Discover the vital role Murmansk has played in defending Russia by visiting several military monuments and browsing a museum dedicated to the Northern Fleet.
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.
Continuing on, you will explore the Museum of the Northern Fleet, whose exhibits reveal the compelling story of the naval fleet responsible for defending northwestern Russia. Established in 1937, the Northern Fleet has contained vessels ranging from destroyers to minesweepers to nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. Artifacts on display include weapons, model ships and some personal possessions of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, who served in the fleet’s aviation unit in the Soviet Arctic.
Later, you will visit a memorial lighthouse monument 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. Afterwards, you will return to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate walking/standing that includes a significant number of steps 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 and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. 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.