Wild Kamchatka with the Kuril Islands
Aboard the Caledonian Sky
May 20, 2020 ♦ Sapporo to Petropavlovsk ♦ 16 Days
Arrive in Sapporo and check in to your hotel. In the evening gather for a welcome dinner and briefing.
||Sapporo/Otaru/Embark Caledonian Sky:
Following breakfast, join a tour of Sapporo's highlights. This afternoon after lunch, embark Caledonian Sky.
||Teuri Island/ Rishiri Island:
Early risers can don binoculars to scan the rocky cliffs for one of the largest colonies of rhinoceros auklets in Asia during a scenic cruise by tiny Teuri Island. Later, hike or stroll in a forest at Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park and visit the municipal museum for local history and artifacts.
||Korsakov, Sakhalin Island, Russia/Yuzhno-Sahalinsk:
Stop in Korsakov, driving into Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the island's capital, for an interesting look at both Japanese and Russian cultural sights. Or you may opt for a day of birding with an orinthologist on the southern part of the island.
Tyuleniy is the Russian word for seal, which explains the name for this island. The beaches are home to hundreds of northern fur seals and Steller sea lions, where you may be able to view their social habits, as well as a plethora of birds which share the space.
||Broutona Island, Kuril Islands/Chirpoy Island:
The Kuril Islands make up an archipelago of 56 large and small volcanic islands extending about 700 nautical miles between Kamchatka and Japan with 40 active volcanoes. Today take a Zodiac cruise past the sheer cliffs of uninhabited Broutona Island to search for northenr fulmars and fork-tailed storem petrels. Thousands of breeding seabirds live on the dramatic headlands of Chirpoy Island.
||Simushir Islands/Yankicha Island:
Explore Shimushir's amazing geology; extinct volcanoes, forested hillsides and a flooded crater that once hosted a secret military base. You may get an upclose look at the abandoned buildings and relics here. Yankicha has fumaroles and hot springs and you may encounter wildlife such as Arctic foxes, Arctic warblers and Middendorff's grasshopper warblers during a nature walk here.
Often enveloped in fog, these islands are home to thousands of nesting seabirds, as well as large populations of Steller sea lions and northern fur seals.
Here are small, rocky islets that are ideal resting spots for thousands of northern fur seals.
This scenic island boasts a 4,000-foot-high volcano with a lake in its center. A shoreside walk with your naturalist reveals seabirds and possibility of exploring ruins of the Ainu peoples who used to live here.
Scenic cruising through the First Kuril Strait provides an opportunity to look for Steller's sea eagles and sea otters. Stop on Atlasova Island and stroll on its black sand beaches to explore the areas's geology or instead, go on an inland hike on the tundra to look for wildflowers.
This scenic bay resembles a Norwegian fjord with its inland mountains and volcanoes and is home to multitudes of seabirds and marine mammals.
Today you will board Zodiacs to negotiate the shallow and meandering Zhupanova River and enjoy opportunities for birding and nature walks.
||Petropavlovsk/Disembark/Seoul, South Korea and Home:
After breakfast, you will disembark the Caledonian Sky to transfer to airport for charter flight to Seoul. Check in the to the Grand Hyatt Incheon for dinner and an overnight stay. Tomorrow you board your independent flight home.