Boat cruise at the Lena River to the Lena Pillars Nature Park (36 hours)

Lena Pillars Nature Park (the World Heritage List) is marked by spectacular rock pillars that reach a height of approximately 180-200 m along the banks of the Lena River in the central part of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). They were produced by the region’s extreme continental climate with an annual temperature range of almost 100 degrees Celsius (from –60 °C in winter to +40 °C in summer).

The cruise boat “Demjan Bedniy” will host the participants of NRB meeting for 36 hours. During the cruise we will have one short scientific session, the excursions to the National park and swim in the Lena River. The trip will start at 19 pm and finishes at 8 am day after. Meals will be provided onboard.

There are two luxury double bed suites (530€ for the cabin), 17 double bed junior suites (330€ for the cabin), 6 single cabins with additional berth (160€ for one person, 260€ for two persons). Three double bed junior suites have additional (reclining) berth. There are also 24 triple cabins (300€ for two persons, 380€ for three persons) and 22 quadruple cabins (480€ for four persons). Triple and quadruple cabins have two separate couches and reclining berths. Each cabin has a toilet and shower.

The booking will be made through Organizing Committee on first-served basis.

Further details about the cruise are here. Further details about the Lena Pillars Nature Park are here.

Underground laboratory of Melnikov Permafrost Institute

The underground laboratory, a 30-m-long tunnels at 5 and 12 m depth beneath the Institute’s building, was constructed in 1967 to study perennially frozen materials under natural conditions. Air temperature in the tunnel is -4…-5 °C all year round. This facility provides an area for testing and experimentation of various kinds in its natural-cold chambers for the Institute’s staff, as well as for investigators from other research institutes and organizations. The chambers of the underground laboratory are often used for temporary storage of objects that require constant subfreezing temperatures to prevent decay. One stored, for example, the carcass of a mammoth calf found in the summer of 1977 in the Upper Kolyma. A plaster cast of this baby mammoth named «Dima» is now on display in the upper gallery of the tunnel. Another famous finding, an extremely well-preserved head of the «Yukaghir» mammoth discovered in Yakutia in 2003, was placed here for a short while.

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Yakutsk city tour

You will see Old City with authentic wooden houses, yakut national dwellings, modern quarter and spectacular city view from the natural view point on the Lena River terrace. The special attention will be paid to construction and engineering in the permafrost environment. Specialist from the permafrost engineering field will show different approaches for the stable and safe constructions that are used in Yakutsk and other cities in the North.

Yakutsk was founded by Pyotr Beketov in 1632 on the right bank of the Lena River (the tenth longest river in the world). As one of the most important Russian outposts in eastern Siberia, Yakutsk became the economic and administrative center of the region—a base for probes (and later scientific expeditions) into the Far East and the extreme North. In 1822, Yakutsk was officially designated a city, and in 1851 became the official administrative capital of the Autonomous Republic of Yakutia. Today Yakutsk is a major administrative, industrial, cultural, and research center—standing out as one of the most dynamic and fast-developing cities in the Russian Far East.

Mammoth museum

 75% of the world’s known mammoth graves and other representatives of the mammoth fauna with preserved soft tissues were found in Yakutia. Unique paleontological materials of mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, bison, etc are kept and shown in the Mammoth museum. The establishment of the World Mammoth Museum in 1991 as a scientific and cultural center for the study of the mammoth fauna and its habitat and the promotion of scientific knowledge was initiated by the first Yakut paleontologist Petr Alekseyevich Lazarev.

Treasury of the Sakha Republic

Yakutia is 95% of Russian diamond and 15% of gold production. Gold, diamonds, platinum, precious stones, mammoth tusks, gold nuggets, amazing jewelry are shown in the Treasury. The exhibition presents not only gemstone samples, but also artworks of masters jewelers made in different techniques: sampling method, carving, inlay and mosaic. The exhibition shows a unique paleontological and geological evidence of ammonites, rock crystal, various jewelry and natural gems.

One-day field trip to groundwater research site and icings (10 hours)

You will see groundwater springs, seasonal and perennial icings and associated geomorphic forms – suffusion depressions in the beautiful pine forests of the Lena river terraces.

Supra-permafrost and intra-permafrost groundwater are abundant in continuous permafrost environments in the middle part of the Lena River basin, near Yakutsk. Groundwater springs flow all year round and during the winter form icings with thickness 2-4 m. Icings melt throughout the summer.

Underground water flow carries large amounts of sand. Water-retaining suffusion depressions occur on the surface. The Melnikov Permafrost Institute has monitored springs regime, icings dynamics, and development of suffusion depressions and associated natural phenomena beginning from 1960s.