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  #1  
Old March 18th, 2011, 06:09 PM
sansterre sansterre is offline
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Default Murmansk, Russia

Has anyone been there? We are wondering what is in the port. What she we see and do there?
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  #2  
Old March 18th, 2011, 09:14 PM
TLCOhio TLCOhio is offline
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Originally Posted by sansterre View Post
Has anyone been there? We are wondering what is in the port. What she we see and do there?
From last July when doing a bridge tour, I had a chance to talk with our Captain. Our ship was going to be going to Murmansk in the summer of 2011. From his experiences there and in these areas, he was a little "cautious" about the value of going there. His point is that Murmansk sounds interesting, new and different, BUT, that their tourism infrastructure is a little limited there. I think that is why things have been slow to be "put together" for your visit there. Many other ports in Europe are more experienced from years and years of having ship visits there, the buses, guides, knowing what works for visitors, etc.

The background on Murmansk is that it has some 300,000 inhabitants. It is an important navy base. The port remains ice-free year round due to the warm North Atlantic drift ocean current. Murmansk is the largest city in the world located at such a high northerly latitude. This port was key in World War II for getting supplies to Russia during these efforts. This city, however, was founded relatively late in Russian history and it apparently does not have the kind of history, culture and architecture that makes St. Petersburg, Moscow and other cities in this region such great superstars. One guide source noted that certain "eccotourism" is now being developed there. Another noted Murmansk's development only started at the beginning of the 20th century. Before that, the Kola Peninsula was inhabited only by the Skolt Lapps and a few Russian settlers. The main sources of livlihood are fishing, shipping and the navy. You can say you have been where most others have never been. Good luck in your efforts, but your options seem fairly limited. Sorry!

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 35,000 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.
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  #3  
Old March 18th, 2011, 09:52 PM
sansterre sansterre is offline
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Thanks for sharing the captain's insight and your knowledge. I am surprised it is that large. We were hoping for a bit more history, culture, etc. but nevertheless it should be interesting to be somewhere where tourism is fairly new.
As you said, at the very least we can say we have been there, and hopefully there will be some excursions so we can say we got off the ship in Murmansk!
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  #4  
Old March 18th, 2011, 10:24 PM
TLCOhio TLCOhio is offline
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Thanks for sharing the captain's insight and your knowledge. I am surprised it is that large. We were hoping for a bit more history, culture, etc. but nevertheless it should be interesting to be somewhere where tourism is fairly new.
As you said, at the very least we can say we have been there, and hopefully there will be some excursions so we can say we got off the ship in Murmansk!
I'm sure they will have some options offered by your cruise line. It's "bad for business" to have a port stop and offer nothing for the customers.

What we found in far northern Norway is that those extreme climates limit certain of the normal culture, architecture and history you will see in other parts of these Baltic areas. It's super challenging to live there year around. You've got summers with 24/7 daylight and then for the winter three months, it is total and continuous darkness. In other parts of the year, it might be daylight only from 10 am to 4 pm. Things are just not as "cosmopolitan" under these conditions. Royals and the rich aren't thrilled with those conditions. Interesting and outdoors focused, but not the best environment for great museums, culture, etc.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 35,000 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.
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  #5  
Old April 1st, 2011, 08:59 AM
ShopperfiendTO ShopperfiendTO is offline
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Question Visas required on private excursions?

Does anyone know where I can find the visa information on Murmansk?

I understand that passengers taking ship-offered shore excursions are covered under a group visa and that individual/independent passengers going ashore need to get their own visas, but what about private excursions (any recommendations?)? Do passengers who go on private excursions (i.e., hire a tour guide from Murmansk) still need to get their own visas (unless it is included as part of the tour price)?
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  #6  
Old April 1st, 2011, 09:13 AM
TLCOhio TLCOhio is offline
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Does anyone know where I can find the visa information on Murmansk? I understand that passengers taking ship-offered shore excursions are covered under a group visa and that individual/independent passengers going ashore need to get their own visas, but what about private excursions (any recommendations?)? Do passengers who go on private excursions (i.e., hire a tour guide from Murmansk) still need to get their own visas (unless it is included as part of the tour price)?
You can see lots and lots of earlier posts on this board for visas in Russia. Just can do a search on this board. It is possible to get a visa for there, but it is costly and takes a decent amount of time. If you're on a private tour with a licensed guide or firm in Murmansk, they will have that blanket visa that covers you. No need to get your own visa.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 36,430 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.
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  #7  
Old April 1st, 2011, 10:47 AM
Hlitner Hlitner is offline
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In Russia, cruise ship passengers who are on private excursions run by licensed tour operators will usually be covered by a group visa issued to the tour operator (you need to specifically ask your tour operator about the visa). That being said, as near as we can determine, there are absolutely no official private tour operators in Murmansk. Perhaps Terry can work his magic and find a tour operator (that has a group visa), but we now wonder if it even exists in this isolated city.

