Last week, Kirkenes held an international meeting to discuss establishment of cruise and ferry connection between Norway and Russia. The meeting was attended by Sør-Varanger municipality, business stakeholders - Radius Kirkenes, AECO, Rambol, and representatives of tourism industry. The idea of the "sea link" is based on the development of the Murmansk port. The port needs much to work ot be done before the cruising starts: dredging and shore protection operations, lengthening of the main pier, reconstruction and extension of the sea terminal building, establishment of the checkpoint.The cruise tourism is described as a promising direction in the Murmansk regional Strategy for Socio-Economic Development valid till 2025. The decision is taken to include the development of cruise tourism between two countries into Kolarctic ENPI CBC, one of the financing instruments of the European Union implemented on the external borders of the EU.
In 2010, the Murmansk region took its first effort to apply for funding within the Korarctic programme; 9 Murmansk- related projects were approved. Preliminary, Alakurtti technopark is also on the project funding list.