In June 2012, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will be offering their first itinerary through the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia’s Far East, on the only 5-star[1] expedition vessel in the world, the Hanseatic. 

The itinerary will be fully bilingual, departing Otaru, Japan on June 13, 2012 and concluding in Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka on June 30th. The 17-day expedition voyage will lead through the Sea of Okhotsk and her many islands, as well as to Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands. This route, rarely traveled by cruise ships, is one of the last great unexplored sea expeditions in the world.

The wildlife in the Sea of Okhotsk and her many remote islands is some of the richest in the world, and the scenery of snow-capped volcanoes, dense forest, tundra and meadow is spectacular. The onboard Zodiacs, small inflatable boats, will take guests ashore to observe wildlife such as Stellar Sea Lions, songbirds, birds of prey, seals and sea otter up close.

The mostly uninhabited Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia’s easternmost province, is a dramatic landscape of fire and ice, and the distant and isolated Kuril Islands have mesmerized explorers and traders for centuries. Guests will find a unique mixture of endemic birds. Geysers, hot springs and active volcanoes set amidst towering mountains and fast flowing rivers also make this area magnificently unique.

Excursion options of this itinerary include: a helicopter flight to the Valley of the Geysers, considered one of the greatest miracles of nature that can only be visited by helicopter; a zodiac ride to Cape Utholoskiy, to hopefully view the brown bear; and a walk around Atlasova, an uninhibited island in the Kuril Islands, with the largest active volcano in the area.

This itinerary starts at $10,832 per person, based on double occupancy for an outside cabin