Russia launches Arctic train service
In Russia, the first tourist train service traveling through Russia’s Arctic region and on to Norway set off from St. Petersburg station with 91 passengers aboard for the inaugural trial journey on June 5. The tourists came from 7 countries including the US, Germany, Norway and Russia. The train, named Zarengold (“The Tsar’s gold” in German), complete with two restaurant cars will travel from Saint Petersburg through Petrozavodsk, the historic town of Kem and Murmansk. At Murmansk, by far the largest city north of the Arctic Circle, the tourists will get off the train and continue by bus to Kirkenes in Norway before ending their journey with a boat trip to Oslo or by air to the island of Spitsbergen. According to the organisers, the whole trip will take 11 days and allow passengers to discover areas difficult to access by other means.