THE RUSSIAN FAR EAST
Dear Traveller, If you have ever wanted to explore the unknown wilderness of the Russian Far East then our expedition cruises are for you.
may witness pods of whales and family groups of seals and will stop to explore the human history of exploration and settlement in the region.
No other company has devoted so much time and so many resources to developing Expedition Travel in this part of the world; our personal passion for Russia and the high Arctic is evident in everything we do. We have four years’ experience of operating cruises in the region, backed by eight years of intensive research and negotiations with the local authorities and are proud of what we have achieved. Over the years we have built rewarding relationships with the people of the region, from villagers and indigenous guides to Wildlife Reserve managers and scientific researchers. Working with them at every step we offer a commitment to developing responsible travel in this fragile region and actively promote conservation; Heritage Expeditions offers you a world-class programme.
If you would like to know more I invite you to send me a personal email at firstname.lastname@example.org Every journey starts with one small step - take that step today and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
The Russian Far East is a land of extremes and a myriad of environments. It encompasses monumental snow-capped volcanoes shadowing vast subarctic forests, sweeping tundra punctuated by geothermal activity and forbidding uninhabited islands surrounded by rich oceans and ice floes. These remote and wild lands, carpeted in wild flowers, are home to an abundance of birds and wildlife so diverse that it is easy for visitors to understand our passion for the region. Unsurprisingly, it is not possible to see this all in one trip but you can come close with our itinerary ‘Jewel of the Russian Far East’. This expedition traverses the entire coastline, almost to Japan, taking in mountains, rivers, relics of the Cold War and great rookeries of rare birds. The other itineraries are more specific and have been researched and designed to provide the discerning traveller with an experience that is as unique as the destination. Our expedition ‘Birding the Russian Far East’ departs in June and gives birders the opportunity to see truly bewildering flocks of Pelagic birds and innumerable migratory species. We also go in search of the rare Steller’s Sea Eagle which can be found gliding above rivers of salmon where Kamchatka Brown bears also hunt for food. We are especially excited about our expedition ‘In the Wake of Bering: In Search of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper’ as this is a co-operative venture with Birdlife International. Truly unique, it gives you the opportunity to see this extremely rare bird on its breeding grounds whilst also providing hands-on support and funding to the local Recovery Team. And for an unforgettable high Arctic experience you must join our expedition ‘Across the Top of the World to Wrangel and Herald Islands’. These isolated islands are home to Polar Bears and Walrus, Snow Geese and Snowy Owls. On our route we
Rodney Russ Expedition Leader and Founder of Heritage Expeditions.
Index Herald Island
Big Diomede Is
RUSSIAN FAR EAST
Introduction to Expedition Cruising
Responsible Travel Policy / Conservation
Expedition Staff Bio’s / Getting to and from the Russian Far East
Vessel: Spirit of Enderby
Expedition: Birding the Russian Far East The Kurils, Kamchatka & Commander Islands
Page 10 Expedition: In the Wake of Bering In search of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Page 12 Expedition: Across the Top of the World to Wrangel and Herald Islands Page 14 Expedition: Jewel of the Russian Far East
Page 16 Essential Information / Booking your trip
Page 17 Booking form Page 18 Booking terms and conditions
Magadan Goven Peninsula Karaginskiy Is.
Sea of Okhotsk
Ust Kamchatsk Kronotskiy
Zhupanova River Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy
Birding the Russian Far East The Kurils, Kamchatka & Commander Islands
Paramushir Is. Onekotan Is.
In the Wake of Bering In search of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper
Matua Is. Yankicho Is. Simushir Is. Chirpoy Is. Urup Is.
Across the Top of the World to Wrangel and Herald Islands
Iturup Is. Hokkaido
Jewel of the Russian Far East
Freephone: 0800 262 8873 (within NZ)
1800 143585 (within Australia)
Introduction to Expedition Cruising The spirit of adventure and exploration is being suffocated by jet liners and large cruise ships. This, at a time when an increasing number of people are looking for a genuine wilderness and wildlife adventure. Expedition Cruising still provides genuine travellers (not tourists) opportunities to go where few people have been and to share experiences that few people will have had. Expedition Cruising enables us to go to places that are inaccessible to most other forms of travel, it doesn’t discriminate, is available to people from all walks of life and can be enjoyed regardless of age or gender. The spirit of adventure generated by expedition cruises brings people together in a unique and fulfilling way. Expedition Cruising is generally done on smaller sized vessels to avoid the negative impacts from large groups of people on a culture or on an ecosystem. Smaller groups mean more time ashore and a more genuine experience whether it is in a wilderness or enjoying a cultural exchange in a remote village or town. Expedition ships are designed to navigate where the larger ships can’t go and to land you with Zodiacs in places where few travellers have been before. The objective of Expedition Cruising, apart from having an enjoyable time, is to create a learning environment. Our staff are teachers and interpreters not entertainers. Expedition Cruising creates wonderful ambassadors for conservation. The Russ family through Heritage Expeditions pioneered Expedition cruising in the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia, the Ross Sea region of Antarctica and more recently the Russian Far East. They are committed to conservation through advocacy and education and believe that Expedition Cruises can deliver on that and at the same time provide participants with a memorable travel experience. With Heritage Expeditions there is no need to sacrifice comfort and quality of food or accommodation. Our vessel the ‘Spirit of Enderby’, accommodating just 50 passengers, is comfortable and functional, having all the attributes that make it the perfect Expedition ship. It is one of the last family operated Expedition ships of its size and type in the world.
Photo credit: Jenny E Ross
Responsible Travel Policy Travelling with Heritage Expeditions is to travel responsibly. As biologists and ornithologists, we are intimately aware of the many issues that confront animals and their habitats, the world’s oceans and isolated ethnic groups. We also take action: we actively contribute to the conservation of the places we visit in several ways; we ‘buy local’ and employ locally; we make sure that travellers are respectful of local customs and traditions; and we dispose of waste responsibly.
E n d e r by T r u s t
Heritage Expeditions supports conservation by providing advocacy through responsible travel and providing funds and logistical support for research and management. To launch our Russia 2011 season we have entered into a three-year association with Birdlife International as a Species Champion for the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper. In addition to our providing transport and logistics for several researchers, we are committed to making financial contributions as a company and welcome our guests to join us in support of this programme. 100% of the money donated will be spent on Birdlife International’s activities preventing extinction. 70% goes to the Spoon-billed Sandpiper conservation project directly and 30% is retained and pooled with other contributions to fund three other vital aspects of Birdlife International’s work: 1. To fund vital development of conservation (capacity) for Critically Endangered species who do not yet receive support. 2. A contribution to the BirdLife Partnership’s international Science, Policy, Advocacy, Conservation and Coordination work that underpins the programme. 3. Vital communications & publicity that raises international awareness of the extinctions crisis and promotes the programme to help recruit new BirdLife Species Champions. We also make significant annual contributions to the New Zealand Department of Conservation, the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Antarctic Heritage Trust and the Russian State Reserve Agency. In addition to these contributions, Heritage Expeditions provides transport of freight and personnel to and from nature reserves. We support the New Zealand Meteorological Service and non-governmental research agencies, including the World Wildlife Fund (Russia) and the University of Canterbury. For the 2010-2011 season we have chosen our February Antarctic voyage to promote as well as collect and submit donations for The Last Ocean Charitable Trust. The organisation was established in August 2009 to raise awareness of the unique values of the Ross Sea. We travel in small groups and endeavour to maintain a guide to client ratio of 1:12. Each expedition is led by an experienced Expedition Leader who is familiar with the region being visited. When selecting our specialist expedition equipment, vehicles and vessels, we research carefully to ensure that they are the most suitable and environmentally responsible. All waste generated on our expeditions is disposed of in a responsible manner: onboard it is treated as prescribed by MARPOL, and on land expeditions recycling is encouraged. Non-recyclable waste is brought back for disposal at approved sites. Heritage Expeditions owns and is covenanted to protect an area of native forest in New Zealand. We employ a part-time Conservation Officer for the purposes of predator control and native species replanting. We partner with the Enderby Trust to provide scholarships for young people, who could not otherwise afford to travel, to join our expeditions. Heritage Expeditions holds active membership in a number of conservation and travel organisations including the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) which promotes responsible travel to Antarctica.
Freephone: 0800 262 8873 (within NZ)
1800 143585 (within Australia)
Expedition Staff Bio’s As a family-owned and operated company, there will almost certainly be a Russ family member on board in a leadership role. We have also assembled a world renowned team of experts to experience Russia’s wilderness with you and to interpret the natural and human history along the way.
