May - Aug
A short boat trip out into the Isfjord, between Longyearbyen and Barentsburg, you will find Fuglefjella. Above a narrow stone beach the cliffs rise from the sea, 500 metres up, nearly vertically, and the steep slopes are home to thousands of birds each summer. Join us on an exciting open boat tour which combines birds and wildlife with the island’s interesting history.
Have you ever felt like you are an extra in a film? On the way to Fuglefjella, ‘The Bird Mountain’, you can easily be mistaken for feeling that you are on the way into a scene from Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. You know that the bright green mountainsides are home to thousands of birds, but are you sure there isn’t a dragon or two there also? The mountain tops which are hiding in a spot of cloud 500 metres above you could hide just about anything...
During the tour, the guide will eagerly tell you all about the birds of Svalbard. While there are fewer species on Svalbard than in more southerly destinations, they come here in their thousands. One of the most populous, the Brunnich’s Guillemot, nests around the archipelago in several colonies of over 100 000 pairs. In the bird cliffs, the close symbiosis between life on land and at sea becomes more obvious, as you see bird after bird return home to their chicks with small fish and shellfish. The climate changes on Svalbard have caused even more activity in the sea, and we will also keep an eye out for seals and whales on this tour.
After a stop under ‘Fuglefjella’ we will continue on towards the abandoned Russian mining town, Grumant, which has been empty since 1961-2. It is nearly inconceivable to think that the few remaining houses which sit on the steep mountainside here were once part of the largest settlement on Svalbard. The story of the town, and its current appearance are quite fascinating, and after hearing it we will continue to Hiorthhamn, directly over the Adventfjord from Longyearbyen.
Hiorthhamn is another abandoned mining town, which once 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 bustling 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
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