Expedition to the Shantar Islands
Expedition to the Shantar Islands

Expedition to the Shantar Islands

12 nights

Lone whale met on Expedition to Shantar Islands Tour in RussiaSwimming among the islands on Expedition to Shantar Islands Tour in RussiaColorful steep shores of Shantar Islands seen on Expedition to Shantar Islands Tour in RussiaWatching a killer whale on Expedition to Shantar Islands Tour in RussiaShantar islands have rocky shores that can be seen on Expedition to Shantar Islands Tour in RussiaWhale emerging from the water seen on Expedition to Shantar Islands Tour in RussiaGroup of people in motorboats swimming among the sharp rocks of Shantar IslandsColorful rocks of Shantar Islands seen on Expedition to Shantar Islands Tour with a guideGreen flora in Shantar Islands seen on Expedition to Shantar Islands Tour in RussiaAmazing rock formations along the coast of Shantar IslandsShantar Islands and its sharp rocks is a popular destination for whale watchingFollowing killer whales on Expedition to Shantar Islands Tour in RussiaTail of a whale seen near Shantar IslandsSteller Sea Eagle in Shantar Islands seen on Expedition to Shantar Islands Tour in RussiaBowl full of salmon caviar on Expedition to Shantar Islands Tour in RussiaGroup of seals met in Shantar Islands on Expedition to Shantar Islands Tour with a guidePuffin swimming in the water on Expedition to Shantar Islands Tour in Russia

Visit the remote islands of Russia’s Far East on this epic adventure

This guided expedition to the remote Shantar Islands in Eastern Russia is every adventurer’s dream. Few other people will have the chance to visit these special islands, in one of the most far-flung locations on earth.

Russia’s Shantar Islands are a group of 15 islands in the Sea of Okhotsk. These islands are a genuinely wild place, which has been designated a national park because of its unique wildlife. You’ll set foot on several of the islands, and get up close to rare flora and fauna, including colonies of seals, sea birds, whales and bears. You’ll learn about the islands’ unique geology and take some fantastic photographs.

Another highlight of this tour is the journey itself. You’ll complete an epic drive across Eastern Russia, camp on the remote east coast, and undertake several different sea voyages before reaching the islands.

Highlights of Expedition to the Shantar Islands

Explore a wild environment full of rare flora and fauna.
Sail through the Okhotsk Sea, one of the world’s most challenging sailing environments.
See wildlife up close including whales, bears, seals and sea birds.
Explore one of the remotest destinations on earth, which few people will ever see.

Prices

From $1,029USD
$1,827USD off $2,856USD
13 days / 12 nights
Difficulty
Guided
Hotels, Camping
  • No Booking or Credit Card Fees
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Expedition to the Shantar Islands

Expedition to the Shantar Islands Itinerary

Day 1 Khabarovsk

Today you’ll arrive in Khabarovsk, an attractive city on the banks of the Amur River. The day is yours to spend as you wish. Visit the Far East Regional Museum and learn about the native people and the history of the region. Or visit the domed Cathedral of the Transfiguration, one of the largest churches in Russia. You can also see the city from the river, on a river cruise.
Overnight Location: Hotel in Khabarovsk
Distance: None
Meals: None

Day 2 Day on the road

Today is a full day of driving, as you follow the Amur River east towards the coast. You’ll stop for lunch in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Eastern Russia’s key industrial city. The journey continues all afternoon. You’ll camp overnight on the banks of the river.
Overnight Location: Camping
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Nikolay Bay

This morning you’ll arrive at Nikolay Bay on the east coast, directly south of the Shantar Islands. This is a wild, remote, beautiful spot. If you’re lucky, you might begin to see some of the wildlife this region is famous for, including rare seabirds and whales. In the evening, dinner will be cooked on the open fire. Don’t miss the sunset – something else this bay is known for.
Overnight Location: Camping
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 Okhotsk’s Sea passage

Today you’ll sail through the Sea of Okhotsk, the first and most challenging section of your sea voyage. Now is the time to start looking out for whales, seals and birds. In the afternoon you’ll arrive at a cape where the boat can safely moor and the camp set up.
Overnight Location: Camping
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Cape Ongochan

This morning you’ll sail into the Shantar Sea – an easier journey than the one yesterday. You'll sail to Ongochan Cape, a remote promontory south of the islands. The sea here is calmer and teeming with fish such as salmon. It’s not unusual to see bear tracks or even bears themselves hunting for fish. Dinner will be cooked on the open fire.
Overnight Location: Camping
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 Shantar Islands

Today you’ll finally reach the islands! If the sea is shallow, you may be sailing through the ice floes – gigantic pieces of floating ice. You’ll land on Grand Shantar Island sometime in the afternoon. The camp will be set up near the weather station - the only place on the islands that is inhabited all year round. This will be your base which you can return to in case of bad weather. Look out for beluga whales, striped ribbon seals and sea eagles which nest on this island.
Overnight Location: Camping
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 North Strait crossing