Dr. Christoph Zöckler (left) & Dr. Evgeny Syroechkovskiy (right) Dr. Christoph Zöckler (Dipl. Biol., PhD) Studied biology in Kiel, Germany and also Scotland; now living in Cambridge, England. Has over 25 years’ work experience, including 11 years with WWF Germany and 14 years with the United Nations Environmental Programme -World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) in Cambridge. In the last 15 years he has focused his work on conservation in the Arctic and the region’s migratory waterbirds. Has been co-operating with WWF and the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) on Arctic issues since 1996 and gained experience in managing various international research projects, participating in 12 expeditions to the Russian Arctic. In the last 10 years his Arctic work has increasingly encompassed issues related to climate change and he has represented UNEP and UNEPWCMC in global, regional and thematic assessment work. In 2005 he founded the consultancy ArcCona to dedicate more time and resources to the conservation of the rapidly-declining and globally-threatened Spoon-billed Sandpiper. He works as an observer in the management board of CAFF and is a member of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme and the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment Steering Committee. He has over 80 research publications to date.
Getting to and from Russia Dr. Evgeny Syroechkovskiy (Dipl. Geogrpahy, PhD Biology) Studied bio-geography at Moscow State University; now a preeminent Russian Arctic ornithologist. Worked for the Russian Academy of Sciences for over 20 years and is now leading ‘BirdsRussia’, a BirdLife partner and key conservation NGO. Spent 22 field seasons working on conservation projects in the Russian Arctic and on the flyways of Russian birds, concentrating on threatened species: Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Lesser White-fronted, Red-breasted and Emperor Geese etc. Also studied sustainable use of wildlife resources, management of subsistence hunting by indigenous people and their traditional ecological knowledge. Currently serving as Vice-president of Migratory Bird Commission of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation. Also acting as advisor to Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Russian Hunters Association on bird conservation issues. He has over 150 research publications to date. Dr Nikita Ovsyanikov graduated from Moscow State University and has spent 31 field seasons at Wrangel Island, and 2 field seasons at Herald Island carrying out long-term field studies on Polar Bear and Arctic Fox behaviour and ecology. He has lived alone in remote cabins on these islands among these animals for weeks and months every year. He is currently Deputy Director (Science) for the Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve. Jon Turk is an adventurer, geologist and author with two highly-acclaimed books on northeast Siberia to his name. One is a firsthand account of his Kayak expedition along the Kamchatka and Chukotka coasts; the other chronicles five expeditions to visit a 100 year old shaman in northeast Siberia. Katya Ovsyanikova is a graduate of the Biological faculty at Moscow State University. From an early age she travelled and worked in the high Arctic with her parents, mostly on Wrangel Island where they are both conducting long-term wildlife studies. Katya undertook her own study on sea otter ecology and behaviour in the Commander Islands in 2007/08. Katya is fluent in English and Russian and is passionate about natural history.
The Russian Far East is not as far away as it seems, nor is it as difficult to get there as it might first appear. Forget what you might have heard or read: Russian Airlines are very professional and you will find little or no difference between them and other international airlines. Russian regional airlines are equally professional. From Europe, the easiest way to travel to the Russian Far East is via Moscow. Aeroflot has regular direct flights to two of our gateway towns: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy. From the Americas and Australasia there are regular flights into Vladivostok and Khabarovsk from Korea, China and Japan. From Vladivostok and Khabarovsk there are onward flights into YuzhnoSakhalinsk and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy. To offer our passengers more choice, those booking on our ‘Across the Top of the World’ and/or ‘Jewel of the Russian Far East’ expeditions can chose to fly on a Heritage Expeditions charter flight from Nome to Anadyr for an extra USD750.00pp. Airlines operating in the Russian Far East: Asiana Airlines www.flyasiana.com/english/ Vladivostok Air www.vladivostokavia.ru/en/passengers/ (Can book and purchase tickets online) Siberia Airlines www.s7.ru/en (Can book and purchase tickets online) Sakhalin Air www.satairlines.ru (Website available in Russian only) Korean Airlines www.koreanair.com Aeroflot www.aeroflot.com Trans Aero www.transaero.ru/en
The Spirit of Enderby The ‘Spirit of Enderby’ is the complete expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research; she is fully ice-strengthened. Refurbished in November 2009 to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows or portholes and ample storage space. On board there is a combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room This class of vessel is world renowned for polar expedition cruising because of its strength, manoeuvrability and small passenger numbers. With a maximum of 50 passengers on Heritage Expedition voyages we are one of the few remaining companies still offering the true small ship experience.
Mini Suites: Have a separate bedroom with a double bed and a single bed or a sofa in the lounge, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. The Mini Suites have windows.
Bridge Office 509 Suite 510 Suite 510 513
Lounge / Library / Library
Lounge / Library Lounge / Library
411 421 421
426 425 Hospital
Suite 513 413
Hospital 426 425 426 425
517 521 518 517 518 510 505521 509
413 418 415 420 420
420 420 413
Bar 309 310 Lounge / Library
Heritage Suite: Has a large lounge area, a separate bedroom with double bed, a single bed in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe, drawers. There is a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. There are large forward and side facing windows to allow great views.
Lounge / Library 309 310
311 Hospital 312 313 314 411 315 421 426 425
421 426 425 312 313 314 315
337 332 331 327 326 322 321 309 310 311 312 313 314 315
Dining Room 413 415 420 418 Dining Room
418 Galley Dining Room
Dining Room Dining Room
Galley Dining Room
300 level - Main Deck
Galley 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 337 332 331 327 326 322 321 337
Dining Room Dining Room Galley Dining Room
Dining Room Galley
Lecture Theatre 337
Laundry Sauna 327 326 322
Superior Plus cabins: Cabins have two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
Laundry Sauna Lecture Theatre
Laundry Sauna Lecture Theatre Laundry Sauna
Superior cabins: Cabins have bunks (an upper and lower berths), wardrobe, drawers, a desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
Lecture Theatre Laundry Sauna
Bridge 500 level 400 level 300 level - Main Deck 200 level
Main deck cabins: Cabins have two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, a desk, washbasin and porthole. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main deck cabins. Main deck triple: This cabin has one bunk (one upper and one lower) and one lower berth, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and wash basin. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main deck cabins
Freephone: 0800 262 8873 (within NZ)
1800 143585 (within Australia)
Birding the Russian Far East
The Kurils, Commander Islands and Kamchatka Stretching northwards for over 700 miles from Japan to the southern end of the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Kuril Islands were formed by the collision of the Pacific and Eurasian plates creating a chain of over 30 volcanic islands and an oceanic trench which reaches depths of over 8,000m. The combination of deep water upwellings and the mixing of the cold waters from the Sea of Okhotsk with the warmer Pacific Ocean creates ideal conditions for seabirds and the area is one of the richest in the world, both in terms of the number of species which can be seen and their sheer abundance. For many birders, the undoubted highlight are the Auks and during our voyage it is possible to see up to fourteen species including Tufted and Horned Puffins, Parakeet, Whiskered and Rhinoceros Auklets, as well as Spectacled and Pigeon Guillemots. Other seabirds we regularly encounter include Laysan Albatross, Mottled Petrel, Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel, Red-faced Cormorant, Redlegged Kittiwake and Aleutian Tern, making this a truly “must do” trip for keen seabirders. The seas are also extremely rich in cetaceans and on recent expeditions we have seen Blue, Fin, Sperm, Humpback and Grey Whales as well as Orca (Killer Whale), Baird’s Beaked-Whale and Dall’s Porpoise. As we head north up the Kuril chain and then explore Kamchatka and the Commander Islands, the scenery and vegetation change markedly, giving us the opportunity to look for an exciting range of land birds. For many, the highlight is the truly stunning Steller’s Sea-Eagle which breeds at a number of locations we plan to visit, although there are plenty of other special species including Rock Sandpiper, Mongolian Plover, Pechora Pipit, Japanese Robin, Siberian Rubythroat, Red-flanked Bluetail, Long-tailed Rosefinch and Black-faced Bunting. The birds, cetaceans, wild flowers and dramatic scenery make this territory truly unique and by joining this expedition you will have the opportunity to visit a region few have had the privilege to experience. Tufted Puffins Photo credit: Giles Breton.
Day 1: Sakhalin Island Arrive into Sakhalin and spend the night at a hotel in YuzhnoSakhalinsk. For those wanting to explore, the nearby Gagarin Park offers excellent birding with Sakhalin Leaf-Warbler, Rufous-tailed Robin and Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker all possible.
