Sea of Okhotsk
Sea of Okhotsk 12 days aboard Spirit of Enderby
Join us for this truly unique journey through the intriguing and remote Okhotsk Sea. Frozen for most of the year, this seldom-visited region is teeming with a rich and often brutal history, and significant wildlife populations. Exploring around numerous islands and remote towns you will be on the lookout for an abundance of wildlife including brown bears, whales, sealions and an uncountable array of seabirds. And as you sail you will learn all about the history and importance of this intriguing area.
Please Note: Local landing charges of US$500 cash apply to this itinerary
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
- Extensive marine, avian and land wildlife
- Dramatic scenery
- Discover one of the most remote and seldom-visited areas in the world
- Historical sites related to gulags
- Transfers to and from ship for arrival and departure
- All meals on board ship
- All excursions shown in itinerary
- Programme of expert lectures and talks
ITINERARY11 Nights 12 Days
- Day 1 | Sakhalin Island, Port of Korsakov
- Day 2 | Tyuleniy Island
- Day 3 | Piltun Bay, Sakhalin Island
- Day 4 | Iony Island
- Days 5 - 6 | Shantar Archipelago
- Day 7 | Mal’minskie Islands
- Day 8 | Okhotsk Town
- Day 9 | Talan Island
- Day 10 | Koni Peninsula
- Day 11 | Yamskiye Islands
- Day 12 | Magadan
Sakhalin Island, Port of Korsakov
Having arrived independently to Sakhalin Island, this morning you will join your included coach transfer to the Port of Korsakov, 40 minutes south of the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Here you will board your expedition vessel and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime. After settling in to your cabin and familiarising yourself with the ship, we will set sail towards the Sea of Okhotsk. As we sail there will be briefings and introductions delivered by your crew and you could spend some time on deck watching as Sakhalin Island fades into the distance and we venture into the unknown.
Various options are available for getting to Sakhalin Island, please enquire for full details.
The first stop on our Sea of Okhotsk adventure will be the little known island of Tyuleniy which lies just off the south east coast of Sakhalin Island. Here we will go ashore, if conditions permit, or explore by Zodiac boat to observe the abundant numbers of Steller Sea Lions and Northern Fur Seals that are found here. Fur seal numbers have increased since an International Covention signed in 1911 banned seal hunting here. In the 1990s Steller Sea Lions started breeding on the island and their colony now numbers about 2,500 animals.
Piltun Bay, Sakhalin Island
Today our focus will be on whale watching as we reach Piltun Bay, an important habitat for the small population of Western Gray Whales. We will spend the day exploring the bays and inshore waters by Zodiac in search of up-close encounters with these beautiful marine mammals.
This rocky outcrop in the middle of the Sea of Okhotsk is more of a “rock” than an “island” but for what it lacks in physical presence, it more than makes up for with its wildlife. Any space on the island is pretty much completely taken over by an absolute abundance of birds, with various species of auklets like parakeet, whisked and least, as well as guillemots and kittiwakes in huge numbers. In order to fully enjoy this magnificent bird watching area we will take a Zodiac cruise all around the island in search of as many sightings as possible. It will not be possible to land here as Steller Sea Lions completely occupy the few rocky beaches and to land would mean disturbing them. We will however be able to cruise close on the Zodiacs.
Over the course of the next two days we will be exploring around the Shantar Archipelago, a remote group of islands in the western sector of the Okhotsk. These islands are usually among the last in the area to become ice free each year, so the presence of sea ice may dictate which way we explore here. As with throughout your voyage, each day your captain and crew will decide which course to take in order to make the most of every opportunity afforded to us. The presence of sea ice will however brings its own advantages, with there being higher chances of seeing the Bearded, Ringed, Ribbon and Largha seals that breed here. If ice conditions allow, your expedition team will accompany you on a number of land excursions to learn all about the wildlife and botany of this intriguing area. There will also be photography excursions designed to help you hone your wildlife and scenery photography skills.
Today will be another fantastic day of birdwatching opportunities as we visit the Mal’minskie Islands to enjoy a Zodiac cruise in search of an abundance of rare and unique bird species. A landing on the island will not be possible, but we will be able to land on the adjacent mainland where we can enjoy an exploration of it's taiga forest and search for sightings of the good numbers of Steller’s Sea Eagles that are often spotted here.
On your Zodiac cruise around the Mal’minskie Islands you can expect to see large numbers of Spectacled, Common and Brunnich’s guillemots, auklets such as Parakeet, Crested and Rhinoceros, and Horned and Tufted puffins amongst much more.
Okhotsk Town is an area of great historical importance and your visit here today will introduce you to some of the stories surrounding the town. Today it is a thriving fishing town and we will make land by Zodiac to explore around and learn all about the residents’ way of life here. The local people are generous and welcoming and will provide entertainment in the town centre including a vibrant cultural display.
This remote and rarely-visited island is internationally famous for its huge bird populations including the hundreds of thousands of Crested Auklets that nest there. Out of all the fantastic birding locations we will have visited throughout our journey, this one may well be the best of them all. The plan for today will be to circumnavigate the island by Zodiac in search of the extraordinary number of Black-legged Kittiwakes nesting along the cliffs and the large population of Steller’s Sea Eagles. In the evening we will make land to see the huge flocks of Crested Auklets amassing at sea before coming ashore.
South-east of the town of Magadan, we will arrive at the mountainous region of the Koni Peninsula, part of which is included in the Magadanskiy Zapovednik Reserve. Today we will enjoy another expedition landing to explore around the area and carefully search for possible sightings of the brown bears and snow sheep which are protected in the reserve.
The penultimate stop on our adventure will be another highlight for the birding enthusiasts amongst us as we visit the Yamskiye Islands, claimed by some biologists to be the largest bird colony in the North Pacific. We hope to visit Matykil Island, the largest island in the group, to search for the estimated 7 million birds which nest here including Northern fulmars; Parakeet, Crested and Least auklets; Brunnich’s and Common guillemots; and Horned and Tufted puffins. No landings will be permitted here but our thrilling Zodiac exploration will bring us as up-close to the sights as possible.
Arrival in Magadan sadly signals the end of our voyage, and around midday it will be time to disembark and bid farewell to your expedition crew. After disembarkation a transfer will be provided either to the airport if you are returning home straight away or to a central hotel should you wish to extend your stay here. Magadan is very worthy of some further exploration and an extra day or 2 could easily be spent here, learning all about the town’s tragic past including how it was previously a gateway to the notorious Kolyma Gulags. The local museum has an excellent display about the Gulags but the most poignant reminder is the ‘Mask of Sorrow’ a large monument on a hill overlooking the town.
Should you wish to extend your stay here or arrange flights back home please contact us and we will be more than happy to advise.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
What a great trip! Wildfoot built a great trip for us and every aspect was spot on. Our Iguazu guide was fun, interesting and helpful and all the transfers were timely and comfortable. The Antarctica Trip was superb - WIldfoot had given us the best advice and helped us choose the right ship and tour for what we wanted - A truly memorable Experience Thank You Wildfoot
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