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Yearly Archives: 2021 − News & Stories

Wood­fjord – 13th Sep­tem­ber 2021

And yet ano­ther pic­tu­re-book kind of day. The snow-cover­ed land­scape near Mus­ham­na in Wood­fjord was glit­te­ring in the sun. Time is fly­ing alt­hough you want it to stand still on a day like this.

In the after­noon, we mana­ged a landing on the expo­sed shore of Gråhu­ken with ease and visi­ted the famous hut whe­re Chris­tia­ne Rit­ter win­tered back then („A woman in the polar night“).


Raud­fjord & Wood­fjord – 12th Sep­tem­ber 2021

A pic­tu­re-book level kind of day. Wea­ther, light, sce­n­ery – just stun­ning. We did some walks and hikes in Raud­fjord, aiming at lower and hig­her ele­va­tions, respec­tively.

Then we finis­hed the day in Wood­fjord, in a beau­tiful and very arc­tic way.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Nor­thwest Spits­ber­gen – 11th Sep­tem­ber 2021

Fol­lo­wing the wind and the nose – that’s what brought us to Smee­ren­burg­breen in the mor­ning, the only place in the area with clear visi­bi­li­ty.

Smee­ren­burg tur­ned out to be a bit chal­len­ging, the usu­al landing area being occu­p­ied by wal­ru­ses. Fur­ther west, it is shal­low and rocky. But not impos­si­ble to find a spot that works.

Snow in the land­scape, snow in the air. Wel­co­me to the Arc­tic. Light and wea­ther were chan­ging by the minu­te from clear views to dark grey walls.

Also later in Sal­ly­ham­na quick­ly chan­ging light con­di­ti­ons, with snow down to sea level. How dif­fe­rent com­pared to the sun­ny west coast yes­ter­day!

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

For­lands­und – 10th Sep­tem­ber 2021

We spent the first day in For­lands­und. How often do you get the oppor­tu­ni­ty to visit a working trap­per sta­ti­on? And the wea­ther couldn’t have been bet­ter!

Fur­ther north, three polar bears were roa­ming over the tun­dra. The first ones for us on this trip, on the first full day!

Later, we made use of the good wea­ther and made a landing on Her­man­senøya. Beau­tiful colours, struc­tures and sce­n­ery ever­y­whe­re around.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Isfjord – 09th Sep­tem­ber 2021

Here we go – the first Spits­ber­gen voya­ge of the „Geo­gra­phi­sche Rei­se­ge­sell­schaft“ with SV Anti­gua in two years! And we left Lon­gye­ar­by­en big style, under sail. That’s how we like it!

Spitzbergen unter Segeln

Isfjord – 06/07 Sep­tem­ber 2021

After a bum­py ride down For­lands­und and into Isfjord, the wind blew us into Grønfjord and to Barents­burg, which was not bad after all.

We roun­ded the trip off with a day in Bil­lefjord, with a good walk on Gips­huks­let­ta and an ama­zing after­noon at Nor­dens­ki­öld­breen. What a fan­ta­stic day!

Here you can see why:

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Kongsfjord – 04th/05th Sep­tem­ber 2021

Kongsfjord – 04th/05th Sep­tem­ber 2021 − It was time to get back to the west coast, as the­re was quite a bit of wind and wea­ther on the way. But first we could enjoy a good day in Kongsfjord, from Blom­strand­hal­vøya with its beau­ties both abo­ve and under ground, the migh­ty gla­ciers and one of the love­ly islands of Lové­nøya­ne.

Ny-Åle­sund was to fol­low next mor­ning. In the after­noon we were hap­py just to stay along­side the pier while some pret­ty strong winds were whist­ling in the rig­ging.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Raud­fjord – 03rd Sep­tem­ber 2021

A won­derful day on Spitsbergen’s north coast, with class 1 wea­ther, calm and lar­ge­ly sun­ny 🙂 we star­ted with a love­ly litt­le walk in Ves­le Raud­fjord and later came a lot of ice, sce­n­ery, wea­ther and wild­life in Raud­fjord (not Ves­le).

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Hin­lo­pen Strait – 02nd Sep­tem­ber 2021

Exact­ly today was our chan­ce for a dash fur­ther east, into nor­t­hern Hin­lo­pen Strait.

Some days just turn out bet­ter than you could have plan­ned them or even wis­hed for. Wha­les befo­re break­fast! Two Blue wha­les, and one of them was even show­ing the flu­ke seve­ral times! A polar bear during the mor­ning, and later the migh­ty cliffs of Alkef­jel­let. Not too many Brunich’s guil­l­emots left at this time of year, the­re are more Kit­ty­wa­kes than guil­l­emots. Still a lot of life, and even wit­hout birds, it would be an impres­si­ve place, after all.

Later we got our chan­ce to get an impres­si­on of the polar desert land­scape of Nord­aus­t­land, and we finis­hed the day by cele­bra­ting the crossing of the 80th par­al­lel (the third out of four in this trip, to be pre­cise).

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Nor­thwest Spits­ber­gen & Wood­fjord – 31st August / 01st Sep­tem­ber 2021

31st August / 01st Sep­tem­ber 2021 − A love­ly, even part­ly sun­ny mor­ning in nor­thwest Spits­ber­gen. We land with ease at Smee­ren­burg, which is gre­at, not only becau­se of the remains of the famous wha­ling sta­ti­on, a group of wal­ru­ses and the grand sce­n­ery, but also becau­se we have Ben with us, who was invol­ved in the excava­tions about 40 years ago! Later we got to see some of his ori­gi­nal pho­tos.