Our visit to Yankicho Island is likely to be one of the highlights of the voyage as the numbers of alcids which breed here are incredible, with spectacular concentrations of Crested and Whiskered Auklets. We should also see Parakeet Auklet, Horned Puffin and Pigeon Guillemot.
Day 2: Depart and at sea Transfer to the Port of Korsakov and board the Spirit of Enderby. As we cross the Sea of Okhotsk, our first seabirds could include Tufted Puffin, Ancient Murrelet and Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel. Flocks of Short-tailed Shearwaters should also be present as this species moults in huge numbers in these waters.
Day 7: Toporkovy and Ekarma Islands During the morning we will cruise off Toporkovy where we can expect to find Harlequin Ducks, Red-faced Cormorants, Tufted Puffins and Brunnich’s Guillemots and ashore could encounter Grey-tailed Tattler, Middendorff’s Grasshopper Warbler and Blackfaced Bunting.
Day 3: Kunashir Island As we approach Kunashir, new seabirds could include Rhinoceros Auklet, Brunnich’s Guillemot and Slaty-backed Gull. The very rare Short-tailed Albatross has also been seen here on two previous expeditions.
Later in the day, we plan a Zodiac cruise off Ekarma where hundreds of thousands of Northern Fulmars breed. We should also see various alcids, with close looks at Tufted Puffin and Whiskered Auklet highly likely.
We plan to visit the Kurilsky Reserve and explore an extensive area of woodland. Species we could encounter include White-tailed Eagle, Oriental Turtle-Dove, Oriental Cuckoo, Crested Kingfisher, Japanese Bush-Warbler, Eastern Crowned Warbler, Narcissus Flycatcher and Long-tailed Rosefinch. Blakiston’s Fish-Owl breeds on the island and has been seen on one of our expeditions. Day 4: Iturup Island The waters off Iturup can be excellent for the localised Spectacled Guillemot and we plan an early morning Zodiac cruise to search for this species. After breakfast, buses will take us into the volcanic highlands of Iturup where Brown Dipper, Arctic Warbler, Japanese Robin, Pine Grosbeak and Japanese Grey Bunting can be found. We will also visit the community of Kurilsk where Russet Sparrow and Chestnut-cheeked Starling breed. Day 5: Urup and Chirpoy Islands An early morning landing on Urup, where new species could include Latham’s Snipe, Brown-headed Thrush, Siberian Rubythroat and Grey-bellied Bullfinch. As we cruise north, Long-billed Murrelet, Pelagic Cormorant and Laysan Albatross are possible, as are Dall’s Porpoise, Sperm Whale and Orca. Later in the day, we will either Zodiac cruise or land on Chirpoy Island where there are some dramatic headlands covered in breeding seabirds. Day 6: Shimushir and Yankicho Islands We will enter a flooded caldera at the northern end of Shimushir Island where there was once a top secret Soviet submarine base; now abandoned. In the surrounding area, likely species include Siberian Rubythroat, Eurasian Nutcracker, Pine Grosbeak and Japanese Grey Bunting.
Day 8: Onekotan and Atlasova Islands Landing at the northern end of Onekotan we will walk to a nearby lake through meadows of wildflowers where we could find Buffbellied Pipit, Pine Grosbeak and Japanese Grey Bunting. In the afternoon, we will visit Atlasova where there is a colony of Red-faced Cormorants. Other species that can be found here include Long-toed Stint, Falcated Duck, Arctic Warbler, Brownheaded Thrush and Siberian Rubythroat. Day 9: Bukta Russkaya, Kamchatka On our 2009 expedition we discovered several pairs of the critically endangered Kittlitz’s Murrelet in this fiord and we plan to look for these as well as Long-billed Murrelet which also occurs here. There is at least one active nest of the spectacular Steller’s SeaEagle in the bay and while ashore we will look for Lanceolated Warbler, Oriental Greenfinch and Rustic Bunting. Day 10: Zhupanova River, Kamchatka We will spend several hours in the Zodiacs cruising on the Zhupanova River where we should get great looks at Steller’s Sea-Eagles; the birds often perch in the trees adjacent to the river. Other highlights should include Pacific Diver, Far Eastern Curlew, Glaucous-winged Gull, Aleutian Tern and Yellow-breasted Bunting.
The area is also extremely rich in marine mammals and previous voyages have encountered Sperm, Humpback, Northern Minke and Baird’s Beaked-Whales, as well as Orcas, Steller’s Sea-Lions, Northern Fur Seals and Sea Otters. Day 13: At Sea A day at sea as we cruise towards Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy with Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel and Red-legged Kittiwake amongst the likely sightings. We may also encounter some cetaceans and have twice seen Blue Whale in these waters. Day 14: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatkskiy Arrive Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy and transfer to either a nearby hotel or the airport. Dates: #1120 Prices: (All prices in USD) Heritage Suite Mini Suite Superior Plus Superior Main Deck Main Deck Triple Additional charges: Landing Fees/Local Payment
12th - 25th June 2011 $ 10,400pp $ 9,600pp $ 8,900pp $ 8,400pp $ 7,800pp $ 6,500pp $ 350pp
Included in the cruise price: Hotel accommodation in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (1 night, twinshare). Transfer from hotel to the ship. Transfer from the ship to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy central city hotel or airport. All shore excursions as outlined in itinerary. All accommodation and meals while onboard ship. Services of Heritage Expeditions leaders. Post-expedition Trip Log. Price Excludes: Flights to and from the points of embarkation and disembarkation. Travel insurance. Visas. Laundry. Drinks. Gratuities and other items of a personal nature.
Days 11 and 12: Commander Islands There are two main islands in the Commander group, Bering and Medney, and during our two days we will explore several sites. While ashore, we stand an excellent chance of finding Rock Sandpiper, Mongolian Plover, Pechora Pipit and Grey-crowned Rosy-Finch, as well as the endemic subspecies of Arctic Fox. Zodiac cruising can be extremely rewarding here with Whiskered, Least and Parakeet Auklets all possible as well as the rangerestricted Red-legged Kittiwake.
Freephone: 0800 262 8873 (within NZ)
Auklets in Yankicho caldera
1800 143585 (within Australia)
Photo credit: Nathan Russ
In the Wake of Bering:
In Search of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Run as a co-operative venture with Birdlife International, this expedition is as unique as the 18th century First Kamchatka Expedition led by Danish explorer Commander Vitus Bering. On orders from Tsar Peter the Great he travelled overland from St Petersburg to the Russian Far East and there built a ship which he sailed “north by northeast...[to] chart the coast and collect information”. It was an ambitious journey and a remarkable voyage leading to later historic discoveries of wildlife, flora and landmasses. Bering set sail in the St Gabriel from Nizhnekamchatsk on the lower Kamchatka River; our expedition will depart from the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy which is named in honour of his two later expedition ships, St Peter and St Paul. From here we will sail north by northeast, just as Bering did, to discover wildlife and wilderness that few have been privileged to see. Barely accessible by road, isolated by ice floes and dominated by snowy active volcanoes it is a land of extremes and was a tightly-guarded border zone for Soviet Russia. At every stage of our journey we will search for the best experience and may encounter vast forests carpeted with mosses and wildflowers, great tracts of tundra and rich oceans home to innumerable seabirds. But there is one bird in particular that we will endeavour to find: the extremely rare Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus). This bird is classified as globally vulnerable and its only known breeding ground is in northern Kamchatka and Chukotka – the area that we will be visiting. Recent field studies suggest that the global population of this small wader is in decline and only a few researchers have seen it on its breeding ground. We will assist some of those field workers with a survey of a remote area of the Koryak Coastline and thereby hope to contribute to greater knowledge, and survival, of this rare species.
Spoon-billed Sandpiper Photo credit: Rob Schuckard
Day 1: Arrival Your adventure begins with an overnight stay in historic Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, one of the greatest natural harbours of the world. You can arrive a few days early and visit the Valley of the Geysers or explore one of the volcanoes for which the region is famous.
Day 8: Goven Peninsula/Tintikun Lagoon Of the many fiords formed on the Koryak Coast during the last glacial period, few are as picturesque as Tintikun. Exploring the lagoon and the mountains by Zodiac we can be sure that few people have gone before us and may be rewarded with sightings of the common Brown Bear as it hunts for salmon running upriver.
Day 2: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy Explore the town’s monuments and exceptional museum before meeting your fellow adventurers and expert expedition team on board the Spirit of Enderby.
