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Russia's Ring of Fire

This expedition explores one of the most geologically active and biologically rich parts of the planet. The large number of live volcans on the Kamchatka Peninsula and along the Kuril Islands has earned this region the reputation of the Pacific's 'Ring of Fire'. This is a land of stunning bays and snow-capped volcans whose alpine meadows and lowland forests support a great diversity of wildlife. The seas washing these isolated coasts are equally rich in life they are among the most productive in the world, teeming with birds and marine mammals. Huge bird colonies dot the cliffs and large seal rookeries are scattered along the coast. The volcanic Kuril Islands chain comprises 32 islands stretching across the Bering Sea between Russia and Japan. On this voyage we focus on the extraordinary biodiversity of the area and get to know the people that call this wild outpost home.


All meals onboard the ship
Comfortable cabin accommodation on the voyage
All shore excursions as outlined in itinerary
Services of specialist expedition leaders and staff
All activities while on cruise including lectures, slide and film shows
Medical services (there is a resident medical officer and infirmary on board)
Arrival transfer to ship
Departure transfer to the airport or hotel
Cruising the coastline of the Russian Far East
Opportunities for seeing the Kamchatka Brown Bear for which Kamchatka is well known as they venture here to the salmon streams
Entering the Second Strait there will be a chance to observe Sea Otters, where some of the highest populations have been recorded
Explore Toporkovy Island where we will see the rock dwellings of the Anui people who once inhabited the Kuril Islands
Visit the summit of a submerged volcano at Yankicha Island. 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.
Explore Chirpoy, Urup and Iturup islands
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
Price From
AUD $7,300
Start Location
Sakhalin Island, Arctic
End Location
Age Range
Avg. 100+
Group Size
1 to 50
Tour Style
Tour Themes
Small Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Tour departure dates
14 Jun 201826 Jun 2018AvailableAUD $7,300
Day 1
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.
Day 2
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.
Day 3
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.
Day 4
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.
Day 5
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.
Day 6
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.
Day 7
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.
Day 8
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.
Day 9
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.
Days 10-11
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.
Day 12
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.
Day 13
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.