Just off Kamchatka Peninsula discover the Commander Islands, an extension of Alaska’s Aleutian chain, and remote Nikolskoye, Russia’s only Aleut settlement. Considered the ‘South Georgia of the North Pacific’, Commander Islands host vast colonies of Steller sea lions, northern fur seals and seabirds including cormorants, puffins and red-legged kittiwakes. Land on Bering Island and visit the grave of Vitus Bering, renowned Danish explorer who, while in Russia’s service, proved Asia and North America weren’t connected while mapping some of Alaska’s coast.
In the Kuril Islands, detect an air of intrigue as your Discovery Team
historian reveals abandoned listening posts and submarine bases, Soviet era fish processing plants and Japanese WW II fortresses. Hike through megaherb forests, visit the remains of Ainu villages and delight in close encounters with largha (spotted) and harbour seals, and sea otters swimming with pups on their chests. Zodiac cruise, kayak and stand-up paddle board in waters aflutter with whiskered auks, puffins, guillemots and kittiwakes as you traverse one of the world’s greatest bird migration flyways.