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 snorkel with: 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. 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: 13-22 June, 22 June-1 July, 2018
Arriving at the hotel. A walk around the village, sightseeing.
A day at sea. Observing and photographing belugas. Meeting scientists who study whales. Several hours on the Beluga cape, then heading to the Top island to snorkel with seals and visit the lighthouse. A lecture about belugas and other cetaceans in the afternoon.
A day at sea. Observing and photographing belugas. Meeting scientists who study whales. Several hours on the Beluga cape, then heading to the Top island to snorkel with seals.
A day on land. Driving around the island to visit the Sekirnaya hill, churches, ancient engineering structures, historical memorials, magnificent lakes and more.
A day at sea. Observing and photographing belugas. Meeting scientists who study whales. Freediving or scuba diving at shipwrecks. Opportunities for underwater macro photography.
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. Great place to encounter the famous wolf eels. Opportunities for underwater macro photography. Mussel gathering. Picnic on a small island. Visiting a stone dam.
Exploring the ancient labyrinths of the Zayatsky islands and a tour of the famous Solovetsky monastery.
A day at sea. Observing and photographing belugas. Meeting scientists who work with the whales. Several hours on the Beluga cape, then heading to the Top island to snorkel with seals.
Relaxing or additional activities.
The schedule may have to be adjusted in accordance with the weather conditions.
5 days (half of the program) - 46 000 roubles Dates: 13-17 June, 18-22 June, 22-26 June, 26 June - 1 July 10 days (full program) - 92 000 roubles DAtes: 13-22 June, 22 June - 1 July
Accommodation at a comfortable house near the monastery
Lunch on the boat
All transfers on the island, including airport \ harbour and back
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/tuque
Snorkeling and freediving equipment
Diving suit. We recommend to use 7 or 9 mm freediving wetsuit.