Day 9 & 10: Olyutorskiy Bay We begin assisting the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Recovery Team in this almost inaccessible bay that is normally blocked by fast ice. With only limited resources, the team has never been able to survey this area but it is hoped that it might offer good breeding habitat. Dividing into teams and with supervision and guidance we will survey as much of the region as possible.
Day 3: Zhupanova River An expedition by Zodiac up this untamed river takes us among valuable ecosystems that support an immense diversity of wildlife. Teeming in the river are salmon, attracting Brown Bears and other predators; we might also see Yellow-breasted Bunting and Green Shank or the Far Eastern Curlew and Common Tern. Upriver, in the mature birch forests, we may be rewarded with a sighting of the magnificent Steller’s Sea Eagle nesting. Day 4 & 5: Commander Islands Once a bustling colony of seal hunters and fur traders, these islands were first discovered by Commander Vitus Bering and became his last resting place after being shipwrecked; we visit his simple grave and the museum in the village of Nikoi’skoye, the one remaining settlement. We land and explore the remote and forbidding bays where over a million seabirds live amid a backdrop of folded-block mountains, volcanic plateaus and sea arches. Home to a myriad of birds, some of the species we might see include several varieties of auklet and albatross plus Thick-billed Murres, Red-legged Kittiwakes and Red-faced Cormorants. We may also spot Steller’s Sealions and seals on the jagged rocks. Day 6: Verkhoturova Island On this small and narrow island there is an extensive bird colony, readily-accessible from the sea, where we may see gulls, kittiwakes, guillemots, auklets and Tufted Puffins nesting in the cliffs and wheeling above us. Day 7: Goven Peninsula Covering much of this rangy peninsula is the Koryaksky Nature Reserve, encompassing a wide range of habitats from raised beach plains to alpine meadows and steep glaciated mountains. Accompanied by Rangers, we explore the thickets and rivers looking for Brown Bear and hiking the wetlands gives us a chance to see sedge grass, tundra and flowering wild plants. We may be lucky to spot woodpecker among the aromatic poplar and alder that reach up the slopes before Zodiac cruising the coastline for views of sealions and seals.
Day 11: Bukhta Natalia and Bukhta Dezhneva Another beautiful fiord possessed of a dramatic allure in the low sun of the Subarctic. A Walrus haul-out guards the entrance and we make a landing to explore the hinterland, surrounded by imposing mountain landscapes and verdant tundra. Nomadic reindeer herders are sometimes encountered in this region. Day 12 & 13: Meinypil’gyno This small settlement clings to a 60km spit on the shore of the Bering Sea and is an area populous with Lesser Sand Plovers and Red Knot. White-billed Diver have been seen here and we hope also to encounter the critically-endangered Kittlitz’ Murrelets that breed in the cliffs nearby. However, our main reason for visiting is to meet with members of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Recover Team who will carefully escort us to nearby known breeding pairs of the rare species. Unless our work of the previous days have discovered a population at Olyutorskiy Bay then this area represents the last real stronghold of this charismatic species. Day 14: Bukhta Gavilla Between the previous stop and Cape Navarin lies a Walrus haulout that we investigate before making landfall to explore the lagoon behind an expansive beach for waterfowl and waders. Once forming a land-bridge to North America, this fertile area enjoys an abundance of food; sightings of Grey Whales and many seabirds are common.
Dates: #1124 Prices: (All prices in USD) Heritage Suite Mini Suite Superior Plus Superior Main Deck Main Deck Triple Additional charges: Landing Fees/Local Payment
26th June - 10th July 2011 $ 10,800 pp $ 9,980 pp $ 9,450 pp $ 8,995 pp $ 8,395 pp $ 7,175 pp $ 350pp
Included in the cruise price: Hotel accommodation in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy (1 night, twin-share). Transfer from central city hotel to ship. All shore excursions as outlined in itinerary. All accommodation and meals onboard the ship. Services of Heritage Expeditions leaders. Post-expedition Trip Log. Transfer from Vessel to City Centre or airport in Anadyr Price Excludes: Travel insurance. Visas. Laundry. Drinks. Gratuities and other items of a personal nature. Flights to and from the port of embarkation and disembarkation.
Steller’s Sea Eagle
Photo credit: Giles Breton
Day 15: Port of Anadyr We say farewell to our fellow voyagers when we arrive in port but as we sail up the harbour, keep a look out for Beluga Whales which can often be seen close to the anchorage by the city. Enjoy a complimentary transfer to the airport or to your hotel.
Kamchatka Brown Bear
Freephone: 0800 262 8873 (within NZ)
1800 143585 (within Australia)
Photo credit: Katya Ovsyanikova
Across the Top of the World To Wrangel and Herald Islands
“Near the top of the world in one of the most remote and inhospitable parts of the planet, lie two wild and undeveloped islands of great significance to the conservation of life on earth.” Dave Cline in Wrangel Island, a publication of the Beringia Conservation Project. Anchorage, Alaska 2001. This unique journey not only includes the isolated Wrangel and Herald Islands but also a significant section of the wild North Eastern Siberian coastline. It is a journey made possible only in recent years by the thawing in the politics of the region and the retreat of the summer pack ice in the Chukchi Sea. Right on the border between Soviet Russia and the USA, the area was known as the Ice Curtain and today remains one of the last undiscovered wonders of the world. We sail through the Bering Strait west along the north Siberian coastline before crossing the Longa Strait to Wrangel Island and there spend 4-5 days under the guidance of local Rangers on the Nature Reserve. Untouched by glaciers during the last ice age, this is a treasure trove of arctic biodiversity and is perhaps best known for the multitude of Polar Bears that breed there. We hope to catch many glimpses of this beautiful animal as well as walrus, reindeer, Snow geese and other migratory species that nest here annually. Of equal importance is the ‘mammoth steppe’ vegetation complex, a rich and diverse relic from the Pleistocene epoch, nurturing over 400 plant species. Changing hands from Britain, America, Canada and Russia the islands’ human histories are not without interest either and our expert expedition team will take time to give lectures and background to the landscape we move through and the encounters we enjoy. We will undertake numerous landings during our voyage, look for whales, visit huge bird colonies, walrus haulouts and native villages and will take every opportunity to discover the region’s rich biodiversity.
Polar Bear Photo credit: Aleks Terauds
NOTE: You can join this expedition either in Anadyr (see ‘Getting to and from the Russian Far East’) or you can join in Nome, Alaska. Those starting in Nome will fly by a Heritage Expeditions charter flight to Anadyr where you will join the ship and the expedition members who have travelled direct to Anadyr. Day 0: For those departing Nome, Alaska your adventure begins with a flight across the black Bering Sea and the International Date Line, to the remote port of Anadyr. Day 1: Anadyr Explore Anadyr, the administrative centre of the Chukotka region, before getting to know your fellow voyagers and crew on board the Spirit of Enderby. Day 2: Anadyrskiy Bay Weighing anchor early, you are invited to join the expedition staff and crew on the bridge for introductory briefings as we sail toward the Bering Straits, through the Anadyr Estuary famed for its Beluga Whales. Day 3: Yttygran, Nuneangan and Arakamchrchen Islands Yttygran Island is home to the monumental ancient aboriginal site known as Whale Bone Alley, where we make a landing. Constructed from immense whale jawbones and skulls to form arches, the site is of international archaeological importance. On the lookout for Grey Whales, we also cruise by Nuneangan and Arakamchrchen Islands where seabirds nest and Walrus can be found. Day 4: Cape Dezhnev / Uelen Village The north easternmost point of the Eurasian continent, it is sometimes possible to see the coast of America from this remote and lonely outpost. It’s a steep scramble up the rocky beach to an abandoned Soviet border guard base and a monument to Semyon Dezhnev, the brave 17th century seafarer who lends the cape his name. We are welcomed by Chukchi villagers whose traditional lifestyle remains largely unchanged by the passing centuries and are treated to a precious collection of sculptures, bone-carvings and artwork.
rookeries of noisy seabirds underline this area as a Nature Reserve of international significance. This is also a chance to visit historic Dragi Harbour where early explorers endured terrible winters after their steamship was crushed by ice.
Dates: Nome to Nome #1128 #1130 #1132
Day 11: North Siberian Coast Bounded by narrow sand ridges with numerous lagoons and inlets, this area offers plenty of places to land and explore a coastline that very few humans have seen and survived to tell the tale. Looking for Walrus we will come across Chukchi villages whose residents scratch out a living in an unforgiving climate, hunting seals and whales just as their ancestors did.
