DAY 1 EMBARKATION: TROMSO
The start of my journey to the Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard. Embarkation day.
DAY 4 MORNING: BURGERBUKTA
Burgerbukta in Hornsund is famous for being one of the most beautiful fjords in Svalbard and I was lucky to see close up two if its eight glaciers. An amazing first landing site!
DAY 4 AFTERNOON: SAMARINVAGON
Located just opposite of Burgerbukta is Samarin glacier. We were supposed to go on land and inspect this glacier, but the polar bear sighting made this impossible. Always safety first! Still, we saw the glacier from the ship easily and the polar bear was of course most welcome.
DAY 5 LONGYEARBYEN
Longyearbyen is kind of like the capital of Svalbard and has all the local amenities that you need. It was founded in 1906 as a coal mining city, but nowadays tourism and scientific research are the main point of focus and economic growth. Still, the city has one active coal mine left that powers the local generator.
DAY 6 MORNING: PYRAMIDEN
You can step back in time by visiting this former Russian settlement Pyramiden. Here the focus was also on mining, but the village was abandoned when it was no longer profitable. 20 years later it was rediscovered and now offers guided tours around the village. Very interesting.
DAY 6 AFTERNOON: BRUCEBYEN
Instead of partaking in a landing, I had the pleasure of kayaking around the site. The water was crystal clear, the air clean and the weather absolutely fantastic for a kayak tour. You get a different perspective from a kayak and feel so close to nature and you feel a sense of freedom and contentment. No previous experience is required.
DAY 7 MORNING: NY – ALESUND
Ny-Alesund is nowadays a famous research town and the northernmost town or functional civilian settlement in the world. Around 30 people are permanently based there, but in the summer months the population can reach around 120. Many famous polar explorations were launched from Ny-Alesund with the North Pole as the destination.
DAY 7 AFTERNOON: MAGDALENEFJORDEN
Svalbard is famous for its mining history, but also for whaling back in the days. Here at Gravneset in Magdalenefjorden the graves of former whalers are situated as well as the remains of burned blubber ovens that were used to melt the blubber/fat of the whales and turn it into oil. Also, the beach is excellent for a polar plunge!
DAY 8 MORNING: MONACOBREEN
Some ice cruising in the morning. One of the highlights during my cruise as you can get close to the icebergs and the glacier.
DAY 8 AFTERNOON: MUSHAMNA
There is a hunting cabin that is still in use and a rack for hanging seals and reindeer carcasses so they are out of reach from polar bears. It can be rented out from the Governor of Svalbard.
DAY 8 EVENING: MOFFEN
A small island on the northern tip of Spitsbergen and known for the Walruses that use the island as a haul-out area.
The trip was two weeks long, so part two will follow 🙂
Svalbard is one of the most amazing places I have ever visited. I saw and learned so much during this expedition cruise as the team, but also the guests, were very knowledgeable and really eager to share with you what they know. This trip has been so enriching and I highly recommend it to everyone. If you can, go and visit Svalbard!
PS: On this note I would like to mention that I am currently employed by Hurtigruten. However, all the pictures and views are my own. I went there as part of a FAM trip, but I experienced everything as a tourist / guest. With the exception of doing a few emails from time to time. 🙂