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Monthly Archives: July 2018 − News & Stories


Sjuøyane – 17 July 2018

The weather is really on our side! The first thing is a pretty rare landing on Waldenøya, a small and remote island, in a mirror-like sea today. Definitely a place that does not see a lot of visitors! Walter Wellman was stranded here for a couple of weeks with his expedition in 1894. We sit on the rocks and enjoy the sun and the undisturbed view to the north pole.

Waldenøya

Waldenøya

It is sunny and calm all the way up to Rossøya, so we enjoy a Zodiac cruise around this islet, Svalbard’s very northernmost one. Further north, there is just water, liquid and solid, and the north pole. A rare sunny day in these latitudes!

Rossøya

Rossøya

An evening excursion to Phippsøya does not yield walrusses, as we had been hoping for, but a polar bear. Which showed up on a pretty short notice as we had just gone ashore. Alex, who was scouting the terrain, had the pleasure to discover the bear, which had been sleeping in a terrain depression, at a rather uncomfortable distance, but it was not at all interested in us and turned its attention to a rather rotten carcass of a walrus. We went back into the boats and enjoyed the views in safety for man and beast. A great day on 80 degrees north!

Phippsøya

Phippsøya

Kongsfjord & Antigua under sail – 14 July 2018

A calm night at anchor, great! Hiking over Blomstrandhalvøya is at least as great. The coastal scenery is really varied and interesting, especially if you know some of the hidden places beyond Ny London.

Blomstrand

Blomstrand

Then we set course to the north. The wind is a bit less than expected, but enough to fill the canvas, so we enjoy a silent crossing under sail and a sky the colours of which are changing back and forth between grey, silver and even blue in places.

Antigua

Antigua

Bockfjord – 16 July 2018

It is great to be out for a full, long day in Spitsbergen’s beautiful nature. And the warm springs far inland in Bockfjord are fascinating. A great destination for a long hike! We spend hours getting there, hiking across tundra with plenty of flowers and a river plain that looks like kind of a wadden sea. After an extended rest with some food, we have soon reached the fields with the sinter terraces. Nature has indeed created some very impressive pieces of art here! All this comes with a stunning background: a mighty wall of dark-red mountains, some huge moraines and rugged mountains.

Bockfjord

Bockfjord

We enjoy the scenery, the weather, the hike and life in general for a full day. It is a timeless place. We are back on board after 9 hours.

Bockfjord

Bockfjord

Of course there was also the option for walks within a „normal“ scale. There are also warm springs close to the shore, and another walk went to a nearby glacier.

The weather forecast is promising for the far north, so we set course northeast in the evening.

A week on Antigua and taking off again with SVA Antigua – 12 July 2018

Time is just flying in the summer arctic. Nothing too amazing going on in Longyearbyen. Somebody managed to park a car in a pond next to the road in Adventdalen. One is tempted to ask: why? I don’t know. Nobody was hurt, at least. Some tourists thought that huts in the wilderness are principally open for everybody. This is not the case. It took the police to get this message across in this given case. It also took the police to convince two female tourists that you have to leave the boat when the trip was over even if it did not meet your expectation. People in Longyearbyen don’t know if they should laugh or cry sometimes. In yet another case, the police found vertebra of marine mammals in some tourist’s luggage at the airport. Not good. One day, when MSC Meraglivivia was in the harbour, the number of peole in Longyearbyen tripled.

Make sure you don’t end up on the wrong ship!

Make sure you don’t end up on the wrong ship!

Soon we will take off with SV Antigua. Time to check a huge pile of equipment, sort stuff, repair some items, replace other ones. So time is flying as usual, and suddenly Antigua is in the harbour. An immense pile of equipment needs to be carried on board and then it is already time for take-off. Welcome on board and here we go! We are steaming against a breeze out of Isfjord and then turn into Forlandsund. Spitsbergen, here we come!

Woodfjord – 15 July 2018

Gråhuken! We are not far from this famous cape as we wake up. A light breeze is blowing from the northwest, but not too much, it is not a problem to land and we are happy to pay a visit to the famous hut where Christiane Ritter wintered in 1934-35 (she immortalized her adventure in the book „A woman in the polar night“). I have got a very special reason to be happy to get to this hut now, and today’s visit is indeed humbling and touching. More about that later.

Gråhuken

Gråhuken

In a later stage of today’s landing at Gråhuken, a polar bear turns up. It is a safe distance, and he (or she) turns around and moves away as soon as he (or she) gets aware of us. So do we.

