Termine & Preise

Islands of Fire and Whales

- 14-days sailing expedition to the northern Kuriles Islands -

Atlasov Island with its volcano
Atlasov Island with its volcano
Our expedition vessel (18m long / 4.5 m wide schooner) which comfortably carries 8 passengers plus crew
Our expedition vessel (18m long / 4.5 m wide schooner) which comfortably carries 8 passengers plus crew
Planned itinerary of the Kurile Islands cruise
Planned itinerary of the Kurile Islands cruise
Ebeko volcano eruption (photo: L Kotenko)
Ebeko volcano eruption (photo: L Kotenko)
Kurile Islands panorama
Kurile Islands panorama
Interior of our boat
Interior of our boat
Pilot tour 14-28 July 2019 - booked out
The Kurile Islands stretching from Japan to Kamchatka are formed by very active volcanoes, which however are rarely visited by people.
We plan to charter a small expedition vessel that accommodates up to 8 people and spend 12 days sailing between the northern group of volcanoes, and try to approach and observe some of the most active volcanoes in the chain.
  • Visit some of the world's most active and rarely visited volcanoes
  • Very small group size
  • Amazing wildernesses and breathtaking land- and seascapes
  • Untouched volcanic features from close
  • Large calderas and impressive stratovolcanoes
  • Abundant sea and bird life
  • Expedition style
  • Accompanying Russian and German volcanologist team

Kurile Islands expedition

The exact itinerary during the expedition might need to be adjusted depending on weather, sea, volcanic and other unexpected conditions as well as the time-table of the public ferry from Petropavlovsk to Severo-Kurilsk.
Tag 1: (14 July 2019) Arrival in Petropavlovsk
Arrival and meeting in Petropavlovsk. Final preparations, shopping, visit the city center, group dinner
Ü: hotel in Petropavlovsk (D)
Tag 2: (15 July) Overnight ferry to Severo-Kurilsk
Free half-day for sightseeing etc in Petropavlovsk town.
In the evening, we board the passenger ferry which takes us to Severo-Kurilsk the next morning.
Ü: on ferry (B, D)
Tag 3-11: (16-24 July) 10 days sailing expedition
We have the our expedition vessel for up to 12 days / 11 nights on board to sail around the islands and visit several volcanoes and places of interest. The itinerary will be mainly a function of weather and sea conditions, but should also be able to be adapted in case of ongoing eruptions on one of the islands.
The planned itinerary should be as follows:

D1: Board our expedition vessel and start sailing to Onekotan Island (overnight).
D2: Arrival and land on Onekotan Isl. Excursion to the caldera lake Chernoye. Fishing opportunities. Overnight sail to Shiashkotan.
D3: Arrival on Shiashkotan in Zakatnaya Bay, excursion to nearby thermal springs. Return to the ship. Anchorage.
D4: Daytime sailing to Simushir Island. Along the way, there is a great chance of meeting sperm whales, killer whales, seals, sea lions. Overnight anchorage in the Bay of Urataman caldera volcano.
D5: Landing, excursion to the former submarine base, collection of sea urchins, fishing for cod. Overnight in the bay of Urataman volcano.
D6: Sail to the island of Ushishir. If the weather permits, landing in the Kraternaya Bay (thermal springs, bird bazaars, arctic foxes). Sail to Shiashkotan island.
D7: Sail to Paramushir island. Overnight in the Shelekhov Bay.
D8: Sail to Atlasov Island (Alaid volcano). Land on the shore. Climb the Takeeti cone (147 m). Return to the ship. Overnight in Cormorant Bay.
D9: Spare day
Ü: shared cabins on board (B, L, D)
Tag 12: (25 July) Return to Severo-Kurilsk
During the last day of sailing, we return to Severo-Kurilsk, where we spend the night in the hotel as at the beginning.
If we don't need this day as spare day, we sail to Shumshu Island and land near Chakonchi, where we can visit an open air museum in the area of the last battle of WWII before returning to port.
Ü: Hotel (B, L, D)
Tag 13: (26 July) Full day on Paramushir Island - Ebeko volcano
A full day is planned for Paramushir Island and frequently active Ebeko volcano. Although it can also serve as extra spare day on board the vessel in the archipelago, we plan to spend the last 2 nights in a basic hotel in Severo-Kurilsk and use the time to approach Ebeko volcano and other nearby places of interest.
Ü: simple hotel (B, L, D)
Tag 14: (27 July) Return to Petropavlovsk
Ferry back from Severo-Kurilsk to Petropavlovsk (over night)
Ü: night on ferry (B, L, D)
Tag 15: (28 July) Arrival in Petropavlovsk, end of expedition
Arrival in Petropavlovsk, transfer to airport or extension program, end of expedition
Ü: none (B)


The tour starts and ends in Petropavlovsk (Kamchatka).

Reiseart: Expedition: Geologie & Vulkanismus - Fotografie - Abenteuer
Schwierigkeitsgrad:Variabel (abhängig von Ihrer Route und Wünschen)
Dauer: 15 days / 14 nights


zur Zeit keine Termine

Preis (p.P.): 5900 EUR (if 6 part.) / 6300 EUR (if 5 part.)

Im Preis enthalten:

  • All transfers to / from Petropavlovsk
  • Boat charter for 9 days / 8 nights
  • Boat crew incl. cook
  • Full board incl. drinking water, tea, coffee
  • Camping & safety gear (incl. satellite phone)
  • Accompanying volcanologist from the Institute of Volcanology in Petropavlovsk specialist for the Kurile Islands
  • Accompanying volcanologist from our team (Dr. Tom Pfeiffer)


Normalerweise begeleitet Dr. Tom Pfeiffer diese Reise. Tom Pfeiffer bereist und dokumentiert aktive Vulkanismus seit mehr als 20 Jahren.
Sein wissenschaftlicher Hintergrund ist seine Doktorarbeit über den Vulkanismus der Insel Santorin in Griechenland. Dort hat er auch den verkohlten Olivenbaum in den Bimsschichten der minoischen Vulkaneruption entdeckt, der über die C14-Methode die genaue Datierung der Santorin-Eruption 1627 v.Chr. ermöglichte. In seiner Doktorarbeit bezieht er sich auch auf den Vulkan Vesuv. Er hat schon auf Hawai`i am Vesuv in den Vulkanobservatorien gearbeitet, bevor er 2004 VolcanoDiscovery gründete und als VolcanoAdventures 2014 neu entwickelte. Er spricht Deutsch, Englisch, Französisch, Dänisch, Griechisch und Italienisch.
Der Vulkanologe Dr. Tom Pfeiffer auf Santorini

Wichtiger Hinweis:

- Returning customers of VolcanoDiscovery will have priority on this expedition.
- Deposit payment modalities: by end of Oct, we will need to ask for a 3000 EUR deposit, as we will then need to pay a deposit for the boat charter. Rest payment is then due by 2 month prior to the trip.
- In case of cancellation from YOUR side, our refund policy on this trip is changed: until 1 Mar 2019: 10%, until 30 April: 50%, after and including 1 May: 90% cancellation fee. If you or we can find another traveler to take your spot then, we can waive the cancellation fee to a service fee of 100 EUR.
- The indicated per person price at 5 (6) participants is based on 480,000 (450,000) RUB at an exchange rate of 76 RUB/EUR. If by 2 months prior to the tour, the RUB/EUR exchange rate has deviated more than 5% from this value, the per person EUR price will be be adjusted accordingly to recalculate the final payment due.
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