On this wide-ranging journey, follow in the footsteps of traders and explorers through the wilds of Russia and Alaska. Enjoy spectacular birding opportunities and keep an eye out for brown bears, among other creatures. Admire the rugged beauty of surrounding landscapes: rocky headlands, humbling glaciers, snow-capped volcanoes and tundra teeming with wildflower.

Highlights


• Visit Katmai National Park with it’s breathtaking landscape - 15 active volcanoes, towering mountain peaks, rolling tundra, rugged, wave-battered coastlines and the largest brown bear population in the state

• Search for Least and Crested Auklets, Peregrine Falcons and Laysan and Black-footed Albatrosses

• Reach Attu, the westernmost point of the United States and the site of the only WWII battle fought on North American soil — over two thousand Japanese soldiers lost their lives at Massacre Bay

• Visit Petropavlovsk, the town of Peter and Paul

• See the remains of the Taketomi tufa cone and the women’s prison, or gulag

• Discover Tyuleniy Island - Tyuleniy means “seal” in Russian, and during the summer months the island is home to literally tens of thousands of northern fur seals and Steller sea lions

As soon as all guests have embarked, a mandatory safety drill will be performed by all. This afternoon you will be introduced to important members of Silver Explorer’s crew and your Expedition Team. We invite you to familiarise yourself with your new home away from home, meet some of your fellow travellers and in the evening enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant. During dinner we depart on our spectacular expedition “In the Footsteps of Vitus Bering”.
Kenai Fjords National Park’s famous Holgate Glacier is a spectacularly active river of ice. The surrounding glaciated landscape paints a dramatic portrait of the rugged mountains in contrast to the cold blue ice of the glacier. On approach, the waters leading up to Holgate Glacier may be peppered with bits of ice and the crackling noise of ancient air bubbles being released from small bergs. Periodically loud cannon-like blasts emanate from the glacier, and some are accompanied by calving events off the ice front. Gulls frequently sit on the small icebergs while harbor seals ply the icy waters in search of their next meal. The Chiswell Islands are part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, and deservedly so. Small bays, inlets and sea cliffs are populated by innumerable seabirds including Black-legged Kittiwakes, Pelagic Cormorants, Horned and Tufted Puffins, as wells as guillemots, auklets and murrelets. The Chiswell Islands are blessed with towering cliffs and sea caves offering up spectacular scenery and a Steller sea lion rookery that bustles as the marine mammals commute to feeding grounds, socialize, and care for their pups.
Katmai National Park is on the top of many “Best of Alaska” lists because of its otherworldly landscape, including 15 active volcanoes. In Kukak Bay it is possible to view the abundant wildlife and raw beauty of this magnificent scenery. Kukak Bay is well known for its concentration of bears and the salmon on which they feed, and this is one of the prime areas in this region for bear viewing. Geographic Harbor is at the head of Amalik Bay in the Katmai National Park, and the brown bears here are ubiquitous. Bears can be spotted digging for clams on the low tide, munching on berries, roots and grasses ashore or, most famously, fishing for salmon in the rapids of clear mountain streams. Not only the bears enjoy fishing in Geographic Harbor – keen anglers journey great distances to catch halibut, ling cod and rockfish in the bay. The waters around the harbor are also known to be fishing grounds for seals, otters, countless seabirds, and whales.
This stunning and nearly uninhabited archipelago is home to some of the largest populations of native and undisturbed wildlife in the United States. There are 2.5 million birds here, almost half the breeding seabirds of the Alaska Peninsula. Large numbers of seabirds including Ancient Murrelets, Parakeet Auklets, Horned Puffins, Northern Fulmars and jaegers, and over a million murres are on hand here. The surrounding sea is home to sea otters, sea lions, seals, Dall’s porpoises, Pacific white-sided dolphins and whales. Chignik is a fishing village on the Alaskan Peninsula and home for just under 100 year-round inhabitants. Most of the houses in the community are connected by a boardwalk that fringes a local stream and neighborhood kids can be seen riding their bicycles back and forth on its length. In the summer months the population doubles, as the fishing gets better and the town supports a couple of fish-processing plants. Chignik is a remote outpost at the doorstep of the Aleutian Island chain and offers up a true taste of Alaskan outback life.
The Aleutian island of Unga holds an ancient petrified wood forest and a more recent ghost town that was the site of a small gold rush in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The village was eventually abandoned in the 1960’s and now has a somewhat somber appearance. Many of the houses have collapsed and are overgrown with brilliant fuchsia fireweed wildflowers. From a distance the church looks intact, but up closer it is apparent that the roof is standing on the ground, and the walls have completely collapsed. Great Horned Owls nest near the church and in the bay kittiwakes, Double Crested and Pelagic Cormorants, Common Murres and Tufted Puffins can be seen.
The crumpled peaks, and tranquil scenery, of Dutch Harbor belies its history as one of the few places on American soil to have been directly attacked by the Japanese - who bombed the significant US military base here during the Second World War. Located on a string of islands, which loops down into the Pacific from Alaska, a visit to this Aleutian Island destination offers comprehensive military history, and extraordinary ocean scenery. Hike the volcanic, gloriously green landscapes, and look out for wonderful wildlife, like bald eagles, as they survey the surroundings. You can also watch on in awe, as incredible marine mammals crash through the waves just offshore.
While we're at sea, enjoy wine tastings, designer boutiques, language and dance classes. Take in a matinee movie, check the market or your e-mail in the Internet Point, slip away with a novel from the library to a sunny chaise or with a movie to your suite. Or just take in the sun pool side. The choice is yours.
Russian traders led by Vitus Bering in the mid-1700s would have been some of the first non-native explorers to visit Kiska Harbor on Kiska Island in the Aleutian chain. The Japanese occupied the island during WWII and relics of war have been left behind in the harbor including a Japanese two-man submarine. The occupying force of 6,000 soldiers also left a Shinto shrine behind whose remains can still be visited today. Ashore there are ptarmigans, Lapland Longspurs and Bald Eagles. At a distance, the cliffs of Sirius Point can only be described as “magical” and are home to Least and Crested Auklets, Peregrine Falcons and Laysan and Black-footed Albatrosses. .