Andoyane

Andoyane

An excursion to one of the small islands in Liefdefjord turns out to be a visit to an arctic paradise. Colours, structures, birds. Plenty of them.

Kongsfjord & Antigua unter Segeln – 14. Juli 2018

Eine ruhige Nacht vor Anker, herrlich! Mindestens so herrlich war die Tour auf der Blomstrandhalvøya. Die Küstenlandschaft ist sehr abwechslungsreich, vor allem, wenn man ein paar bestimmte Ecken kennt. Es gibt nicht nur Ny London, sondern noch so ein paar richtig schöne, versteckte Stellen.

Blomstrand

Blomstrand

Dann setzen wir Kurs Nord. Der Wind pustet zwar nicht ganz so fröhlich wie erwartet, aber immer noch fröhlich genug, um die Tücher zu füllen, und so genießen wir die Stille unter Segeln und einem Himmel, dessen Farben zwischen Grau, Silber und punktuellem Blau oszillieren.

Antigua

Antigua

Kongsfjord & Krossfjord – 13 July 2018

Our first day out and away from Longyearbyen! Our first stop is Ny-Ålesund in Kongsfjord, a gradual transition from civilisation to wilderness. The village is calm today, goose families are feeding on the tundra between the houses. While we walk around, Alex gives a talk about the past and presence of Ny-Ålesund, I give a talk about Roald Amundsen and all the north pole expeditions through the centuries and as we happen to meet Marten Loonen, leader of the Dutch Arctic Station, we even get the latest news about Barnacle geese, Common eider ducks and their rather unrelaxed relationship to polar bears that look for food on the breeding islands of these birds in Kongsfjord.

Camp Zoë

Camp Zoë

We sail up Krossfjord in the afternoon, land at Camp Zoë, an old Rudi-/Mansfield-hut and do various walks and hikes in the tundra and up the hills. The surrounding mountains are very impressive. We share the tundra with reindeer, ptarmigan and a lonely polar fox and enjoy the view of some white horses on the blue water of Krossfjord.

Tinayrebreen

Tinayrebreen

An evening visit to Tinayrebreen is the icing on the cake on this day, a Friday the 13th. It is Anke’s and Christiane Ritter’s birthday today. Happy birthday!

Landslide in Longyearbyen: road open again for pedestrians and bicyclists

Way 300 in Longyearbyen was closed for all traffic after a landslide close to the cemetary. This road connects Skjæringa (the part of Longyearbyen where church, Sysselmannen etc. are located) and Huset.

The Sysselmannen has now opened Way 300 again for pedestrians and bicyclists. Motorised traffic is not permitted. This is valid until further notice from the Sysselmannen.

landslide Longyearbyen cemetery

Landslide in Longyearbyen near the cemetery: now way 300 is open again for non-motorised traffic. Image © Alexander Lembke.

Hurtigruten bans disposable plastic

On July 2, the traditional shipping company Hurtigruten celebrates its 125th birthday and at the same time gives a present to the environment: From today on Hurtigruten wants to banish all disposable plastic from its ships. No plastic straws, no stirrers in plastic coffee cups, no plastic lids and not a single plastic bag should then be found on the ships.

This is only logical: ship travellers witness the pollution of the oceans with plastic waste every day. Most of the plastic in the oceans comes from fishing, but plastic bottles, plastic bags or other everyday plastic articles also end up on Norway’s beaches by the ton and too often end up in the stomachs of seabirds, fish and whales.

Plastic waste in Mushamna/ Spitsbergen

Plastic waste in Mushamna/ Spitsbergen

The ban on disposable plastic articles will be effective across the entire Hurtigruten fleet, i.e. both on the legendary postal ship route from Bergen to Kirkenes, as well as on cruise ships in polar waters and in all land-based facilities and also on Spitsbergen.

Hurtigruten’s ambitious long-term goal is even to become the first plastic-free shipping company in the world. Even if there is certainly still much room for improvement in the cruise ship industry in terms of pollution and CO2 emissions, the ban on disposable plastic is a welcome step in the right direction.

Soon free from diposable plastic: Hurtigruten museumsship in Stokmarksnes

Soon free from diposable plastic: Hurtigruten museumsship in Stokmarksnes

Source: Hurtigruten

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News-Listing live generated at 2019/June/16 at 23:52:20 Uhr (GMT+1)
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