4 days or one week cruise up to 80 degrees north and around spitsbergen.
a fantastic cruise where u are seeing some fantastic nature, you will see whales , seel, polarbears and other arctic animals.
its a bit expensive ,but its just fantastic...
at spitsbergen you have a russhian "town" aswell as norwegian, there are about 800 people living there working in the cole mine. they have a small fabric there where the womens work making clothes for the people that lives there.The thing thats a bit spesial about barentsburgs is that they live like we did 50 years ago, they don't have to much money , they are only there for 2 years a time, there are trips from longyearbyen to barentsbug every day, by snow mobil in the winter and cruises by summer. Its a nice thing to see.
The Svalbard Museum was located in an old building on the edge of Longyearbyen until the end of 2005. It was then moved to the Svalbard Science Center.
We visited the museum and its exhibitions on history, culture and wildlife in the old setting and I just loved the way it was set up! It did not look too professional, but rather like a fondly assembled collection of exhibits. Only drawback was that most of the explanations were merely in Norwegian, some of them in French and some in English, so at times it was hard to find out what we were looking at exactly....
I just hope that the new museum conveys the same pride and affection for Svalbard!
Entrance fee (2006): 50 NOK
it all depends on the season...
go to svalbard.net for all info on activities, expeditions, tour operators, news, ....
even if you go completely disorganized you can still join the several activities that are organized every day! like dog sledging, ice caving, mine exploring, ...
I went at the wrong time... not much to choose from! so I joined a snowmobile tour to Barentsburg, the russian settlement... SEE MY BARENTSBURG little PAGES!
(here we had to cross a little river of melted snow... one of us got stuck in it! what an adventure!)
well, without a gun you aren't allowed to do anything else! (unless you join a trip/activity...)
yes! the biggest polar bear colony of the world resides on these islands....
just remember that if you see one you SHOULD NOT approach it to take pictures (like some silly tourists did the week before I went... they had to shoot the bear because of them! grrr!)
On my first day Longyear i went to the icecaves. Just outside the town is Longyearbreen, a small glacier. Here you can safely, together with a guide, explore the tunels innside the glacier. In winter they are just tubes, in summer they are angry rivers of melted icewater. Therefore those tunnels are different for every season. When i was there, the tunel first went down to the ground itself. On the floor there was rocks with plantfossiles. Reminders of Svalbards tropical past. Here it was swampland. Above us it is ice. Rocks are embedded in the ice, and stonedust creates nice patterns on the walls. Soon the tunel goes through ice only, it is a marblewhite world who shines in the beam of our lights. There are stalagmites and stalakites, just as in an ordinary cave, but here they are made of ice. The place is no less than magic. Try to switch of all lights and hold your breath. Now you will experience a compact wall of darkness and silence. This glacier donýt move in winter, and therefore keeps quiet.
The tourist information is in the center of Longyearbyen and has excellent information on the town, but most of all on interesting excursions, walks and visits. The staff is very helpful in trying to assist you in finding your personal thing to do!
The tourist information is located in The Gateway to Svalbard (Svalbardporten).
Their opening hours are: Monday - Sunday 10 am - 5 pm
When ever you get the chance to visit Longyearbyen during the summer months, you will never miss this opportunity.
It is hard to ignor, because you will not be able to sleep at midnight when the sun is blasting in through your room windows.
Every visitor will just go for a beautiful walk in the near by wilderness.
All these photos of animals are taken after midnight.
Hey I did not use Flash guns. it was a great plus point for me because I did not carry a flash gun.
Natural light at Midnight.
I just had the most incredible times of my life.
Middle Photo Arctic Fox.
Bottom Photo Arctic Raindeer. with short legs to keep him warm during the heavy winter seasons.
If the weather are good enough, i definately will recommend a snowmobiletrip to Sassen bay, and Tempelfjorden. Or, if you have time enough with dogtransport. It is more peacefull, it gives you more time to bring your sole with you, and to soak up the sole of the land. In any case you travel through virgin wilderness before reaching Sassen. Here you have the opportunity to visit an old trapperstation. For 39 years this was the place of trapper Hilmar Nýis, called the king of Sassen Bay. He even got his wife up here, and his sons also lived and worked here for years. Therefore he ended up with the biggest trapperhouse on Svalbard, probably in the hole arctic. At this time of year you are pretty sure to se the fiordice off land littered with sunbasking seals. If you are very lucky you will even see the polarbear. We did. On the other side of the fiord there was one female togeter with two cobs. They were feeding on a seal. We was only allowed to watch from long distance. A strictly followed rule here is that when you have seen a polarbear, you donýt approach any more. It is for the safety of both bear and man alike. On the other hand, on many boat trips in the past, polarbears have almost entered the ship. The difference is that in those cases the bears are not chased. In the bottom of Tempelfjorden, there is a glacier. Go there. The green and blue colours of the ice are magnificent.