Dates: Anadyr to Anadyr #1128 27th July - 10th August 2011 #1130 10th – 24th August 2011 #1132 24th August – 7th September 2011
Days 12: Kolyuchin Inlet So huge that it is visible from satellite photos, this inlet contains vast numbers of waterfowl and migratory waders. We visit the spit of land near the inlet’s mouth and find a wild, desolate landscape that is strangely beautiful; its dunes and tidal areas are home to the mighty Emperor Goose and extremely rare Spoonbilled Sandpiper. Grey Whales frequent the area and we may be fortunate to spot them feeding only a stone’s throw from shore. Day 13: Big Diomede Island (Ostrov Ratmanova) Sometimes called Tomorrow Island and Yesterday Isle the Diomedes are separated by the International Date Line; these two rocky outposts represented the final Cold War frontier between Soviet Russia and the USA. We go in search of the Black-legged Kittiwake, Brunnich’s Guillemot and Horned Puffin and perhaps glimpse the world’s northern-most colony of auklets. Day 14: At Sea Relax in the ship’s bar or library as we sail across Anadyrskiy Bay, before bidding farewell to your fellow voyagers and staff over a dinner and expedition recap tonight.
26th July - 9th August 2011 9th – 23rd August 2011 23rd August – 6th September 2011
Prices: (All prices in USD) Heritage Suite Mini Suite Superior Plus Superior Main Deck Main Deck Triple
$ 11,000pp $ 10,200pp $ 9,200pp $ 8,700pp $ 8,200pp $ 6,800pp
Additional charges: Private charter flight Nome to Anadyr to Nome Landing Fees/Local Payment
$750pp $ 350pp
Included in the cruise price: All shore excursions as outlined in itinerary. All accommodation and meals onboard the vessel. Services of Heritage Expeditions leaders. Post-expedition Trip Log. Price Excludes: Flights to and from the points of embarkation and disembarkation. Travel insurance. Visas. Laundry. Drinks. Gratuities and other items of a personal nature.
Day 15: Anadyr Our adventure ends after breakfast with disembarkation back at the port where you will enjoy a complimentary transfer to the airport or to your hotel.
Day 5: Kolyuchin Island Inhabited today only by Walrus and seabirds this was once a Polar Bear research station. Near the derelict buildings are some of the most spectacular bird cliffs in the Arctic where puffins, guillemots and gulls can be observed and photographed up close. Day 6-10: Wrangel and Herald Islands Our itinerary will vary depending on ice and weather conditions but with a multitude of migrating birds to spot and the commanding presence of Polar Bears and their cubs to hold our attention, our days here will be busy. This is the essence of expedition cruising and there are many landings we can make to search out wildlife like Snowy Owls and Snow Geese, Ivory Gulls, the powerful Musk Ox and herds of Reindeer. Diverse Arctic landscapes from sweeping tundra of wildflowers in summer riot to sea cliffs housing
Traditional Chukchi welcome
Freephone: 0800 262 8873 (within NZ)
1800 143585 (within Australia)
Photo credit: Nathan Russ
Passengers photographing Walrus
Photo credit: Nathan Russ
Jewel of the Russian Far East The eastern seaboard of Russia dominates the North Pacific but few have experienced its severe beauty. Choked by ice in the winter and barely accessible by dirt road, this is one of the last undiscovered regions of the globe; its isolation protecting its wilderness and wildlife. During the Cold War the region was closed to foreigners - even Russians had to get special permission to travel here; nowadays political relations have thawed but the territory remains unreachable for most. Many people migrated from the unforgiving climate, Statesubsidised transport has collapsed and there is no money to replace the ageing fleet of aircraft and ships that serve the area. Heritage Expeditions offers you a rare chance to see this sweeping domain and to be part of a programme that actively supports its conservation and gives funds and logistical support to the people who live and work there. Our voyage begins in Anadyrskiy Bay and follows routes ploughed by 18th century explorers, across the lower reaches of the Bering Sea before heading along the wild Koryak coastline. We traverse the deep ocean trench off the coasts of the Kuril Islands, where whales come to feed in the rich waters and finally finish our journey almost at the tip of northern Japan. Our expedition encounters vast Russian tundra; barren lands peopled by nomadic reindeer hunters and remote islands populated by thousands of seabirds. Heading south we witness the snowcapped volcanoes of Kamchatka; flooded caldera teeming with birdlife; abandoned gulags and Cold War bases and subarctic forests in autumn splendour. Along the way we will land on black sand beaches and glacial lagoons to see up-close the natural habitats of walrus, sealions and puffins. We may even have the fortune to see the rare and beautiful Steller’s Sea Eagle or the giant Kamchatka Brown Bear. Our expert guides give insight to the region’s flora and fauna and to the human history of the area: from ancient Chukchi hunters to Vitus Bering’s Great Northern Expeditions.
Kamchatka Brown Bear Photo credit: Jenny E Ross
Day 0: For those departing Nome, Alaska your adventure begins with a flight across the Bering Sea and the International Date Line, to the remote port of Anadyr.
Day 9: Ossora Today we enjoy the hospitality of the people of Ossora whose lifestyles remain largely untouched by the modern world and who survive by Reindeer herding, hunting and fishing.
Day 1: Anadyr Explore Anadyr, the administrative centre of the Chukotka region, before getting to know your fellow voyagers and crew on board the Spirit of Enderby.
Days 10 & 11: Commander Islands Once a bustling colony of seal hunters and fur traders, these islands were first discovered by Vitus Bering and became his last resting place after being shipwrecked; we visit his grave and the museum in the village of Nikoi’skoye, the one remaining settlement. We explore the remote and forbidding bays where seals and over a million seabirds live amid a backdrop of folded-block mountains, volcanic plateaus and sea arches.
Day 2: Anadyrskiy Bay Weighing anchor early morning, you are invited to join the expedition staff and crew on the bridge for introductory briefings as we sail toward the Bering Straits, through the Anadyr Estuary famed for its Beluga Whales. Day 3: Yttygran, Nuneangan and Aarakamchrchen Islands Yttygran Island is home to the monumental ancient aboriginal site known as Whale Bone Alley, where we make a landing. Constructed from immense whale jawbones and skulls to form arches, the site is of international archaeological importance. On the lookout for Grey Whales, we also cruise by Nuneangan and Arakamchrchen Islands where seabirds nest and Walrus can be found. Day 4: Anadyrskiy Bay We spend the day at sea, crossing Anadyrskiy Bay to the jagged Koryak coast. Experience first-hand the work that goes into running our expedition vessel, listen to entertaining lectures from our experts or relax in the ship’s bar or library. Day 5: Cape Navarin With an early-morning landfall on the north side of the Cape we should have ample time to explore the lagoon for waterfowl and waders. Once forming a land-bridge to North America, this fertile area enjoys an abundance of food and sightings of Grey Whales and seabirds are common.
Day 12: Zhupanova River An expedition upriver by Zodiac takes us amongst valuable ecosystems that support an immense diversity of wildlife. While Brown Bears feed on the wild salmon, we might see the rare Steller’s Sea Eagle nesting as well as waterfowl, gulls and terns. Day 13: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy We explore this historic city nestled in one of the world’s most spectacular natural harbours and dwarfed by the colossal snowtopped Koryaksky Volcano. Day 14: Atlasova Island Sailing south along Kamchatka’s singular coastline with views of the many volcanoes that dominate the peninsula, we land on a black sand beach to investigate dune lakes for wildlife and take time to explore the eerie remains of an abandoned Soviet gulag.
Dates: Nome to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk #1134 6th - 25th September 2011 Dates: Anadyr to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk #1134 7th - 25th September 2011 Prices: (All prices in USD) Heritage Suite Mini Suite Superior Plus Superior Main Deck Main Deck Triple Additional charges: Landing Fees/Local Payment
$15,200 pp $14,000 pp $13,000 pp $12,200 pp $11,500 pp $10,000 pp $ 350pp
Included in the cruise price: Transfer from the ship to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk central city hotel or airport. All shore excursions as outlined in itinerary. All accommodation and meals while onboard the vessel. Services of Heritage Expeditions leaders. Post-expedition Trip Log. Price Excludes: Travel insurance. Visas. Flights to and from the port of embarkation and disembarkation. Laundry. Drinks. Gratuities and other items of a personal nature.
Day 15: Onekotan Island Through wetlands and diverse wildlife habitats we walk to Black Lake, which lies in the shadow of Volcano Nemo. Later we cruise the rugged coastlines looking for puffin and Northern Fulmars.
