Things to do in Kamchatka

Our top activities in Kamchatka

Cruising, but not as you
know it

Cruise ships have a bit of a reputation as the bad boys of travel, with the huge ones chucking out CO2 and crushing coral reefs in the wake of their steely gazes, but in the case of the Russian Far East, an untouched environment with virtually no roads and very little infrastructure, expedition cruising is the only way to get up close and personal with Kamchatka’s natural wonders. Ditch any preconceptions you may have about “cruising” – an expedition cruise is different: the boat is much smaller; there will be barely a hundred passengers with you, not thousands; the onboard entertainment involves ecology talks and photography tips, and strict itineraries are chucked out the porthole. Cruising in Kamchatka is a journey, not a tour, to a destination that has been neither organised nor commercialised, but has simply been left, a staggeringly beautiful untamed wilderness where travelers must travel on nature’s terms and not to timetables.

Disembark and discover

Some of the very best of Kamchatka’s great outdoors is out of bounds to boats and exploring its inaccessible secrets on foot, by raft, and even by helicopter (an incredible if not very economical option) is a rewarding way to get fully immersed in one of travel’s last frontiers. Climb up active volcanoes, raft through virgin taiga forest spotting wildlife as you go, or kick back in a bubbling spring and take it all in.

Move over Sir David Attenborough…

Wildlife watching in Eastern Russia makes you feel as if you’ve stepped straight onto the set of an Attenborough doc. Wrangel Island, untouched by glaciers during the last ice age, is a treasure trove of Arctic biodiversity, known for the families of polar bears that breed there and its expert resident mammothologists who are happy to have their brains picked about the region’s unique evolutionary status. The island lies near major feeding grounds for gray whales that migrate thousands of kilometres north from their breeding grounds in Baja, Mexico, and also lays claim to the world’s largest population of Pacific walrus. Reindeer, musk ox and snow geese can often be seen further inland and Herald Island may be diminutive, but is a twitcher’s paradise of massive bird cliffs.  

Walk into a land of fire
and ice

Trekking across Kamchatka’s almost mythical terrain (think Lord of the Rings without all the fighting and hobbits) brings you right into a land of fire and ice and face to face with the peninsula’s jaw-dropping range of volcanic phenomena. Hike across ash fields alive with multicoloured hot summits, explore glacier-flanked volcanoes surrounded by piping fumaroles, bubbling mudpots and belching cauldrons, and hike the perimeters of lakes where footprints left by bears far outnumber those left by humans.
Photo credits: [Cruising: P Game, Heritage Expeditions] [Wildlife: Katya Ovsyanikova, Heritage Expeditions] [Disembark: Einar Fredriksen] [Walk: Fergus Tintiken, Heritage Expeditions]
Kamchatka and Chukotka wildlife cruises, Russia

Kamchatka and Chukotka wildlife cruises, Russia

Explore Kamchatka's Stunning Coast - volcanoes,fjords &more

From US $7200 13 Days ex flights
Kamchatka vacations, small group tour

Kamchatka vacations, small group tour

Explore Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula

From £1799 13 Days ex flights
Chukotka and Wrangel Island cruise, Russia

Chukotka and Wrangel Island cruise, Russia

Authentic Arctic Festival & wildlife including Polar Bears

From US $8900 15 Days ex flights
Kamchatka wildlife and bird watching cruise, Russia

Kamchatka wildlife and bird watching cruise, Russia

Cruise Siberia's Coast on this Wildlife Packed Expedition

From US $8000 14 Days ex flights
Kamchatka Peninsula wildlife cruise

Kamchatka Peninsula wildlife cruise

Diverse, abundant wildlife, dramatic and volcanic landscapes

From US $7100 13 Days ex flights
Photo credits: [Page banner: Harald Deischinger]
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