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'Siberia is so big, it’s almost more an idea than a place'

Americans fly to Russia's 'Land of Volcanoes' for bears and baths

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29 July 2012


Geyser Valley, Kamchatka. Picture: Gazprom

Regular flights from Yakutia Airlines started in July between Anchorage and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy in the Kamchatka peninsula.

'Kamchatka and Alaska are so close to each other, the idea of arranging a direct flight has been on agenda for a couple of years,' said a spokesman for the Siberian airline.

'There will be a plenty of options for American tourists, like hot mineral baths, fishing and hunting, extreme and eco tours, walking trips and sea tours around Avachisnkaya Bay of Kamchatka. 

'For Russians it will be a relatively short - 4 hours 20 minutes - flight to Anchorage, which is very convenient starting point for trips about Alaska's nature resorts.'

The Boeing 737-700 services will run until September 13 with the hope for a repeat next year to tap into the summer tourism market. 

In the US the travel opportunities from the service are highlighted on the website with an 'amazing Kamchatka tour' package including accommodation priced at  $3,618 per person. 

This one week trip allows tourists to experience  Kamchatka's 'primordial landscape, unique wildlife, native cultures and hospitality'. 

The tours include bathing in a hot thermal water swimming pool, a nine hour ascent to Avachinsky Volcano, trekking to the Dachniye hot thermal springs, and the possibility of a helicopter excursion to the world famous Valley of Geysers, Uzon Caldera and the Zhupanova River.

The site also offers tourists travel options for Siberian destinations such as Yakutia - the Sakha Republic. 

Yakutia Airlines is based in Yakutsk, capital of the Sakha Republic, and carries 80,000 passengers per month. The price of return tickets is around 36,800 roubles, or around $1,150. 

Previously there were direct flights between the two destinations until 2005 bringing in some 2,500 bear hunting tourists from America each year.

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