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Watching the Baby Seals
Watching the Baby Seals

Expedition to the ice floe of the White Sea

Watching the Baby Seals
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
4 y.o.
Duration
4 days

Accommodation during the trip

3 nights

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
6 March 2020
  • 6 March 2020
End date:
9 March 2020
177 081 RUB

In the ice-covered White Sea harp seals give birth to their pups in early March. These fluffy cuties are snow-white, but for no longer than just a fortnight. During this helicopter expedition you will watch them amidst drift ice floes.

Watching the Baby Seals
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
from 4 y.o.
Duration
4 days

Accommodation during the trip

3 nights

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
6 March 2020
  • 6 March 2020
End date:
9 March 2020
177 081 RUB

Experiences you'll have

Watching the Baby Seals

Seals come together for reproducing on the White Sea' floes before they leave for Spitsbergen. During the tour you will watch these lovely creatures in their natural habitat at a very close distance!

In the third week of life baby seals start molting, revealing their silvery skin. That is why you have to go there in early March to see the snow-white pups

A helicopter will take you to the watch spot. The snowy taiga, the ancient villages, and the sea under a thick blanket of ice — no one can resist the awesomeness of the Russian North seen through the helicopter window. Playful beluga whales jump out of the black waters from time to time. You will disembark on a solid ice floe thickly covered with snow. Oh, how many seals there are!

 

 

During this trip you can choose an additional excursions in order to see the main architectural or natural sights of the Arkhangelsk region:

  • a tour to the reindeer herders' camp with visiting the cave "Golubinsky proval" — you will ride on reindeer sleds, try on the national costume — malitsa and learn more about reindeer herders' everyday life
  • a tour to "Maliye Korely" — a museum of Russian wooden architecture, where you will see the old wooden huts, churches and chapels from all over the Russian North

If you book the tour before Ocrober 1, 2019 we will give you 5% discount. The cost will be 2610  2480 euro per person

Note: if the ice field destination is more than a two-hour flight from Arkhangelsk, the participants of the expedition will have to pay additionally for the on-site helicopter deployment. The schedule can be adjusted to account for worsened weather conditions.

Itinerary

At the first day of the tour our guide will meet you at Sheremetyevo Airport (Terminal D) at an hour and a half before the departure, so that you fly to Arkhangelsk as an organized group. The meeting will take place in the departure hall, after check-in and pre-flight inspection.

 

Together you will fly from Moscow to Arkhangelsk (the flight SU-1330 by Aeroflot Airlines), departing at 3:45 p.m. You are arriving to Arkhangelsk at 5:50 p.m.

 

We recommend you to buy tickets to Arkhangelsk with the refundable rate. We are ready to help with the purchase of tickets, if necessary, leave a comment in the application.

Day 1 Flight to Arkhangelsk

Upon your arrival in Arkhangelsk you will be taken to the hotel located on the banks of the Northern Dvina river. You will check-in and have dinner. In the evening there will be a briefing with a guide, during which you will discuss the upcoming expedition, learn about the behavior rules while watching the baby seals on the ice floe, as well as can ask all your questions about the program.

Day 2 Baby Seals

After breakfast in the hotel you will be taken to the airport. After a short briefing a MI-8 helicopter will take you to the icy floes in the White Sea (duration of the flight will be about 1,5-2 hours depending on the distance of the ice floe and weather conditions).

 

You will set up a small camp after landing on the ice. You will be watching the seals and their newborn pups and have a snack right here, on the floe. In the evening you will come back to the hotel in Arkhangelsk, have dinner and rest.

Day 3 An optional tour

Today we offer you to choose one of the optional excursions: to the reindeer herders' camp or to the museum of wooden architecture "Maliye Korely". All these tours are paid additionally.

 

Option 1 — a trip to the reindeer herders

After breakfast you have a helicopter flight from Arkhangelsk to Pinega. During the flight you will see the scenic views of the nature reserve "Pinezhsky": the frozen rivers with karstic rocky cliffs, the boundless sea of the taiga forest and the blue mirror of Northern lakes.

 

In Pinega you will meet with a guide and then will move to the reindeer herders' camp. Here you will ride on reindeer sleds, take a photo in national costume made from the reindeer skin, named "malitsa". Also you will meet with reindeer herders and learn more abour their life and traditions. Then you will return to Pinega, have lunch in the restaurant and visit the cave "Golubinsky proval". This karst cave consists of several large grottoes connected by long tunnels.

 

Option 2 — a visit to the Museum of wooden architecture "Maliye Korely»

Museum "Maliye (Small) Korely" is a unique collection of Russian wooden architectural monuments in the open air. There are about 120 different wooden buildings, such as churches, chapels, bell towers, peasant huts, mills, barns, built in the XVI-XX centuries. You will get acquainted with the culture and life of the Northern peoples and will taste the traditional Russian cuisine.

 

In the evening you will return to the hotel in Arkhangelsk, have dinner and rest.

Day 4 Homecoming

Today you will fly back to Moscow. Your flight is SU-1331, you will arrive to Moscow at 3 p.m.

Watching the Baby Seals
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
4 y.o.
Duration
4 days

Accommodation during the trip

3 nights

Languages

EN
guide
Start date
6 March 2020
  • 6 March 2020
End date:
9 March 2020
177 081 RUB

Accommodation during the trip

Tour participants stay at the Pur-Navolok hotel, located on the banks of the Northern Dvina River in the historical part of the city, not far away from the historical and cultural monuments of the 17th to the 19th centuries. The Pur-Navolok hotel has a same-name restaurant, a lobby bar, and the Nebo bar located on the top floor, with panoramic views of the Northern Dvina River and the promenade.

