August 11-24, 2018
Shantar islands: snorkeling with bowhead whales
and orcas
Not many people have heard about Shantar islands. There are even less people who have had a privilege to visit this place. Shantar archipelago, located in the Sea of Okhotsk, is one of the most inaccessible places in Russia where nature is preserved in its primordial condition. Travelers will remember the fantastic landscapes of the Shantar Islands for a lifetime.

The main attraction of Shantar is the local bowhead whale population. These sea giants are the most northern whales in the world (together with narwhals). On account of living beyond the Arctic Circle they are also called Polar or Arctic whales. Only here, in the Sea of Okhotsk, one can find the unique, southernmost population of these animals. We will be able to observe them in a temperate climate, almost on the same latitude as Copenhagen. The local whales are calm and not afraid of vessels, and they often let people get quite close to them. If visibility allows, we will try to enter the water with bowhead whales and take unique underwater pictures. Bowhead whales hold the record for lifespan among mammals, they live for up to 200 years and, possibly, even more. Sometimes the whales get so close to the shore, they can be observed several meters from land. In addition to bowhead whales, in the Sea of Okhotsk we may encounter killer whales, who can scare away even the bowheads. Sometimes we also see beluga whales and gray whales. There are several species of seals: bearded seal, largha seal and ringed seal. Brown bears roam on some of the islands. As always in our expeditions, our main aim will be swimming with marine mammals, first of all with bowhead whales. We will learn a lot about marine mammals from the lectures of our guide.

Killer whale capturing takes place in Shantar sea. One of our goals is bringing people's attention to this unethical activity. By making ecoutours to this region we hope to struggle whale capturing.

We will swim with whales and seals, fish for trout and salmon, explore new lands. We will become pioneers and plunge into a completely different world.
Day 1
Arrival to Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Night at a hotel.

Day 2
Heading to Nikolay bay using 6x6 offroad camper truck (~12 hours drive). Night on the seashore inside the camper.

Day 3-11
Cruising around Shantar islands and local bays. Observing bowhead whales and other marine mammals, snorkeling if visibility allows. Trekking on the islands. Visiting the abandoned whaling station and meteorologists base. Fishing, lectures about marine mammal biology.

Day 12
Back on land. Heading to Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the same vehicle. Night inside the camper truck.

Day 13
Arrival to Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Night at a hotel.

Day 14
Flights back home.
99 000 roubles

August 11-24, 2018

  • 10 days of accommodation onboard the vessel (double rooms), all meals, snorkeling with whales and trekking on the islands.
  • All the documents and permissions from the local authorities.

Not included:
  • Airfares and\or bus from Khabarovsk
  • Stay at a hotel in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Transfers within the city
  • Transfer from\to Nikolay bay by camper truck, meals on the way
  • Kayak\Paddle board rental
  • Insurance covering evacuation by helicopter evacuation
  • Evacuation costs in cases not covered by insurance
  • Extra expenditures due to weather conditions, flight delays, illness, broken personal equipment and other additional costs.

How to get here
There are regular flights to Komsomolsk-on-Amur from Vladivostok (Aurora company, or from Khabarovsk (Khabavia company,, website only in Russian). However, local flights are often delayed due to weather conditions and planes don't go every day, so we recommend you fly to Khabarovsk (KHV). There are buses going directly from Khabarovsk airport to Komsomolsk-on-Amur (6 hours drive). We can arrange a private transfer for you upon request (costs not included).

Additional information.
  • We will do our best to provide you the best possible experience; however, the route may be adjusted due to weather conditions.
  • Water temperature from +4С to +8С, surface temperature from +10С to +25С
  • There is little no mobile coverage in the area. We recommend you to bring your own satellite phone. If you don't have one, the crew can provide you with satellite connection (expenditures not included)

To-pack list

  • comfortable waterproof footwear, 2 sets (trekking boots, rubberboots);
  • thermal underwear;
  • flashlight;
  • insect repellent;
  • waterproof pants, jacket;
  • hat, woolen socks, gloves, jacket;
  • wetsuit, mask, snorkel, fins, gloves, socks
  • personal medication
  • towel
    Фотографии: Сергей Доля, Екатерина Джикия, Григорий Цидулко
    +7 999 721 01 84
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