Disembark in Longyearbyen
The biggest settlement in Svalbard
Information about Disembark in Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen is the biggest settlement in Svalbard. Seat of the Norwegian administration, it also has the best services and infrastructure in the archipelago. Located deep in the Adventfjord, a sidearm of the Isfjorden (Icefjord), Longyearbyen’s airport can be used all-year round, but its harbor is blocked by ice in winter.
Most shops, hotels, restaurants and a hospital are within easy walking distance of the port. One of the most prominent buildings in town is the UNIS center, where several Norwegian universities have joined forces to operate and offer the northernmost higher education to both Norwegian and international students. Adjacent to UNIS, and well worth a visit, is the Svalbard Museum, covering the natural history and exploitation of Svalbard. Remnants of the former mining activity can be seen all around Longyearbyen and even in town.
A range of wildlife can be seen around the town and the mudflats on the road to the dog kennels. There is an Eider colony here and Ivory Gulls can sometimes be seen. If you can dodge the diving Arctic terns, the mudflats attract birds like Barnacle Geese, and a range of waterbirds and shorebirds that are scarce in other parts of Svalbard.
Interesting facts about Disembark in Longyearbyen
If you have the chance to stay on for a few days there is the chance to explore Longyearbyen, do some local walks and tours (e.g. dog sledging) and also do some boat tours with Isfjorden, including locations that the majority of cruise ships do not visit, This includes the active Russian mining town of Barentsburg and the truly bizarre and eerie Pyramiden, deep in the fjord, that is an abandoned disused Russian mining town. It used to be the largest settlement town in the whole of Svalbard that looks like it belongs in Siberia.
It has the most northerly swimming pool in the World (now empty), a statue of Lenin, and fading grand Soviet era buildings and artwork. Many parts are falling apart in the industrial landscape around the centre, and it looks like something out of a disaster movie, and you still go the the bar for a drink of Vodka in the hotel that is still open!