Day 6: Bukhta Natalia Along the Koryak coast there are many beautiful bukhtas (or fiords) but none possess the dramatic allure of Bukhta Natalia in the low sun of autumn. A Walrus haul-out guards the entrance and we make a landing to explore the hinterland, surrounded by imposing mountain landscapes and verdant tundra.
Day 16: Yankicho and Simushir Islands We take our Zodiacs right into the flooded caldera of this extinct volcano and there are surrounded by thousands of auklets and guillemots, wheeling and diving for fish. We also take time to see geothermal pools and an abandoned Cold War submarine base that nature is gradually reclaiming and where Arctic Foxes can sometimes be found.
Days 7: Tintikun Lagoon This spectacular lagoon is situated on the Lorran Peninsula state reserve where a large population of Brown Bears should be hunting the wild salmon thronging the rivers.
Day 17: Iturup Island Landing at the village of Kurlisk we travel to Rubakov Volcano to soak in some thermal pools and enjoy the spectacular panorama across the region.
Day 8: Verkhoturova and Karaginskiy Islands Our landing on Verkhoturova Island should yield great colonies of puffins, guillemots, auklets and Pelagic cormorants. We view rocky islets that are home to the rare Steller’s Sealion before landing again to explore the wetlands and forests of larch and alder with their carpets of mossy shrubs and wildflowers.
Day 18: At sea Crossing La Perouse Strait, dividing Russia and Japan, signals the end of our expedition which we mark with a farewell dinner tonight.
Photo credit: Jenny E Ross
Day 19: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk We land at Korsakov Port and transfer to nearby hotels or to the airport for onward flights. Kronotskaya Volcano
Freephone: 0800 262 8873 (within NZ)
1800 143585 (within Australia)
Photo credit: Philip Game
Essential Information Detailed information If you would like more detailed information, full dossiers for every voyage listed in this brochure are available on request from our office or can be downloaded from our website. They contain more background information and a fully detailed itinerary. The dossiers also act as the final definitive statement of inclusions and other details and are therefore an essential part of the booking contract. After booking we will provide you with a Pre-departure booklet and Passenger Handbook to help you prepare for your holiday. Age Requirements Our Expeditions are designed for adults, but may be suitable for mature teenagers. We can accept bookings for children; however anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please note that we do not provide an onboard children’s programme and children will be the responsibility of their parent or guardian while on board. Flight Information We do not package international flights to connect with our voyages but in some cases we will charter flights to aid travel to destinations that are not always serviced with regular scheduled air services. Information on these charter flights will be provided at time of booking. Passport & Visa Requirements You are required to travel with a current passport and visa for all of our holidays. We also recommend that any passports within 6 months of expiry are renewed before travelling. Other regulations may apply and you should check with the nearest embassy or consulate of the countries that you plan to visit. Medical Matters These are expeditions for persons in generally good health. We will be travelling to remote areas without sophisticated medical facilities. The ship will have a medical officer and a small infirmary on board but medical attention is limited to basic care. The fee for medical services rendered or medicines supplied will be added to your account. Four months prior to departure, you will be forwarded a confidential medical questionnaire which we ask that you and, in some cases, your doctor complete and return promptly to enable us to assess if there are any difficulties in you joining the trip. This form will then be held by the ship’s doctor during the voyage to assist him/her should any treatment be required. If there is any substantial change in your
Booking Your Trip medical circumstances between the completion of that document and the trip departure it is important that you advise us accordingly. Equipment & Clothing Requirements Our Pre-departure information details any essential clothing that is required and is sent with your booking confirmation. Travel Insurance You must have it! You may be barred from embarkation if you have no proof of insurance. If you are arranging your own insurance, you should check that all the included activities are covered. Adventurous Travel However good our organisation is, we are at the mercy of the unexpected and this type of expedition can never be entirely predicted. If you are not prepared for this you should not travel with us. Because these are not ordinary package holidays, the outline itineraries given in this brochure are statements of intent rather than promises. Local weather, politics, airlines, transport or a host of other uncontrollable factors can mean a change in itinerary. It is unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered, but if changes are necessary the Expedition Leader will decide the best alternative. Where a delay or change does occur, we will do everything we can to minimise its effects, but we cannot be held responsible for the results of delays or changes outside our control. Ship Accommodation The Spirit of Enderby ship details are shown on page 7. Cabin Arrangements Twin (2 beds) cabins will be allocated to clients booking together. Double beds are available in suite accommodation only. Single clients are matched with a sharer of the same sex in a twin-share cabin. Payment of a single supplement guarantees a single cabin. The cost of a single supplement is 1.8 times the price of the voyage with the exception of the suites which are double the single rate. Ship Communications The radio room on the ship is equipped with a satellite telephone and email for onboard communication. Details on how to contact the ship in case of an emergency will be sent with your final documents, as will details of communication charges. Hotel Accommodation We include the pre-voyage hotel night and a group dinner as well as breakfast the morning of embarkation on most voyages.
Booking Conditions To make a booking you must send us a completed booking form and a deposit of 25% for your selected voyage. We will then invoice you for the balance, which must be paid no later than 90 days before departure. If you book less than 90 days before departure, full payment is due immediately. Once you have decided which holiday is for you, please check availability by calling our office or visiting your travel agent. We can normally hold space (option) for you for 7 days while you send in the booking form. We recommend that you read the brochure description, dossiers, general pages and booking conditions very carefully. Completing the Booking Form • Ensure your name is spelt exactly as it appears in your passport. This is very important for customs regulations, so please double-check. Do not use abbreviations e.g. Bob for Robert, unless this is what appears in your passport. • Please specify any special dietary requirements AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. • Please fill in the details of the passport that you will be travelling on and check that your passport is valid for the required time beyond your period of stay. If not, you may need to obtain a new passport; please make sure you update us with any passport changes. • Would you like a single cabin? If so please request this on the booking form. • Are you insured? We do require you to be insured and have suitable cover for the particular trip. Important Please ensure that you sign the booking form. This indicates that you have read the booking conditions and agree to abide by them and also, having read the information provided, you understand what is involved in the voyage. If there are minors in your party, you should sign the booking form for them and this indicates that you are taking responsibility for them. Then • Send the fully completed booking form with a deposit of 25%. • You may pay your deposit over the telephone by credit card (Visa or Mastercard) and this will secure your place. We also accept telegraphic transfer - please contact us for our bank account details.
• A signed booking form must be received in our office within 14 days of bookings made by phone. • If you are booking within 90 days of departure, full payment is due when booking and we may have to impose a late booking fee of US$50 per person to cover extra expenses if departure is less than 31 days away. If under 31 days we also require a guaranteed final payment such as a telegraphic transfer or an accepted credit card. • Please note a 2% fee will be added if you pay your final balance by credit card. What Happens Next? Your booking will normally be confirmed within a week, although in busy periods it may take a little longer. Your confirmation will include detailed information on your voyage. Final Payment The balance of your payment is due 90 days before departure. The exact date will be shown on your invoice. Although we accept credit cards (Visa or Mastercard) for the deposit, we prefer the final balance to be paid by cheque or telegraphic transfer. If paid by credit card it will be subject to a 2% fee. If you require a receipt please request one. Lastly About two weeks to 21 days before departure we will send out your final joining instructions. Please check these details carefully. If you have not received your final joining instructions at least one week before departure, please contact us. If you have any concerns about these details or any last questions about your holiday please do not hesitate to contact us immediately.
Antarctic House, 53b Montreal St, PO Box 7218, Christchurch, New Zealand, 8240 Tel: ++64 3 365 3500 - Fax: ++64 3 365 1300 email@example.com - www.heritage-expeditions.com
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Please ensure that you sign the booking form. This indicates that you have read the booking conditions and agree to abide by them and also, having read the information provided and understand what is involved in the voyage. If there are minors in your party, you should sign the booking form for them and this indicates that you are taking responsibility for them.
