The Russian Arctic National Park (Russian: Национальный парк "Русская Арктика") is a vast national park in Arkhangelsk Oblast in the far north of Russia. It was established in 2009 and expanded in 2016, now protecting over 74,000 km2 (29,000 sq mi), though most of it is water. The park is a haven for polar bears, bowhead whales, walruses, and seals.
The Russian government established the Franz Joseph Land Conservation Area on Franz Joseph Land in 1994. On June 25, 2009, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the decree establishing the Russian Arctic National Park. He then visited the archipelago in 2010, hoping to develop Arctic tourism. However, during Putin's visit, the Franz Joseph Archipelago was reported to be polluted with more than 100,000 tonnes of pollutants dating back to Soviet times and was described as a "giant rubbish tip" by Putin. Nevertheless, the Russian government did spend 1.5 billion руб (about €25 million) on a three-year cleanup that started in 2012.
Access to the park requires obtaining a special permit:
- Park administrative headquarters, Soviet Cosmonauts Avenue, 57, Arkhangelsk, ☏ +7 8182 65-38-58.
Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya are administered separately. Wikivoyage covers the two sections of the park in separate articles:
- The northern part of Severny Island in Novaya Zemlya
- All of Franz Josef Land, including the tiny Victoria Island that is not a part of the archipelago
In 2021, cruises to the park were operated by Quark Expeditions, Poseidon Expeditions, and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises leaving from Helsinki, Murmansk, Tromso, Longyearbyen (Svalbard), and Kirkenes (Norway).