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Longyearbyen

Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway
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ABOVE: An aerial view of Longyearbyen in summer, with the town center to the left of the Longyear River, the Port of Longyear on the right, and the Adventfjord in the foreground. Recently, the town has earned attention as the site of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a "doomsday seedbank" that will hold genetic material from agricultural and wild plants around the world.

Planning tips and Web links

When to come

Longyearbyen is easy to reach year-round, thanks to daily airline service from Tromsų and (in summer) from Oslo.

Most tourists arrive during the summer months, when visitors can select from a long  menu of expedition cruises, wilderness treks, kayak camps, summer skiing, etc. (See this article's excursions section for more details.)

If you're interested in snowmobiling, ski touring, or exploring the inside of a glacier, consider a winter trip to Longyearbyen, when you can enjoy outdoor activities under the Northern Lights.

Making the most of your time and money

If you're just looking for a taste of the Arctic, you may have trouble justifying a trip from the U.S., Britain, or another distant country. So here's a suggestion: Combine a trip to Longyearbyen and Svalbard with a vacation on the Norwegian mainland. For example, you could fly to Oslo, ride the train to Bergen on Norway's West Coast, and catch a Norwegian Coastal Voyage (Hurtigruten) cruise ferry to Tromsų, which has frequent air service to Longyearbyen.

Tourism links for Svalbard and Longyearbyen

Svalbard
The tourist office's Englilsh-language Web site is packed with travel advice for Spitsbergen and the Svalbard archipelago.

WikiTravel: Longyearbyen
This article offers an adequate, if sketchy, overview of the town and its attractions.

Spitsbergen Travel
The leading travel agency, tour organizer, and expedition outfitter in Svalbard offers everything from coal-mine visits to Arctic cruises. (See my article and photo diary about a boat trip to the Fuglefjell Bird Cliffs of Spitsbergen.)

MS Nordstjernen - Spitsbergen adventure cruise europeforcruisers.com
My 8-page illustrated cruise review is accompanied by a 114-page day-by-day photo diary.

Photo links

Longyearbyen Photos europeforvisitors.com
The article that you're now reading is accompanied by nearly two dozen captioned photos. Also see our article and photo diary of an Isfjord boat trip to the Fuglefjell bird cliffs and our Spitsbergen cruise review and photo gallery at Europeforcruisers.com.

Images of the Svalbard Islands
If you can tolerate thumbnail-size images and a "Travel-Images.com" logo in big letters on each photo, this album is worth a look.

Next page: Longyearbyen photos with captions




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