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Ports and Excursions of Northern Europe

Solovetsky Islands, Russia-port

The Solovetsky Islands are an archipelago located in the western part of the White Sea unlike any other place in the region. From massive monasteries to hidden stone labyrinths to intricate canal systems, the Islands offer endless attractions. Off of the coast on Belugas Cape you can watch the majestic and graceful beluga whales breach in the summer season. Be sure to visit the Solovetsky Monastery, which is not only a masterpiece of architecture, but the crown jewel of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

View Cruises that visit this port

Below is a list of those shore excursions previously offered in this port. For information on which shore excursions will be offered on a particular cruise, please reference the specific itinerary of that cruise.

Free Excursions

Regent Choice Excursions

  • Light Activity /Walking Light Activity /Walking
  • Seated Tour Seated Tour
  • Moderate Activity/Walking Moderate Activity/Walking
  • Most Active or Strenuous Most Active or Strenuous
  • Minimal Activity Required Minimal Activity Required
  • Regent Choice Regent Choice
  • Meal Meal
  • Evening Tour Evening Tour
  • Mysteries of Zayatsky Island
    Light Activity /Walking
  • Sekirnaya Hill
    Moderate Activity/Walking
  • Solovetsky Monastery
    Light Activity /Walking
  • Solovetsky Monastery and Gulag
    Light Activity /Walking
  • Solovetskys Botanical Gardens
    Light Activity /Walking

Mysteries of Zayatsky Island

Light Activity /Walking

Duration: 2 hours

Tour Code: SVK-001

Tender to a nearby island to see a collection of ancient stone labyrinths and rocky mounds whose exact purposes remain a mystery.

After departing from the ship by tender, you will soon arrive at Big Zayatsky Island, one of the six Solovetsky Islands. While walking among its boulders and large gnarled bushes, you will notice a collection of stone labyrinths, sanctuaries and hundreds of stone mounds. All of these structures were built at least 5,000 years ago during the Neolithic Period.

The purpose of the intricate labyrinths on the western part of the island and who built them is unknown. Nevertheless, the labyrinths are visually fascinating. Made of rows of boulders that form interconnecting spirals, each one has a single entrance, which also serves as the exit. Some researchers believe that the labyrinths were meant to represent the border between the real world and the underworld, but it’s only speculation.

When Peter the Great visited the island for the second time in 1702, he ordered a wooden church to be built honoring Saint Andrew. As there were no trees, the church was built on the mainland, disassembled, and then shipped to the island for reassembly. You will see the church and a few its outbuildings on a boulder-strewn stretch of land near the water’s edge. Afterwards, you will tender back to the ship.

Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of moderate walking which includes some uneven surfaces and steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing to include a wind/waterproof jacket; an umbrella; sunglasses; insect repellant; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Shorts are not permitted in the church and women must cover their heads. Zayatsky Island’s nature is strictly protected by law and visitors are admitted only in guided groups and must stay with their guide throughout their visit. No independent visitors are allowed. It is prohibited to remove any items from the Island.