Arctic and Far East Russia
Russia’s most northerly regions are its most intriguing and enticing. Whether you want to learn more about Arctic Russia’s fascinating history or experience the thrill of dog sledging or bear watching in the extraordinary Russian Far East, we have a myriad of ideas to discuss with you.
Arctic Russia covers a vast sweep of land from the Norwegian and Finnish borders eastwards across northern Siberia to the Chukotka Peninsula and the Bering Sea. At one point only five kilometres separate the Chukchi Islands and the neighbouring islands off Alaska. Much of the landscape is tundra dotted with countless lakes and pools through which the vast north-flowing rivers wend their way to the Arctic Ocean. During the short intense summer these areas are the nesting sites for numerous birds, including the red-breasted goose, Siberian crane and Ross’s gull. Wild flowers brighten the ground and musk oxen, bears, reindeer, lynx, wolverine, wolves and foxes roam. We visit first in winter and then return to the White Sea in June at the time of the ‘white nights’. This is a period of continuous daylight when we use a small boat to navigate among the islands of the Solovetski Archipelago.
There is nowhere else in the world quite like Kamchatka in Russia’s Far East. Closed to both Russians and foreigners until 1990, now that we can visit you will marvel at its towering snow-covered volcanoes of exquisite symmetry, lava fields, hot springs, geysers, lush valleys, tundra, fast flowing rivers and rugged coastline.
Fiona’s travel tipsRead: Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
Take with you: Dried fruit, nuts and chocolate to vary your diet.
Best time to go: June to September for summer adventures, January to March for winter activities.
Don’t miss: The exquisite art and architecture of Moscow and St. Petersburg – it makes a memorable beginning or end to your Russian Arctic exploration.
“A great time with lots of good memories and photos. The driver was excellent on all terrains, our vehicle old, but completely reliable and added to the experience. The last day was packed, but otherwise there was a relaxed and unrushed attitude. It was all very well organised, staff were pleasant and good fun and the trip was tailored well for everyone. I didn’t want for anything.”
Mrs Elizabeth (Tilly) Smith, Kamchatka – Bears, volcanoes, native people, reindeer herders, autumn colours, August 2018
Paula Slater, Kamchatka
“Everything was fantastic. So many bears, loads of volcanoes and spectacular views. Great company, good food, cannot fault a thing apart from a dodgy zip on the tent!”
“Wonderful, beyond expectations, well organised and always a Plan B if Plan A didn’t work out. Lorraine was a superb leader. Pre-departure information was thorough and clear.”
Sue Hynard, Arcturus Kamchatka group
“Our local guide, Irina, was great – nothing seemed to be any trouble for her and she always seemed to have ideas about what we could do every day. We really enjoyed her company and felt that our days had good pace and rhythm about them. Irina was knowledgeable about the area and had obviously spent time developing good relationships with local people who took us about on boats and in trucks – we definitely benefited from this. We are keen birdwatchers and saw plenty including sea and great eagles, osprey and divers.”
Mr and Mrs James Nangle, Solovetskis and the White Sea
“It was truly unforgettable and, if anything, exceeded expectations. Thank you for a wonderful trip!
Chris Robb and Karen Murphy, Dog sledging with the reindeer herders and native people