Fred's Logbook


Date / Time: 2011-07-28 16:14:05Voyage from: to ETA:
Fred's foster-parent:
Name:National Geographic Explorer Crew

Fred's vessel:
Vesselname:MS National Geographic Explorer
Flag: Bahamas
IMO No.:8019356
Vesseltype:Expedition Passenger Ship
Length:112 m
Beam:16,5 m

Russia! I made it! During the early morning hours we arrived at the mouth of the Kola Fjord, where a pilot came on board and joined our bridge team. Just before 08:00 hrs we reached Murmansk, which is located at the far northwestern end of Russia. I had learned that the port of Murmansk remains ice-free all year round and is therefore a very important place for Russia. A lot of fishermen call it their home-port and it is a major shipping destination. Murmansk has become the most important submarine base for Russia and is also the home port to Atomflot, the worldˇ¦s only fleet of nuclear powered ice-breakers.
Once we were tied up alongside over a dozen Officials boarded the MS National Geographic Explorer and clearance procedures took place. Everything went a lot smoother than anyone could have expected and after only a little over an hour the ship was cleared.

I was keen on joining the excursion, visiting all kinds of sights in and around Murmansk. Our shipsˇ¦ Doctor, Jack, took me along on the tour.
We boarded the buses in pouring rain and took off for the Nuclear Icebreaker Lenin.

We explored the ship. I got to sit on the Chief Engineers chair and took a close look at the model of a nuclear reactor.

Manning the helm on the bridge was great fun.

A really long table is furnishing the conference room; I felt sort of lost sitting at it all by myself.

At the shipping companies museum we found a glass ice-bear, who tried to eat me.

Luckily Jack was around...

We enjoyed a lunch break at a local restaurant with Russian musicians entertaining us. After lunch we stopped at the Regional Natural and Cultural History Museum ˇV where I had a portrait in a Sami dress taken. Our last stop was the Aloysha statue. The statue was set up as a memorial to all the northern Soviet soldiers participating in the Second World War. At the foot of the statue is a perpetual fire and a lot flower bouquets in remembrance of the lost soldiers. From here one also has a fantastic view over the harbor area.

Back on board we celebrated our arrival in Russian territorial waters with a little BBQ and drinks on the aft deck.

written by Dr Jack Putnam / Ship's Doctor & Esther Bruns / Purser