After visiting several historical landmarks throughout Murmansk, you will tour the “Lenin,” Russia’s first nuclear icebreaker, which is now permanently moored as a museum.
After departing from the pier, you will begin an enlightening drive through the center of Murmansk, the largest city north of the Arctic Circle. Before long, you will pause for photos at the Palace of Culture, the first cultural institution on Kola Peninsula, and then proceed to the somber Memorial to the Defenders of Kola Land. Its dominant feature is a towering 5,000-ton statue of a lone soldier that commemorates the Soviet arctic forces that resisted the invading Nazi army in 1941.
Ahead, lies a memorial complex with a lighthouse dedicated to the Russian crew of the “Kursk,” a nuclear submarine that sank in the Barents Sea in 2000, when one of its torpedoes mistakenly exploded. Climb to the top of its observation tower for the most sweeping view of Kola Bay and Murmansk. You will also see a beautiful gold-domed orthodox church within the memorial complex.
Finally, you will tour the magnificent “Lenin,” a nuclear icebreaker built in 1959. Now a museum, it’s like a snapshot of that time period because everything on board is original and restored. Highlights include the officers’ dining room, seamen’s cabins and the sealed reactor compartment, which once housed hazardous materials. Amazingly, one of the ship’s captains commanded the “Lenin” for nearly 40 years. Following the tour, you will return to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes nearly 2-hours of moderate to strenuous walking/standing that includes a significant number of steep stairs to climb. Additionally, at the Memorial to the Defenders of Kola Land, there is a gently sloping hill to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Women wishing to enter the Orthodox church will need to cover their heads. The transportation available in Murmansk is very basic and may include public transportation buses. The tour sequence may vary.