Booking Terms and Conditions Thank you for choosing to book with Heritage Expeditions Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as: “HE”). Before you make a firm booking, we recommend you (hereinafter referred to as “contracting party”) carefully read the following travel conditions. These general travel conditions and the term “contracting party” apply to both private persons (direct bookings) and (travel) organisations (see par. 1.2). 1. Reservation of trip / travel notification 1.1 If the contract comes about by means of a written acceptance by the contracting party on the offer of HE, upon which a binding travel contract with HE is effectual, all conditions set out in paragraph 1.3 up to and including paragraph 11.3 apply. If the contracting party, in addition to himself or herself, lists one or more other persons on one notification form, this contracting party is automatically responsible for all obligations ensuing from the travel contract (in line with the general travel conditions of HE) concerning himself and the other persons booked. 1.2 If the contract has come about by means of a written acceptance by a (travel) organisation (as in the case of, but not limited to, tour operators, agencies, travel agents, foundations, societies etc), this (travel) organisation enters into a binding travel contract with HE. The (travel organisation in question is then exclusively considered as the contracting party to which all conditions set out from paragraph 1.3 up to and including paragraph 11.3 apply. This is irrespective of the possibility that the (travel) organisation in turn enters into a binding travel contract with clients it has recruited (such as, but not limited to, private persons, members of the (travel) organisation, travel agents and third parties in general). 1.3 The contracting party shall, before the effecting of the travel contract and its implementation, provide HE with necessary personal data concerning himself or herself or third parties - in the case of a (travel) organisation the client(s) of the (travel) organisation. Incorrect or incomplete provision of (personal) data could result in faulty vouchers, etc for which HE shall not be held liable. 1.4 On receipt of the written booking form, the trip that has been booked will be confirmed by HE by means of a confirmation invoice sent to the contracting party. 1.5 Single traveller who wish to share their cabin/hotel room should so indicate on the application form. The published per person double occupancy fare is guaranteed in this case, whether or not a cabin-mate is available. Single travellers who require sole occupancy of cabins will be charged 1.8 the published fare on all cabins except suite cabins which will be charged at 2 times the published fare. 2. The travel offer / the travel elements 2.1 The scope of the travel offer (the travel elements) booked by the contracting party is contractually recorded in the travel confirmation (invoice) in combination with the description from HE’s most up-to-date brochure / programme description. 2.2 Any deviation from the travel elements described in the brochure and publications are valid only if confirmed by HE in writing. This may be in the original offer, travel confirmation or a communication sent later. 3. Payment 3.1 On the implementation of the travel contract, the contracting party must pay to HE an advance of 25% of the total price, unless otherwise stated in the travel confirmation. The remaining 75% of the total price is due 90 days before departure. In the case of a (travel) organisation that has guaranteed allocation, the following payment conditions apply: 10% of total deposit on signing the contract, 10% of total price 12 calendar months prior to departure, 80% of total price 180 days prior to departure. 3.2 After payment has been received, the travel documents will be dispatched.
3.3 If the contracting party fails to fulfil their payment obligations, HE will send him/her a written reminder and he/she will have the opportunity to make immediate payment. If payment is still not made, the contracting party is liable to pay interest on the amount due of 1% for each month or part of a month that this remains unpaid. Furthermore, he/she will be liable to pay compensation for legal collection costs equal to an additional 15% of the sum claimed, with a minimum amount of 50 USD. If the contracting party fails to comply with his/her payment obligations, HE reserves the right to cancel the contract on the day of default. HE is entitled to charge the cancellation costs incurred (in line with paragraph 6 or as agreed otherwise in the travel confirmation). 3.4 If, regarding the above, payment is then made, but HE cannot send the travel documents to the contracting party before the start of the journey, any additional dispatch costs will be charged to the contracting party. HE will not be held responsible for any travel documents not arriving on time. 4. Changes in travel elements / price changes 4.1 Changes to the travel offer, which occur before the start of the journey and are agreed in the travel confirmation, are permitted only if they do not substantially alter the nature of the trip. This includes, among other things, changes made by the airline, changes in flight departure times, changes referring to hotel overnight stays before or after the main journey, minor changes in the travel programme or excursion offer. HE is obliged to inform - in writing - the contracting party of such changes. Such changes may not be used by the contracting party as reason for cancelling the travel contract. 4.2 The agreed price is based on the prices, exchange rates, duties and taxes as known to HE at the time the publication went to press and at the time of the travel confirmation. HE reserves the right to raise the agreed price on the grounds of, among other things, unforeseeable increases (e.g. exchange rates, sudden increased prices of accommodation providers, airlines, duties, taxes, harbour dues and fuel prices). In the event that HE considers a price alteration is considered necessary, HE is obliged to inform the contracting party of this, in writing, at the very latest 20 days before the day of departure. Price increases are not permitted within 20 days of the start of the journey. In the case of a price increase of more than 10% of the total price of the trip, the contracting party is entitled to cancel the trip without incurring any costs. 5. Cancellation of the trip by HE 5.1 If the minimum number of participants has not been achieved, HE is entitled to cancel the planned trip up to 30 days before departure. Any payment already received from the contracting party will be paid back by HE if the contracting party does not agree to accept an alternative trip offered by HE. 5.2 HE has the right to cancel the trip in the case of force majeure (e.g. war, uprising, natural disasters, abnormal / exceptional weather and ice conditions, legal stipulations of the local/regional authorities and other “acts of God”). HE will not be held liable for force majeure. If situations of force majeure occur before the departure date, HE will pay back to the contracting party the amount already paid. If situations of force majeure occur during the trip, HE will try to offer an alternative programme. If this should prove impossible, either HE or the contracting party is entitled to cancel the trip. In such a case, HE will not be held financially liable. However, in the case of any cost savings, HE shall return these monies to the contracting party. HE is obliged to assist the contracting party in the case of a (travel) organisation, the client(s) of the (tour) organiser - in obtaining a return trip/flight. The contracting party him/herself is responsible for the costs of this. 5.3 If HE, by virtue of the provisions of par. 5.1 and 5.2, cancels the trip, only
the equivalent of the billed price will be paid back to the contracting party. HE will not be held liable for costs the contracting party has incurred in preparation of the trip nor for reservations of travel components (such as but not limited to flights, hotels, connecting programmes, (travel) insurances) which, in combination with the trip booked with HE, may have been booked elsewhere. Cancellation of the trip by the contracting party The contracting party may cancel the travel contract (exclusively in writing) at any time before the beginning of the trip. In the case of cancellation by the contracting party HE is entitled to charge the following costs to the contracting party: For cancellations received more than 180 days prior to the departure date, a full refund will be made less a $US750.00 per person administration fee. For cancellations received within 179 and 91 days of the embarkation date the full deposit will be forfeited. If cancellation occurs within 90 days prior to the departure date the total price is forfeited. If cancellation occurs within 90 days and full payment has not yet been received, the total price will still apply and any unpaid monies are due immediately. If the contracting party, after booking, wishes to make changes to the booked trip (e.g. the departure date, destination or type of accommodation), this is considered a cancellation and the cancellation costs stated in par. 6.1 apply. In case of minor changes HE is entitled to charge reservation costs of at least $US25 per alteration. It is possible for the contracting party - in the case of a (travel) organisation, the client(s) or the (travel) organiser, to take out cancellation insurance to cover the costs of any cancellation of the trip (see also par. 10.4). Liability of HE HE is obliged to provide correct details of the trip according to the travel contract and in line with the expectations the traveller may reasonably have on the grounds of the contract. HE is responsible for the selection of accommodation providers of ships, hotels, resorts etc,composition and the quality control of the travel elements and excursions, description of the travel elements in the HE brochures and other publications, the processing of the travel confirmation, reservation of the travel elements and control and dispatch of the travel documents. Exclusion and limitation of the liability of HE HE acts as intermediary for the sale of travel elements between, on the one hand, providers of accommodation/services (such as but not limited to, a stay in a hotel, a voyage on a ship, services of dive bases and providers of transport) and, on the other hand, the contracting party and therefore HE’s liability is excluded. In these cases the conditions of the relevant providers of accommodation/services and/or the stipulations of (inter) national law applies and all liability of HE (in the case of complaints, claims, loss and damage of possessions/baggage, personal injury, death etc.) are excluded. In the case of claims, HE will try to mediate between the provider of accommodation and the contracting party. HE is not responsible for optional travel elements booked by the contracting party elsewhere (optional excursions etc). All travel elements booked with HE, which relate to stays on board a ship and/or excursions or programmes off ship (such as but not limited to excursions or programmes on land or on or in the water, incl. scuba diving, swimming and snorkelling, are at 100% own risk of the contracting party - in the case of a (travel) organisation: the client(s) or the (travel) organiser. HE is therefore not liable for any damage such as, but not limited to, (bodily) injury, illness, death etc whatever the reason or cause may be. If the contracting party has booked a diving programme, HE or, as the case may be, the diving base or the diving leader on board our ships will ask the contracting party to sign a form to which the contracting party
