In the scientific village of Ny Alesund, Arctic terns nest by the main street. It was from here that Amundsen and Nobile started their heroic expeditions to the North Pole. On the islands of Danskoya, Amsterdamoya and Ytre Norskoya find remnants from the bustling activity during the 17th century whaling period. Two of the most courageous attempts to reach the North Pole started on Danskøya. Swedish balloonist Andree made an attempt with hydrogen balloon and American journalist Wellman started out with airship. The site is still littered with interesting remnants from these expeditions.
Svalbard offers the visitor countless spectacular fjords. During your journey explore a few of them such as: Liefdefjorden, meaning “the fjord of love”, is lined with snow-covered mountain peaks and at its base hope to cruise along the face of the spectacular Monaco Glacier. Many common eiders and pinkfooted geese nest in the area and if lucky we see the rare king eider. In Krossfjorden delight in the beautifully sculptured front of the 14th of July Glacier to the raucous greeting of the large numbers of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nesting on the nearby cliffs. Raudfjorden is an area of immense natural beauty – dominated by beautiful glaciers, it is also a favorite spot for seals and the bird cliffs are bursting with life.
The island of Nordaustlandet is covered by an enormous ice cap and fascinates naturalists as well as historians. There are huge glacier fronts here, intersected by hundreds of melt-waterfalls. Even further east is Kvitøya (White Island). In very favorable ice and weather conditions, you may land on this ice-capped island where few people have set foot. Here Andrée and his men were found 33 years after their unsuccessful attempt to reach the North Pole with a hydrogen balloon. Barentsøya and Edgeøya offer magnificent landscapes and vast tundra. Chances are good to encounter walrus, Arctic fox and Svalbard reindeer here.
Hinlopen and Alkefjellet
If the ice allows enter Hinlopen Strait. Here is Alkefjellet (Auk Mountain), a sheer, basaltic cliff, which is the home to some 200,000 Brünnich`s guillemots. Continue into the beautiful bay of Palanderbukta in Nordaustlandet.
The grand fjords of Hornsund offer spectacular glaciers and a breathtaking landscape of towering mountain peaks. This is a favorite haunt for some of Svalbard's polar bears.
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