Located almost due north of Saint Petersburg, behind the Northern Polar circle Murmansk is the largest city within the Arctic Circle. The city is often called the Arctic gates, as the city is the starting point of the Northern Sea way and the base of the icebreaking (including atomic) fleet. Murmansk was founded in 1916 with British assistance during the World War I. It is the largest seaport, which is free of ice throughout the years and the most important base of fishing industry in Russia. Shipbuilding and repairing of vessels is the main part of Murmansk industry.


Murmansk is a strange city in many ways: it is above the polar circle, so endures weeks of total darkness in the winter and enjoys weeks of 24 hour sunshine in the summer. It is above the tree line; the trees peter out a couple of hundred miles to the south. It is above the 10 degree isotherm; that is a line drawn around the arctic where the average June temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or less. And last but not least, despite cold winters, the sea doesn’t freeze.

The city is an important scientific and cultural center of the region. Every year Murmansk is getting more and more popular as the center of the international tourism. Excursions to the giant ships, the Northern Lights in November and December, beautiful northern nature and exotic animals as well as cruises across the northern seas guarantee an unforgettable trip.


Go in winter, and you can have air temperatures of -16 degrees Celsius, with great clouds of steam coming off the water and hanging over the port area as fog.