Booking Terms and Conditions
8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7
accepts 100% own risk and promises that he will not lodge any claims against the diving base and/or the diving leader on board the ship in the case of any calamity which may or may not result in (permanent) injury or death. The conditions for participation are stated precisely in our diving trips brochure. In any case the contracting party must have a health certificate signed by a doctor and an internationally accepted diving certificate. In the case of the land programmes, the contracting party should enjoy generally sound health. We advise the contracting party - in the case of a (travel) organisation: the client(s) of the (travel) organiser – to always take out travel insurance, supplemented if necessary by accident insurance (see also paragraph 10.4). If HE offers the contracting party an air travel component, all liability of HE is excluded and, for this travel component, the conditions of the relevant airline apply. The stipulations of the Warsaw Convention in general limit the responsibility of the air travel component in the case of death, injury and also delays, loss of, or damage to baggage. In the case of delays, HE cannot be held liable in any way whatsoever, even if this is at the cost of other travel elements of the trip booked. HE will not be held liable for loss, damage and robbery of travel documents, baggage or other possessions. HE shall accept no liability for damage for which there is a claim to compensation based on a travel and/or cancellation insurance. HE will not be held liable for damage as a consequence of the travel contract not being correctly implemented, if the deficiency in the execution of the contract is attributable to the contracting party. The trips offered by HE are conducted mainly in “marginal zones” and require the qualification of expedition trips to places where infrastructure and (medical) facilities may be poor. On booking the trip, the contracting party fully understands that booking the trip with HE is not comparable to booking an everyday standard trip. If, because of weather conditions, sea currents, nautical reasons, large amounts of floating ice etc the decision is made to change the programme, every effort will be made to offer an alternative. In certain exceptional cases, however, this will not always be possible. In such cases nonfulfilment expectations of the contracting party will not be grounds for claims. If the programme cannot be carried out according to the travel description and (certain) places described in the travel programme cannot be visited, HE will not be held liable for damage suffered and/or the spoiling of holiday enjoyment. The Expedition/travel leader is at all times authorised to deviate from the programme, if he/she is of the opinion that it would be to the benefit of the quality of the programme. In such a case HE will not be held liable for payment of restitution. Obligations of the contracting party In the case of a (travel) organisation: instead of “contracting party” (in paragraphs 9.1 up to and including 9.4) read also “the client(s) of the (travel) organiser”. The contracting party is obliged to comply with all instructions given by HE and the travel leadership (e.g. trip leaders, guides, diving instructor and diving assistants, crew of the ships, local agent and the personnel of accommodation providers such as hotels, resorts and diving locations) in order to benefit the sound execution of the trip. Furthermore, the contracting party is 100% liable for damage caused by improper behaviour, e.g. towards fellow travellers or material damage to the hotels, ships or resorts, to be judged according to the standards of behaviour of the model traveller. Any contracting party who causes such disturbance, or who threatens to cause such disturbance, that the proper execution of (part of) a trip is seriously hindered or could result in danger for the contracting party
Freephone: 0800 262 8873 (within NZ)
and/or the fellow travellers, can by or on behalf of HE (trip leadership or the local representatives) be excluded from (continuation of) the trip (components). In the case of exclusion, the contracting party is not entitled to make any claim for restitution of (part of) the price. If disturbing behaviour or damage (as described in paragraphs 9.1 and 9.2) should occur, all costs resulting from this shall be charged to the contracting party. If the contracting party does not enjoy generally sound health and/or does not have the required diving certificates and/or diving experience as required for participation in the trip, in the interest of the contracting party or his fellow travellers, HE is entitled to decide to offer an alternative programme for the contracting party in question or, in extreme cases, to exclude this person from (certain) excursions or (parts of the diving programme). These limitations apply also if the contracting party is not in possession of the correct (diving) gear, as stated in HE’s publications. In the case of exclusion (or of a mandatory alternative programme) the contracting party is not entitled to make any claim for restitution of (all or a part of) the price. The contracting party is obliged to inform HE’s tour leadership of any negligence in the execution of the travel contract noted by him at the location – in the case of a (travel) organisation: noted by the client(s) of the (travel) organisation. This should be done as quickly as possible, in writing, or other appropriate form of communication, to HE’s relevant tour leader/expedition leader, who shall immediately do his utmost to find an appropriate solution. As far as handling complaints is concerned, the following persons are responsible: General complaints during a boat trips: the tour leader/expedition leader. If there is no trip leader present, the captain is responsible. In the case of hotel and land programmes: the manager of the hotel/ organisation. If an immediate solution for the complaints cannot be found, the contracting party – in the case of a (travel) organisation the client(s) of the (travel) organisation - should present these complaints to the relevant (travel) organisation where the trip was booked, upon which the (travel organiser shall be obliged to report the complaint to HE and request assistance. In the case of complaints about travel elements, HE can decide to offer an alternative programme (e.g. hotel, cabin, excursion package) that is virtually identical to that in the originally booked trip (the originally booked travel component). HE (incl. the representatives, trip leadership, local agent) is entitled to reject the complaint if the complaint does not seriously influence the character of the trip and/or the complaint results in hindrance of only minor significance, if exaggerated demands are made, if it is impossible to provide help to the contracting party within the set time limit, if the deficiency in the implementation of the contract is attributable to the contracting party him/herself, if the deficiency in the execution of the contract could not have been foreseen or could not be neutralised, or if the deficiency in the execution of the contract is attributable to situations of force majeure. (Force majeure is understood to be abnormal and unforeseeable circumstances that are independent of the will of whosoever claims it and of which the consequences, despite every precaution having been taken, could not have been avoided, see also situations of force majeure as described in par. 5.2.) If the complaint has not been satisfactorily dealt with during the trip, the contracting party – in the case of a (travel) organisation the client(s) of the (travel) organisation should present these complaints to the relevant (travel) organisation, where the trip was booked, upon which the (travel) organiser shall present the complaint to HE at the very latest within one month of the termination of the trip (the last travel day). The complaint
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must be presented in writing and must be argued fully. 9.9 If HE has not then satisfactorily settled the complaint or if proper satisfaction has been not given in this matter, the contracting party is entitled to present the dispute to the Disputes Tribunal of New Zealand (which court shall have exclusive jurisdiction). 10. Baggage / Travel documents and insurance In the case of a (travel) organisation: for “contracting party” (in the paragraphs 10.1 up to and including 10.4) read also “the client(s) of the (travel) organiser”. 10.1 The contracting party must have in his possession on departure and during the trip the necessary travel documents such as a valid passport or, where permitted, a tourist card and any required visa, diving certificates, diving logbook including a health certificate from the doctor, proof of inoculations and vaccinations. If the participant is unable to take (part of) the trip due to a lack of any (valid) documents, HE will not be held (financially) responsible, unless HE had undertaken to provide that document. 10.2 At the very latest, on the signing of the travel contract, HE shall provide general information to the traveller on passports, visa and any formalities in the area of health care. This information does not bind HE. The contracting party must him/herself obtain the necessary information from the relevant authorities and before departure check whether there have been any changes concerning information provided at an earlier date. 10.3 The contracting party must comply with the current import restrictions of the various destinations and the amount of baggage permitted (also as far as the stipulations of the different airlines are concerned). HE will not be held liable for (e.g.) damage and prison sentences which could be imposed in the case of a contravention. 10.4 HE advises the contracting party to obtain the necessary travel insurance, such as travel insurance, accident insurance, third party risk insurance, baggage insurance and cancellation insurance. In case of a medical problem arising during the voyage, either on board or on shore, which results in costs for medical treatment, evacuation, use of aircraft or repatriation etc, the responsibility for payment of these costs belongs solely to the passenger. HE strongly advises that passengers ensure that such eventualities are covered by travel insurance. If not covered by travel insurance the responsibility still remains with the passenger and HE specifically declines any responsibility whatsoever. 11. General 11.1 If the duration of the trip as stated in the publication is given in days, the day of departure and the day of arrival, irrespective of departure or arrival times, are counted as full days. The definite departure and arrival times are given in the travel documents. 11.2 The laws of New Zealand apply to this travel contract and all matters ensuing from this contract. 11.3 This document and its content belongs to Heritage Expeditions Ltd, Antarctic House, 53B Montreal Street, Christchurch 8023, New Zealand.
Cover photo: Aleks Terauds
Back cover photos: Puffins, whale bone site, and Kamchatka Brown Bears by Jenny E. Ross; Passenger and Arctic Fox, auklets and bear tracks by Giles Breton.
Freephone: 0800 262 8873 (within NZ) 1800 143585 (within Australia) Antarctic House , 53B Montreal Street, P.O. Box 7218, Christchurch 8240, New Zealand. Tel +64 3 365 3500, Fax +64 3 365 1300. Info@heritage-expeditions.com www.heritage-expeditions.com
Heritage Expeditions Russian Far East brochure for 2011