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Take a Cruise Along Russia’s Lena River

Nature loving visitors to Russia may want to consider taking a cruise along the Lena River as it makes its way from its source in the Baikal Mountains, to empty into the Arctic Sea, with its entire watershed being located within Russia's boundaries. Winding its way through Russia's Yakutia-Sakha Republic, the Lena River is the ninth longest river in the world and the easternmost of Siberia's three large rivers, the other two being the Yenisei River and the Ob River. The Lena Delta Wildlife Reserve is one of the largest of its kind in the world and is Russia's largest protected nature conservation area. The delta's more than 1,500 islands are surrounded by a network of smaller channels, and in addition to providing habitats for a large variety of birds, such as geese, swans, loons, ducks, gulls and raptors, the reserve is also a vital fish spawning site.

As the Lena River continues on its course, estimated to be 4,400 km long, it is joined by a number of tributaries, the first being the Kirenga River, Vitim River and Olyokma River before reaching the city of Yakutsk. The river has played an important role in the economy of Yakutsk, the capital city of northreastern Siberia, since the mid-1600s. Supplies transported along the river included salt, grain and guns, and it was from Yakutsk that eastern Siberia and the Far East region of Russia was conquered and colonized. Yakutsk has a number of interesting sights for visitors to enjoy, including the Museum of Local Lore and History, the National Fine Arts Museum of Sakha, and the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. Other towns and cities along the Lena River include Ust-Kut, Kirensk, Lensk, Peleduy, Olekminsk and Tiksi.

The river can be navigated from around 150km down from its source right through to the Arctic Ocean, and today visitors to the area can enjoy cruising down the Lena River, stopping off at interesting spots along the way. Indigenous villages along the river banks provide fascinating insight into the lives and culture of the people who have lived there for generations, and have seen the river flowing strongly in the summer months, and coming to a frozen standstill when winter sets in.


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