On a world map Attu Island marks the westernmost point of the United States. It is also the site of the only WWII battle fought on North American soil. Over two thousand Japanese soldiers lost their lives at the aptly named Massacre Bay on Attu’s southeastern coast. Today the island is an ornithologist’s paradise visited by an array of birds migrating through as they come or go to Asia with the seasons. Peregrine Falcons, Lapland Longspur and Aleutian Canada Goose might be spotted in the summer months.
A leisurely day at sea is yours to enjoy. Begin perhaps with a late breakfast and another cup of coffee or tea during the first of the day’s lectures. Join the lectures and hear fascinating tales of adventure and learn about the Russian Far East, its wildlife and remarkable nature. Our knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of scientific fields. Today you will also become a time traveller: coming from the east and heading west you will cross the International Dateline actually from west to east and therefore loose a day!
The Kamchatka Peninsula is part of the Eastern frontier of Russia. Due to its close proximity to the United States, the region has played a strategic role in the defense of Russian territory throughout modern history. As a result, the territory was closed for many years to foreigners and Russians alike. Fortunately, the region's isolated position played a significant role in preserving and protecting its unique wilderness and rich biodiversity. With few roads, most regional transportation is by plane, boat, or helicopter.
South of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy is the 15 kilometre long Ruskaya Bay. The northeast to southwest direction and narrow body of water have made this bay a perfect place to look for shelter in foul weather -and fishing fleets and WWII convoys headed for Vladivostok have made ample use of the bay. Two shipwrecks can still be seen close to the bay’s southeastern shore. A river, used as a source of freshwater in former times, meanders through the valley and with our Zodiacs we will have to see how far we can explore, or if we hike to the small stands of trees found there. Three small islands form Utashud and seem to be the remnants of a former volcano raising 80 meters (262 feet) out of Vestinik Bay. Although the island is deprived of forest, fragments of giant petrified trees have been found on its shores. Utashud is one of the richest islands on the southeastern side of Kamchatka in terms of wildlife. The island is notable for its population of sea otters (up to 300 individuals). In fact, native people from Kamchatka used to visit this island to hunt for sea otters, valuing the thick fur of their pelts. Steller’s Sea Eagles, brown bears, harbor seals, spotted seals, grey whales and at least 10 species of seabirds are known to frequent the islands. .
The near-perfect cone of Alaid volcano dominates Atlasova Island with its 2000-meter (6,500-foot) peak. It is the highest volcano in the Kuril Islands and over time generated the black lava beaches and the eroding Taketomi tufa limestone cone near the landing site. At one time a women’s prison, or gulag, was located on Atlasova. The women, many of them political prisoners during the Soviet rule, were sent here to raise foxes for fur. Peregrine Falcons can sometimes be spotted flying above the beach, while buzzards, Eurasian Wigeons, and Tufted Ducks have all been observed on the island. The symmetrical volcanic island also plays a key role in the region's native folklore.
During a morning Zodiac cruise we will search for northern fur seals and Steller sea lions around this cluster of small islands and rocky outcrops. Here you should have excellent views of auklets too! Aboard our Zodiacs we can normally drift among the Whiskered, Crested and Parakeet Auklets. Tufted Puffins with their colourful bills and flowing yellow head plumes are also around. After the Zodiac cruise at Lovyshky, Silver Explorer will sail south for the impressive island of Yankicha. Its sinking volcanic caldera is accessible on its southern side only by Zodiac and only during high tide. Inside the magnificent lagoon with its fumaroles and hot springs, we can still see traces of the tremendous forces that created the island long ago and a visit here is invariably one of the highpoints of the entire voyage. The number of the breeding auklets is truly incredible. If we are lucky we may also catch a glimpse of an Arctic fox. For spectacular views –weather permitting- we will hike up the crater’s flank.
The oftentimes fog-shrouded coasts of Chirpoy Island teem with a profusion of wildlife including Steller sea lions, Northern Fulmars, kittiwakes, puffins and auklets. Whales, and specifically orcas, have also been seen around Chirpoy. The dramatic volcanic nature of the island is apparent in the subtly shaded layers of sediment flanking the sides of the active Snou volcano.
Thousands of Northern fur seals and Steller sea lions call Tyuleniy Island their home. The island is appropriately named, as the word tyuleniy means “seal” in Russian. During the summer months, tens of thousands of seals and sea lions haul ashore here during the breeding season. The cacophony of their barks, belches, grunts and groans is difficult to imagine. Bulls, their harems, and many thousands of young black pups all jostle for space on the crowded beaches that flank the small rocky island. Alongside the marine mammals, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Slaty-backed Gulls, Tufted Puffins, Common Murres and Pelagic Cormorants summer on the busy shores in the thousands.
Korsakov is used as a technical stop for ships clearing in and out of Russia. In addition to being a port of call for these formalities, the city was once home to an Ainu fishing village frequented by regional traders and early Russian expeditions. History also suggests that there may have been a significant Japanese population here at one time with reports of a Japanese religious temple on record. .
Arrive approx 10.30am. Otaru is a small harbor city west of Sapporo. Famous for its many hills and a nearby ski resort, the town has been an important trade and herring fishing center. A wide canal that led from the port to the old town’s warehouses has been maintained for touristic purposes and the old stone or brick-built warehouses have been beautifully converted to restaurants and boutiques.
Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and ice conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Adventurer Suite

