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Enjoy the Polar Summer

Enjoy the Polar Summer

8 boat trips you don't want to miss!

8 popular boat trips

The Polar Summer in Svalbard offers the Midnight Sun, unique animal life, colourful flora and nature-based experiences that will take most people’s breath away. If you wish to experience as much of this as possible, we recommend going on a boat trip!

Here are eight boat trips you won’t want to miss:

Pyramiden – an abandoned Russian mining community nestled innermost in the Billefjord


On this popular day trip, you can experience beautiful fjord landscapes, the spectacular Nordenskiöld glacier and a guided tour of the surreal ghost town of Pyramiden. During its heyday in the 1980s, more than 1,000 people lived in the Pyramiden. The current population is eight. It’s one of the world’s most fascinating ghost towns, writes National Geographic, not without reason! If you want to experience the forces of nature, we recommend travelling there a tour by rigid inflatable boat (RIB). If you would prefer more comfort, you can book a trip on one of the enclosed boats. There are several options.

Walrus safari to Poolepynten
 

If you have dreamt of greeting one of the world’s most fascinating animals, the walrus, you should go on a walrus safari. While enjoying the panoramic view from the comfortable boats, you can see and smell the walruses while they roll on the beach at Prins Karls Forland. It’s often possible to experience other animals such as whales and polar bears on these trips.Larissa Beumer

The spectacular glacier fronts in the Isfjord
 

Several of the boat trips include a stop at one of the spectacular glacier fronts in the Isfjord. There are many glaciers to choose between, and they never cease to impress. Several of the tours include a meal served overlooking the old ice. There is often a rich animal life near the glacier fronts, and you can often see seals and birds. If you are very lucky, you will even experience the King of the Arctic, the polar bear.

Barentsburg: A Russian mining community in the beautiful Grønfjord
 

Barentsburg is still a vibrant mining community owned and operated by the Russian state-owned mining company Trust Arcticugol. With a population of 450, Barentsburg is Svalbard’s second largest settlement. Going on a boat trip to Barentsburg enables you to experience the magnificent scenery along the coast of the Isfjorden and go on a guided tour of the Russian settlement. Barentsburg has its own coal-fired power station, hospital, hotel, school, kindergarten and cultural and sports facilities, as well as the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Consulate.

Ny-Ålesund: A long day trip to the world’s northernmost community
 

At latitude 79˚ N, Ny-Ålesund in Northwest Spitsbergen is the world’s northernmost settlement. This is a research station with researchers from more than 10 countries. The population numbers around 30-35 year-round but can increase up to 120 in the summer. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the legendary explorers Roald Amundsen and Umberto Nobile, who started their expeditions to the North Pole on the airships NORGE and ITALIA from here. This is a long and extremely weather-dependent day trip but is definitely worth the effort!
Jarle Røssland

Isfjord Radio: Boutique hotel and gourmet restaurant at the end of the world
 

About 100 km out at the mouth of the fjord, in the middle of the icescape, you will discover the fascinating Isfjord Radio. Formerly an important radio station, it’s now a fancy little boutique hotel with a restaurant serving delicious local produce. The trip out there is a memorable experience in itself. Travelling by open rigid inflatable boat (RIB) provides a close-up encounter with the elements. You will want to return here – time and time again.

The bird cliffs
 

After a long winter, a virtual miracle of nature occurs in Svalbard. With the arrival of summer, the archipelago is invaded by birds which migrate here in vast numbers to nest. The waters surrounding the archipelago are very nutritious and offer a plentiful supply of food. There are several lively bird cliffs in the Isfjord that may be visited by enclosed or open boats. We can promise you that the “bird hopping” when the Brünnich’s guillemot chicks are ready to leave the nest, and the predators are waiting for food, is a unique experience.

Multi-day expeditions by boat and photo expeditions


If you are very adventurous and want to see as much of Svalbard as possible, we recommend signing up for a multi-day boat trip. If you are a photo enthusiast, we highly recommend heading north on a photo cruise. There are several options to choose between – in larger as well as smaller boats. Organised trips on comfortable boats enable you to explore unspoilt areas with no one else in sight. You will often get close-up experiences with animal life, too. Clearly experiences for the history book!Hurtigruten Svalbard/Agurtxane Concellon

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