Some of the world's best whale watching
Information about Svalbard- NW
A trip along the northwestern coast of Svalbard is always worth with the wildlife, the scenery, and the history. As far back as the 1600s his part of Svalbard was a huge center for whaling, including "Blubber Town" - with the main target being the oil-rich bowhead whale, the Arctic's only full-time resident baleen whale species.
The "town" of New Ålesund is on the shore of King's Bay ("Kongsfjorden") and well worth a visit. With a summer population of 120 and a hardy winter population of about 35, this is the most northerly permanent civilian settlement in the world. Originally the coal mining town of King's Bay, it played a key role in the history of arctic exploitation and exploration, especially flight.
Today it is at the center of Arctic and atmospheric research, and is one of the most northerly communities in the World. Don't miss the chance to send a postcard from the world's most northerly Post Office.
Interesting facts about Svalbard- NW
Our expert says: "Most people aren't aware that this part of Svalbard was home to the world's first 'oil boom'. But it didn't involve drilling, rather the hunting in huge numbers of bowhead whales for their whale oil. Huge numbers used to be found off the coast here, and together with Spitsbergen's role in the golden years of arctic exploration, human history here is as rich as the natural history."
Barents also decided on the name Spitsbergen "land of the pointed peaks", after first seeing the NW coast.