Fred's Logbook


Date / Time: 2011-07-30 17:15:52Voyage from: to ETA:
Fred's foster-parent:
Name:National Geographic Explorer Crew

Fred's vessel:
Vesselname:MS National Geographic Explorer
Flag: Bahamas
IMO No.:8019356
Vesseltype:Expedition Passenger Ship
Length:112 m
Beam:16,5 m

A pilot came on board again this morning, assisting our bridge team when arriving at the Solovetskiy Islands. The archipelago consists of six islands, which are located in Onega Bay at the southern part of the White Sea.

We were able to go alongside at the jetty of Bolshoy Solovetsky Island, the biggest island of the group.

We are quite an attraction to the local people; throughout the day they came to the port and took pictures of the National Geographic Explorer. I heard that we are the biggest ship that has ever come alongside this pier.

Bolshoy Solovetsky Islands’ main attraction is the big Solovetskiy Monastery.

The monastery was founded during the fifteenth century by two monks. By the end of the sixteenth century the abbey was one of the wealthiest landowners and most influential religious centers in Russia. The monasteries history is extremely intense. The monastery had become a Kremlin (fortress), before inaugurating into a prison during Lenin’s reign. By the beginning of the Second World War the Kremlin / prison had turned into a naval training camp for the Soviet Northern Fleet. Only in 1974 the Islands and with it the monastery were designated a historical and architectural museum and natural reserve. In 1992 they were inscribed on the World Heritage List as an outstanding example of a monastic settlement in the inhospitable environment of northern Russia.

I went for a walk with our legendary Bartender Marek, Cold Cook Tanya and IT Manager Anthony. We were pretty impressed by the size of the monastery. It certainly dominates the landscape! As we passed by the smell of freshly baked bread attracted our full attention. Actually we had just finished lunch… . We observed a lot of visitors and pilgrims around and about. The houses in the vicinity are partly wooden and partly stone. Some of them even have colourful gardens. We walked up to a lake, where we saw two local enjoying the frigid water. On our way back to the ship we were greeted by two cows roaming around. Back on board we noticed that it was actually pretty chilly outside and enjoyed a nice hot cup of tea.

written by Anthony Sopher / IT Officer & Esther Bruns / Purser