For decades the White Sea was a forbidden area and today because of its geographic isolation it remains a region of great mystery. We will have six days in the region where we will concentrate on archangels and the Solovetsky islands. It was on the Solovetsky islands that Stalin built one of his infamous gulags, the ‘red army’ established a vital submarine base and an important shipbuilding industry was founded.

However, the most fascinating aspect of these islands is the 16th century Solovetsky Monastery. This vast medieval fortress with its fascinating and turbulent history is remarkably well preserved.

It is believed that Vikings, both English and Norman came to the White Sea to fish and trade for furs up until the 13th century when global cooling made navigation difficult. In 1553 captain Richard Chancellor was shipwrecked in the White Sea whilst seeking a northern sea route to China. Never one to miss an opportunity, he negotiated trade privileges with Ivan the Terrible which opened diplomatic relations between England and Russia and resulted with a monk from the ancient Nikol-Karelski Monastery becoming the first Russian ambassador to England. The region is awash with intriguing history, much of which both ancient and modern will be brought to life by our guest speakers.

Beginning our journey in Norway’s northern port of Tromso we also have the opportunity of exploring the region of the North Cape as well as Murmansk, the largest city north of the Arctic Circle in the world. Here we will visit the cemetery of the officers and soldiers of the Allied Forces who bravely manned the convoys during WWII.
London / Manchester to Fly by scheduled flight via Oslo. Embark MS Caledonian Sky and sail in the evening.
We will spend two days taking a close look at the magnificent landscape of the area known as Finmark. This wilderness area is home to many thousands of Sami people and we will learn of the lives and culture which is inseparably tied to reindeer herding. There will be the opportunity to explore the wildlife and scenery on foot and by Zodiac. The deeply carved fjords and unspoiled islands of this little-known area are just perfect for expedition cruising.
A day at Sea.
In the 18th century this city was the centre of Russian ship building. Today, its a timber-logging and fishing area. On our guided walk through its streets we will learn of its intriguing history and the areas occupation by ‘White Russians’ immediately after the 1918 Revolution. During World War II, Archangel was a major port for both receiving from the allies and as a base for the North Sea Fleet. Amazingly, the surrounding waters are blocked by ice for up to 190 days a year, but through the use of Ice-Breakers remain open for most of the year. A city excursion will include the old quarter with its wooden houses, the Museum of Fine Arts, Trotsky Prospect and the Orthodox Church.
Sitting in the Middle of the White Sea is the Solovestsky archipelago, a mythical, ethereal and timeless place. We will spend three days exploring this UNESCO site of outstanding natural beauty. It is on this isolated archipelago that we will find the Solovetsky Monastery. Within its extensive defensive walls are two 16th century cathedrals, housing some stunning icons and many other buildings including watchtowers and gates, icon-painting workshop, residential chambers and a number of workrooms which allowed this impressive monastery to exist in almost complete isolation. We will visit the botanical gardens, developed by the monks in the 19th century and because of its microclimate, are able grow all manner of vegetables and fruit. The monastery was used by Stalin as a particularly harsh gulag, but in the past couple of years a great effort has been made to restore the complex to some of its former glory. Making the most of the almost perpetual daylight we will call into some of the smaller islands enjoying the birdlife and from our Zodiacs go in search of the Beluga whales. There is a colony of some 2000 in the While Sea and mid summer is an excellent time to view them. Our two day visit here with Island Sky in 2011 was such a success we have taken the Captain’s advice and extended our stay to three days.
Permission is being sought to allow us to explore the delta area with its green islands and timeless wooden hamlets by Zodiac and also to call into Severodvinsk. It’s a sensitive area because of the military ship building, but the town is charming with wide avenues of wooden Stalin era houses.
A day spent at Sea.
Founded in 1916, the city of Murmansk today has a population of approximately half a million. On our morning excursion to the National Museum you will be able to learn of the region’s history including the indigenous Sami people and the first hardy Russian settlers. In the afternoon our tour will include the monuments erected to commemorate the struggle against Hitler, the Allied Forces War Graves, St Nicholas Orthodox Church and the Fine Arts Museum.
Spend the day cruising around the North Cape and time permitting, we will take the opportunity to explore one of the fjords or visit Syltefjord, one of Norway`s largest and most important bird colonies being home to a number of species, including gannets and also the home of the local havert seals.
Tromso to London / Disembark this morning and return to London or Manchester by scheduled flight via Oslo.

Twin Double Child

$ 3954 USD pp

Twin/Double Cabin

$ 6325 USD pp

Caledonian Sky

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 90 metres

Passenger Capacity: 114 (in 57 suites)

Built: 1991 / refurbished 2012

The MS Caledonian Sky accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in 57 spacious outside suites. Many have walk-in wardrobes and some feature tub baths. There will be seven categories of suites and sixteen suites will have private balconies. For those familiar with the MS Island Sky she will feel like a second home, although there are some differences. The dining room, lounge, Lido Deck and bar are all similar. However, the ‘Club’ on the MS Caledonian Sky has been transported to the very top deck. Here, there is a library and bar which leads out on to a lovely forward deck. The ‘Club’ has wonderful views with ceiling to floor windows.

If you like the MS Island Sky, we are sure you will also approve of her sister. And, of course it is important that we offer the very best of facilities. However, equally as important are the staff on board whether they are the vessel’s crew or our own expedition staff. Noble Caledonia’s reputation has been built on providing the very best in all areas. Their crew of 74 not only offer an excellent service they are also noted for their kindness and attention to detail. A well run ship with a warm atmosphere is what we are known for, and it is because most of our crew have been with us for many years that we are able to engender such an atmosphere.

Your Suite
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. The passenger accommodation is arranged over four decks and all suites have outside views. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, hot towel rack and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or bath tub.

Facilities in the suites also include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, mini-fridge, flat screen television, telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort.

Your space
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. In addition there is the Club Lounge on the Panoramic Deck which features a bar. The onboard travel library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. Outside there is a rear Lido deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. On the top deck there is a further observation and sun deck with bar service and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. There is also a small gymnasium onboard and hairdressers with appointments made on request.

Your dining
With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the quality of cuisine will be of a consistent superior quality. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, our accomplished chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order and lunch and dinner is à la carte. When weather permits, breakfast, a buffet-style lunch and dinner are also served on deck. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and tea and coffee are available 24 hours. With sufficient notice, most diets can be catered for on board.

For your comfort, safety and security
The vessel is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilisers to minimise the ship’s motion. The Captain and officers operate an open-bridge policy that allows passengers onto the bridge at most times with the exception of arrival and departure from port and during times of complicated navigation. Here you can check the ship’s progress by charts and learn more from the officers about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to outside decks only.

Gratuities
Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included them in your holiday price. In addition we tip all their guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you.

Cabin layout for Caledonian Sky
Caledonian Sky

Caledonian SkyCaledonian Sky

Luxury Expedition Luxury Expedition

13 Days from
$ 3954 USD pp

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