We made yet ano­ther short stop in the nor­thwest and then grab­bed the oppor­tu­ni­ty to get fur­ther east and into Wood­fjord, whe­re we had a rather grey 01 Sep­tem­ber.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Kross­fjord – 30th August 2021

After a cou­ple of days in Lon­gye­ar­by­en – too short, as always – we are now on the move again. This time, we have set sail on SV Anti­gua. Final­ly! It has been far too long sin­ce the last time. We are out now for 11 days with an inter­na­tio­nal group.

Actual­ly, I thought to slow down a bit with the blog but I can’t help but send a small handfull of pic­tures after a day as beau­tiful as this first full one out here! From the first steps ashore in Sig­ne­ham­na it was not far to our first polar bear, some­thing we didn’t real­ly expect in Kross­fjord, but well, you can meet them any­whe­re and at any time, as simp­le as that.

Lil­lie­höök­breen is a dra­ma­ti­cal­ly sad view now in 2021. Sin­ce 1906, it has lost some­thing near 50 % of its ice volu­me! A dra­stic exam­p­le of the chan­ges that are now hap­pe­ning in the Arc­tic. Nevert­hel­ess, still a stun­nin­gly beau­tiful place. We have to ack­now­ledge one aspect while we may still enjoy the other.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

100 years Sval­bard church

On Satur­day, 28 August, Sval­bard Church cele­bra­ted 100 years. The first church was built in a very short time in 1921 and it was sanc­ti­fied on 28 August 1921, but it was des­troy­ed during a Ger­man attack in 1943. Work to build a new church was star­ted in 1956, but it was not befo­re 1958 that the new buil­ding could be sanc­ti­fied. Con­s­truc­tion work is curr­ent­ly done to ensu­re a long and strong future life for today’s church.

100 years Svalbard church

The ser­vice to cele­bra­te 100 years of Sval­bard Church was held on the place whe­re the ori­gi­nal church was built in 1921.

Yesterday’s ser­vice that cele­bra­ted 100 years of Sval­bard Church was held in the loca­ti­on of the first, ori­gi­nal church from 1921 by priest Siv Lim­strand tog­e­ther with the pro­tes­tan­tic and the catho­lic bishops from Trom­sø. The parish includes the who­le muni­ci­pa­li­ty of Sval­bard. The­re is no other church. Barents­burg has a cha­pel.

Bell­sund & Isfjord

Now we are back in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, many of our litt­le crowd are alre­a­dy back home or just about to get the­re. Yes­ter­day at this time, this trip was alre­a­dy histo­ry. Incre­di­ble how quick­ly 18 inten­se days can pass!

This voya­ge was spe­cial in many way. Not only becau­se it was the first time that we got to sail again in Spits­ber­gen in almost 2 years. But it was real­ly – yes, real­ly! – a spe­cial expe­ri­ence. Many landings, quite a few of them in unu­su­al places such as Tokros­søya, have con­tri­bu­ted to that, as well as the ama­zing wild­life.

But the­re are also the peo­p­le. All souls on board have con­tri­bu­ted to make it work so well and to always keep the spi­rits high. I want to men­ti­on espe­ci­al­ly my col­le­ague Hel­ga Rüt­ten and skip­per Hein­rich Eggen­fell­ner, the owner of Arc­ti­ca II, who has navi­ga­ted us so enjoya­b­ly and always safe­ly through this adven­ture.

To round it up, some impres­si­ons of the last cou­ple of days. In Bell­sund, we saw Spits­ber­gen from a more grey and win­dy side, just for a chan­ge. Still, beau­tiful, and we did inde­ed sail a cou­ple of miles wit­hout the engi­ne 🙂

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

We wrap­ped it off in Isfjord. You have to have seen one of the Rus­si­an sett­le­ments such as Barents­burg to have kind of a com­ple­te impres­si­on of Spits­ber­gen. And then we said fare­well and good­bye for this time to the arc­tic natu­re at Kapp Lai­la.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Bell­sund – 23rd & 24th August 2021

Bell­sund – 23rd & 24th August 2021 We had almost for­got­ten that it can actual­ly be win­dy in Spits­ber­gen. Fleur de Lys­ham­na offe­red enough shel­ter to go for a hike, but later the boots could dry and the sails were put into good use. A walk over a litt­le island roun­ded the day off.

The next one star­ted with a moun­tain hike, which, howe­ver, did not yield the views that it could have, due to the clouds that just didn’t want to lift. Nevert­hel­ess, it was a fine walk. And the polar bear that had deci­ded to have a nap at our landing site took off and went away just in time. It even left some rub­ber boots untouch­ed that we had park­ed the­re. Very fri­end­ly!

Horn­sund – 22nd August 2021

A love­ly hike fol­lo­wing a ridge along a pen­in­su­la gave us stun­ning views of the who­le Horn­sund, later fol­lo­wed by a crui­se in Bur­ger­buk­ta with a lot of ice­bergs.

The fine wea­ther con­di­ti­ons made it pos­si­ble to make a rare landing on Dunøya­ne on the west coast.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.


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