Investment Portal of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation

Landmarks en route

The Northeast Passage and its main ports

26 december 2019

The Northeast Passage is the shortest sea route between Europe and Asia, stretching for around 5,600 km between the Kara Strait and Providence Bay. This route is twice as short as the ones going through the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal. Naturally, it makes cargo shipping via the NEP significantly cheaper compared to southern routes, from 30% to 3–4 times. The main NEP ports are: Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Naryan-Mar, Sabetta, Dudinka, Tiksi, Pevek, Providence Bay.


Murmansk Seaport with year-round navigation lies in the Barents Sea, in the southern bend of Kola Bay. The port currently occupies a total area of 645.895 ha; there are 109 mooring berths, and the berthing space is over 12.5 km long. The capacity of cargo terminals is around 23.6 million kg of cargo per year. Passenger terminals capacity is 141 thousand people per year. The seaport is suitable for vessels of any size, without limitations.


Russia's oldest seaport was founded at the same time as the city of Arkhangelsk, in 1584. Today, Arkhangelsk Seaport with year-round navigation is a modern, powerful, diverse enterprise engaged in transporting all kinds of cargo except liquid cargo. The port is serviced by two railway stations of the Severnaya ('Northern') Railway.

Development prospects of the Arkhangelsk Seaport are mainly related to the development of hydrocarbon deposits in the Arctic, as well as working on export cargo flows.


This seaport located on the Pechora River is navigable from June until November. The main types of cargo that go through the Port of Naryan-Mar are timber, coal, mineral and construction materials, foods and containers. The total 2019 cargo turnover was 120 thousand tons. The port's cargo turnover is expected to double in 2020, partially due to technical upgrades.


Sabetta Port located on the western shore of the Gulf of Ob in the Kara Sea is the youngest Arctic port in Russia: the construction started in 2012, and a year later the first vessels moored at the port. The port was constructed with specific tasks in mind: transporting liquefied natural gas and enabling year-round navigation through the Northeast Passage.


This Arctic seaport in Krasnoyarsk Territory is a structural division of Nornickel and the key transportation hub for shipping the company's products and sustaining the Norilsk industrial area.

The port is suitable for vessels with a carrying capacity of up to 17 thousand tons. The capacity of mooring berths is 25 thousand tons of cargo per day and around 4 million tons per year.


The Port of Tiksi is located on the shore of the Laptev Sea, in the north of Yakutia. The port specialises in food cargo, construction materials, timber, coal, and petroleum products. Port warehouses occupy around 55 thousand sq. m, and reservoir storage capacity is 38 thousand tons.

The Port of Tiksi is considered the point of control over the infrastructure of the eastern part of the NEP. For that reason, a decision was made to completely modernise the port. The modernisation will include dredging works, reconstructing the infrastructure and building the port's own fleet.


The Port of Pevek in Chukotka is 65 years old. The port's cargo turnover is over 300 thousand tons per year. Over a quarter of all shipment volumes going to Chukotka pass through the Port of Pevek. Moreover, general cargo for companies working in the Chaun-Bilibinsky industrial zone arrives through the Port of Pevek. The largest Russian deposits of gold, silver, tin and copper are found in this area. Thus, the Port of Pevek is bound to keep busy for years to come.

Providence Bay Port

The main focus of Providence Bay Port is receiving coal and petroleum products for the needs of Chukotka and general cargo coming from the Port of Vladivostok. The port also accommodates passenger ships with tourists from Alaska and, of course, local transportation ships. Current plans are to make two Chukotka ports, the Port of Pevek and Providence Bay Port the "backbone" of the Northeast Passage which will take care of bunkering, the safety of navigation and supporting functions on the NEP.

Read more 'Arktika': the world's most powerful icebreaker 'Arktika' icebreaker is set to make shipping through the Northeast Passage faster and cheaper


See all


Read more