The best of Kamtchatka
* Subject to availability.
- Outings and landings in Zodiac® dinghies
- A team of experienced Naturalist-Guides.
- Natural delight: lush taiga, many volcanoes and geysers, vast expanses of tundra, birch forests, beaches of black sand, crater lakes, rivers.
- Wildlife: Walruses, Sea Otters, Reindeers, Brown Bears, bird colonies, Whales.
- Encounters and traditions of Chukchi and Koryak peoples.
- Opportunity to discover the “Valley of Geysers” by helicopter.
- Staterooms & Suites
- Port of call & excursions
- Guest(s) Lecturer(s)
- Important information
- Pre/Post & Overlands
Staterooms & Suites
There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.
In May 2011, l'Austral joined PONANT's fleet. This superb mega-yacht with 132 staterooms is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral remains faithful to our philosophy - to create a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being.
A sleek silhouette softened by elegantly smooth contours and large, arched windows opening up to the sea and the light: so many features come together to give L’Austral her distinctive shape. Precious materials, discreet elegance and a perfect balance between chic and casual, combine to make you feel as if you are on your own private yacht. A design blending tradition and innovation, where a nautical mood has been subtly recreated. A welcoming atmosphere of relaxed sophistication revolves around shades of grey, taupe, white and ivory enlivened by touches of cinnamon, caramel and tan.. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht.”
You will encounter unique itineraries, calls inaccessible to large ships, chic and elegant yacht-like ambiance, refined and personalized service as well as gastronomic cuisine.
Port of call & excursions
Nome, AlaskaEmbarkation 07/09/2016 from 17H00 to 18H00 . Departure 07/09/2016 at 20H00 .
Located along the Bering Strait at the westernmost point of Alaska, Nome offers the rustic charm of a former gold-mining town, set in the middle of magnificent wilderness. As you weave in and out of the brightly coloured houses, you will discover the pioneering legacy that still marks local traditions. Fishing, reindeer rearing, sledge-racing ﾖ people here live from their manual labour. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing Arctic fauna.
8 September 2016 – Crossing The Date Line ChangeArrival 08/09/2016 . Departure 08/09/2016 .
Your itinerary enables you to cross the International Date Line. This imaginary line across the Earth’s surface approximately follows the 180th meridian in the Pacific Ocean. Because of the roundness of the Earth and the necessity of having reference time meridians, we have to change dates when we cross this line. So if your ship is travelling west, you will need to add a day to the expected date; conversely, if travelling east, you will take away a day. This paradox, already noted by Magellan’s crews during his circumnavigation, serves as dramatic motivation in several novels, including Jules Verne’s famous Around the World in Eighty Days.
9 September 2016 – ProvideniyaArrival 09/09/2016 . Departure 09/09/2016 .
Across the Bering Strait from Alaska, which it almost touches and can be glimpsed when the weather is fine, the town of Provideniya seems to keep a watchful eye over ships heading for the East Siberian Sea. Nestled against mountains with peaks of up to 2,000 m, Provideniya is the gateway to the Chukotka Peninsula, a polar region as yet unknown to the general public, with striking landscapes and a primitive beauty like no other.
10 September 2016 – Whalebone AlleyArrival 10/09/2016 . Departure 10/09/2016 .
Your ship nears the wild coast of Yttygran Island at the first light of dawn; discovered by Jean Malaurie in 1976, it is a holy place shrouded in mystery. On the silent beaches, bathed in a surreal light, lies Whale Bone Alley, the revered and sacred shamanic grounds of the Chukchi people. Along a 400 m stretch of beach, the Chukchi have carefully arranged hundreds of whale bones, skulls and jawbones in accordance with ancient rites and there they stand, proud and reaching for the astral sky. With each passing year a little more of our ancient history is lost, and this site bears valuable witness to humankind’s eternal search for a harmonious co-existence with the Spirits and with Nature and the rituals we’ve employed along the way.
11 September 2016 – Cap Navarin PassageArrival 11/09/2016 . Departure 11/09/2016 .
12 September 2016 – Anastasia BayArrival 12/09/2016 . Departure 12/09/2016 .
13 September 2016 – GlobakayaArrival 13/09/2016 . Departure 13/09/2016 .
14 September 2016 – Olyutorskiy and Koryak RegionArrival 14/09/2016 . Departure 14/09/2016 .
15 September 2016 – TymlatArrival 15/09/2016 . Departure 15/09/2016 .
16 September 2016 – Commander IslandsArrival 16/09/2016 . Departure 16/09/2016 .
17 September 2016 – Kronotskiy Biosphere ReserveArrival 17/09/2016 . Departure 17/09/2016 .
18 September 2016 – Sailing Avacha BayArrival 18/09/2016 . Departure 18/09/2016 .
19 September 2016 – Kekurny Cape/Russkaya BayArrival 19/09/2016 . Departure 19/09/2016 .
19 September 2016▸20 September 2016 – PetropavlovskArrival 19/09/2016 at 23H00 . Departure 20/09/2016 .
Petropavlovsk-KamtchatskiDisembarkation 21/09/2016 at 00H00 .
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.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
USA : Visa may be required. Please contact USA consulate website for details.
Russia: an individual Russian visa (single-entry tourist visa type) must be obtained prior to your cruise.
A copy of your passport (photo page) must be sent to PONANT at time of booking of your cruise, this in order to prepare the « letter of invitation » necessary to obtain your visa.
A copy of your visa must be sent to PONANT at the very latest 70 days prior to your cruise date.
