Behind the Lens: Trekking to the Lakes of Peter Bay in the Russian Far East

Emerald lakes hugged by mountainous landscapes are just some of the jewels in the crown of the Russian Far East.

For Lucia Griggi, Silversea’s Director of Onboard Photography, this part of the world is one of her favorite locations to film due to its untamed character and wildlife.

The Arctic, Alaska and the Russian Far East – this part of the world is one of my favorite places because it’s wild, has an amazing climate and is green in the summer. It has bears, salmon, eagles, basically all the wildlife I absolutely live to shoot for,” Lucia says.

Filming the lives of wild salmon

On this particular expedition trip to Peter Bay via zodiac from Silver Explorer, Lucia and Silversea guests hiked through the tundra of this forgotten landscape, crossing streams and exploring the environment of rocks and mist.

“We took a zodiac to a landing point from the ship in the bay which was beautiful and remote. It was such as still morning and the water was like glass,” Lucia remembers.

Surrounded by mountainous landscapes, the lakes of Peter Bay offer rewarding hiking opportunities /Lucia Griggi

“At the bottom of the hike, there were streams carrying wild salmon and that is where I captured underwater footage.”

It was here that Lucia felt safe enough to plunge her camera into the clear salmon-filled waters, a moment perfectly timed with their spawning cycle.

“it was so amazing. Salmon are fast, fleeting animals and there are normally bears that come with that and are in the river fishing, so it’s not normally a place you want to put yourself. But this was a really good place to do so as it was very safe.

“Capturing the sound of the water gave me a new appreciation for their circle of life and how the salmon actually evolve and survive as a species. For example, how they swim up stream, how they spawn and then die off –  it’s very interesting. It was such clear water that it enabled me to shoot them underwater,” she adds.

The salmon-filled waters of Peter Bay, in the Russian Far East, add to the region’s natural charm/Lucia Griggi

Taking a dip in mountain lakes

The final stretch of the hike took the group to a turquoise lake in a high valley surrounded by mountains peppered with snow, a unique landscape that Lucia captured with a drone camera.

“This trek was different because had really amazing wide open terrain, which is quite different from perhaps a hike through Alaska where you have to traipse through trees,” she says. 

“We hiked further up to the crest of the hill, the highest point on the island, to find this beautiful lake up in the mountains. It was a lovely warm summer’s day and so everyone went swimming in the lake and had something to eat from their backpacks before heading back down to the ship. The scale the landscape and the beauty of the Emerald lakes was one I won’t forget.”

The Emerald Lakes of Peter Bay entice guests for a swim/Lucia Griggi