The voyage to the Kuril Islands
Do you remember the famous book “In Search of the Castways” by Jules Verne? We do! We read avidly the story of Captain Grant’s Odyssey and his children’s adventures.
Inspired we have thought out the cruise that suggests your participation in the real scientific investigation of the Pacific Ocean vortex and of the distant, poorly populated lands. We are heading for the Kuril Isles that legally belong to the neighbouring Sahalin district but geographically are closer to Kamchatka peninsula. Northern Kuril Islands have the volcanic origin except for the Shumshu island. There are more than 150 volcanoes, 39 of them are active, are located on the archipelago.
During the voyage we will have the unique chance to observe (as authentic scientists!) the dwellers of the ocean depths – killer whales, whales and Northern sea lions. We might meet different seals, sea otters and myriad of sea birds. We will also visit the ruins of Japanese military fortifications built in the years of the Second World War. Those ruins became the center of the furious fighting during the Kuril landing operation.
We will travel to the foot of the most active volcanoes, find ourselves on the Onekotan island famous for its crater lake with the volcano soaring above it. If the weather favours us, we will also land on the Atlasov volcano-island – the place that is accessible not for everybody.
Terms: from July to the beginning of September
Group: 1-8 people
Total cost: price on request
Arrival to Kamchatka (airport in Elizovo town, 25 km from the capital city – Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy). Program coordinators meet the group at the airport and provide transfer to the sea port in the center of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy. Travelers embark the sailing catamaran, meet the crew and learn the safety instructions. The ship leaves the Avacha Bay and heads for the Russkaya Bay passing the famous rocks Three Brothers and Starichkov Island, thickly populated with birds. Overnight stay in the Russkaya Bay.
Trekking to the monument devoted to the events of the Great Patriotic War. Sea kayaking to the waterfalls of the Russkaya Bay. Passage to the Cape Kekurniy to observe the wild rookery of the Northern sea lions. Passage to the Northern Kuril Town – known as Severo-Kurilsk.
Crossing the First Kuril Strait. Arrival to Severo-Kurilsk located on the Paramushir Island. Permit formalities with the frontier officers. Overnight stay by the dock in Severo-Kurilsk.
Introduction to the volcanic island Paramushir located in the northern part of the Kuril Islands chain. Space shots of the island’s relief look really striking, however, nothing can compare to emotions when you see mountains and volcanoes with your own eyes. Paramushir is the most mountainous and the most volcanic of all large Kuril Islands. Its name derived from the Ainu language and means a “board island” or a “populous island”. Severo-Kurilsk, the administrative center of the Severo-Kurilsk district, is the only permanently populated settlement with about 5 000 residents.
Passage to the Onekotan Island (about 20 hours). Onekotan is located near the northern end of the Kuril Islands chain. In the Ainu language its name meant a “large village”. Travelers disembark and do trekking across the island famous for its two stratovolcanoes – Krinitsyn (1 325 m) and Nemo (1 019 m).
Passage to the Alaid Island also known as Atlasov Island, the northernmost island of the chain. The island is famous for the highest volcano of the archipelago – 2 339 m. A lot of people dream about visiting this mysterious volcano-island. We suggest climbing up its adventive cone Taketomi and exploring the old lighthouse.
Passage to the islands Ebeko and Shumshu. The name of the latter is translated as a “good island”. There is an abandoned settlement Baikovo that usually attracts travelers with its enigmatic atmosphere and lake Bitobi. Towards the end of the WWII the island was strongly garrisoned by both the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy. On August 18, 1945 Soviet forces landed on Shumshu to perform a range of combat operations and liberate the island from the Japanese invasion. We are going to visit the places of landing of the troops of Kamchatka Defense Area.
Return to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy. End of the voyage. Stay in the guesthouse.