Investment Portal of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation

The North is getting closer

How to spend a holiday in the Arctic without leaving central Russia

12 october 2022

Not everyone can go to the Arctic to see its unique natural riches and to learn about the culture of the indigenous peoples of the North—such a trip will not be cheap. That's why the Arctic decided to set off on its own on a journey through Russian cities—in the multimedia interactive museum bus 'Vacation in the Arctic.' It has been travelling around the country for a month now. The main aim of the project is to dispel myths about life in high latitudes.

'Even if we go out and talk to people now, a lot of people will think that the Arctic is a white space, it's always winter there, there's nothing to do, and many, many other myths. In fact, these are really all myths,' shared Rustam Romanenkov, Deputy Director General of the Arctic Initiatives Centre, one of the organisers of the project.

The travelling museum began its journey on 16 September at the North River Terminal in Moscow. The place was not chosen by chance: it was from here that the pioneer planes once set off for the Arctic. A real marathon of 4,000 kilometres awaited ahead: the bus left Moscow for Nizhny Novgorod, visited Perm and Yekaterinburg, and is now waiting for Kazan, Ufa and Tula.

'Thanks to the creation of the Vacation in the Arctic multimedia museum bus, the universe of ice, tundra, polar bears and northern lights is closer than ever to central Russia. And now many more people will be able to experience the Arctic beauty,' said Vyacheslav Fetisov, Chairman of the All-Russian Society for Nature Conservation and UN Goodwill Ambassador.

A virtual walk around the Arctic is organised in 28 square metres of bus space. On a walk through the museum, guests can visit all nine of Russia's Arctic regions and learn where the Pole of Cold is, why houses in the Arctic are painted in all the colours of the rainbow, and why scientists put satellite transmitters on polar bears. Children can watch cartoons from Children of the Arctic, while adults can watch the documentaries Near the Bears about the expeditions of the Master of the Arctic. You can also have your picture taken in the pilot's seat. The cockpit in which it is installed is just an imitation of the real thing, but all the other exhibits around it are authentic. The Clean Seas Foundation donated to the museum artefacts collected during expeditions to the far north. No one forbids taking each of them in hand to examine them properly. That said, all the artefacts are authentic and perennial.

Next to the bus in each town they set up a reindeer herders' dwelling—a tent covered with reindeer skins. Organisers believe that by visiting the inside of the chum, visitors to the museum will be able to transport themselves to the Arctic Circle for a while.

'We want them to go into the tent, sit by this stove, see the stroganina (thin-sliced fish), so that they understand that these are not actors, that these are not characters who promote indigenous crafts and travel around the country and the world there, but that these are people who we have asked to come very much to the centre of the country to talk about themselves,' said Rustam Romanenkov.

Arctic workshops are held in the chum: here you can paint an eco-shopper or make an Akan doll out of a duck's nose. A huge black-and-white panorama of the Arctic city is set up outside, which museum guests can paint themselves in bright colours. And a tasty fair serving northern food like fish soup, kalitka cakes and herbal teas with berries picked in the tundra.

The bus spends a few days in each town because there are more than enough people who want to take the free Arctic tour. In Perm, for example, more than 900 people visited the museum. Many families came with thermoses and sandwiches to spend the whole day 'in the Arctic.' And in Yekaterinburg, the museum's guests left the following comments: 'Thanks to you I plunged into my childhood, I used to live in Yakutia,' 'It's a pity that you only came to our city for two days.

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