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Ponant: The Sea of Okhotsk



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Fall under the magical spell of the Russian Far East & the Sea of Okhotsk on this incredible expedition cruise. On board Le Soleal, you will find an immaculate blend of luxury and elegance as you traverse this rarely-visited and unspoiled region. Discover the beauty of Kamchatka, an incredible region of volcanic landscapes and famous brown bears before sailing to Okhotsk a region covered in ice for most the year. Encounter and incredible array of wildlife from brown bears, whales, sea birds and rare ribbon seals as you sail through landscapes of ice, glaciers, tundra and mountain vistas.

Please note this itinerary operates in reverse on the following date: 26/06/2020

Optional Activities : Kayaking

Trip Code: ACPOSOO

Travel Style: Expedition Cruise

Location: Russian Arctic


Flights: Flight from Seoul to Petropavlovsk is included on embarkation day.


  • Undertake this incredible voyage on board Le Soleal, an incredible vessel that combines elegance, luxury and sustainable technologies to provide a surreal expedition cruising experience in the most pristine corners of the world.

  • Discover the remote and rarely visited lands of the Russian Far East, a land of pristine beauty where nature and wildlife reign superior.

  • Encounter unique wildlife of the region including sea lions, whales, ribbon seals, Arctic ground squirrels and the Kamchatka brown bear. 

  • Discover an incredibly diverse array of landscapes from uninhabited islands, mountains, forests, volcanoes and ice floe.


Embarkation is scheduled between 4 and 5 pm with departure set for 6pm.

Petropavlovsk, the oldest town in the Russian Far East, was established in October 1740, when the ships Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul, captained by Vitus Jonassen Bering, the Danish explorer working for the Russian Navy, first entered the bay. The Military Glory Museum, found in the town centre, is the most important in all of northern Russia. Keep your camera at the ready, though, as nearby is the picturesque Petrovskaya Hill, which also has some surprises in store for you - don’t forget to admire the sumptuous views across the Bay of Avacha from its summit. The bay’s circular shape creates a natural protection against the impetuous wind, all the while providing ships with easy access into port.

Embarkation in Petropavlovsk

Vestnik Bay is the perfect stopover to witness local wildlife. From tufted puffins to guillemots, arctic foxes and Kamchatka brown bears, there is a wealth of wildlife in the forested areas that surround the bay and the rivers are brimming with salmon. Part of the protected South Kamchatka Nature Park, one of the six protected areas that make up the Volcanoes of Kamchatka nature park listed as UNESCO World Heritage. This nature park also serves to protect the traditional way of life of the Evenks, the local indigenous population. Head to shore aboard a Zodiac inflatable and, from land, enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Kamchatka landscapes and the Bering Sea.

Vestnik Bay

Kambalnaya Bay possesses luscious green landscapes alongside fresh water making it an ideal spot for Kamchatka brown bears. You may be lucky enough to catch adult bears and their cubs during your expedition cruise to the Sea of Okhotsk.

Kambalnaya Bay

Sakhalin is the largest island in Russia, just north of Japan. The island is covered with dense forests, mostly coniferous which ensures a diverse growth of native plants. Wildlife on the island consists of bears, foxes, otters, and sables as well as reindeer in the north and whales such as the North Pacific right whale, the bowhead whale, and the beluga whale.

Ostrova Ptich'i, Sakhalin Oblast

Antsiferov Island is a remote, uninhabited island in the northern Kuril Islands chain.
The volcanic island is home to a wealth of rich wildlife including Steller sea lions, northern fulmars and tufted puffins.

Head south to the Kuril islands, a vast chain of volcanic islands separating the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean. These islands offer a fascinating primitive ad authentic beauty. Atlasovo Island is named after the Russian explorer Vladimir Atlasov, and it was the first of the Kuril Islands to be discovered. It offers many black sand beaches, rocky and lush coastlines, and a volcano that has inspired many legends

Antsiferov Island & Atlasovo

During your expedition, sail along the peaceful Krutogorova River. The Krutogorova River displays an extremely complex interconnection with a floodplain throughout boasting a freshwater way or a whole host of marine wildlife.

Sailing Along Krutogorva River

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

At Sea

Zavyalov Island is a relatively large mountainous island located in northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, close to Magadan. Visiting this uninhabited island might give you the chance to get up close with some of the area's wildlife, including seabirds and sea lions.

