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Arctic national park expects number of visitors may double in 2019

In 2019, the cruise season will begin on June 12 to continue to late September

ARKHANGELSK, December 26. /TASS/. The number of tourists visiting Russia’s northernmost park - Russian Arctic - may double in the coming year to hit the record of 2,000 guests, the park’s Director Alexander Kirilov told TASS on Wednesday.

"Traditionally, nine cruises come to the park every year, but next year they may be 13 or 14," he said. "Presently we welcome 1,000 guests a year, and thus next year [2019] we may welcome about 2,000 people."

According to him, in 2019, the Hurtigruten Company (Norway’s operator of cruise, ferry and cargo routes - TASS) will serve the route Murmansk - Franz Josef Land - Murmansk.

"A new player has come - it plans two cruises on board the Spitsbergen vessel," the director said. "Besides, Hapag Lloyd’s Bremen may call on the park twice - depending on the ice situation."

In 2019, the cruise season will begin on June 12 to continue to late September. The 50 Let Pobedy nuclear icebreaker will make five trips from Murmansk to the North Pole and back, and three return trips from Spitsbergen to Franz Josef Land will be on board the Sea Spirit.

In 2018, the Russian Arctic National Park welcomed 1,079 visitors. In 2013 - 639, in 2014 - 738, in 2015 - 1,225, in 2016 - 954, and in 2017 - 1,142 guests.

The Russian Arctic National Park is Russia’s northernmost and biggest natural reserve, which takes the area of 8.8 million hectares. It was organized on June 15, 2009. The Park includes a northern part of the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago’s Severny Island and the entire Franz Josef Land Archipelago.