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Vladivostok, Russia - Sapphire Princess Cruise  - Our Cruise Review

More of our cruise lines review of the Sapphire Princess visiting the port of Vladivostok Russia.

Lying along the shores of Golden Horn Bay on the Pacific, Vladivostok, one of our cruise review port destinations, stands at the center of Russia's Primorsky Territory.

Established in 1860 as an important strategic base, it grew into a fair-sized city within 20 years.

A vital naval base for Russia during the Russo-Japanese War, Vladivostok is today the main base of the Pacific Fleet of the Commonwealth of Independent States.  It also features a large merchant harbor and is the center for whaling and fishing fleets.

Vladivostok is perhaps best known as the Pacific end of the 5,778-mile-long Trans-Siberian Railway, affectionately known in Russia as the "Great Siberian."  Built between 1880 and 1900, the longest continuous railway track in the world was, in its early years, a vital link for many Western travelers, especially diplomats, who used it to reach the capitals of China and Japan.

The city's Railway Square is the final Eastern destination of the Railway.

The cornerstone for this magnificent structure, built in 17th-centruy Russian architectural style, was laid by Russia's last Czar, Nicholas II.

Closed to the outside world, and to most Russians,  during most of the Soviet period, the Primorsky Territory and Vladivostok were once again opened to tourists in July 1992. Prior to that, you had to be a submariner or a family member of one to visit or to live in Vladivostok.. or you had to have permission that would take many months to obtain.

To get a feel for the city, stroll to the Central Square of Vladivostok, where you'll find city dwellers gathering throughout the day. Built to commemorate the city's 100th-anniversary, it is a popular meeting ground and the site of the House of Administration of the Primorsky Territory.

Our tour took us to the 7th Fort, one of 16 fortresses guarding the city.  They are all underground and quite extensive.  The one we went to had the distinction of being the only one with a Kitchen and an Indoor bathroom.  It was built between 1910 and 1916 and was the last military project of Czar Nicholas.  It should have taken 8 years to build, but time was running out so the work was stepped up.  It is supposedly able to withstand a Nuclear attack because the walls are so thick.

From there we were taken to a Shopping Mall and we toured the Fortress Museum and the Border Guards Museum.  Our batteries gave out after the shopping mall so we don't have pictures of the museums .. but they were military museums and actually nothing really special about them.

From tour bus .."market on the dock" market on the dock Pictures of market on the dock
From tour bus .."market on the dock" More market on the dock. More Market on the dock
Photographs of market on the dock Pictures of streets of Vladivostok Russia Pictures of streets of Vladivostok Russia
There was lots of this From the bus .. Vladivostok From the bus Vladivostok
Photos of streets of Vladivostok Russia
From the bus The Submarine Memorial The Submarine Memorial
Photographs of streets of Vladivostok Russia A street in Vladivostok Russia
The Submarine Memorial. 1941 - 1945 .. The Submarine Memorial A street in Vladivostok
Pictue of A street in Vladivostok Photograph of A street in Vladivostok A building in Vladivostok
Street scene Vladivostok More from the Bus in Vladivostok A building in Vladivostok
scenes from the bus scenes from the bus in Vladivostok Vladivostok
More scenes from the bus More from the bus More of Vladivostok
Picture Vladivostok Photograph Vladivostok
Vladivostok Vladivostok Vladivostok
Image of Vladivostok Image of Vladivostok Russia Vladivostok -  a picture
Apartments Vladivostok Vladivostok Vladivostok
Vladivostok a photograph Vladivostok Russia Street scene in Vladivostok
Street Scene Vladivostok Vladivostok Vladivostok
Vladivostok Vladivostok Vladivostok
Picture of road in Vladivostok gorgeous foliage in Vladivostok
The roads were getting interesting The roads were not too good. The foliage was gorgeous.
Mansions in Vladivostok .. capitalism must be working More of the same sub-division More Mansions being built .. they had quite a view
Picture of  7th Fort in Vladivostok Russia Boy scout troops were there that day. The view from the fort.
Fort #7 ... Looks kind of small. Boy scout troops were there that day. The view from the fort.
Pictures of radar dishes - Vladivostok
More of the view. Those are radar dishes that were to detect Nuclear treats .. Especially American .  but hey they are on the North Korean Border. The tour groups.
Pictures of the inside of the fort. Pictures of the tunnels in the fort
Inside the fort. Ahh .. it looked small .. but it was all underground!!!! These are the barracks.
barracks housed 300 soldiers Picture of Czar Nicholas's last military project
The barracks that housed 300 soldiers. The fort was quite a feat when it was built between 1910 and 1916 .. Czar Nicholas's last military project. The walls are thick enough to withstand a nuclear strike .. of course that has never been tested.
Pictures of the tour through the fort Photos of one of the exits of the Fort. Picture of one of the guns of the fort.
Our guides , she narrated in Russian and he translated in English. One of the exits of the fort. One of the guns that remain.
Gun turret - Vladivostok Russia - Fort #7
The gun again. The view from this side of the fort .. it is on a hilltop. More of the view .. the colors were spectacular.
russian flag flying over the fort
The fort. A massive slab of concrete .. we didn't quite understand the logic here. The Russian flag over the fort.
These troops were very young and having a ball with their "War Games". And we got a diploma for our visit. The scenery on the way down the hill.
It was fall and the colors were wonderful. beautiful scenery Pictures of beautiful scenery
It was fall and the colors were wonderful. More of the scenery. The road was getting worse.
Photographs of the beautiful fall scenery in Vladivostok Picture of large home in the countryside
The foliage. Another of the Mansions. This one had a wonderful view.
Photo of street scene in Vladivostok
And of course .. narrow road .. here comes a bus. More scenery. Back on Paved streets.
Picture of A Department store in Vladivostok.
Modern roadways in some places. More of Vladivostok. A Department store in Vladivostok.
The bathrooms were unify-sex and there was quite a line.
You felt like it was Rodeo drive with all the designer stores .. Not what we expected. The bathrooms were unify-sex and there was quite a line. Modern facilities.
More of the Russian bathroom. And the sink. Outside the Department stores.
pictures of gold domes
Getting back on the bus. The surrounding area. We couldn't find out what these gold domes were.
Lots of buildings were painted like this. The convention center. A transit mall.
Pictures of the harbor in Vladivostok pictures of Warships in Vladivostok Russia Vladivostok is still the home of the Russian Pacific Fleet.
The harbor from the deck. Warships at dock very close to the boat. Vladivostok is still the home of the Russian Pacific Fleet.
Vladivostok Vladivostok Russia  the port area
Until 1992 you could only visit Vladivostok if you were a submariner or the family of one. Lots of military was around. More of the harbor.
Quite a large harbor. More of the harbor. The harbor.
The Harbor in a different direction. More from the dock. Time to get Daisy to make me a martini!!!
Picture of crowd seeing us off in Vladivostok Russia  
When it was time to sail .. we had lots of company seeing us off. The crowd was really getting big by the time we sailed from Vladivostok.