Today you’ll explore more of the archipelago, sailing from Grand Shantar to Feklistov Island, the second-largest of the islands. The rocks on this island contain many precious minerals such as quartz. The craggy nature of the island’s shoreline is a perfect place for seabirds to nest and there are several colonies here. Now that the group is alone with just thousands of birds for company, you’ll experience an amazing sense of remoteness.
Overnight Location: Camping
Distance: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 Feklistov Island

Today you’ll explore Feklistov Island on foot and get up close to the rocks to see the unusual mineral deposits. This is a wild environment and you’ll need to keep a watchful eye out for bears that might be looking for fish on the shore! In the afternoon, you’ll visit tiny Arka Island, which is a 50-meter-high arch-shaped rock formation. If you're lucky you’ll be able to see the sea eagles nesting on the top.
Overnight Location: Camping
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 Bird Island and Rainbow Island

Today begins with an exploration of Rainbow Cape, so-called because the rocks here contain deposits of Jasper, a type of quartz that has bands of colors like a rainbow. In the afternoon, you’ll explore Bird Island, which as you might expect, is home to several large sea bird colonies. Afterwards, you’ll sail back to Grand Shantar and spend the night in our camp there.
Overnight Location: Camping
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 Cape Ongochan

It’s time to begin the return journey. On the way back, you’ll pass two more islands, Belichiy Island, otherwise known as Squirrel Island and Small Shantar Island. You’ll arrive at Cape Ongochan, set up camp and have dinner.
Overnight Location: Camping
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 Return to Nikolay Bay

Today you’ll return to the mainland. After such a unique and memorable expedition, you’ll be keen to stay in touch with your traveling companions. Today is a great opportunity to recount experiences, swap contact details and take plenty of group photos!
Overnight Location: Camping
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 Return to Khabarovsk

It’s time to l make the long drive back to Khabarovsk. You’ll arrive at night, and check into the hotel, where you can enjoy sleeping in a proper bed for the first time in a while!
Overnight Location: Hotel in Khabarovsk
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 13 Tour ends

It’s time to say your farewells. The tour ends after breakfast.
Overnight Location: None
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

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Expedition to the Shantar Islands Price and Dates

Pricing for this Expedition to the Shantar Islands depends on whether you choose to join an existing group on a specific date or if you prefer a custom tour for your group only.

The best time to travel to Expedition to the Shantar Islands is during July, August and September.

Private Guided Expedition to the Shantar Islands

Have your own private tour with just your group! Please contact us with your preferred date and the number of people in your group and we will create the itinerary just for you.

Join a Group Expedition to the Shantar Islands

Make new friends and join a group expedition to the Shantar Islands. Pricing depends on the total number of guests that book on the tour. The prices listed below may increase if there aren’t 12 guest booked on the tour. Contact us to learn more about pricing.

In addition, there is an additional cost to add the Services of an English-speaking guide which is $1,029 USD for the group.

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Accommodation on Expedition to the Shantar Islands

Accommodation on this tour is a mixture of hotels and wilderness camping. Hotels on this trip are 2 and 3-star hotels and offer modern conveniences that can make this trip more pleasant. Rooms are double occupancy, and single travelers will pay a supplement.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other, comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement to have a private room in a hotel. Contact us and we can try and match single travelers up, where possible.

Hotels on Standard Tour

Khabarovsk City Hotel in Khabarovsk

Modern and comfortable hotel in the center of the city, with a restaurant and bar.

Night 2-11

Camping

Camping at various scenic spots along the way.

Khabarovsk City Hotel in Khabarovsk

Modern and comfortable hotel in the center of the city, with a restaurant and bar.

What’s included in the Expedition to the Shantar Islands?

Meals

12 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 9 dinners are included.

Accommodations

Accommodation for 12 nights during the tour is included.

Transportation during the Tour

Transport for you and your luggage is included throughout the tour.

Also Included

  • Reserves and national parks entrance permissions
  • Letter of invitation
  • Russian-speaking guide
  • Tent rental
  • Camping outfit rental
  • Airport transfers

Not included

  • Medical insurance
  • Personal expenses and tips
  • Visa fees and travel insurance
  • Airline tickets
  • Optional activities

Optional Extras

  • Extra nights in accommodation in the Khabarovsk before or after the tour

Frequently Asked Questions about Expedition to the Shantar Islands

BaikalNature is a leading Russian adventure tour operator, founded over 12 years ago. BaikalNature is focused on guiding foreign guests to explore the most exciting natural spaces in all of Russia. With a focus and deep love of Lake Baikal, they also love taking guests off the beaten path in exploring the beautiful natural areas of Russia.

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Expedition to Shantar Islands Map

Click map for a larger version

Is this tour for me?

We rate this tour as a 3/5. There will be around 5 hours of physical activity daily.

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