Wrangel Bay, SUP swimming with bowhead whales
July 31 - August 9,
August 12 - 21
10 days
Wrangel Bay, Biology course about marine mammals
Easy difficulty level
285,000 RUB
Bowhead whales
We will meet a little-studied, isolated population of rare bowhead whales in the Sea of Okhotsk, which numbers 300-400 individuals and is under threat of complete extinction. Together with our team of biologists, we will watch and study whales. A biologist will accompany you throughout most of the route.
we can get incredibly close to whales using SUP boards

We will watch whales from the shore and from observation platforms on the rocks
we learn a lot of new and interesting things at lectures from our team of biologists
We'll watch whales from our team's drones and maybe even find ourselves in the same frame with them
Killer whales
In summer, a population of carnivorous killer whales comes to the Sea of Okhotsk. These are several families that have been little studied. They feed on seals and sometimes bowhead whales. Together with the BBC team, we filmed material about bowhead whales and killer whales hunting them for the film Frozen Planet II in 2019-2021.

It was these killer whales that were cruelly captured and sold to China until 2018. The killer whales in Moskvarium (Naya, as well as Nord and Narnia, who died quite quickly in captivity) were also stolen in childhood from the families of the Sea of Okhotsk killer whales.
In 2018, 90 beluga whales and 11 killer whales were captured, but the public achieved their release and in 2019, all (with the exception of 1 killer whale and 3 beluga calves who did not live to see the joyful day) were released. And it was on an expedition with the BBC that we met one of the released killer whales, who was back with her family!

Killer whales quite often come to Wrangel Bay for training attacks. This is how they teach the younger generation how to hunt whales, but they don't kill whales in the bay. If we're lucky, we'll see this unusual workout.
Comfort level, expectation and reality
At the base in Wrangel Bay we will be accommodated in a comfortable camp with a bathhouse on the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk in double tents (shared vestibule, but everyone has their own personal space in the tent). The base is equipped with comfortable toilets. shower. a large wooden kitchen, and a team of chefs will not leave you hungry and will feed you Far Eastern delicacies. Many tourists say that they did not expect that they were going on a gastronomic tour.

It is IMPORTANT to understand that we are traveling to areas with large concentrations of whales, but this is wilderness and there is no guarantee that you will see huge numbers of whales as shown in the photos on this page. We choose our travel dates during the peak season to maximize the chances, so we do not make groups in the first half of July and September. But the whale situation in different years and even in adjacent weeks of the same season can be completely different.
Secrets of the taiga. Installation of camera traps
In addition to observing whales and killer whales, we will explore the deserted wild taiga, which stretches for hundreds of kilometers around. In order to find out its secrets, we will place several camera traps along the animal trails.
Oddly enough, all the animals in the taiga do not walk chaotically, but along paths, and different animals use the same paths. You will see bears, sika deer, reindeer, foxes, and raccoon dogs on the same camera trap on different days.

One day an Amur tiger was caught on our camera trap, and it became a sensation! After all, it was believed that the border of the habitat of Amur tigers is 500 km to the south. Thus, our team recorded the northernmost sighting of the Amur tiger in Wrangel Bay!

Together with our guides and biologists, we will go deeper into the taiga, walking along the animal trail and checking who caught our lens over the past week, and our biologist Grisha Tsidulko will show you footage from past weeks and years,
Day 1 / Khabarovsk
Arrival in Khabarovsk. Check-in at the Khabarovsk City Hotel (Boutique Hotel). Free time. You can walk around the city, swim in the Amur River. In the evening, dinner - introduction and briefing from our guide.
Day 2 / Khabarovsk - Nikolaevsk-on-Amur
Flight by plane to Nikolaevsk-on-Amur (flight time 1 hour 35 minutes). Transfer by minibus to Cape Perovsky along a gravel forest road (the journey takes about 3 hours). From Cape Perovsky, travel by high-speed catamaran to Wrangel Bay (4-6 hours depending on the weather). Accommodation at the camp, sauna, dinner.
* In case of late arrival of the plane, an overnight stay on the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk and a morning transfer to Wrangel Bay will be organized.
Day 3 - 7 / Bay near Cape Wrangel, Wrangel base
We will spend these days in Wrangel Bay watching bowhead whales and killer whales. The bowhead whale lives in the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean and always stays on the edge of the ice (the population numbers more than 20,000 individuals), but a separate, southernmost population lives in the Sea of Okhotsk: which numbers only 300-400 individuals. Whales come to the Bay for communication (socialization), for molting (they itch on rocks and each other and shed old skin), and also to hide in shallow water from carnivorous killer whales. Interestingly, bowhead whales in the Arctic Ocean do not molt.
In the bay we will have SUPs (inflatable swimming boards) that we can use to approach the animals. We will also set up photo traps in the taiga and see who gets caught. Last year it was bears, foxes, reindeer, sika deer and even a tiger.
Along the bay we can walk along trekking routes and watch whales from the rocks.
In the evenings, biologists will present interesting lectures about marine mammals.
Bathhouse every day.

