will travel north-east along the remote coastlines of Russia's Eastern Edge.

Our voyage is dedicated to looking for birds and wildlife and we can expect to have some truly spectacular experiences. There is one bird which makes this trip very special and that is the Spoon-billed Sandpiper. This species is classified as 'critically endangered' and it is believed there are now less than 200 pairs which make the annual migration to Northern Kamchatka and Chukotka to breed. Besides birds we will also be looking for, sea lions, whales, bears and foxes who are known residents of this erea.

Very few people have had the privilege of visiting this region to see this species and we hope to repeat the success of our previous expeditions when we not only saw birds at Meinypil'gyno, the only monitored breeding site, but also made ornithological history by finding a new population further south.

Highlights:
- Be part of a unique expedition run as a co-operative venture with BirdLife International
- This voyage is dedicated to looking for birds and wildlife, in particular, the Spoon-billed Sandpiper
- Visit an area very few people have had the privilege of visiting
- Exiting zodiac trips and landings + oppertunity to take lots of pictures.

Note:
This is a sample itinerary. We do our utmost to guarantee the best experience, unfortunately we have no control over the weather or wildlife behaviour. Ports of embarkation and disembarkation and sites may change depending on vessel and departure dates, weather- and ice conditions.

  • Day 1

    Arrive into Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy the capital and administrative centre of the Kamchatka Region and transfer to the port to board the Spirit of Enderby.

    Day 2

    We plan to spend the morning Zodiac cruising on the Zhupanova River. Here we will try to spot the Steller's Sea Eagle of which there are usually at least three occupied nests close to the river. The rivers sandbars are filled with numbers of Largha seals and close to them are waterfowl and waders. In the late afternoon while heading for the Commander Islands we can see new species including Laysan Albatross, Mottled Petrel and the Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel. If we are lucky we can see some blue whales on this crossing but they are rare.

  • Days 3 - 4

    The wildlife-rich Commander Islands were first discovered by the Commander Vitus Bering when his ship was wrecked here in 1741. We intend to explore the islands through a combination of landings and Zodiac cruises and our first stop will be the village of Nikolskoye, where there is an interesting museum. Zodiac cruising is often spectacular and we hope to encounter Red-faced Cormorant, Red-legged Kittiwake, Pigeon Guillemot, Horned Puffin, as well as Parakeet, Crested and Whiskered Auklets and Sea Otters. Our plans also include a ship cruise along the southern coast of Bering Island, as this area is excellent for cetaceans with Humpback, Sperm, Northern Minke, Orcas and Baird’s Beaked Whales all regularly encountered.

  • Day 5

    Our proposed landing site is a patchwork of boggy tundra, ponds and shingle spits and an interesting range of waders can be found here including Pacific Golden Plover, Red-necked Stint and Red-necked Phalarope.

    Day 6

    Verkhoturova Island has some huge seabird colonies and by following a short trail to the cliff top we should be able to enjoy some fantastic views of Tufted Puffins, Brunnich’s Guillemots, Pelagic Cormorants and Black-legged Kittiwakes. Both Steller’s Eider and Harlequin Duck occur here too and we may also see some Steller Sea Lions, as they are often hauled out on some offshore rocks. Later in the day, there will be either a Zodiac cruise or landing on the Govena Peninsula. Good numbers of brown bears can often be found here.

  • Days 7-10

    During these days of the expedition we will travel along this largely unknown part of the coast. It comprises deep forested fiords where we should see brown bears, Red Fox and with luck, mountain sheep and Kamchatka Marmots. In the many lagoons and shallow bays there is a vast array of birdlife including Tundra Bean Goose, Steller’s Eider, Great Knot, Long-tailed Stint, Gyrfalcon, Siberian Accentor and Asian Rosy Finch. This area is also a stronghold of the Kittlitz’s Murrelet and we should see several during our journey. In our previous expeditions we have explored much of this coastline, documenting the distribution and abundance of many species. In 2011 we recorded a previously unknown breeding population of Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Working alongside researchers from BirdLife International and Birds Russia who will be travelling with us, we plan to revisit many of these areas to monitor changes and search for new breeding colonies. There will be unique opportunities for photography, for hiking and ‘birding’ in country where literally only a few ‘westerners’ have ever been and we know there is a rich diversity of species.

  • Days 11 - 12

    Meinypil’gyno, located on a 40km long shingle spit is the most important site in the world for breeding Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Here about fifteen pairs are monitored by members of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Recovery Taskforce. We will be guests of the Taskforce and if possible we may be guided to one of their monitored nests. The area is extremely rich in other wildlife, so we may also find Emperor Goose, Pacific Diver, White-billed Diver and Sandhill Crane. The lagoon entrance often has Largha Seal, Gray and Beluga Whales and a spectacular number of gulls.

  • Day 13

    This coastline is rich in marine mammals and one creature we will be looking for in particular, is the walrus, as there is a known haul out. The animals do regularly move between locations, so finding them is always very much a matter of luck, although we have had success here in the past. Good numbers of Gray Whales often congregate here too. To the north of Cape Navarin is Keyngypilgyn Lagoon. On previous visits we have found this an excellent location for waterfowl and waders including Emperor Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, Brent Geese, Whooper Swan, King Eiders, Red Knots and Aleutian Terns.

    Day 14

    As we cruise into Anadyr Bay, there is an excellent chance of seeing more Beluga Whales and after a final breakfast on board the Spirit of Enderby, it will be time to disembark. We will provide complimentary transfers to a downtown hotel and the airport

Dates & Rates

Extensions

Call us today on +31 (0) 858 771 583