Hank
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  #8  
Old April 1st, 2011, 03:32 PM
TLCOhio TLCOhio is offline
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In Russia, cruise ship passengers who are on private excursions run by licensed tour operators will usually be covered by a group visa issued to the tour operator (you need to specifically ask your tour operator about the visa). That being said, as near as we can determine, there are absolutely no official private tour operators in Murmansk. Perhaps Terry can work his magic and find a tour operator (that has a group visa), but we now wonder if it even exists in this isolated city. Hank
Appreciate the idea, Hank, that I have "MAGIC" in Russia. Sorry! No such luck or power. Don't have former President Putin's phone or e-mail. Doubt that Putin would respond to me. It seems that what our Captain told us last summer is true. Hopefully, they will come up with some potential options, even if in a limited, "get on the bus, ride around, etc.," form. Good luck!

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 36,500 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.
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  #9  
Old April 1st, 2011, 06:38 PM
Hlitner Hlitner is offline
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Terry, We must admit that going to Murmansk is causing us a lot of amusement. If you have been following the Prinsendam roll-call thread (we know you lurk everywhere) several of us have had some fun about the issue. For whatever reason, HA has yet to post any excursions...nor have they sent any communication regarding the port to the passengers. At least one of our fellow cruisers has been calling them at least once a week and keeps getting all kinds of excuses and promises. We sent them 2 e-mails and never even got the courtesy of a response (probably because they had no idea what to say). We figure it will all work out in the end (maybe).

Hank
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  #10  
Old April 2nd, 2011, 08:26 AM
TLCOhio TLCOhio is offline
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Originally Posted by Hlitner View Post
Terry, We must admit that going to Murmansk is causing us a lot of amusement. If you have been following the Prinsendam roll-call thread (we know you lurk everywhere) several of us have had some fun about the issue. For whatever reason, HA has yet to post any excursions...nor have they sent any communication regarding the port to the passengers. At least one of our fellow cruisers has been calling them at least once a week and keeps getting all kinds of excuses and promises. We sent them 2 e-mails and never even got the courtesy of a response (probably because they had no idea what to say). We figure it will all work out in the end (maybe). Hank
THANKS, Hank, for the tips and update. Did read through some of the recent posts on that Princedam roll-call. Doesn't seem that HAL is doing too well in managing things. In fact, seems really poor in their communications. As I noted way back, there are some things and options in Murmansk, but it is not the established and wider range of activities that most people expect. It will all work out, kind of, somewhat. Good luck. Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 36,600 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.
http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1227923
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  #11  
Old April 2nd, 2011, 06:56 PM
Shorex Shorex is offline
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Oceania's Insignia will be stopping in Murmansk during the cruise that starts June 23 in Copenhagen. Their Murmansk excursions are posted in the details section of the itinerary.

Since Murmansk is so limited in touristic opportunities I suspect most cruise ships that stop for the day will be using the same tour operators - give or take. At least you'll have some idea what to expect.
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  #12  
Old April 2nd, 2011, 09:58 PM
spindrift spindrift is offline
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We just happen to be on Oceania's June 23rd trip, and we have, in fact, booked the Murmansk tour. Enjoy what it has to offer folks--it isn't over run by tourists and is part of the world that is our history. We've found that Oceania has made these out-of-the-way tours most interesting. I'll let you all know.
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  #13  
Old April 2nd, 2011, 10:27 PM
TLCOhio TLCOhio is offline
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Default Potential Options for Murmansk

With our cruise ship line we used last summer for our cruise only going to the North Cape, that ship, Silversea's Silver Cloud, for 2011 has these three shore options they are offering as they go to this Russian city.

