Home to the islands of Barentsoya and Edgeoya
Information about Svalbard- SE
The southeastern part of the Svalbard archipelago is "warmed" by the gulf stream. Although this doesn't make much difference to the air temperature, it does mean that the area is free of sea ice for much of the season. This region is made up of the south-east coast of Spitsbergen and the islands of Barentsøya ("Barents Island") and Edgeøya ("Edge Island").
A key highlight of this part of the Spitsbergen coast is the astonishing Negribreen Glacier. This has the longest glacial front of any other on Svalbard with over 10 miles (16km) of ice meeting the sea. It's a stunning sight from the water.
Barentsøya and Edgeøya form part of the Søraust-Svalbard Nature Reserve. Popular with polar bears, innumerable bird species, and grazing reindeer, these islands provide some of the wildlife highlights of your visit to Svalbard. Although now uninhabited, the islands have some fascinating sites of human history, including the remains of huts used by Norwegian polar bear hunters, and sites used by some of the ancient peoples who made visits here.
The SW side of Edgeøya has some very good tundra with numerous pools and lakes that attracts various birds.
Interesting facts about Svalbard- SE
Freemansundet between Barentsøya and Edgeøya is the preferred route to Hinlopenstretet, although the eastern end is usually blocked off by ice in the early season. Whatever the conditions, Freemansundet is a great place to look out for bears from the high vantage of the ship. Bears often rest on the tundra on either shore, and it an area where whale and seal carcasses can drift ashore, attracting bears.