In this expedition, you will discover the wonders of Spitsbergen, the largest and only permanently populated island of the Svalbard archipelago. You will admire remarkable landscapes as well as dramatic glaciers and icebergs along the way. The wildlife is abundant in the region and the majestic polar bear can be spotted as well as reindeer, the adorable puffin and impressive whales.
Day 1: Longyearbyen - Coal mining history & Arctic nature
Day 2: Longyearbyen and Barentsburg - two very different settlements
Day 3: North West of Spitsbergen – A great spot to see Polar bears
Day 4: Krossfjord, Kongsfjord and Ny-Ålesund – Remarkable fjords & polar research station
Day 5: Isfjorden and Longyearbyen – Sailing into Isfjorden
Day 6: Longyearbyen – End of the expedition
Longyearbyen is the largest settlement and the administrative centre of Svalbard. The adventure starts here. This unique little town is a surprisingly cosmopolitan place with art galleries, museums, a wide range of restaurants and a mini-mall. Longyearbyen is unquestionably a prime destination for adventure travellers.
Historically, the island was the first used as a whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries, after being replaced by coal mining at the end of the 19th century. Those barracks remember the mining period on Svalbard. They have been renovated and you can choose to stay overnight. The “Coal Miners Cabins” are not far from the town centre and offer a high standard of accommodation and comfort to the guests. You can easily walk and appreciate the beautiful surroundings. The town also has its hotels such as the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, should you want to stay in the heart of Longyearbyen.
The next day will be an opportunity for you to benefit from a guided sightseeing tour in Svalbard Museum and Gallery Svalbard. The museum is genuinely worth a visit as it provides relevant knowledge and understanding of the relations between nature and humankind in the Arctic. This will come handy during your expedition!
It is now time to embark on board the MS Nordstjernen. We will sail south until we reach Barentsburg. It is a small mining settlement of 500 inhabitants, comprised almost entirely Russians and Ukrainians. Travellers are fascinated by the place as it has captivating history, Russian culture and Soviet-era architecture. In fact, you can observe a Heroic Soviet-style mural on the community centre building. Spend time to explore the town and absorb the Russian atmosphere in the local pub.
The expedition brings us to the Northwest part of Spitsbergen. The area is surrounded by multiple islands where you can contemplate remarkable fjords and stunning beaches. The region has a long history of exploration. There is a whaling station established in the 16th century in Magdalenefjord.
We will land in the morning and explore the sublime Arctic wilderness and picturesque scenery. You may spot the majestic polar bear in the area as well as minke whale and bearded seal.
Ny-Ålesund is a research town in the Northwest of Spitsbergen. It is situated in the Brøgger Peninsula and on the shore of the bay of Kongsfjorden. As it is an open fjord, the area is influenced by warmer water coming from the Atlantic Ocean and cooler water from the Arctic. There is an abundance of wildlife in these parts and it is likely you will observe whales as well as bearded seals or walruses. The birdlife is also plentiful. In fact, there are nine species of seabirds and the main species that you will see in the area are the common eider and the black-legged kittiwake. The area is breath-taking with its stunning glaciers, dramatic icebergs and picturesque mountains. Kroosfjorden is also a popular detour for the scenic beauty of Lillehöökbreen. This grand tidewater glacier is one of the largest glaciers in Northwest Spitsbergen and you will be awe-struck by the sheer scale of it.
We will sail back towards Longyearbyen and enter Isfjorden, the second longest fjord in the Norwegian archipelago. As we traverse the fjord, you can observe remarkable mountains along the way. The most noticeable one is Alkhornet, standing 428 metres tall. The tundra is a green meadow and you could spot cliff dwelling birds, that provide dramatic background music to these stunning landscapes.
You will disembark the ship and have the rest of the day to wander in Longyearbyen and its surroundings. In the evening a farewell dinner will be given to the travellers.
An early morning transfer bus will take you to the airport for your flight. You will take home unforgettable memories from this adventurous expedition.
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