69-72.5 degrees N
We arrived in Murmansk, which became an official town on Oct 4, 1916. During WWII the allies used Murmansk as an entry point from the Baltic Sea to supply arms to Russia to help defeat the Germans.
Due to the strategic location of Murmansk most of the original architecture was destroyed and rebuilt in the 1950′s during the Soviet era. The architecture of Murmansk is from this era.
We visited the hull of the submarine that exploded in 2001 off the shore of Murmansk. All of the crew were killed and to this day no one knows why there was an explosion.
We then went to the Lenin Icebreaker. It was the first nuclear powered icebreaker built in 1959. Since it’s retirement in 1989, it has become a museum.
The last stop before embarking on our ship was to the monument of the soldier. It stands 3000 feet high on a hill overlooking Murmansk. Dedicated to all of the Russian soldiers that have defended Russia.
We finally arrive at 50 Years of Victory (50 Let Pobedy) our vehicle to get to the North Pole. This Nuclear Powered Russian Icebreaker is the only passenger boat that goes to the North Pole. It holds 102 passengers and 120 crew, 14 quark expedition leaders and 10 catering staff. This boat is the first arctic icebreaker to feature a spoon shape bow. It took 20 years to build and is the latest addition to Russia’s Nuclear fleet, beginning its first voyage in 2007.
50 Years of Victory is an expedition boat and not meant as a cruise boat, but there is a small gym, pool and sauna, library, bar and dining room. The passengers that have come this far all want to do something unique. Reaching the North Pole is almost impossible and this Russian Icebreaker is one of the only ways to attain this goal.