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Things to do in Kamchatka
Cruising, but not as you know it
Cruising is exciting. And it's comfortable too - twin cabins, libraries, lecture rooms, and the bar, where you can share stories with fellow passengers over a G&T or two.
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 100 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.
Our Kamchatka Vacations
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.
If you'd like to chat about Kamchatka or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Move over Sir David Attenborough…
Mammoth tusks and skulls have been dug up on Kamchatka by 'mammothologists' - possibly the coolest job title ever.
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
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.
More about Kamchatka
Short seasonal bursts best describe Kamchatka’s annual temperature & rainfall levels, which is why our month by month guide and our recommendations are essential reads for discovering the best time to visit Kamchatka.
Find out what we rate & what we don’t in our Kamchatka travel guide that presents our best and worst of Kamchatka vacations alongside a brief history of Kamchatka and tips on how to discover Kamchatka like a local.
Check out our Kamchatka map and highlights page that features everything from information on our favourite locations to classic itineraries and travel times in Kamchatka to help you make the most of your time.
Learning what to look out for where Kamchatka wildlife is concerned is an essential part of any Kamchatka vacation with brown bears, grey whales and Pacific walrus all to be found, if you know where to look.
A huge region in the extreme far east of Russia, Chukotka is a wild, remote place, home to a scattering of people and a whole lot of wildlife, and visiting is more an expedition than a vacation.
The word ‘remote’ could definitely have been invented to describe Wrangel Island, which sits on the very top of the world in the Arctic Ocean, off the northern coast of Chukotka.
A skinny archipelago of volcanic islands that drops like a broken necklace from Kamchatka in Russia down to Hokkaido in Japan, the Kuril Islands are a wild place of bustling seabird colonies, wooded shores, active volcanoes, but very few people.
Lots of helpful Kamchatka travel advice, including tips from our friends in Kamchatka on bird watching, Wrangel Island wildlife and local culture, plus advice on what to pack and how to stay healthy and safe.
Poaching and trophy hunting are, unfortunately, issues that need to be dealt with, which is why our responsible tourism in Kamchatka page doesn’t hold back when it comes to helping you travel right in Kamchatka.