Draped across the north Pacific Ocean from Hokkaido, Japan, to Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, the 22 islands and 30 islets of the Kuril Islands form a necklace of active volcanoes and sea-sculpted coastlines waiting to be explored. Nutrient-rich waters washing this ‘Pacific Rim of Fire’ teem with marine life, from sea otters to harbour seals, Steller sea lions to orca, Dall’s porpoise to beaked and sperm whales. The islands form a natural ‘flyway’ for migratory birds including both horned and tufted puffins, whiskered and rhinoceros auklets and exquisite little murrelets. You’ll Zodiac into flooded calderas, beneath soaring bird cliffs, to landings where brown bears fish for salmon. The fittest may even attempt to attempt to climb a volcano. Every day brings new adventure.

Highlights


• Marvelling at the sun-kissed beauty of snow-capped volcanoes, slowly revealed by rising sea mists

• Supercharged birdwatching along a migratory flyway alive with Siberian ruby throats, rough legged buzzards, snow buntings, spectacled pigeons, tufted puffins and rhinoceros auklets

• Zodiac cruising through waters boiling with Steller sea lions and pups, thousands of crested auklets and into the flooded caldera of Broutana Bay, an abandoned, secret submarine base from Soviet time

• Trekking through a kaleidoscope of landscapes, from megaherb and coniferous forests to grasslands, lava fields and the flanks of active volcanoes. Watch for brown bears and cubs, and historical remains of Ainu (indigenous Japanese) settlements and World War II battles

Upon check-in at Hotel Nikko Narita Airport, reception staff will provide you with Aurora Expeditions cabin tags. Please fill out the luggage tags clearly, showing your name and cabin number to allow us to deliver your luggage to your cabin ahead. At our voyage briefing, enjoy a welcome drink and meet fellow expeditioners, before spending the night in preparation for your charter flight to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy. Accommodation: Hotel Nikko Narita Airport
Board our charter flight to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy to embark the Sylvia Earle. After boarding, there is time to settle into your cabin before our important safety briefings. This evening meet your expedition team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner.
Lush valleys and snow-capped volcanoes welcome you to Kamchatka’s east coast, where brown bears feast on berries and salmon. In Vestnik Bay, we explore the coast of Utashud Island by Zodiac, home to shy otters, Steller sea lions, seabirds and Kamchatka brown bears. Rounding Cape Lopatka, Kamchatka’s most southern point, you land in Kambalnyi Bay, to stretch your legs beneath the magnificent 2,161m volcano, Kambal'naya Sopka. Across Kuril Strait, cruise kelp beds off Shumshu Island in search of curious otters ferrying pups, and the bobbing heads of spotted seals. Explore the bird cliffs of Ptichi Islands alive with puffins.
Ashore, on Shumshu, a peaceful river snakes through grassy wetlands where lady-slipper orchids and wild roses bloom. On Atlasova, you land beneath a wind-sculpted hill of volcanic ash to explore remains of a Soviet gulag in the shadow of a near-perfect 2,339m volcano, Alaid, the highest in the Kurils. You’ll watch for nesting cormorants, buzzards, Eurasian wigeons, and tufted ducks, while peregrine falcons sometimes soar above the beach.
Hike across Onekotan’s tundra, as it wakes to summer, and through bonsai pine forests to Black Lake, watching for red foxes and remains of Ainu dwellings. From Onekotan Island, we explore the coastline of nearby volcanic Kharimkotan or Makanrushi Islands by Zodiac.
Explore Ekarma, sanctuary to many birds, including puffins, auklets, fulmars and cormorants. Sea otters swim just off the northeastern cape. Vast nesting colonies of storm petrels and remains of Ainu villages await you on Shiashkotan.
Zodiac cruised around the rugged columnar stacks of the Srednego Islands, home to thousands of nesting seabirds including northern fulmars, guillemots, black-legged kittiwakes, and whiskered auklets. Nearby Lovyshik Islands are small, often fog-bound, rocky islets where you are approached by boisterous Steller sea lions northern fur seals.
Intriguing and beautiful, this uninhabited island hides a flooded volcanic caldera of emerald green waters. Accessible by Zodiac only at high tide, the lagoon, offers you fumarole fields, hot springs and bubbles rising from the sea floor. Walk to the crater rim in search of blue foxes, while at dusk, watch as spectacular concentrations of crested and whiskered auklets stream back from the sea.
Evocative mists often engulf Chirpoy islands, lifting to reveal dramatic basalt columns of Brat Chirpoyev as you approach by Zodiac, surrounded by thousands of northern fulmars, kittiwakes, the odd puffin and sea otters. Otherworldly roars herald the Steller’s sea lion colony on Chirpoy, with the promise of a hike up the flanks of an active volcano when you land.
Urup offers 120 kilometres of stunning volcanoes, lush vegetation, lakes and rivers. Cruise the ‘Twins’, a geological wonderland of twisted basalt sea cliffs, hike to Japanese bunkers with spectacular views and tufted puffin nests. On the west coast, you may Zodiac through basalt tunnels of Petroskov Rocks.
Meaning seal in Russian, Tyuleniy attracts as many as 250,000 individuals that gather here each summer during their breeding season. You’ll be greeted by a cacophony of barks as you approach the island by Zodiac. Search the sea cliffs for nesting black-legged kittiwakes; crested, whiskered and rhinoceros auklets; tufted puffins, common and thick-billed murres, and ancient murrelets.
Located in Sakhalin Oblast region, Moneron Island is an uninhabited nature reserve that features a fascinating mix of both Russian and Japanese monuments and landmarks including a Japanese Shinto temple, pedestrian bridge, a Russian cemetery and the remains of a Soviet frontier post dating back to the 1940s. The clarity of the water surrounding Moneron Island comes from the pure water that flows directly from the mountains into the sea. On walks and by Zodiac, we discover the island’s waterfalls and rock shelters, and search for kittiwakes, black-tailed gulls, cormorants horned puffins, and the rare long-billed sea parrot.
At Korsakov, at the southern tip of Sakhalin Island, we clear Russian customs for entry into Japan. For much of its history, control of Korasakov oscillated between Japan and Russia, until the town was ceded to the Soviet Union at end of World War Two. You might explore the port town while the Sylvia Earle finalises its exit clearance before departing for Otaru, Japan.
Disembark in the harbour city of Otaru, Hokkaido. Transfer to Sapporo to continue your journey.
In the genuine spirit of expedition travel, we encourage exploration and adventure offering flexibility in challenging environments. This itinerary is only a guide and is subject to change due to weather, sea and other conditions beyond our control.

