Today we are talking about one of the most mysterious cruise routes - a trip to the Solovetsky Islands. Unusual nature, mysterious stone labyrinths, harsh monastic life and the attractiveness of the northern lights - Solovki is equally interesting for beginners and experienced tourists.
How to get there?
Solovki is attractive, but also difficult to access: the archipelago in the White Sea can be reached either by plane with a difficult change in Arkhangelsk, or by train, and then by bus and motor ship through Kem or Belomorsk. When planning a route, it is necessary to take into account inconvenient connections of different types of transport, weather conditions, unscheduled overnight stays in Kem or Arkhangelsk, and the availability of tickets.
But! There is another rather simple and pleasant way - to buy a cruise to Solovki.
Why choose a cruise?
You are leaving from a large city that is easily accessible from anywhere in Russia. Your task is to buy tickets to Moscow or St. Petersburg. And that's all. The rest of the cruise company "Sozvezdie" has already taken care of.
You are traveling in comfort: in a cabin with all (or partial) amenities and restaurant meals. It is always warm, cozy and sincere on board: you can meet fellow travelers or admire the shores alone, participate in an entertainment program or settle down with tea and a book in the lobby.
You will see a lot of interesting things: the architectural embankment in Petrozavodsk and the wooden domes of the Kizhi churches. On the way from Moscow or to Moscow, you will go to old Uglich, extremely dear Myshkin, admire the Kalyazin bell tower. And on the route to St. Petersburg, you will meet with Valaam and Staraya Ladoga.
How is the trip organized?
Cruise navigation to Solovki lasts only 3 summer months, and with cruises lasting 11-13 days, motor ships have time to make just a few voyages: in 2019, Severnaya Skazka will visit the White Sea 5 times, and Solnechny Gorod - only one.
During the cruise, the motor ships visit the most popular stopovers of Lake Onega - Petrozavodsk and Kizhi, and then pass along the White Sea-Baltic Canal and after the 14th gate stop for 2 days in the village of Sosnovets.
On the first day, a bus transfer to Belomorsk is planned, then a trip on a large and comfortable sapphire catamaran across the White Sea to Bolshoy Solovetsky Island, where several excursions are organized. Return to the ship the same evening.
On the second day, there is a bus and walking tour to the White Sea Petroglyphs. This is a group of rock carvings created by ancient hunters and fishermen about 6 thousand years ago. The distance from the pier to Petroglyphs is about 12 km.
Less is more
The village of Sosnovets (which can only be reached by compact motor ships) is the closest point to Bolshoy Solovetsky Island. The transfer to the pier of the catamaran "Sapphire" is only 20 km, you will have time to visit the main and additional excursions on the Bolshoy Solovetsky Island and return to spend the night in your own cabin on the ship. And in front of Sosnovets you will pass a unique section of BelBalta, carved into the rock. To pass this narrow section, the motor ships "Solnechny Gorod" and "Severnaya Skazka" underwent modernization - a fender was dismantled and re-equipped on them.
The four-deck motor ships, on cruises of which the visit to Solovki is declared, stop much earlier - in the village of Povenets. From there, by bus, tourists go to Belomorsk (220 km on the way), spend the night there in a hotel and in the early morning (departure at 3:30) they make their way along the White Sea to Bolshoy Solovetsky Island. Travelers dine on this day on the way back on the Sapfir catamaran and late at night return to Povenets to the motor ship.
Which ship to choose?
Your choice - "Sunny City", if: you want to create your own excursion program (a package of excursions can be bought directly on the ship); prefer to independently determine the type of food on the cruise; be flexible about the travel budget and determine your level of comfort yourself (full or partial conveniences).
The cruise to the "Sunny City" will take place in June: 2019-03-06 - 2019-15-06 from Moscow.
Your choice is "Northern Fairy Tale" if you want to: evaluate the level of service of the cruise company "Sozvezdie": breakfasts in the cabin, themed dinners, most of the cabins are enlarged, and warm interiors thanks to natural wood trim. All cabins are equipped with a bathroom with shower, TV with satellite channels, refrigerator, hairdryer, central air conditioning system. This season, guests of the ship will see its incredible side painting - with foxes, deer, elk and northern ornaments. They will have the best photos against the background of a snow-white handsome man!
In addition, you can try out new "chips": a tea house with northern berry jam and herbal decoctions, "Forest Lounge", celebrate the New Year in the summer.
The Northern Fairy Tale is a motor ship for those who value not only the route, but also the comfort of the ship, its original concept, and good cuisine.
"Sunny City" - for those who are ready to plan their own budget, but to see rare and amazing places, while maintaining the convenience of movement and the usual daily routine.
Four-deck motor ships - for those who are ready to spend more, but are not afraid of many hours of bus transfers, are ready to stay one night at a hotel, know how to get up early and stay up late, travel without children and bulky luggage.
What else is important to know when going to Solovki?
Works on the islands only MTS and Megafon.
On Solovki you can pay with bank cards, but not in all stores. There are no ATM machines on the islands, so it is better to withdraw cash in advance.
There is no public transport on the islands, but private cabs work. The cost of their services is significantly higher than on the mainland. Very popular in Solovki bike rental.
The island has cafes and restaurants, as well as pastry stalls and grocery stores.
It is imperative to have a windproof jacket and a warm sweater with youas there may be strong winds in open areas.