One of the main features of the Commander Islands Nature Reserve, which has gained its popularity and attracts tourists, is the ability to observe blue foxes, seabirds, fur seals, sea otters, several species of cetaceans, unique bird colonies, a number of rare subspecies of birds from a fairly close distance within a relatively short stay.
Humpback whale leap. Author: Evgeny Mamaev
The Commander Islands lie away from the sea routes. Since 1975, any economic activity, including commercial fishing and hunting other marine organisms, has been prohibited in the 30-mile water area around the Commander Islands. All this contributes to the preservation of the marine ecosystems of the Commander Islands almost intact.
The CINBR is one of the last natural objects of the North Pacific that have survived in their natural state.
Now, each visitor will contribute to the preservation of the nature of the nature reserve as in May 2021, the collection of tourism fees was approved for those visiting the Commander Islands Nature Reserve.
For tourists, the differentiation of the entrance fee has been established depending on the degree of impact on natural objects of various types of transport, taking into account international practice and the percentage of average cost of tours and entrance fees. A wide list of people exempted from payment has also been established, including, for example, persons with disabilities (documents required) and their accompanying persons, the economically disadvantaged, children of preschool and school age, retiree, parents with many children raising minors, captains of motor vehicles are exempted from payment.
The cost of one visit to the CINBR, regardless of the length of stay, will be:
- for pedestrian tourists - 360 roubles per person - this category includes tourists arriving in the village of Nikolskoye and traveling around Bering Island from the village;
- for marine tourists - 1,500 roubles per person - this category includes tourists arriving on the island on motor boats, small boats and sailing motor boats (yachts and catamarans);
- for tourists arriving by helicopter - 3000 roubles per person.
Cruise ship Bremen in the bay near the village of Nikolskoye
To obtain a permit for pedestrian tourists, it is enough to go Protection Department located in the visitor center of the CINBR in Nikolskoye (it will take no more than 15 minutes to issue a permit and conduct instructions on the rules of conduct). Other categories of tourists need to obtain permission in advance - as a rule, permits are obtained by tour operators or ship owners organizing the tour.
Residents of Bering Island are completely exempted from paying for visiting the reserve! For local residents, the current procedure of obtaining a free annual permit to visit the territory and a one-time permit to visit the reserve's water area (except for areas of economic use for which permits are not required) is preserved. It should be reminded that in order to obtain permission, residents of the village of Nikolskoye need only go to Protection Department located in the visitor center of the reserve, with an ID and obtain a permit.
The visitor center of the Commander Islands Nature Reserve on Bering Island
The funds received by the administration of the reserve from the entrance fee are spent in a strictly targeted way: for the maintenance of tourist facilities and information infrastructure, the publication of information materials, garbage collection and the protection of natural objects. Thus, every visitor to the CINBR can be sure that by paying for a permit, he is contributing to the preservation of the unique nature of the Commander Islands!
From a geographical point of view, the Commander Islands are located "at the crossroads" of two continents - Asia and America - and are the border (or even intersection) of the ranges of the Eurasian and American species of plants and animals. Such an amazing combination of flora and fauna of both continents in such a small area is not found anywhere else in Russia.
Observation point at Severo-Zapadnoye rookery of marine mammals
The main attractions of the reserve are:
- bird colonies, formed by about a million birds of 19 species;
- rookeries of marine mammals, on which more than 200 thousand pinnipeds of 4 species breed;
- sea otters can be seen along the entire coast of the islands; Arctic foxes - the aborigines of the islands, inhabiting them for over 70 thousand years;
- whale groups where you can enjoy the sight of humpback whales feeding quietly and admire their fantastic leaps. In addition to humpback whales, you can most likely see sperm whales, minke whales and killer whales.
Sea otters resting on a reef off the coast of Bering Island. Author: Mikhail Vakurov
The reserve is also famous for its significant historical and cultural events (including those related to the history of geographical discoveries and the names of the outstanding discoverers Vitus Bering, Georg Steller and others). On Bering Island, you can visit Komandor Bay, where Vitus Bering and his team are buried, as well as learn many facts from the history of the Aleutian people in the Aleutian Museum of Local Lore, which is located in the village of Nikolskoye. Preservation of the historical and cultural heritage of the islands and traditional nature management is one of the most important tasks of the CINBR.
The grave of Vitus Bering in Komandor Bay. Author: Camilla Belevkina
In addition to tourist trips as part of an organized tour or on your own, you can also visit the reserve as a volunteer. Volunteering will allow you not only to get acquainted with the nature of the reserve, but also to make your significant contribution to nature conservation, as well as immerse yourself in the work of the reserve and become part of our team! You can learn more about the reserve volunteer program for 2021 here .
See you in the Commander Islands Nature Reserve!
The grounds for charging are
The Federal Law of March 14, 1995 "On Specially Protected Natural Areas" established that "For visits by individuals to the territories of state natural reserves for the purpose of educational tourism, federal state budgetary institutions managing state natural reserves charge a fee" (Art. 9, p. 5).
Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of July 13, 2020 No. 1039 "On approval of the Rules for determining fees for individuals who do not live in settlements located within the boundaries of specially protected natural areas, for visiting specially protected natural areas and establishing cases of exemption from collection of fees" in according to which:
- The amount of the fee is set for each specially protected natural area (p. 2.);
- For visits by individuals to specially protected natural areas of federal significance, the amount of payment is established by federal state budgetary institutions that manage the corresponding specially protected natural areas of federal significance, in agreement with the authorized federal executive body in charge of such institutions (p. 3 );
- The amount of payment established by institutions for specially protected natural areas of federal significance is at least 1 percent of the established value of the subsistence minimum of the working-age population as a whole in the Russian Federation per visit (p. 7, pp. A);
- A list of persons exempted from collecting fees has been established (p. 9).
approval by the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia No. 15-46/12638 dated April 30, 2021
You can get acquainted with the full text of the order of the Federal State Budgetary Institution "State Reserve "Komandorsky" here