Dikson – An Arctic Outpost

DIKSON. With a warming climate and less sea ice in the north, the Northern Sea Route [also called North East Passage] is becoming a real transport alternative between Europe and Asia. Until now, sailing through the Suez Canal has been the only maritime option, but this is changing.

Barents Culture has visited one of the main ports along The Northern Sea Route – Dikson. The settlement is Russia’s northernmost port and is named after Swedish-Finnish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld’s sponsor, Oscar Dickson. Dickson financed Nordensköld’s expedition 1878-1880, when the ship Vega became the first vessel to travel along the whole Northern Sea Route.

dikson port

Arriving in Dikson in August. The settlement is situated both on an island and the mainland. The airport is on the island and the centre on the mainland. Photo Kenneth Mikko

Today, Dikson is a place in strong decline, almost a ghost town. The population has been reduced from around 5,000 down to 600. But the residents are proud of their polar city, that has experienced so many arctic expeditions and dramatic events over the years. For the future there is hope that the Northern Sea Route will be busy again, and that the mineral and coal deposits nearby will be extracted.




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