Beluga whale watching and seal snorkeling in Solovetsky islands
Solovetsky islands are hidden at the very heart of the White sea. Here, the pristine nature of the breathtaking Russian North combines with the rich history and spirit of marine adventures.
Every summer the elusive white whales - belugas - visit these shores. The literal translation of the Russian word "Beluga" would be "a white creature". In the waters surrounding Solovetsky these beautiful animals can be observed in their natural habitat almost every day. Belugas come here to breed, to give birth, to nurse and to bring up their calves. Sometimes beluga watchers can even observe carousel feeding or male fights.
In addition, guests have an opportunity to snorkel with seals, which can be observed around Top island every day. There are two seal species to meet: bearded seal and ringed seal. Sometimes it is even possible to encounter harp seals. There are also opportunities to snorkel in the picturesque Dolgaya bay, to learn about the invertebrate fauna of the White sea, and to eat mussels collected with your own hands. Snorkeling is not the main goal of our trip: you can go to see seals just on surface without dealing with cild water equipment - it's up to you. The trip includes driving around the island to visit historic churches, lighthouses, ancient labyrinths and other unique locations. It is up to you to discover the great and tragic history of the Solovetsky islands.
Dates: June 14-18 / June 20 - 24/ June 26-30, 2019
Arriving to the island. A walk around the village, sightseeing. Visiting Marine museum. Lecture about the Arctic.
A day at sea. Observing and photographing belugas. Several hours on the Beluga cape, then heading to the Top island to observe seals or snorkel with them. Visiting Sennaya island for bird colonies. Excursion around the famous Solovetsky monastery at the afternoon.
A day at the Dolgaya bay - the picturesque "inner sea" of the Big Solovetsky island. Freediving or scuba diving, exploration of the invertebrate fauna of the White sea (optional). Great place to encounter the famous wolf eels. Opportunities for underwater macro photography. Mussel gathering. Picnic on a small island. Visiting a stone dam and exploration of hitory of Muksalma island.
We start our day with some history - we will drive around the island to visit the Sekirnaya hill, churches, ancient engineering structures, historical memorials, magnificent lakes and more. Then we go to the sea for observing and photographing belugas. Several hours on the Beluga cape, then heading to the Top island to observe seals or snorkel with them.
Half day at the sea. Observing and photographing belugas. Observing or freediving with seals. Departure home at the afternoon.
This is approximate itinerary to be corrected due to weather conditions. We are not responsible for any dealys or cancellations connected to the weather conditions.
56 000 roubles Dates: June 14-18 / June 20 - 24, / June 26-30, 2019
Accommodation at the comfortable hotel or guesthouse near the monastery. Please note that it's not a "luxury" accomodation, just a simple house. "Luxury" hotel accomodation is possible by request.
Snacks on the boat
All transfers on the island, including airport \ harbour and back
Weight belts for snorkeling if needed
Meals when not on board
Personal snorkeling and scuba equipment
Flights, trains, ferries
Unexpected travel expenditures in case of bad weather conditions
Visas and insurance
Water temperature between +8 and +12C. Air temperature between +15 and +25C.
How to get here
The easiest way to get to Solovetsky is to fly from Arkhangelsk. You can book tickets at https://www.nordavia.ru/en/. If you travel from Moscow or St.Petersburg you may also take a train to Kem and then cross over to Solovetsky on a ferry. Alternatively, you may hire a private speedboat. We can help you with a transfer if you need.
Warm clothing, hat
Snorkeling and freediving equipment (We do not provide any personal eqipment for rent!)
Diving suit if you want snorkeling with seals. We recommend to use 7 or 9 mm freediving wetsuit.