The article on Karelia by Charles Jacobs ("Cruising Through the Russia of Peter the Great," March 17) was very interesting but occasioned here an interest in the briefly mentioned hydrofoil trips to the area. It would be good to have information on them for those who have not time for the longer and probably delightful voyage described.
Does the hydrofoil make a return trip in a single day? Is it possible to make connection with transportation to the island? Where (here and/or there) can one book such an excursion? Is it even possible to book when visiting briefly in Leningrad? Thank you.
Charles Jacobs responds: Few, if any, American tourists visit the Karelian sites by hydrofoil, although it is a very popular vacation activity for citizens of the USSR. There are hydrofoil trips from Leningrad to Petrozavodsk, but Intourist in the United States has no information about these. You will have to book when you arrive in Leningrad through the Intourist offices there, located in all tourist hotels. The telephone number in Leningrad is 315-5129. Moscow Intourist is 292-22-60.
The most common means of transportation from either Moscow or Leningrad to Petrozavodsk is by train. Number 648 and 658 leave Leningrad daily, while the journey from Moscow can be made on either number 18 or 112. In Petrozavodsk, take trolley No. 1 or bus 4 or 15 from the station to the Severnaya Hotel at 21 Prospekt Lenin.
The one-day hydrofoil trip from Petrozavodsk to Kizhi operates from May to October and takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes each way. The excursion includes a 4 1/2-hour guided tour of Kizhi. I don't know whether these guides are bilingual. Arrangements may be made through the Goskomintourist Agency, located in Petrozavodsk's Severnaya Hotel, telephone 99065.