The Russian Arctic National Park is one of the largest natural reserves in Russia. It was established on June 15, 2009. Originally it included about 650,000 hectares of land and over 750,000 thousand hectares of the Arctic Ocean, including Severny Island on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, part of the Barents Sea, and 191 islands of the Franz Joseph Land Federal Conservation Area. In 2016, by decree of the Government of the Russian Federation, the Franz Joseph Land Conservation Area was included into Russian Arctic National Park.
The Russian Arctic National Parkis is capable of winning anyone's heart, fr om the beauty of the Oran Islands with their bird colonies and walrus rookeries, to the coast of Novaya Zemlya with the majestic waterfall in Inostrantsev Bay, to Ice Harbor Bay, the last refuge of V. Barents. The park is visited by tourists fr om all around the world.
The most popular islands in the park are Champa Island, wh ere spheric concretions (round stones of various sizes, from fist-sized to several meters in diameter) are located, Gall Island with rock outcroppings on Cape Tegetgof, and Northbrook Island, wh ere vegetation that is completely atypical for this region grows on Cape Flora. On the sheer slopes of the unique Rubini Cliff geological monument in Silent Bay on Guker Island lies one of the largest bird colonies in the whole archipelago. All in all, the Russian Arctic National Park is home to many rare species, including the ivory gull and the brant (brent goose), which nest here. The waters host the great bow-headed whale, the narwhal, and the walrus.
Tourists may visit the park for sightseeing only on organized landings along the shore. These places are not equipped with piers, so visitors are ferried ashore by the ship's helicopter, if available, or by Zodiac boats. The manner of landing depends as well on the weather, ice conditions, and the particularities of the shore and coastal areas. Animals can also be observed while on board the ship.
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