Please note : in case PONANT does not receive a copy of your Russian visa by the deadline, the immigration procedures specific to the areas visited won’t be obtained for your embarkation.
Discover the unique concept of PONANT polar expedition cruises: explore the world’s extreme regions while enjoying luxurious comfort and service.
A luxury expedition voyage
Choosing a PONANT expedition cruise means choosing a state of mind: the alliance of elegance and authenticity, of exploration and comfort, of adventure and refinement… The comfort of your ship and your stateroom, personalised and attentive service, refined gastronomy: a very special atmosphere that we take great care to maintain. In the heart of the ice floes of the Arctic and the Antarctic, our luxurious services will ensure that your expedition cruise is an unforgettable experience.
PONANT, polar specialists
With almost 20 years of experience in the extreme regions, PONANT, the world’s number 1 polar cruise company, is a real polar specialist. PONANT will take you to the most remote regions in total safety: our Captains and crew are professionals, specially trained to sail in icy waters. Our latest-generation fleet has the most modern technology to guarantee both your safety and respect for the regions visited. The size of our ships means we can get as close as possible to areas that are difficult to reach, offering a privileged access to preserved sites. Our flexibility enables us to adapt to the surprises inherent to these expedition itineraries.
Professional expedition teams, varied activities
After scouting missions in the field, our Expedition Leaders and their teams of naturalist guides design exceptional itineraries in the polar regions. During the cruise, they organise daily outings and shore visits in Zodiac dinghies and hikes on land so as to get as close as possible to nature and wild fauna. In the Arctic and in Alaska, the close relationships that our teams have been able to build with the local communities will enable you to understand the life of these peoples of the Far North, and to share it for a few hours. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…
Fascinated by pre-history since childhood, Yves Coppens began his career as a researcher on an excavation in Brittany. In 1956, he entered the CNRS and from 1960 led major expeditions to Africa and the Middle East. In 1974 in the Afar triangle in Ethiopia, he and his team discovered Lucy, the three-million-year-old Australopithecus skeleton which continues to shed light on the fascinating story of our origins thanks to developments in research and dating techniques.
Yves Coppens was director of the Musée d’Homme anthropology museum in Paris, professor at France’s National History Museum and from 1983 to 2005, professor at the Collège de France, holder of the paleo-anthropology and prehistory chair. He is also a member of the Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine. From July 2002 to June 2003 he was president of the commission responsible for developing the Environment Charter, and since January 2010 has been president of the new scientific council for the Lascaux Cave.
Since 1950 his articles have appeared in major international scientific journals. He has also supervised numerous collective works, the most famous Aux origines de l'humanité published by Fayard. His own more personal books have sold extremely well, among them La plus belle histoire du monde (Le Seuil, 1996, with H Reeves and J de Rosnay), Lucy’s Knee - O. Jacob, 1999), and Histoire de l’Homme et changements climatiques, his final work at the end of his Collège de France tenure (Fayard, 2006).
Among his most recent works are L’Histoire de l’Homme - 22 ans d’amphi au Collège de France (1983-2005) and Yves Coppens raconte l’Homme published in 2008; Le présent du passé and Yves Coppens raconte nos ancêtres in 2009; T1 : l’histoire des singes in 2010: Le présent du passé au carré and Yves Coppens raconte nos ancêtres. T2 : la vie des premiers hommes, and in 2011 Pré-textes : l’homme préhistorique en morceaux and Yves Coppens raconte nos ancêtres. T3 : l’Eveil de l’homme au sacré. His latest book, Le présent du passé au cube, was published in October 2013.
Yves Coppens was also science director for two French paleo-fiction films: L’Odyssée de l’espèce and Homo Sapiens.
Photo credit: Quentin COPPENS
Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.
Expeditions programs include activities such as Zodiac® outings (often with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Calls, landings & zodiac® cruises will depend on weather conditions, position of ice (during polar cruises) and winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time.
Taking into consideration the unusual and exceptional character of expedition itineraries, the calls shown are an indication only. The final route will be confirmed by the Captain and Expedition Leader, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. Their decision will be subject to that of local authorities and the expert pilots present on board during the navigation in polar and /or isolated zones.
Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. The raw beauty and untouched wilderness offer an unusual chance to experience a place where there is little evidence of human presence. Inevitably, there are some consequences that come with such remoteness: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is highly expensive. Without the necessary medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid for with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe a full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully and be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive.
- Water-resistant parka offered on board (for adults only) on Expedition cruises where the stamp “Parka gift” appears
- Half calf rubber boots with non-slip soles, which will allow you to land in 20 cm of cold water, keeping your feet dry for walks and visits on steep paths. You can also bring water-resistant hiking boots. A boots rental will be offered onboard (for adults only) on Expedition cruises where the stamp “Boots offered” appears
- Comfortable pants: classic Winter pants, warm cotton tracksuit
- Water-resistant windbreaker over pants - COMPULSORY
- Winter pants with water-resistant over pants is the ideal combination: water-resistance and comfort suitability of pants are essential
- Pullover, sweat-shirt or fleece jacket
- Fleece muffler and fleece cap or thermal beanie covering ears (avoid scarfs which do not stand still)
- Water-resistant and supple gloves
- Polarized sunglasses with high UV filter
- Mosquito repellent
- Walking sticks (highly recommended)
Pre/Post & Overlands
Before your cruise
Pre Cruise Overnight in Seattle + Flights
Per person, based on double occupancy