OPTION ONE: overview of the city's highlights and visit to the Oceanarium during four-hour tour. See Palace of Culture, also known as Kirov's Palace, site of the city's founding; Monument to the Defenders of the Kola Land, 'Alyosha' - a large statue of a lone soldier on the outskirts of Murmansk, overlooking the city; brief stop at the Allied Cemetery, where those who perished in World War II are buried. See Lenin Prospekt, the main thoroughfare of Murmansk, the Monument to the Sister Towns, the Monument to the Anti-Hitler Coalition (a human palm holding a globe) and Sport's Square. Monument to the Victims of Intervention, before visiting the Orthodox Church of St Nicholas Mirlikisky. Murmansk Oceanarium: the only aqua complex in Europe where Arctic seals are trained and studied. As well as being the focus of extensive scientific research, the seals are an important part of rehabilitation therapy for children.

OPTION TWO: an overview of the city's highlights and a taste of the local pastry during this half-day tour. Many of the highlights noted above and the last stop will be at a local restaurant where you may enjoy some Russian pancakes served with sour - cream or cloudberries jam with tea or coffee.

OPTION THREE: Murmansk and Its Maritme History, an overview of the city's highlights with an historical look at the area's maritime industry during this half-day tour. Continue the tour towards to Museum of Murmansk Shipping Company located on the top floor of the company's regular offices. The Museum was opened in 1977. It covers history of Arctic exploration: namely the development of the Northern Passage known in Russia as "The Great Northern Sea Route". documentary photographs in the Museum, as well as the portrait gallery of Polar captains, nautical devices, ship's bells, a model of nuclear reactor, etc. Diorama "The Great Northern Sea Route Development ", figures of seamen on the shore, ice, the Arctic lights and everything else represented there seem to be perfectly real. The major part of the exposition tells about the participation of the Shipping Company's seamen in the Arctic convoys during WWII.

This might give an idea of those options for this Russian city. Clearly there are things to do there. Hopefully, HAL will figure it out and communicate with the upcoming passengers there. These are all 3-4 hour tours.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 36,680 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.
http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1227923
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  #14  
Old April 3rd, 2011, 06:57 PM
tjcox9 tjcox9 is offline
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Default Ocean Princess

We are booked on Ocean Princess this summer (July) on a cruise that includes this port. There are two shore excursions available, neither appears to be very exciting, but we'll book one just to save going through the arduous and costly task of obtaining a visa.

Will try to report back later...........
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  #15  
Old April 3rd, 2011, 07:53 PM
Steamboatin Steamboatin is offline
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Default Would love the perfect tour

Would love to take what to me would be the perfect tour.

A tour of the local Russian naval base.
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  #16  
Old April 3rd, 2011, 08:53 PM
TLCOhio TLCOhio is offline
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Would love to take what to me would be the perfect tour. A tour of the local Russian naval base.
If you would get in there for that desired tour, it might be your "last" such excursion. They might keep you there and not let you back on the cruise ship. Or, you might get a "free" trip to Siberia or another place where they don't charge you room and board in the prison. Be careful what you wish for!!

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 36,850 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.
http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1227923
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  #17  
Old April 4th, 2011, 08:21 AM
Steamboatin Steamboatin is offline
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Originally Posted by TLCOhio View Post
If you would get in there for that desired tour, it might be your "last" such excursion. They might keep you there and not let you back on the cruise ship. Or, you might get a "free" trip to Siberia or another place where they don't charge you room and board in the prison. Be careful what you wish for!!

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 36,850 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.
www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

As if our birds have not already seen or heard everything that they have there already.
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  #18  
Old April 4th, 2011, 09:16 PM
spindrift spindrift is offline
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TLCOhio, we were also on Silver Cloud many years ago and did North Cape. Nothing to mark as a memorable experience. So folks, be open to good weather or bad--who knows. Just enjoy the visit.

And TLCOhio, no insult, but why do you have all the "attachments" to each of your e-mails? (After your signature "thanks Terry....etc." It would take a lot less space. Once would be enough! I really just wonder "why."

Last edited by spindrift; April 4th, 2011 at 09:19 PM.
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  #19  
Old April 5th, 2011, 09:42 AM
sansterre sansterre is offline
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Yesterday HAL told me they have 5 excursions but still plan to put private tours up. I imagine they will be very expensive, so we will probably sign up for one of the 5 group excursions.
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