Svalbard also known as Spitsbergen, is a group of islands between the Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, Greenland Sea, and the Norwegian Sea. The islands are directly north of and administered by Norway.
Besides the Norwegians, the islands also have a Russian settlement, Barentsburg. The Svalbard Islands are located halfway between Norway and The North Pole and offer untouched, arctic wilderness with vast mountain areas and magnificent glaciers.
Some of the largest concentrations of birds in the North Atlantic region can be found at Svalbard. Other animals are the Svalbard Reindeer, the Arctic Fox and a species of mouse, a sibling vole. Polar bears can be encounter wherever you are on Svalbard.
Things to see and do
* Mine tours
* Dog-team sledging, snowmobiles and skiing
* Svalbard Museum
* Gallery Svalbard
* Polar bears
Cruise Season – May - Oct
Currency – Norwegian krone
Language – Norwegian
Land Area – 61,002 sq km’s
Population – 3,500
Electricity – 2 round pins European style
Time – GMT plus one hour
International Country Telephone Code – + 47
Port Location – The Longyearbyen port is located between the airport, and the city centre. Cross Bay (Krossfjorden) and Magdalenefjorden are two tourist destinations of cruising boats in Svalbard. Ny-Ålesund is the northern most settlement and has a new dock area.
Transport Links - Longyearbyen has the largest airport on the islands. SAS flies scheduled flights from Oslo (3 hours) and Tromsø and there are occasional charters from Murmansk or Moscow. In the summer there is a boat service from Tromsø once a week. The journey takes 2-3 days and prices are generally at least as steep as flights. Occasional boats also operate from Murmansk to Barentsburg.
There are no roads on Svalbard. Travel between islands and settlements can be done by plane or helicopter any time of year. Boats can be used in summer, and snowmobiles are a popular option in winter.