Aurora Stateroom Superior

$19,495 AUD pp
Aurora Stateroom Superior
With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Aurora Stateroom Superior are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. Located on Deck 7, the Staterooms feature french balconies, floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area.

Balcony Stateroom Category C

$19,995
$15,996 AUD pp
Balcony Stateroom Category C
Cabin & balcony combined size: 21m2 - 24.8m2 We have three cabin categories of our Balcony Staterooms. These are classified as A, B or C depending on the cabin size. Our 11 Balcony Stateroom – C cabins are our most economical, fitted with all the necessities and comfortable for up to 2 people. These cabins are scattered throughout Deck 6.

Balcony Stateroom Category B

$20,995
$16,796 AUD pp
Balcony Stateroom Category B
Cabin & balcony combined size: 21m2 - 24.8 m2 We have three cabin categories of our Balcony Staterooms. These are classified as A, B or C depending on the cabin size. Our 17 Balcony Stateroom – B Cabins are our standard cabin, many fitted with interconnecting features making them great for families or groups. These cabins are located at the fore and aft of Deck 4 and 6.

Balcony Stateroom Category A

$22,595
$18,076 AUD pp
Balcony Stateroom Category A
Cabin & balcony combined size: 21m² - 24.8m² We have three cabin categories of our Balcony Staterooms. These are classified as A, B or C depending on the cabin size. Our 23 Balcony Stateroom – A cabins are our premium cabin, and the most abundant on board. These cabins are located in preferred positions on Deck 4 and 6 which provides easy access between Decks via the internal stairs or elevator.

Balcony Stateroom Superior

$24,695
$19,756 AUD pp
Balcony Stateroom Superior
Cabin & balcony combined size: 28m2 - 37.7m2 With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Balcony Stateroom Superior cabins are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. Located on Deck 4 and 6, the Staterooms feature floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area. Some of these rooms are equipped with wheelchair accessible bathrooms.

Junior Suite

$30,995
$24,796 AUD pp
Junior Suite
Cabin & balcony combined size: 42m2 - 43.5m2 The four Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage points on Deck 7. When you aren't enjoying a landing, you can relax in the suites' separate lounge area, or just watch the world float by from the private balcony.

Captain’s Suite

$36,795
$31,275 AUD pp
Captain’s Suite
Cabin & balcony combined size: 44.5m2 The largest of all our rooms, the singular Captain's Suite will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite, you'll need to get in early to secure this suite.

Sylvia Earle

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 104 meters

Passenger Capacity: 126

Built / Refurbished: 2020/2021

Due to sail in October 2021 our new ship honours the highly accomplished marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer, Sylvia Earle. As the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998 – this vessel pays tribute to Sylvia’s long standing conservation efforts for marine protected areas and ocean wildlife. Sylvia Earle will be actively involved in the development of her namesake.

