The other day I’ve noticed a poster by Orenburzhye Airlines at the local supermarket announcing direct daily Murmansk to Arkhangelsk flights. The cost of the ticket is ~8000 roubles (about $130) one way according to their site. Before this offer became available one would either have to fly via Moscow (that would take pretty much the whole day) or spend one and a half or two days on the train.
If I correctly read this report from www.news29.ru, the brass figure has already been cast, and the procedure of finding “a place of honour” in the center of Arkhangelsk to install it is well under way, with popular support..
The cost of the project is said to be about 500 thousand roubles (about $7000 at the currect exchange rate), of which 30 thousand have already been collected. Once the funds are there it should take 2-3 monthes to manufacture the statue.
Nordavia has just announced its spring and summer 2015 schedule of Arkhangelsk to Solovki flights. Tuesdays and Sundays leaving Arkhangelst at 1:35pm, and back 3:15pm, in the air about one hour, at the cost of 9500-9800 (about $160 at today’s exchange rate). Probably easier than the classic route by boat from Kem.
There is something incongruous, if anybody cares about my opinion, about a luxury cruise to a place of prayer. But I’m not here to influct my opinion to would be travellers to Russia, or else would lose even that small trickle of clients that keeps me afloat. I’m here to share the good news that a luxury liner recently renamed St. John of Kronshtadt after a fin de siecle religious figure who, among other things, strongly advocated ascetic practices will be crusing between Akrhangelsk and Solovki. Before it was called Belinsky (a literary critic) and Shlisselburg (a fortress and a political prison at the mouth of River Neva, 30km west from St. Petersburg). Starting June 2014, Belinsky-Shlisselburg-St.John will be leaving Arkhangelsk every Tuesday and Friday. For details see www.solovkicruise.
Tourist Information Centre of the Arkhangelsk region (no site as of the moment) opens February 2014, with Marina Menshikova as its director. For the last few years Marina has been working as press secretary for the the Russian Arctic National Park (http://www.rus-arc.ru/ – link down as of April 11 2015)