$ 20700 USD pp
Adventurer Suite
157-167 ft² / 14-15m² with 2 portholes Deck 3

Explorer Suite

$ 21600 USD pp
Explorer Suite
175-190 ft² / 16-18m² with view window Deck 4

View Suite

$ 23000 USD pp
View Suite
192 ft² / 18m² with view window Deck 3

Vista Suite

$ 23900 USD pp
Vista Suite
192 ft² / 18m² with large picture window Deck 4

Adventurer Suite Sole Use

$ 41400 USD pp
Adventurer Suite Sole Use
Even guests who plan to spend only sleeping hours in their stateroom will appreciate the distinctive touches of this cosy Silversea accommodation. Dimensions: 157-167 sq ft / 14-15m2 with 2 portholes. All Adventurer Class staterooms feature: Butler service, champagne upon request, refrigerator and bar setup stocked with your beverage preferences, European bath amenities, fine bed linens and down duvets, premium mattresses, a choice of nine pillow types, spa robes and slippers, personalised stationery, umbrella, hair dryer, WiFi Internet access (fee applies) and daily suite service with nightly turndown. Two portholes (15.75'' / 40cm in diameter). Sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom with tub/shower combination, Writing desk, Flat screen television with interactive video, on-demand movies and music, and satellite news programming, Direct-dial telephone

Silver Explorer

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 108 metres

Passenger Capacity: 132

Built / refurbished: 1989 / 2008 / 2017

Silversea’s purpose-built luxury Silver Explorer expedition cruise ship has been designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions.  A strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger vessels enables the Silver Explorer Expedition Cruise Ship to safely push through ice floes with ease. A fleet of Zodiac boats (11) allows Silversea Expedition guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations and an expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding to each unforgettable Silver Explorer luxury cruise adventure.

Cabin layout for Silver Explorer
Silver Explorer

Silver Explorer in AlaskaSilver Explorer

Alaska Luxury Expedition Luxury Expedition

18 Days from
$ 20700 USD pp

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