This was my personal highlight in Longyearbyen!
The church of Longyearbyen is open all day (and night), and even if nobody is there to welcome you, you still feel welcome! Of course you have to take off your shoes (see my local custom tip), but there are plenty of slippers there to choose from! You then go up the stairs and enter a room with chairs and tables and sofas - the perfect place to sit down and relax! And a little further there is the actual church with the altar, cross and icons/pictures to worship.
There is also a little shop and a cafè in the lounge, but that is worth another tip!!!
It was great to kayak across the Adventfjord. I love kayaking, and enjoyed the opportunity to kayak in very cold water using first class equipment. We got dry-suits, with good instructions on how to put them on, wool socks, rubber boots, life jackets, and gloves. Recommendation - wear a good amount under your dry-suit; they're not that warm. I had long-johns, socks and a t-shirt on, and that was not quite enough. Also, the boot sizes are men's sizes (European), so take off a size or two if you're a lady. Our Finnish guide with the unpronounceable name was very friendly, knowledgeable, practical and helpful. As is the habit of Svalbard guides, he took a rifle and signal gun for the unlikely appearance of polar bears. Our kayaks were pretty stable, and with a good splash skirt not too much water came in, despite the small (50 cm) waves. I even managed to take pics while paddling!
We had a lovely lunch on the other side of the fjord. It was high quality "expedition food", once again excellently explained and presented by the guide. I had the goulash - highly recommended, with real chunks of beef! We also had tea, coffee and biscuits. If you're considering taking a longer kayak tour, I would highly recommend this as an introduction. After lunch we had a guided exploration of the mining remains, which were also interesting.
The total trip was about 8 km, so not recommended for the totally unfit. However, the kayaks were stable, and there was no capsizing (didn't even come close). The water was quite shallow in places (0.5 m) and so even if we had capsized the worst would have been the sudden thermal shock.
Finally, we put the kayaks away, and rinsed the equipment. Highly recommended!
If you are interested in mininghistory you can join a tour to Gruve tre- mine number three. It is now closed down, but the guide, at least my guide, worked here. He know everything about the mining, and will tell you lot of stories from the miners world. Ranging from the salary system to stories about how they made more or less brutal jokes. It is fun to listen. Sadly it is the no photo rule in there. They are afraid of electrical sparks who , in a worst case cenario, could ignate a coaldust explotion. Postcards are your option. The former miner told us that in a coaldustexplotion in another mine a long time ago (i think it was number one), the tunel had acted as a big canon. All sorts of stuff were spread out in the valley below. Including a minehorse with its wagon. It was barely sossageworthy after the brutal landing. In the mine you will also see the counturs of a pre4historic river curving in the wall. Just like the plants who became coal it was burried.
One day i attended a snowmobiletrip to Barentsburg, a russian mining community. The trip go through silent arctic wilderness, before you at last enter Barentsburg. Groups are provided a guide here who will show you the place, along the way she will point out the only cattlefarm in the arctic. The russians have a stock of cattle providing fresh milk and meat all year round. A meal in the local cafeý is also a part of the visit. The people here are friendly to visitors. Sadly you canýt visit the operating mines here, but according to the guy from mine three, the mines in Barentsburg are operated pretty mutch the same way, making a visit to ýnumber threeý even more interesting. In the norwegian mines, modern times has moved in. Around easter there are buildt several elaborate snowfigures aroundthe town, a funny tradition brouht here from Russia.
We went to Longyearbyen, Svalbard, with 2 friends. They took the huskie-pulling-wagon tour with Svalbard Villmarkssenter, and had a terrific time, with tea and cake in an old, historic cabin. They were also offered "warm suits", which they foolishly refused and froze. We took the tour with Svalbard Huskies, and weren't as impressed by the organisation, tour commentary or tea. And although we got to sit on reindeer skins, there was no warm suit on offer. So, for the same price, my recommendation is the former.
Still, the dogs really enjoy their run, although they get very hot in temperatures above 5oC and need to stop for lots of water. They're not vicious, like one expects huskies to be, and we helped "saddle" them for the ride too.
This is a nice relaxing trip, although it can be slightly bumpy. Not recommended for anyone with serious back problems.