Five things to do in Longyearbyen
Over the last week, people across the UK have endured Arctic conditions, with temperatures rarely rising above freezing and several feet of snow causing chaos for travellers. Norway is considerably more adapted to dealing with these conditions than we are, especially in Svalbard. Here, temperatures are currently sitting at around the -12C mark, but it is not uncommon for evening temperatures to get as low as -20C – yet life still moves forward.
Longyearbyen is the largest settlement within the Svalbard archipelago, providing a home to more than 2,000 inhabitants. But while you might not see many people during your visit to Longyearbyen, you are likely to be able to see breath-taking natural landmarks and an abundance of Arctic wildlife. This week, we take a look at five of the top things to see and do during a visit to the Svalbard capital of Longyearbyen.
Be sure to take your camera with you, as a journey to the island of Svalbard provides a multitude of wildlife-spotting opportunities. A journey out of Longyearbyen into the Arctic wilderness will take you to the natural habitat of a range of species including Arctic Fox, Svalbard reindeer, whales, dolphins, seals and walruses. One of the most exciting animals to see, however, is the polar bear, which are in abundance on the island of Svalbard.
Named after geologist, Jens Esmark, this 15 kilometre stretch of ice is one of the most beautifully-scenic glaciers in the Arctic Circle. Strikingly blue in colour, this amazing glacier is also an ideal setting from which to sport native species going about their daily routine.
Arctic Dog Sledding
While the roads will get you to all the necessary urban landmarks in Longyearbyen, finding a way across the ice and snow is a different matter altogether. One of the most exciting ways to traverse this icy environment is via the more traditional method of dog sledding. You can sit back and relax as you watch the glistening white landscapes unfold before your very eyes.
The World’s Northernmost Church
It should go without saying that Longyearbyen is one of the northernmost settlements on earth and there are an abundance of landmarks which share the ‘World’s Northernmost’ title. One of these worth pointing out Svalbard Church, which was originally built in 1921 and subsequently rebuilt in 1956 following WW2. This beautiful and charming church is built of wood and has a bright red exterior.
Wander approximately 400 metres away from Svalbard Church and you will find a traditional 24-hour sundial. Positioned little more than one metre off the ground, this fully-functional landmark offers an accurate record of the time throughout the summer season.
Pullmantur Cruises will embark on a journey into the Arctic Circle for the first time on the 7th July 2018, with Zenith taking passengers on an epic 14-night journey. Passengers will be able to enjoy all of the benefits of any other Pullmantur sailing - including the all-inclusive drinks package – while embarking on an expedition into the Arctic Circle.
Departing out of Trondheim, Norway, you will visit a range of destinations including the Lofoten Islands, the Russian city of Murmansk, Honningsvag and Lakselv before arriving in Svalbard. The return journey, which will take you back to Trondheim, will enable you to visit Alta, Tromso and Narvik – all of which are renowned for the breath-taking scenery and abundance of natural wildlife.
For more information about this Arctic Circle sailing or to find out more about the full range of sailings available with Pullmantur Cruises, contact our friendly sales team via the freephone number above or complete the online enquiry form.