The Arctic Ports of Russia

Murmansk is a port city in northwest Russia.
Murmansk is a port city in northwest Russia.

Russia is the largest country in the world by area. The vast country has coastlines along the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans and is also drained by a large number of rivers. As such, it is not surprising that the country has several major and minor ports distributed along its ocean coastlines and the banks of its navigable rivers. Some of the Arctic ports of Russia are listed below.


Murmansk is a port city located on the banks of Kola Bay, an inlet of the Barents Sea. The city is located only 108 km away from the Russia-Norway border. The warm North Atlantic Current ensures that the port remains free of ice throughout most of the year. The port also houses the nuclear-powered icebreaker, Atomflot, which is the only one of its kind in the world. The port is well connected to St. Petersburg and the rest of Russia by rail, road, and air. It serves as headquarters of Sevmorput, a shipping route which is also referred to as the Northern Sea Route.


The port city of Arkhangelsk is the administrative center of the Russian oblast of the same name. It spans across both banks of the Northern Dvina River, near the river's mouth at the White Sea. It served as the chief port of Russia until 1703. The port is connected to other parts of the country via air, rail, and roads. The port is currently open throughout the year due to the implementation of icebreaker technology. The timber and fishing industries thrive in the port city.


Belomorsk is a seaport town located at the mouth of the White Sea-Baltic Canal, on the shores of Onega Bay. The town is connected to other important Russian cities via the Kirov Railway. The port at Belomorsk is currently being developed in order to increase capacity. Although the port is not completely ice-free, icebreakers are used to break the ice during the winter.


The port of Dikson is located on the Kara Sea, at the Yenisei Gulf’s mouth in Russia. It is Russia’s northernmost port and Asia’s northernmost settlement.


The Dudinka is a port located on the lower course of the Yenisei River, allowing accessibility to seagoing ships. The port is used to ship coal, iron ore, and non-ferrous metals. The port town is served by Dudinka Airport and the Norilsk railway.


Located on the eastern shores of Lupcha Bay, Kandalaksha is an Arctic seaport on the White Sea. The port is navigable all year-round, but the use of icebreakers is important during winter. The port at Kandalaksha handles a wide variety of cargo including coal, iron-ore, metal scrap, salt, and vehicles.


Located on the western shores of the Kandalaksha Gulf, Vitino is an oil port on the White Sea, which is part of the Arctic Ocean. Operations at the port began in 1995, and the port began to operate year-round since in 2001. The port is primarily used for transporting oil exports produced in Russian refineries.


The port town of Pevek is located on Chaunskaya Bay, in the East Siberian Sea, which is a part of the Arctic Ocean. The port was initially established as part of the Northern Sea Route to export minerals from Russia. However, as mineral resources waned due to overexploitation, the need for the port also reduced, and the town began to decay.


Tiksi is a Russian port located on the shores of the Buor-Khaya Gulf. The gulf is part of the Laptev Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. It is one of the main ports for accessing the Laptev Sea. There is an airport at Tiksi that connects the isolated settlement with other parts of Russia. Winter roads also provide access to nearby settlements.


The Naryan-Mar is a port town located on the right bank of the Pechora River, about 110 km from the river's mouth on the Barents Sea. The port is highly significant since it is the only well-equipped commercial port in the region. Thus, the town is popular among tourists and has a thriving tourism industry.


This seaport is located near Varandey Bay, on the shores of the Barents Sea. The port was established with the goal of exporting oil produced in the Nenets Autonomous Region. The port admits ice-class vessels throughout the year.


Located on the Yamal Peninsula, on the western shore of the Ob estuary, Sabetta is the site of a port and a liquified natural gas (LNG) plant. The port was established in 2012 by the joint partnership of the Russian government and Novatek, which is a natural gas producing giant. The aim is to use the port to export LNG by sea.

Novy Port

Located on the mouth of the Ob River, Novy Port is one of the most important ports on the Kara Sea. The port was established with the aim of operating as an interim coal bunkering port for vessels moving along the Northern Sea Route. Currently, it serves as an oil terminal and is undergoing a phase of development. A well-developed fish industry also operates in the area.


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