This morning we will all congregate at the Mega Palace Hotel and take a coach transfer to the Port of Korsakov some 40 minutes south of the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk where staff will be on hand to welcome you at the Spirit of Enderby. Once on board you will be shown to your cabins and there will be a chance to unpack and explore the vessel.
By late morning we hope to make a landing at Kurilsky Reserve where with the assistance of the local rangers we will enjoy some walks. In the early evening we set sail for Iturup Island.
Weather permitting we hope to take an early morning zodiac cruise to look for Spectacled Guillemot and Long-billed Murrelet before heading ashore to the community of Kurilsk. From here we will journey by bus to venture into the volcanic highlands of Iturup were the higher altitude and different vegetation allows us to search for a range of new bird life including the Arctic Warbler, Japanese Robin and Pine Grosbeak to name just a few.
This morning we will have the chance to do an extended walk on Urup, hoping to spot White-tailed Eagle, Harlequin Duck and Japanese Cormorants along with numerous other bird species. This afternoon we anchor off Chirpoy were there are some dramatic headlands covered in breeding seabirds. Chirpoy Island where there are some dramatic headlands covered in breeding seabirds and, depending on the sea conditions, we will either land or have a Zodiac cruise.
Within the stunning setting of this huge caldera, we can expect to find a good range of bird species with one of the most common birds likely to be the spectacular Siberian Rubythroat. Over lunch we cruise to Yankicha Island, the summit of a submerged volcano. The visit here is invariably one of the high points of the entire voyage as the numbers of alcids which breed here are truly incredible; there are literally hundreds of thousands.
This morning we cruise the shores of Toporkovy Island where, once again, there are spectacular colonies of breeding seabirds. The island is named after the Tufted Puffin and we can expect to see large numbers of them rafting on the sea. We hope to land on the island of Matua where there is an active volcano that last erupted in 2009. During the Second World War Matua was heavily fortified by the Japanese and there is a labyrinth of trenches across the island.
This morning we will make a landing at the northern end of Onekotan Island from where it is a relatively easy walk to Black Lake. Our walk will take us through stunted areas of Siberian Stone Pine, Dwarf Birch and Polar Willow. This afternoon we visit Atlasova Island where the tallest volcanoin the archipelago can be found (Alaid: 2,340m). On the shore near our landing site are the remains of a Gulag that you can explore. Beyond that you can wander as far as you can in the time allocated, as there are no brown bears on this island.
We will spend the day exploring the south-eastern tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula.
In fine weather we have fantastic views of the many snow-covered volcans that dominate the region. Whilst zodiac cruising we hope to spot Sea Otters, Largha Seals and Stellar Sea Lions and numerous birds. Brown Bears are not uncommon in the area also.
This morning we will embark on a zodiac cruise on the river for several hours looking for birds and other wildlife. The combination of smoking volcans and mile upon mile of untouched forest make this area very special.
The Commander Islands form the western extremity of the Aleutian Islands and are the only islands in the chain that belong to Russia. They are named after the legendary Danish explorer Commander Vitus Bering who discovered the islands when he became the first European to sail between Asia and North America. During our two days in the Commander Islands we plan to visit both Bering and Medney.
Today we have a full day at sea as we cruise the Kamchatka Trench. Keeping our eyes open for whales and numerous sea birds including Tufted Puffin and Fork-tailed Storm Petrel's we will recap on the numerous experiences we have enjoyed on the voyage. Tonight we will enjoy a farewell dinner.
During the night the Spirit of Enderby will enter Avacha Bay which is one of the greatest natural harbours in the world. On the shores of Avacha Bay is Petropavlovsk Kamchatskiy, the capital and administrative centre of the Kamchatka Region. After breakfast you will disembark and we will provide complimentary transfers to a downtown hotel and the airport. To allow time for disembarkation procedures we do not recommend booking flights before 13:00hrs.