Longyearbyen is a very small town, but still the largest settlement in Spitsbergen, and the Norwegian Administrative Center. Located over 800 miles north of the Arctic Circle, this is a modern community of families, schools, businesses, restaurants and cultural activities of various kinds for all ages. Spitsbergen's high Arctic latitude is denoted both by its below freezing temperature, dry climate, and by the prevalent conditions of light. Life here takes its cues from the midnight sun and the polar light. This commonly described, 'arctic desert' settlement was founded as a mining community in 1906 by the American John Monroe Longyear and has at present 1,975 inhabitants who are mainly Norwegian; however, includes 40 other nationalities who work mainly within the tourism, research and education fields.
Your tour begins by coach, taking you on a sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen, where you will first visit the Svalbard Museum, which in 2008 was designated as European Museum of the year. The exhibition presents fragments of Svalbard's 400-year history which includes its 17th century whaling history, expeditions, winter trapping techniques, the war on Svalbard, flora, fauna, geology and the area's mining history.
Following a brief visit at the Museum, your tour continues to the Adventdalen Valley and the Dog Farm, where you will learn about the different types of Polar dogs and how they helped during the earlier exploration of the Polar Region. Here, you will have the opportunity to observe the friendly Artic dogs and perhaps play with the puppies, which is important for their socializing and training. After your time with the dogs, you will retreat to a warm turf hut, where you can gather around the fireplace for coffee and cake and talk with your hosts about the life in the Artic and how it is to live up here year-round.
After visiting the Trapping Station, you will continue back into Longyearbyen and the pier.
Following your visit, you will transfer back to Longyearbyen and the pier.
Please note: This tour involves approximately 90-minutes of moderate walking/standing and there are steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Warm clothing and flat, sturdy footwear is suggested as the Arctic-region may be covered by snow and ice. The transportation is not air-conditioned. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.