Back in the early 1900s, after coal was discovered on Svalbard, many nations joined the hunt for the black gold. and while the Americans established themselves in Longyearbyen, the Swedes opened Svea and Pyramiden, the Dutch started Barentsburg and the Russians, Grumant.
These male-dominated communities were run by the mining companies, and were definitely not set up for family life – something the placement of Grumant makes very obvious.
Before departure, you will be equipped with a warm floatation dress, ready for your Arctic boat trip. With our Polarcirkel boats, you will make your way quickly out over the fjord, and set a course for Fuglefjella and Grumant. The Arctic landscape is incredible, and it is impossible not to be amazed by the wilderness surrounding the boat as it speeds out over the Isfjord.
Grumant has a fascinating location, squeezed into a ravine in Fuglefjellet, and here we find the remains of the abandoned Soviet town. After WWII, this was the largest settlement on Svalbard, with up to 1200 citizens, but it was abandoned early in the 1960s, and the only living creatures you will see today are the nesting birds that wait in the surrounding mountainsides, accompanied by possible sightings of arctic fox and Svalbard reindeer.
After having seen Grumant from the sea, we will set a course for Hiorthhamn, on the other side of the Adventfjord from Longyearbyen.Here we will enjoy warm toddy or coffee. This abandoned mining town boasted a barracks, blacksmith, stores, kitchen, sawmill, hospital, housing, offices and a range of mining installations. If you use your fantasy a little, you can imagine the busy settlement which once was here. Dependent on the time and weather, we may make a stop on land, before heading back to Longyearbyen.
All tours are subject to weather conditions, and the route may be adjusted. From the end of August most birdlife leaves the islands, as these are migratory birds who search for warmer latitudes. The focus will then shift to the wildlife, landscape and history. Please note that the tour is in an open boat, and you may experience bumpy seas and sea spray. This tour is not recommended for those with back problems or who are pregnant.
Safety is our highest priority, and the guide needs to be able to give directions you understand. To participate on one of our excursions, it is required that you speak and understand English or one of the Scandinavian languages.
Even though it is summer, it can be cold on Svalbard. Especially when you are on a boat trip in an open polar circle boat. We lend floatation suit, life jackets and goggles to all guests, but we recommend that you dress well underneath.
• Warm shoes
• A thick wool sweater or thin down jacket
• Wool underwear
• Mittens / gloves
• Neck / buff
If you do not have warm shoes, we have a limited selection of boots for loan.
You can experience both rain and sea spray, so we recommend packing camera equipment well, and preferably in a waterproof dry bag. Hurtigruten Svalbard is not responsible for any damage that may occur to your personal equipment.
3 - Average physical fitness