Hapag-Lloyd Cruises plans its first itinerary through the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia's Far East this June. Operated with the line's upscale expedition vessel Hanseatic, the new itinerary and touring will be bilingual -- in English and in German -- and will depart Otaru, Japan on June 13, and conclude in Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka on June 30.
The 17-day expedition voyage will also journey 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 mostly uninhabited Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia’s easternmost province, is a dramatic landscape of fire and ice. Sights include snow-capped, active volcanoes, dense forests, rolling meadows, hot springs, fast flowing rivers and tundra.
During this cruise, guests will go ashore on remote islands using Zodiacs. They'll venture out in search of sea lions, songbirds, birds of prey, seals and sea otters.
Excursion options include: a helicopter flight to the Valley of the Geysers; a Zodiac ride to Cape Utholoskiy, where guests will possibly view brown bears; and a walk around Atlasova, an uninhibited island in the Kuril Islands.
Hanseatic is an upscale, 184-passenger expedition ship that has and E4 "ice class" rating, the highest for passenger vessels. As a result of the ice rating and its shallow draft, the ship cruises the world year-round, often visiting unusual and remote destinations.
New features now available on the ship include worldwide mobile phone reception, Wi-Fi in all cabins, an extended selection of international newspapers in full editions, as well as headsets for passengers during the excursions -- improving the guest experience in hearing the guide.
This new Russian Far East itinerary starts at $10,832 per person, based on double occupancy for an outside cabin. For more information on Hapag-Lloyd and this voyage, visit www.hl-cruises.com.