National Geographic Orion sailed over glassy calm seas toward Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, our first port of call in Russia. One by one we could make out the three stratovolcanoes that dominate the skyline, with the perfect cone of Koryaksky rising against a rare blue sky. Once alongside the ship was cleared by the officials and we went ashore to visit the highlights of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
The friendly locals told us repeatedly that we visited on a good day, as it was only the third sunny day in June. Indeed, the city was buzzing with activity as everyone took advantage of what could be the best day of the entire summer.