Across the Bering Sea: From Katmai to Kamchatka

  • Trip Type: Expedition Cruise
  • 22 Days | Round-trip Anchorage
  • Group Size: Max 102

Expedition Details


Join us aboard the National Geographic Orion for an epic journey across the Bering Sea. Sail along the Alaska Peninsula and trace the volcanic Aleutian superchain to its westernmost reaches, visiting uninhabited isles that played a pivotal role in World War II and now harbor an incredible variety of bird and marine mammal species. Cruise along the coasts of Russia’s Kamchatka and Chukotka regions to discover wild shorelines that few humans have ever set foot on, and return to Alaska via the legendary Bering Strait.

Trip Highlights

    • From the decks of the National Geographic Orion, see smoking volcanoes along the Pacific Ring of Fire, and watch for walruses, orcas, and Steller sea lions.
    • By special permission, visit the Aleutian Islands of Kiska and Attu, where rusty World War II relics tell a fascinating story of Japanese and Allied combat.
    • Sail along the seldom-seen coast of the Russian Far East, and delve into Koryak reindeer-herding culture during a visit to a traditional village.
    • In the Commander Islands, marvel at cliffs crowded with sea birds, and spot massive Steller’s sea eagles in the skies above Kamchatka’s Zhupanova River.

Itinerary - 22 Days

Day 1 — Anchorage, Alaska/Seward

Arrive in Anchorage and transfer to Seward, where we embark the National Geographic Orion.

Days 2 & 3 — Katmai National Park & Preserve

Enjoy two full days to explore the shores of Katmai National Park & Preserve, home to one of the largest concentrations of brown bears in the world. Watch the resident grizzlies fish for salmon, and board a kayak or Zodiac to explore the park’s wildlife-rich inlets, including Geographic Harbor and Kukak Bay.
(B,L,D daily)

Days 4 & 5 — At Sea/Unalaska

Watch from on deck as our ship transits Baby Pass en route to the Baby Islands. Dynamic tides here offer the chance to spot sea otters and fur seals, as well as rare seabirds. Arrive at Dutch Harbor in the city of Unalaska—site of a Japanese air attack during World War II, and now an important fishing port for crab, salmon, and a host of other species.
(B,L,D daily)

Days 6 through 10 — Aleutian Islands

Spend the next several days discovering the Aleutian Islands, a superchain of rugged volcanic isles that span roughly 1,200 miles, separating the North Pacific Ocean from the Bering Sea. Cruise past some of the many active volcanoes that form the Ring of Fire’s concave northern rim, and seek out diverse marine life, including northern fur seals, Steller sea lions, and multiples whale species. By special permission, disembark to visit the uninhabited isles of Kiska and Attu, both of which were occupied by Japanese forces during World War II. See rusted out war relics and shipwrecks, as well as craters left by Allied bombing campaigns. These islands are also home to large colonies of least, whiskered, and crested auklets and red-faced and pelagic cormorants.
(B,L,D daily)

Days 11 & 12 — Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia/Zhupanova River

Cross the international date line and sail into Avacha Bay, the sea gate to Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula. Visit the port town of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, framed by a trio of soaring snow-capped volcanoes: Koryaksky, Avachinsky, and Kozelsky. The next day, board Zodiacs and head inland along the pristine Zhupanova River, teeming with rainbow trout, salmon, and char. As we glide along the lower portion of this 100-mile-long waterway, seek out massive Steller’s sea eagles, as well as spotted seals hauled out on the sandbars.
(B,L,D daily)

Days 13 & 14 — Commander Islands

Head northeast toward Russia’s Commander, Islands—a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve harboring fascinating wildlife of both Asian and North American origin. As we sail the archipelago, watch for Russian sea otters and some of the whale species that inhabit these waters, including the elusive Stejneger’s beaked variety. Go ashore at Bering Island to visit the gravesite of Danish explorer Vitus Bering, and seek out arctic foxes and horned and tufted puffins. Weather permitting, ride Zodiacs to Cape Severo-Zapadnyy, home to a fur seal rookery.
(B,L,D daily)

Days 15 through 19 — Coastal Kamchatka and Chukotka

Over the next several days, we’ll make our way up the seldom-visited Bering Sea coasts of Kamchatka and Chukotka, in the Russian Far East. Hike between secluded bays, surrounded by volcanic mountains and tundra flora. Photograph brown bears fishing, Pacific walruses feeding, and three species of seals in onshore rookeries. Learn about the local Koryak reindeer-herding culture during a visit to either Tymlat or Ossora village.
(B,L,D daily)

Days 20, 21, & 22 — Provideniya/Bering Strait/Nome/Anchorage

At the western edge of the rich transboundary area known as Beringia, Provideniya is known as “The Gateway to the Arctic.” Visit the local museum, and witness a traditional Yupik dance performance. The next day, we’ll cross the legendary Bering Strait en route to our disembarkation point of Nome. From here, fly to Anchorage and catch your flight home.
(Days 19 & 20: B,L,D; Day 21: B)

Special Offer

Book now and we will cover your bar tab and all tips for the crew.

Offer valid for new bookings only and is subject to availability. Please call for details.

Expedition Team

A dynamic expedition team—including an expedition leader; a photo instructor; and experts in wildlife biology, geology, culture, and the undersea— accompanies each departure. They will share their knowledge and insights on wildlife, landscapes, and local culture, and help you get your best photos. See one of the members of our extraordinary team below.

Erika Larsen

Erika LarsenFor more than a decade, Erika Larsen has used photography to learn intimately about and document cultures that maintain strong connections with nature. She has been working with National Geographic magazine since 2011, and is currently a National Geographic Society Fellow and Explorer. Among her assignments, she followed Sami reindeer herders in the Scandinavian arctic and explored the significance of the horse in Native American culture. Erika was part of the multi-photographer team that produced the magazine’s 2016 single topic Yellowstone Issue, and she contributed to Yellowstone: A Journey Through America’s Wild Heart, published by National Geographic Books. She is also one of the featured photographers in Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment, which profiles the lives and work of important photojournalists and goes behind the lens of their individual assignments. Larsen is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, which sponsored her study of the North Sami language, and she published her first book of photographs in 2013 (Sámi, Walking with Reindeer). Erika’s work has been shown in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Fotografiska Museum in Sweden, and the Reggio Calabria National Archaeological Museum in Italy, as well as at Visa pour l'Image in Perpignan, France. Her images are represented by Nat Geo Creative. Larsen is currently the lead photographer for The Nunalleq Archaeological Project on the Southwest Coast of Alaska in the Yupik village of Quinhagak. The team is working to record archaeological sites threatened by rising sea levels along the Bering Sea. Erika looks forward to sharing her insights about creating images and expressing a personal vision on this journey.

Erika will join the following departure:

Jun 18 - Jul 09, 2019


Lindblad/National Geographic Logo

This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.


  • Jun 18 - Jul 09, 2019
  • Jul 21 - Aug 11, 2019

Expedition Cost

Category 1 $25,850
Category 2 $27,700
Category 3 $29,870
Category 4 $37,440
Category 5 $43,200
Category 6 $49,990
Category 1 Solo $38,780
Category 3 Solo $44,790

Prices are per person, double occupancy, except those marked solo, which are based on single occupancy.

View Ship/Deck Plan

Activity Level

Light or Moderate

Travelers can choose between a light or moderate activity level. For a light level of activity, they should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives on bumpy roads, or easy hikes.

For a moderate level, travelers should be prepared for multiple hours of physical activity (e.g. hiking, kayaking, biking) each day.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.