The Commander Islands is a small archipelago on the border between the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean, 250 kilometres east of the coast of Kamchatka. This extraordinary corner of our planet is home to a wide variety of fauna: immense whales, curious Arctic foxes, sea lions, and lots and lots of different birds. The Commander Islands are one of the most remote and inaccessible places on Earth, the edge of the world, the gate to a truly outstanding place. Nikolskoye airport has a dirt runway, so flights are not available in case of prolonged rain. Keep in mind that flights can be delayed due to weather conditions by one to several days, so you should always have spare days within your tour!
Flight from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Nikolskoye by the L-410 aircraft. Nikolskoye is the only settlement on the Commander Islands. Half of the total population of about 700 people are descendants of the Aleuts brought here by the Russian-American Company in 1825-1826 for the purposes of seal fishery. Checking into the hotel/apartment. Dinner.
Tour of Steller's sea lion rookery. The way to the rookery lies along the Pacific coast, where you can enjoy the picturesque tundra landscapes and observe its inhabitants: partridges, snowy owls, and Arctic foxes. Once there, you can see a huge number of sea lions and northern fur seals from just a couple of metres away, while remaining invisible to the animals. Return to Nikolskoye. Walking tour of the village.
A boat trip to the most accessible place to watch whales. The waters of the Commander Islands can boast 21 species of the cetaceans: humpback whales, orcas, minke whales, sperm whales, Dall's porpoises, as well as giant beaked whales and fin whales. If we are lucky, we will also see feeding whales and watch humpback whales jump.
A boat trip to Tufted Puffin Rock named after the famous bird. An acquaintance with a colony of seabirds. On this tour, you have a chance to see harbour seals and sea otters. After lunch, we will set off to Sarannoye lake where you can watch the spawning of wild salmon.
Tour of the Commander Bay and the grave of Vitus Bering. This is the place where the flagship of the Second Kamchatka Expedition under the command of Vitus Bering wrecked on 28 November 1741. It was the starting point in the development of the Commander Islands. Depending on the weather conditions, you will be transferred by combination bus, ATV, or quadbikes. This tour takes 9 hours and is possible only at low tide. The way to the bay lies on the eastern coast of Bering Island that features many waterfalls and picturesque bays, including the Buyan Bay famous for its gems.
A visit to the Local History Museum where you can see the remains of the extinct Steller's sea cow. We will also pay a visit to the museum of Kamchatka traveller and writer Sergey Pasenyuk. Departure for Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.