On board MS BREMEN from Otaru to Otaru

Expedition Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands: Russia's primeval force in a class of its own

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Elemental and untouched, remote and awe-inspiring: the Russian Far East. Venturing into this vast region, with its volcanoes and geysers, is like stepping far back in time, into a geology book that has come to life. The BREMEN and Zodiacs will take you to wild coastlines, tundra in bloom, and the territory of bears, whales and seabirds – a fascinating natural world that people rarely experience.

from Otaru to Otaru

Cruise dates:from 20.05.2017 to 08.06.2017 (19 days)
Your ship: MS BREMEN
Cruise number: BRE1708

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This cruise is operated in German. For individual programmes kindly ask our travel concierge.


Sat, 20.05.2017

Scheduled flight from Frankfurt to Tokyo

Sun, 21.05.2017

Overnight stay with breakfast

Mon, 22.05.2017

Scheduled flight to Sapporo
Otaru (Sapporo)/Japan, departure 18.00 hrs

Tue, 23.05.2017


Lands of literary greatness
Northern Japan will be the prologue to your adventure. The island of Rishiri off Hokkaido is dominated by a mountain of the same name, with a cone-shaped peak. It is spring – the perfect time to head out with the BREMEN experts to discover nature, just as the terrain is reclaimed by plant life bursting with colour.

Wed, 24.05.2017
- Thu, 25.05.2017

Sakhalin/Russia (Korsakov, Tyuleny )

The course will take you to the Sea of Okhotsk, where Anton Chekhov brought literary notoriety to the island of Sakhalin when he wrote about the erstwhile penal colony of Korsakov in his travelogue. Still impressed by the historical details, you will then take a Zodiac to the east coast of the island of Tyuleny. Its beaches are home to huge colonies of seals and its jagged cliffs are populated by flocks of common murres. Here – like so many other places on this route – whales can often be spotted.

Fri, 26.05.2017
- Sat, 27.05.2017

Kuril Islands (Brad Chirpoy, Lovushka Islands)

The Ring of Fire – a wonder of nature
Hardly any other region in the world offers so mesmerising a reflection of the natural forces of the Pacific Ring of Fire than the Russian Far East. The beautiful Kuril Islands extend for 1,200 km (745 mi.) and bear witness to ancient volcanic activity. Overgrown mountain peaks shimmer through the mist and the spray thunders against steep cliffs: in this unspoilt expeditionary territory, numerous Zodiac rides and landings will allow you to experience the vastness of nature up-close. The animal observations are a truly special part of the adventure. Brad Chirpoy, for example, part of an archipelago with still-active volcanoes, is home to one of the Kuril Islands’ largest sea lion colonies. With a bit of luck, the Zodiacs will let you see marine mammals and seabirds up-close along the Lovushka Islands. The basalt coast provides birds with shelter and you with the most stunning subjects for your photos.

Sun, 28.05.2017
- Thu, 01.06.2017

Kamchatka (Russkaya Bay , two days in Petropavlovsk, Zhupanova , Bering )

The many facets of Kamchatka could fill several books: active and extinct volcanoes, glittering glaciers and deep fjords, verdant forests and crystal-clear rivers. In this wilderness, you can experience all four seasons in one day. The BREMEN’s route is adjusted according to daily weather conditions and expected sightings, so it feels like a true expedition. Experience the power and vastness of this landscape late into the evenings when it is still light, for example, on a hike with the experts through the overgrown valley, where you might observe sea otters in Russkaya Bay. The renowned scientists and researchers who accompany you will happily help you expand your knowledge of different eras of Russian history – whether you’re interested in the indigenous peoples – the Itelmen and the Koryaks – or the Cossack conquerors. You will then see the inhabitants of Petropavlovsk, the scientific and cultural centre of Kamchatka, in a new light. The bizarre landscape that surrounds it was formed 20,000 years ago. To marvel at the spectacle of fuming sulphur springs and columns of water from the perspective of the sea eagle, take a helicopter flight to the Valley of the Geysers*. The flight to Nalychevo Nature Park* also promises breathtaking panoramas and the opportunity to bathe in the wilderness upon arrival. Alternatively, a challenging hike up Avacha volcano* will reward you with fantastic views. The Zodiac ride in Zhupanova promises pure fascination: here you should keep a lookout for seals, Steller’s sea eagles and bears out hunting. This is the time of year when Pacific salmon return to the rivers to spawn. They make a real culinary treat – not least for Kamchatka’s bears. From this natural kingdom, the BREMEN will set off for the island of Bering, where the great pioneering acts of a famous explorer will be brought to life. Vitus Bering ran aground here in 1741 on the way home from his second Kamchatka expedition. The BREMEN’s experts will show you how the few residents of the typical village of Nikolskoje live nowadays.

Fri, 02.06.2017

Relaxation at sea

Sat, 03.06.2017
- Sun, 04.06.2017

Kuril Islands (including Atlasova, Matua, Yankicho (Ushishir))

The regional experts will also shed light on the area’s volcanological history at the black lava beach of Atlasova. Discover exciting information about the Alaid, one of the highest volcanoes in the Kuril Islands at over 2,000 m (6,561 ft). On Matua, you will visit the place where there were once clashes between the Japanese and the Russians; abandoned buildings and a runway bear witness to an eventful past. On Yankicho, you can delve deep inside the steep caldera in the Zodiacs if the weather is good – it is a haven for seals, foxes and seabirds. Perhaps it will even be possible to go for a walk along the edge of the crater and see the lake inside and the island’s many birds.

Mon, 05.06.2017

Relaxation at sea

Tue, 06.06.2017


A relaxing day at sea will take you back via Korsakov (official stop) to Otaru.

Wed, 07.06.2017

Otaru (Sapporo)/Japan, arrival 7.00 hrs
Journey to Sapporo
Overnight stay with breakfast (mid-range hotel)

A pleasant way to round off your time here and an opportunity to look back on the many stages of your expedition. How will you remember the Russian Far East – as a great adventure or a Russian fairy tale?

Thu, 08.06.2017

Scheduled flight from Sapporo to Frankfurt

A change in itinerary may be required on this expedition. The Zodiac landings are subject to official approval. The captain will decide on the best possible alternative depending on weather and the local conditions.

* The shore activities are not included in the cruise price and are in the planning stage. Subject to change.

= at anchor

Please note that our pre- and post-cruise programmes are conducted in German.
For individual programmes kindly consult your travel agent.

Following programmes we offer in German:



A geologist in a team of experts

Steffen Graupner studied geophysics, physics, meteorology, astrophysics and geology. His specialist fields include active volcanoes and the geology of Russia. He also indulges in photojournalism with a focus on nature and people. This makes him the perfect person to thrill you with vivid presentations.

A geologist in a team of experts