Day 8 / Departure
On this day you will travel to Nikolaevsk-on-Amur, by boat for 5 to 7 hours to the road and then by minibuses to a hotel in Nikolaevsk. (It is worth noting that this is the only large hotel in Nikolaevsk-on-Amur with a satisfactory level of comfort and without any special frills).
Whale camp in Wrangel Bay - 285,000 RUB
Whales of Wrangel Bay:
July 31 - August 09, 2024
August 12 - 21, 2024
- All transfers according to the program
- Flight by plane on a regular flight (or charter) from Khabarovsk to Nikolaevsk-on-Amur and back
Hotel accommodation in Khabarovsk (2 nights)
- Hotel accommodation in Nikolaevsk-on-Amur
Accommodation at the bases and use of infrastructure (including a bathhouse)
- Three meals a day (except Khabarovsk and Nikolaevsk)
- SUP rental
- One sea trip - excursion
- Costs for obtaining the necessary documents and permits to visit protected areas
- a guide from Whale Watching Expeditions
- a biologist guide
- Rent of tents, air mattresses
- Wetsuit rental (quantity and sizes are limited, we recommend bringing your own)
- Renting warm sleeping bags
- Drying room for clothes and equipment
- Daily walking tours
- Shower and bath daily at all bases.
- Electricity at all bases
Not included
- Air tickets from your place of residence to Khabarovsk and back.
- Meals en route in populated areas (even in case of delays).
- Accident insurance.
- Personal equipment.
Overweight or additional baggage on a domestic flight
About the region
in summer in Khabarovsk the weather is usually hot, 20-33 degrees
on the Sea of Okhotsk and in the bays the temperature ranges from 8 to 15 degrees. Temperatures up to 2 degrees are possible at night.
What to take with you
personal first aid kit, hygiene kit, cosmetic bag, toothbrush, wet wipes, etc.
knife or multitool.
For photographic equipment:
waterproof backpack or waterproof bag for photographic equipment
lightweight DRYBAG for the boat, so you don't have to put the camera in your backpack every time during sea crossings
Recommended list of personal equipment for moving at sea:
storm clothing, storm suit (overalls or jacket and pants)
high rubber boots or waders (needed for boarding and disembarking the boat). Waders must be spikeless.
shoes with warm insoles.
windproof hat.
thermal socks or insulated socks (2 pairs).
waterproof gloves (preferably neoprene).
buff or balaclava.
Recommended list of personal equipment for light trekking and staying in the camp:
light jacket (preferably GORE-TEX with a hood in case of rain).
light shoes for camp: sneakers or, for example, Crocs.
trekking pants or an "encephalitis" suit.
baseball cap or light cap.
light gloves.
thermal underwear (2 pieces of varying degrees of warmth, so that you can choose the best option for each type of application).
sleeping bag insert.
fleece (2 pieces of varying degrees of warmth).
underwear, T-shirts, socks (required quantity).
camping towel.
swimwear (in case you want to get into the water).
sleeping bag (+5°C comfort). If there are not enough clothes under your head, stock up on a pillow (an airplane inflatable horseshoe pillow will do).
waterproof bag type DRYBAG (waterproof bag for all things).
headlamp with spare batteries.
hoba (seat).
a light backpack for trekking (if you are not a photographer) to put the necessary little things (water bottle, thermos, insulated clothing, etc.).
Conditions of bases and accommodation during the trip
Cape Wrangel base:
Accommodation in tents for 2 people (separate spaces). Camping tents with 2 rooms and a common vestibule. The tents have polyurethane and inflatable mats.
The base has 2 bathhouses, a dining room, showers, a drying room for clothes and equipment, a laundry room, a fire area, electricity, toilets with sanitary ware, ecological trails, showers, and a clothes dryer.
Delivery to location:
Delivery to the tour site will be carried out on an open catamaran with exposure to the environment; it is necessary to provide warm storm and waterproof clothing (raincoat, insulated jacket, hat, buff, gloves, underwear, etc.). When traveling on an open catamaran it will be guaranteed to be cold.
Your journey starts here!
Just give us some info and we'll contact you shortly.