Cruise ships dock in Solombala, not far from city center.
Getting into Russia is easy if you are on a cruise or organized group. If you go ashore with an organized shore excursion, or a licensed guide, you need only carry your passport. It does not have to be an excursion sponsored by the ship, but you will need to get the paperwork in advance via email from any local guide you use for touring.
Cruise calendar for this port.
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Archangelsk is situated on the coast of north-western Russia at the south-eastern corner of The White Sea, a large inlet of the Barents Sea. In the 18th century, the city of Archangelsk was the center of Russian shipbuilding, it is now a timber-logging and fishing area, known to the West through centuries of foreign trading links and the area's occupation by anti-Soviet white troops immediately after the Revolution.
Wander through the tidy utilitarian city with its mixture of turn of the century wooden buildings and Soviet-styled concrete apartment blocks, with time for shopping and museum visits. Most beautiful and well-maintained wooden buildings are concentrated at Chumbarova-Luchinskogo street which is planned as a "museum street" by the city authorities.
As the cost of a visa is over $200, a cruise ship organized tour is often the best option.
Taxis are inexpensive and could be found near most attractions.
Local wooden souvenirs made of birchbark and Northern sweets named 'kozuli' make good gifts.
The official currency of Russia is the ruble, which is divided into one hundred kopeks. It is illegal to pay in foreign currency. ATM's are many.
Most upscale establishments will accept credit cards.
Russian is the official language, English only is spoken in upscale places and by the younger educated.
Email and Internet access are offered cheaply in a number of Internet cafés.
Emergency numbers Police 02; Ambulance 03; Fire 01
Most shops open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm or later.
Public holidays are: Jan 1; Jan 6/7 (Orthodox Christmas); March 8 (Women's Day); May 1 and 2; May 9 (Victory Day); June 12; Nov 7. Russians also celebrate the unofficial Old New Year on 13/14 January - according to the Julian calendar.
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