|Spitsbergen Cruise Map|
The first leg of their journey will take them to Kongsfjorden, the largest fjord on the northwest coast of Spitsbergen. The landscape varies from large tundra plains to alpine peaks with dramatic glaciers breaking into the ocean. Two glaciers, Kronebreen and Kongsvegen, are at the head of the fjord. At 78º 55’N, Ny Ålesund is the world’s northernmost permanently inhabited community, where a number of countries run their own national research stations. Activity here swells from around 30-35 permanent resident researchers to around 180 in the summer months. To take a peek at what daily life is like in this remote research settlement, click here.
The next destination will be the Magdalenefjord, which is home to a very important piece of cultural heritage; a whaling station from the 16th century, including a graveyard of whalers who died during the first oil “gold rush”. This area is also part of the North West Spitsbergen National Park, which is filled with mountain peaks, glaciers and offshore islands. The park is also home to seabirds, reindeer, arctic fox, polar bears and walrus.
What's on deck for the rest of the weekend? Stay tuned to find out!