Designed for rugged, remote areas Crossing the notorious Drake Passage or the Denmark Strait, our expeditions face some of the most intense conditions nature can throw at us. The Sylvia Earle is at the cutting edge of nautical technology: robust, powerful and up to the task.

Ulstein X-BOW® & Lounge The streamlined Ulstein X-BOW® cuts through the swell so you feel fewer vibrations and disturbances*, and makes quicker transits through waves. It also helps reduce our fuel consumption by up to 60%^. Experience the Glass Atrium Lounge inside the bow, featuring huge windows and superb views to the front of the ship.

Swimming pool & wellness centre In between landings, enjoy the heated saltwater open air swimming pool and jacuzzis on board the Sylvia Earle and watch the world go by, or experience our gym, sauna or enjoy a massage (additional cost) in the Wellness centre.

Safety features The Sylvia Earle will feature industry-leading safety technology that exceeds the requirements for a ship of this size with a world class return-to-port equipment, which duplicates the propulsion system, enabling the ship to maintain operating systems and comfort in the event of engine failure. The ship will also feature a fully-stocked medical clinic designed for use in remote areas.

Responsible travel features We believe that preserving and protecting the environment is of the utmost importance and this is reflected in several features of the Sylvia Earle. The Sylvia Earle will boast one of the lowest polluting marine engines in the world due to low energy consumption, high fuel-efficiency and a streamlined design to deliver an 80% reduction in emissions. The ship can also utilise virtual anchoring to hold its position using a combination of GPS, steering technology, propellers and thrusters. This protects the sea floor and minimises the damage caused by conventional anchors.

Zodiac launching platforms Our ships carry many Zodiacs, which you can board via four dedicated, sea-level launching platforms. These platforms make boarding the Zodiacs as quick, efficient and safe as possible, minimising wait times and getting you closer to the action for longer. Whether you’re Zodiac cruising through awe-inspiring fjords in search of wildlife or making a quick transit from ship to a shore landing site, these sturdy crafts will play an integral role in your expedition experience.

Activity preparation area We offer a range of add-on adventure activities from kayaking and diving to climbing and ski touring, and your ship is designed to support these activities, making the transition from ship to sea or shore as smooth as possible. We built the spacious activity preparation areas and loading platforms in consultation with our expert activity guides. You will also have access to lockers and rapid drying areas for dry suits and wet suits, to give your gear the best chance to dry between excursions.

Cabin layout for Sylvia Earle

Sea Kayaking

One of the most exhilarating ways to experience Antarctica, the Arctic or any of our global voyages.

Scuba Diving

The icy waters of Antarctic and the Arctic guarantee amazing new experiences.

Snorkelling

Discover the underwater world of Antarctica and the Arctic! Witness wildlife and scenery unlike any other place on earth.

Save 15%

Book by 30 September 2021. Terms and Conditions apply, special offer is subject to availability, please contact us for more details.


Save 20%

Book by 30 September 2021. Terms and Conditions apply, special offer is subject to availability, please contact us for more details.

Inclusions


• Accommodation in your chosen stateroom or suite
• All Zodiac excursions
• Shore excursions specified as included in the itinerary
• Entrance fees where applicable
• Experienced expedition team
• On board lectures held by expedition team
• All meals while on board
• House wines, beer and soft drinks included with dinner
• Captain’s Welcome and Farewell drinks including four-course dinner, house cocktail, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
• Rubber boots for use during the voyage
• Complimentary access to our onboard doctor for consultations relating to sea-sickness
• Comprehensive pre-departure material
• Personalised voyage photo book (post-voyage)
• Port fees/taxes

• Suite Benefits - Additional benefits for those who book Balcony, Junior and Captain's Suites:
• One free pair of binoculars per suite
• 1-hour spa treatment (Massage or facial only)
• Free stocked mini bar (Balcony and Junior suites stocked once, not replenished. Captains suite replenished as needed)
• Gratuities/tips for crew included - to the value of USD$15 per person per day~
• 1 free bottle of champagne per suite
• One night’s hotel accommodation at Hotel Nikko Narita Airport including breakfast on day 1
• Charter flights: Tokyo-Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy
• Transfer from airport to pier in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy on day 2
• Transfer from Otaru pier to Sapporo airport on day 15

Exclusions


• International or domestic airfares unless specified in the itinerary
• Pre and post voyage accommodation
• Transfers
• Beverages other than those listed in inclusions
• Gratuities
• Any items of a personal nature including medical costs incurred on board
• Passport and visa costs if applicable
• Travel insurance including mandatory medical evacuation cover

• GRATUITIES. A US$15.00 per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or increase/decrease the amount) when you settle your account. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members.
15 Days from
$19,995
$15,996 AUD pp

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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