Old viewing blinds, Tyuleniy Island, Sea of Okhotsk

God is a long way up there, but Moscow is even further away
— local saying

I've been very fortunate and have had the opportunity to visit the Russian Far East on two expeditions.

The first was in June 2012, when I sailed on the expedition cruise ship Orion II and sailed from Hokkaido in the north of Japan along the "ring of fire" to Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka. Onboard with me to share the experience were my friends, Nick Rains, Peter de Vries and Dr David Silverberg

In the Adobe Slate publication I've documented each of the locations on this expedition with still and 360° panoramic photography. Each location includes a description, images and a button to view the 360° panoramas to really experience this remote location.  

The journey is also available as a free iPad application to download and enjoy on your iPad.

The second voyage, in October 2015, was an expedition aboard the French expedition ship Le Soleal sailing in the opposite direction from Petropavlovsk, to Kanazawa in Japan. I was fortunate to have onboard one of my previous Russian Far East travelling companions, Nick Rains.

This second voyage was interesting from the point of view of the changes that had happened in the region during those 3 years including restricted access to certain locations and the seemingly total abandonment of the island of Tyuleniy.


The Russian Far East is the Russian part of the Far East, i.e., the extreme east parts of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean. The Far Eastern Federal District, which covers this area, borders with the Siberian Federal District in the west. Within this area lie the Kuril Islands, a volcanic archipelago that stretches approximately 1,300 km northeast from Hokkaido, Japan to Kamchatka, Russia.