City Highlights & Msco Shipping Museum
Duration: 3 hours
Tour Code: msk-009
Life in Murmansk has long revolved around the sea and the military, as you will see by touring several memorials and a museum of rare ship-related artifacts.
After departing from the pier, you will begin an enlightening drive through 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 Nazis in 1941.
Ahead, lies 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.
Finally, you will visit the nearby Museum of Murmansk Shipping Company, a repository of intriguing artifacts from icebreakers, Russia’s nuclear fleet and shipping tankers. There is also a portrait gallery of polar captains, a model of a nuclear reactor and a collection of micro-model ships, the smallest being just over five inches long. The life-size diorama of seaman unloading ships was created with such detail that it looks absolutely realistic.
After visiting, you will return to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 and 3/4 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.