The coastal town of Magadan is surrounded by wild landscapes with endless pine trees and vast rushing rivers. During Stalin’s reign, a lot of people were sent to the area of Kolyma to work in labor camps under extreme conditions. The monument of the “Mask of Sorrow” symbolizes eternal grief for the losses during the Soviet era. Magadan has now become one of the major ports of Eastern Siberia and is sometimes called “the Saint Petersburg of the Far East” due to its architectural unity and its sumptuous orthodox cathedral with golden domes.

Zavyalov Island & Magadan

Okhotsk is a little bustling town located where the Okhota River meets the Sea of Okhotsk. This town is the centre of commercial fishing in the region. During your cruise, while at sea or your ports of call, don’t miss the chance to discover the richness of its fauna: ribbon seals, numerous bird species, grey whales, Steller’s sea eagles, brown bears, sea lions, seals have wonderful surprises in store for you in this remote and unspoiled part of the Russian Far East.


Another spot of this biologically rich area is Iony Island, which lies in the middle of the Sea of Okhotsk. Although very small in size, it’s a paradise for wildlife. Bird species such as guillemot, kittiwakes, or aukllets, and a huge amount of Steller’s Sea Lions occupy the few rocky beaches.

Iony Island

Piltun Bay, in the north-east of Sakhalin, is an important site for the highly endangered Western Grey Whale. It also attracts a wide variety of seabirds. While ashore, try to spot some Aleutian terns and Steller’s sea eagles, which spend the summer on Sakhalin Island after having wintered in Japan in the Shiretoko Peninsula.

Piltun Bay

Nabilskiy Bay is located on the northeastern coast of Sakhalin Island. In this area, fishing is one of the most typical activities, although the exuberant nature offers you some very nice hikes and you can also visit some archaeological sites.

Nabilskiy Bay

Tulenyi (sea lion in Russian) is a small uninhabited island that is barely two kilometres long, 19 metres large, and full of wildlife, particularly auklets, northern fur seals and Steller sea lions. This island serves as a rookery to one of Russia’s largest sea lion colonies. Approaching the island by Zodiac can be a spectacular sight, as the highly sociable animals rush to the water to welcome visitors.


Korsakov is a fishing port town located in the southern part of Sakhalin Island. Sakhalin is the largest island in Russia, just north of Japan, covered with dense forests, mostly coniferous. Wildlife on the island consists of Kamchatka brown bears, arctic foxes, sea otters, and sables as well as reindeer in the north and several species of whales. This city offers a mix of Russian and Japanese structures. During your visit, you can go up the hill for a great view over the harbour or take a trip to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to learn about the local history and folklore as well as discover some of the island’s diverse flora and fauna. The visit to this lively town is a sign that this region is currently booming.


Disembarkation is scheduled for 7AM.

Boasting an outstanding setting of natural beauty, bordered by the Sea of Japan on one side and Mt Tengu on the other, Otaru is a lively harbour town. This old industrial capital has kept from its past glory buildings in 19th-century brick as well as its canals, formerly the main means of transportation. They give this Japanese town a striking appearance, especially when covered in snow. Magnificent vistas abound - itメs up to you to put them in order of preference. Shukutsu Observatory, overlooking out over the vast Bay of Ishikari, is just one of them.

Disembarkation in Otaru

Pricing & date

Departing Ending Duration
26 Jun 2020 10 Jul 2020 15
04 Oct 2021 18 Oct 2021 15




Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation on board Le Soleal
    All meals whilst on board
    All drinks (excluding premium brands) 
    All scheduled landings/excursions
    Guiding and lectures by English speaking expedition leader and team 
    All port fees
    All landing fees
    Expedition jacket provided (yours to keep) 
    A pair of expedition boots for use during your voyage
    Flight from Seaoul to Petropavlovsk on Day 1


    Airfare to embarkation city 
    Visa fees (if applicable) 
    Travel insurance
    Personal expenses
    Gratuities for the crew
    Pre or post cruise travel expenses
    Optional activities, refer to optional activities section for details

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request, contact us for more details.

  • Please note your cruise price includes a flight from Seoul to Petropavlovsk on embarkation day.

    Please note itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions.

  • Departure date, season and availability. 



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We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

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