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When you close your eyes and think of cruise destinations, do images of the Caribbean or Mediterranean pop into your head? Those regions are beautiful and packed full of sunshine, but forgetting cold winter cruises is a mistake.

Visiting northern latitude destinations over winter can show you some phenomenal sights that you’d never see otherwise. And what’s even better? You get to experience these stunning destinations from the comfort of a cruise ship.

Let’s take a look at why Russia and Alaska are top winter cruise destinations. You won’t be disappointed!

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Teriberka is a village with a population of about 900 people located in Murmansk Oblast, in the north of the Kola Peninsula on the shore of the Barents Sea.

In the European part of Russia, Teriberka is the only place that can be reached by road to see the open Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean. Also here you can see such a picturesque natural phenomenon as the northern lights. Teriberka on Google Maps. Photos by: Sergey Korolev.

Northern Lights in Teriberka, Murmansk Oblast, Russia, photo 1

amazing scenery

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Putorana is a strongly dissected mountain range located in the northwest of Krasnoyarsk Krai. The nearest large settlement is the city of Norilsk. The surface of the plateau is covered with basaltic lava flows often referred to as the Siberian Traps. This is one of the most poorly studied and inaccessible regions of Russia.

The maximum height of the plateau is 1,701 meters. The name “Putorana”, translated from Evenki, means “lakes with steep banks”. The plateau area is about 250,000 square kilometers. The Putoransky Nature Reserve, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, is located on the plateau. The Putorana Plateau on Google Maps. Photos by: Slava Stepanov.

Putorana Plateau, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, photo 1

fly over the Putorana Plateau

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Zelenchuk churches (Northern, Middle, and Southern) are the three oldest Orthodox churches of the Caucasus located in the valley of the Bolshoy Zelenchuk River near the village of Nizhniy Arkhyz in the central part of the Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia.

Northern Zelenchuk Church, the largest of them, was constructed in the late 10th – early 11th centuries. This beautiful building, harmoniously integrated into the surrounding landscape, is built of sandstone. The basis of the construction is a cross with a dome in the center. Northern Zelenchuk Church on Google Maps. Photos by: Fedor Lashkov.

Northern Zelenchuk Church in Nizhniy Arkhyz, Russia, photo 1

very picturesque old church

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The wooden house in Astashovo has an amazing story that dates back to 1897. There was everything here: prosperity, decline, abandonment, and incredible rebirth. It is located in the abandoned village of Astashovo (also known as Ostashevo) in the Chukhloma District of Kostroma Oblast.

It is the main house of the Astashovo Estate once owned by a peasant Martyan Sazonov. After the abolition of serfdom, Martyan moved to work in St. Petersburg, where he specialized as a cabinetmaker. By 1897, he became rich and decided to return to his home village, then the construction of the house began. Astashovo Wooden Palace on Google Maps. Photos by: Roman Smirnov.

Astashovo Palace - One of the Best Wooden Houses in Russia, photo 1

beautiful wooden house

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Sep/19

14

Gunib – a Village Close to the Sky

Gunib, a village of about 2,600 people located 150 km southwest of Makhachkala, is one of the most picturesque places in the Republic of Dagestan. It stands on the plateau of the same name at an altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level.

The village arose in connection with the construction of the Russian military fortification in 1862. The fortification was named after the former village of Gunib, which was located on the top of the plateau and was destroyed in 1859. Gunib on Google Maps. Photos by: Slava Stepanov.

Gunib, Dagestan, Russia, photo 1

fly over Gunib

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The cultural capital of Russia has so much to offer that more than 8 million people visited the city in 2017, and the numbers are growing. Some choose St. Petersburg as the first stop of their Russian holiday and only have time to visit the most iconic buildings and monuments of St. Petersburg, others decide to dedicate some time to explore the less-touristy spots in the city.

To encourage and facilitate international tourism, the Russian government has even launched a new electronic visa system that will allow foreign travelers to apply for an eVisa for St. Petersburg entirely online before leaving for Russia. There has really never been a better time to visit St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg, Russia

short guide to the second capital of Russia

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Sofia Falls are waterfalls of glacial origin flowing from the Sofia Glacier of Mount Sofia (3,637 meters) – one of the main natural attractions of the Arkhyz ski resort located in the southern part of the Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia in the Western Caucasus.

These picturesque waterfalls are located about 15 km south of the village of Arkhyz. Sofia Falls become the most full-flowing at the height of summer (July, August), when the glacier is actively melting. The following photos were taken in late July by Fedor Lashkov. Sofia Falls on Google Maps.

Sofia Falls, Karachay-Cherkessia, Russia, photo 1

fly over Sofia Falls

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A lot of people know about the picturesque remnant cliffs on the Manpupuner Plateau in the Northern Urals in the Republic of Komi.

However, in Russia, there is a number of similar places and one of them is the mountain range of the Ulakhan-Sis – a geological complex located in the polar part of Yakutia between the Indigirka and Alazeya rivers. The Ulakhan-Sis on Google Maps. Photos by: Sergei Karpukhin.

The cliffs of the Ulakhan-Sis Range, Yakutia, Russia, photo 1

unique monument of nature

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Nerekhta is a small provincial town with a population of about 21 thousand people located in Kostroma Oblast, about 47 km southwest of Kostroma and 71 km southeast of Yaroslavl.

First mentioned in 1214, this old town is included in the famous tourist route known as the Golden Ring of Russia. However, due to the fact that the M-8 federal highway passes away from it, tourists rarely come here (especially organized tourist groups). Nerekhta on Google Maps. Photos by: Eduard Skvortsov.

Nerekhta, Kostroma Oblast, Russia, photo 1

walk around Nerekhta

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