St Petersburg and the Arctic Circle from 22-30th March 2017

Photosafari_page_Arctic-Circle_2017

Introduction

Many of us tropical dwellers often wonder how the Arctic Circle would look like. This has been on the bucket list of a lot of travellers. Many people are familiar that the countries in the Arctic Circle are Norway, Finland, Sweden, Alaska, Canada and Greenland. However, there is also another country with more towns and cities located within the Arctic Circle than anywhere else in the world. This country is Russia.

Murmansk with a population of 300,000 people is the largest city within the Arctic Circle. In fact, it is situated within 2 deg. north of the Arctic Circle. This is a perfect place to view the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis, the winter landscapes and the people native people who live here.  Though isolated, this city provides modern comforts like the hotels, shopping centres, and food.

Our journey starts at the second largest city in Russia, St. Petersburg. We will meet you at Pulkovo Airport (St. Petersburg). This city was built by Tsar Peter the Great from ground up. At one time this was the capital of Russia. This city is arguably the most beautiful and Westernised city in Russia. Today, it is a treasure trove of art and culture. If you want to see more in-depth about the city, we have an optional package where you need to come a couple of days earlier before the trip starts.

The next day, in the evening, we will take a domestic flight to Murmansk.  From Murmansk, we will drive to Teriberka, a small village away from the bright city lights to “hunt” for Aurora and the winter landscapes. Although it is a small village, it offers modern day comforts and restaurants. There are lots of opportunities for landscape and people photography here.

One of the highlights of this trip is the visit to a Sammi Village. The Sammi, often known at Lopari are an indigenous tribe who live in the Murmansk Region. They can also be found in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. We will also visit a Sammi reindeer farm.

Snow Village is the latest attraction of this region. Every year, this village is rebuilt from scratch from the ice and snow. It is open to the public from Jan to May.  This will be a very exciting photosafari for those who have not been to St. Petersburg and Murmansk.

How do I get there?

There are many options to fly from Kuala Lumpur to St Petersburg. Here are some of the options. I personal would favour Turkish Airlines, MAS and KLM because of the timing.

Flight schedules from KL-St. Petersburg

Flight schedules from KL-St. Petersburg

What is the other equipment that I need to buy?

Clothing – The average temperature in the Arctic Circle is around -15deg C. Which means that the temperature can drop to as low as -25 degC in some places. Keeping warm is a priority. You can wear layered clothing with at least a waterproof outer layer. A pair of long johns, hats, gloves, and scarves help.

Footwear– a pair of waterproof trekking boots and a pair of crampons are ideal for walking on ice surfaces. You can order a pair of crampons online for about US10.00 to 15.00.  For better protection, you may want to get a pair of insulated winter boots. You will also need a pair of gaiters to prevent the snow from falling into your shoes. These are very cheap, it is about 5 to 10 USD and is available online.

Crampons to prevent slipping on ice surfaces

Crampons to prevent slipping on ice surfaces

Gaiters to prevent snow from falling into the shoes.

Gaiters to prevent snow from falling into the shoes.

Camera Equipment

You will need an ultra-wide angle, wide angle and a medium telephoto lens. A sturdy tripod is a must for good landscape photography. We will be giving a briefing on camera equipment when the time comes before our departure.

Itinerary.

22 Mar Day 1: Saint-Petersburg (D)

  • Meet at the airport Pulkovo 15:00 Transfer to the Hotel
  • Check-inn/free-time/lunch at the hotel
  • Evening city tour or free time (It is recommended to see Saint-Petersburg during the night)

23 Mar Day 2: Saint-Petersburg – Murmansk (B,L,D)

  • Breakfast and check-out
  • Exclusive trip to lighthouses of Baltic Sea (several lighthouses, ship graveyards, landscape, lunch)
  • 18:00 – Transfer to the airport
  • 20:55 – Flight to Murmansk
  • 23:00 – Meeting at the airport Murmansk
  • 23:00 – Transfer to the hotel and check-in

24 Mar  Day 3:  Arctic Ocean Coast – Teriberka (B,L,D)

  • Breakfast in hotel (Murmansk)
  • Check-out from Hotel (Murmansk),
  • Transfer to Teriberka and photo-stops along the way
  • Arrival at hotel and check-in
  • Lunch
  • Countryside landscape, Barents sea and seaside photography
  • Dinner at hotel restaurant
  • Night photography (Aurora hunting)

25 Mar Day 4- Arctic Ocean Coast  (B,L,D)

  • Breakfast
  • Trip to Lodeinoe (New Teriberka) Walk along Arctic Ocean. Frozen waterfall, old coastal artillery (2nd World War times), tundra and ocean views shooting.
  • Lunch at seaside.
  • Return to the hotel
  • Dinner at hotel restaurant
  • Night landscapes of Tiriberka, (Aurora hunting)
  • Transfer to Murmansk,
  • check-in hotel

26 Mar  Day 5- Kola Bay (B,L,D)

  • Breakfast
  • Transfer to Kola Bay Landscape shooting
  • Lunch at seaside
  • Visit abandoned warships and shipard
  • Return to hotel
  • Dinner
  • Night shooting around Murmansk (Aurora hunting)

27 Mar Day 6 – Sami village and Khibiny Mountains (B,L,d)

  • Breakfast and check-out
  • transfer to Sami village
  • Sami village excursion
  • Lunch at Sami village
  • Transfer to Khibiny Mountains, photo-stops along the way.
  • Hotel Severnaya
  • Check-in
  • Night photography Kirovsk and Khibiny mountains, (Aurora hunting)

28 Mar Day 7 – Khibiny Mountains (B,L,D)

  • Breakfast and check-out
  • Snowmobile trip to Khibiny with photo-stops along the way
  • Lunch at Snow Village
  • Excursion at Snow Village
  • Transfer to Murmansk.
  • Hotel check in and overnight

29 Mar Day 8: Murmansk (B,L,D)

  • Breakfast and check out
  • Excursion to Icebreaker “Lenin” in Murmansk port,
  • Lunch
  • Flight back to St. Petersburg
  • Check-in hotel
  • Free and easy

30  Mar Day 9:  Saint-Petersburg (B,L)

  • Breakfast and check-out
  • Guided excursion to Hermitage Museum
  • Lunch
  • Transfer to the airport
  • Flight back to Kuala Lumpur.

 
If you are interested, please email for further details: maxbee@gmail.com 

Photo Gallery

Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis

Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis

Reindeer farms

Reindeer farms

Reindeer farms

Reindeer farms

Winter landscape

Winter landscape

St. Petersburg by night

St. Petersburg by night

Fun on the ice lake

Fun on the ice lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

1 comment

Leave Comment
  1. Mdm Gan (LiAnne)

    Hi,

    Pls email me the details including the full cost of the trip.

    Thank you and regards,

    Mdm Gan (LiAnne)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *