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Passengers on summer White Sea to North Cape Zegrahm Expeditions cruise will be the first to explore northern Europe's remote Pomor villages. The Pomors (people of the coast) settled permanently here, in the 13th and 14th centuries, after moving from the Russian mainland in the east. They herd reindeer, fish for salmon, herring and cod, and dry mushrooms and berries in the summer. Passengers explore the coast by Zodiac and view seals and seabirds, including eiders and guillemots.

The trip starts in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Baltic seaport founded by Peter the Great in 1703. Participants tour St. Isaac Square, the Cathedral, Palace Square and its Baroque Winter Palace. The Hermitage Museum, inside the Palace, boasts large gilded rooms, elaborate crystal chandeliers and collections of Italian, Spanish, Impressionist and modern art. The Gold Room displays magnificent jewelry by Russian, European and Oriental craftsmen, and Scythian and Greek gold.

Zegrahm Expeditions participants fly to Russia's first seaport at the mouth of the Dvina River Delta, Arkhangelsk, which was founded in the late 16th century. They tour Arkhangelsk's historic sights and old wooden architecture, then board the Clipper Adventurer to sail west into the White Sea.

Passengers explore six main islands and many small islets in the Solovetskiy Archipelago, by ship and Zodiac, for three days. They learn about Russian history, hear ancient legends, see archaeological sites, the botanical gardens and architectural monuments in the Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetskiy Islands World Heritage Site.

In the mid-1400s, the first hermit monks founded the Solovetskiy Monastery, which survived for 500 years, at Solovki Island, the main large island in the Solovetskiy Archipelago. Participants tour the amazing canal system, built by the monks in the 16th century, and the massive fortress (Kremlin), cathedrals, hermitages, homesteads, gardens and dry-docks.

Clipper Adventurer cruises to the Kuzova Archipelago, where passengers view prehistoric burial mounds, labyrinths and beluga whales. Following the remote Kola Peninsula's northern coast, they see a wilderness of vast tundra and mountains, salmon-filled rivers, lakes, magnificent waterfalls, and some of Europe's most ancient forests.

After stopping at Murmansk, the world's largest city north of the Arctic Circle, the Clipper Adventurer cruises to Kirkenes, Norway. Here in the capital of the municipality of Sor-Varanger, the three major cultures of Norway, Russia, and Finland converge.

After stopovers in North Cape, the northernmost point in Europe at 71 degrees latitude; the village of Gjesvaer, inhabited for nearly 6,000 years, and the Gjesvaerstappan islands, where three million puffins nest, the cruise ends at Tromsoe, Norway. Called the "Gateway to the Arctic," the city is home to the unique Arctic Cathedral.

A second Zegrahm Expeditions cruise, Spitsbergen and the White Sea, departs from Oslo and ends with a tour of St. Petersburg, Russia. Passengers view walruses, polar bears, seals, and birds, as they cruise to the mining town of Longyearbyen in Spitsbergen. The route to the northernmost permanent settlement in the world, Ny Alesund, offers wildflowers, fjords, glaciers, beluga whales and historic whaling stations. It continues with a cruise through the Solovestky Archipelago. Both trips offer optional extensions to Lake Onega and Kizhi Island.

Zegrahm Expeditions specializes in educational small ship voyages.