Monday, August 11, 2008
Cruise Weekly Comment: Kamchatka
Cruise Weekly – Comment by Roderick Eime
Expedition cruising has evolved somewhat from the hard-core voyages that rekindled this travel sector in the 1960s and ‘70s. Today, some ‘adventure cruises’ are simply hedonistic boutique yachts with champagne on tap, but just last week I was reminded that the core product is still alive and well.
At a recent industry function I caught up with travel doyen, John Borthwick, and asked him about his recent trip to Kamchatka aboard Aurora Expeditions’s 100-berth Marina Svetaeva, a trusty former Russian survey vessel of the type that helped springboard Antarctic and Artic tourism after the fall of the USSR.
“There’s not much out there?” I inquired, recalling my own visions of bleak Siberian plains. John nearly choked on his entrée.
“Well,” he spluttered indignantly, “if you overlook the volcanoes, grizzly bears, walruses, sea otters, reindeer and Koryak shaman!”
John then proceeded to enthrall the table with dizzying accounts of vast stampeding herds of reindeer, packs of marauding brown bears and the graceful antics of the sea otters.
The Kamchatka Peninsula, asserts John, is Russia’s Alaska or Kimberley without a tourist in sight.
“It’s at the extreme of remote wilderness beauty, totally unpopulated and bursting with wildlife,” he finished, leaving us agog.
This was Aurora’s first Kamchatka expedition and NZ’s Heritage Expeditions is also exploiting the region, but the seasonal window is narrow and access complicated, so it will remain, for the time being at least, a niche destination to be savoured by a fortunate few.
Last 30 Days' Most Popular Posts
Gundula Holbrook from a 1921 painting Gundula Holbrook: I was born in Austria m the widow of the late Commander Norman Holbrook VC, the...
With just over 100 days until the end of the year, there’s never been a better time to reclaim our optimism and find enjoyment in these unc...
The photo shows the original Reichstag of the Weimar Republic...where Parliament sat in Berlin. This is how it looked in August 1932. ...
Mario Morgano was born on Capri in 1919. He moved to Genoa, where he graduated with a degree in law. Even during his university years, ...
Sydney's Menzies Hotel was opened on 17th October 1963, by Premier R.J. Heffron and named after Sir Archibald Menzies, a pioneer in...
Each and every festival in Bhutan is the most sought after form of entertainment. The Royal Academy of Performing Arts (RAPA) in Thimphu...