Photo expedition on Lake Baikal
“Baikal spring. Following the ice of May”
May 26 – June 2 2017

May – is the time of change on Baikal Lake. Spring comes into force and then passes it on to fleeting summer. Rivers carry crystal clear water from mountains in order to feed Baikal Lake.


When rhododendron starts to blossom in Taiga it covers fields with a soft blanket and feeds air of Taiga with flavor. But nevertheless there is ice on the north part of Baikal. Huge icy fields drift by their secret routes. Sun sends its beams of sunlight to the ground being in the desire to melt ice as soon as possible. Thousands of seals who have renovated their fur after the spring molt are basking in the sun being dressed new fur up and occupied these ice fields literally. Usually this lake is restless, but in the morning everything changes and lake turns into mirror. Sharp cries of seagulls pierce the calm silence. Shoals of black cormorants sweep on the low-level flight.


Taiga silence can be deceptive. Suddenly, from the top of the ridge falls Gornaya. This cruel wind which also called like northwestern or Sar’ma can spin tough and rhythmic wave at once. It makes icy fields change their direction of drifting. And then it drives them away to the coastal line like all of this is just a game and jabs them out to the coast by inertia knocking with shingle, breaking blocks of the ice and building fancy ice castles of spring thrust.


But spring time is period of change. Tough storm changes into quite time, Baikal Lake keeps calm. Residue of storm waves coast in a bank to smash icy castles.


Early in the morning there are bears that come on the coast after brumal sleep. They roll over stones to find the first liposan caddis. It’s a good kind of additional nutrition after exit of the hungry lairs. Bears or babayi which is a local name for them wander around coast to look for wild onions or another kind of plants which grew pretty fast on the warmed by sun coast line.





Alexey Trofimov and #PlanetBaikal Team offer you to join the photo expedition to North Baikal!

important details

Dates of expedition: 26.05 - 02.06.2017 + one day (it’s reserve in case of change of weather conditions)


Form: photo expedition with group participation

Means of travel: by water, by the ship

Maintenance: guide-photographer, translator (on request), crew of the ship

Level of domestic comfortable: normal (staying in comfortable cabins, three-time meal, WC, a shower on a board)

Number of seats: All 6 (Free 6)

One seat price: 88 000 rubles

Deposit: 25 000 rubles


Application for participation:

by e-mail

or form below

The description of the expedition

Our expedition’ll not have any detailed plan. Our main goal is icy fields on the north of Baikal Lake and the seal which basks in the sun on that fields and makes noisy rookeries. Watching and taking pictures of the seal on the icy fields – is holiday of the soul for any photographer, for a professional one or for a fancier, for an experienced animalist or for a beginner.


First day after getting on the board of the ship we’re going to the ice fields through the Small Sea strait up north. Where we can find them – it’s unknown. But we’ll pass by the most beautiful places of reserved areas of Baikal – the Northwestern coast of Baikal Lake. The program includes the required visit to the seal rookery on the Ushkany islands.

The main way of our movement in search of leaving ice:


25.05 – Arrival in Irkutsk city, check-in a hotel (booking upon advanced request).

26.05 – Up early in the morning, departure by an ordered bus to Sakhyurta (MRS) on the coast of the Olkhon’s gates strait.

Boarding, breakfast, meeting with the team, safety technique briefing.

Crossing to the North in search of the ice.

27.05 – 31.05 – ship voyage to North Baikal. Every evening at the end of the current and taking pictures day the captain, the guide and we will make a route for the next day according to the preferences and wishes of members of the team. This thing lets us do the main task of the expedition and visit to the most beautiful places of north Baikal. In our plans to depend upon ice and weather condition included: Guba Frolikha, Cape Kotelnikovsky and its hot springs, Grand Cape Cheremshan, Cape Elokhin, Ledyanaya River, Cape Pine, Zavorotnaya Bay, Cape Sagan-Morian and Pokoyniki.

01.06 –  Visit to the Ushkany islands and the seal rookery on the Tonkiy island.

02.06 – Arrival in Sakhyurta (MRS). The end of the tour, landing on the MRS quay, farewell to  the team, transfer by the minibus to Irkutsk city, chenk-in a hotel.

03.06 – departure from Irkutsk.



Our expedition will be for seven days. Plus one day which will be free for the participants. It’s in order to have time buffer  in case of weather change or other reasons which can increase the time of our trip.


Organization of fishing (grayling, pike) is also possible for people who are interested in. The chef of the team will cook tasty dishes of Baikal cuisine with caught fish. 

Additional Information

The tour price includes:

  • leaving in comfortable cabins on the ship
  • three-time meal, dishes of Siberian and Baikal cuisine
  • transport service by the tour program (by water)
  • transfer Irkutsk - Sakhyurta (MRS) – Irkutsk
  • air boat for individual taking photos
  • visit to the seal rookery on the Tonkiy island
  • photoguide services
  • taking photos consultation
  • workshops of taking photos

The tour price includes, but haven’t financial evaluation:

  • the opportunity to take awesome pictures
  • new impressions
  • cool expedition team
  • Baikal stories, legends, fairy tales and urban myths
  • homesick
  • unlimited number of questions for the guide and the captain
  • new friends
  • the desire to return Baikal

The tour price doesn’t include:

  • flight or train transfer to Irkutsk city and back
  • hotel services in Irkutsk city
  • payment for swimming in hot springs in Zmeinnaya bay
  • insurance policy
  • lunches and dinners in local cafes and restaurants
  • alcohol beverages, souvenirs, gifts
  • personal expenses 

Used photos: Alexander Burmeyster, Pavel Zhigalov, Alexey Trofimov. All rights reserved.