 

Hotel accommodation is not included in the cost of the expedition. You can book it independently or we can help you with it, if it's necessary. 

 

There are multiple accommodation options:

  • Twin room 190 EURO per person.  This is a 18 sq.m. room overlooking the local Government's office. There are a wardrobe, two single beds (110*210), bedside tables, a TV, a free Wi-Fi, a mini-bar, an electric kettle, a tea set, a bathroom.
  • Standard "Dvina" 200 EURO per person.  This is a 25 sq.m. room with a view of the Northern Dvina river.There are a wardrobe, double beds (160*200), a TV, a free Wi-Fi, a mini-bar, an electric kettle, a tea set, a bathroom.
  • Junior Suite  250 EURO per person. This is a 32,6 sq.m. room overlooking the local Government's office. There are two rooms: a bedroom with a king size bed, a TV, as well as a living room with a wardrobe, a sofa, a desk, a TV, a free Wi-Fi, a mini-bar, an electric kettle, a tea set and a bathroom.
  • Suite 310 EURO per person. This is a spacious 40 sq.m two-room suite overlooking the promenade. In the living room there are a sofa, armchairs, a coffee table, a TV, a free Wi-Fi, a mini-bar, an electric kettle, a tea set and a bathroom. A bedroom has a king size bed, a desk, a chair, bedside tables. Some rooms have a balcony.
  • Grand Suite 495 EURO per person. This is a 45 sq.m three-room suite with the view of the Northern Dvina river and with a dressing room. In the living room there are a leather sofa, armchairs, a coffee table with a coffee machine, air conditioning, a TV, a DVD player, a free Wi-Fi, a telephone, a mini-bar. A bedroom has a king size bed, a desk, a dressing table, a TV, a DVD player, air conditioning. Also there is a parlour with a bookcase, a leather sofa and chairs, a coffee table, a desk. 
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Common questions

+ Maximize Minimize

Who will be my guide +

During the journey you will be accompanied by the experienced tour leader who have participated in this expedition for 11 times.

 

Dmitry Orlov is a permanent leader of expeditions to Antarctica. He has PhD in biological sciences and the highest instructor qualification in PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors).

 

Before flying on the ice Dmitry Orlov will take a lecture concerning the seals, their biology and the main rules of communicating with them.

Discount for children +

Children from 4 to 8 years old will get a 50% discount.

Meals +

A buffet breakfast is included in the room rate. On the ice floe you will have a snack with hot tea and sandwiches. Dinners you should pay additionally. Usually the group has dinner together in one of the city restaurants.

What about the weather +

It is difficult to accurately predict the weather conditions: ice floes with baby seals can be located both at the mouth of the White sea and to the south birection. Definitely you should be prepared for a fairly cold wind and wet conditions, because communication with the baby seals takes place in the open space. The temperature ranges from 0°C to -25°C.

What to bring +
  • membrane jacket and pants
  • warm waterproof shoes
  • thermal underwear
  • a hat
  • a scarf and mittens
  • sweater
  • casual clothing for visiting restaurants in Arkhangelsk
How a helicopter airlift is organized +

Each helicopter can take no more than eight adult tourists. Two children 4-8 years old are considered as one adult. So 16 adults can take part in the one flight to the ice floe using two helicopters.

Is it possible to cancel the expedition +

Participants should understand that, despite the clear organization of the trip, wildlife lives by its own laws. When you fly on a drifting ice floe in the middle of the White sea, seals can only begin giving birth or finish doing it. Therefore, the final decision about the expedition is taken based on ice reconnaissance two days prior to departure of the group. The probability of transferring the expedition is very small, but it can occur. Therefore, you should buy tickets to Arkhangelsk with a return rate.

Booking

Watching the Baby Seals

Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
from 4 y.o.
Duration
4 days

Accommodation during the trip

3 nights

Languages

EN
guide
177 081 RUB
What's included in the price:
  • ice reconnaissance by plane in advance to search for ice fields and baby seals

  • one flight to the ice field by Mi-8 helicopter (4 flight hours)

  • meals (tea, sandwiches) and life support on ice

  • guide's services

  • transfers as per program

Extra charge:
  • flight to Arkhangelsk (starting at 99 EURO for round-trip tickets)

  • double accommodation at the Pur-Navolok hotel, with breakfast (starting at 150 EURO)

  • lunches and dinners in Arkhangelsk

  • health insurance (+25 EURO per person), optionally

  • a visit to the reindeer herders and to the karst cave "Golubinsky proval" with a helicopter flight to Pinega (+980 EURO per person), optionally

  • tour to the Museum of wooden architecture "Maliye Korely" (+45 EURO per person), optionally

In the price:
Included Extra charge
  • ice reconnaissance by plane in advance to search for ice fields and baby seals

  • one flight to the ice field by Mi-8 helicopter (4 flight hours)

  • meals (tea, sandwiches) and life support on ice

  • guide's services

  • transfers as per program

  • flight to Arkhangelsk (starting at 99 EURO for round-trip tickets)

  • double accommodation at the Pur-Navolok hotel, with breakfast (starting at 150 EURO)

  • lunches and dinners in Arkhangelsk

  • health insurance (+25 EURO per person), optionally

  • a visit to the reindeer herders and to the karst cave "Golubinsky proval" with a helicopter flight to Pinega (+980 EURO per person), optionally

  • tour to the Museum of wooden architecture "Maliye Korely" (+45 EURO per person), optionally

6 Mar 2020, Fri — 9 Mar 2020, Mon
177 081 RUB
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