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.
3 - Average physical fitness
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