May - Sep
The distance between civilisation and the wilderness is short, especially by speed boat. Experience it on this tour to Von Postbreen. At the head of the Tempelfjord you will find this glacier, together with its surging brother, Tunabreen, and also see its nearest neighbours - the mighty mountain ‘Tempelet’, and the trapper’s cabin Villa Fredheim - all in the realm of the polar bear.
Just speeding through the fjords in an open boat is an experience in itself, but this tour also offers an insight into trapping history as our route takes us past Hilmar Nøis’ Villa Fredheim. Hilmar Nøis was a legendary trapper, who had 38 winters on Svalbard. He was known as the King of Sassen, and whilst he planned to become a fisherman, he was so seasick that he chose to become a trapper instead. Many of the hunters cabins on Svalbard were of the simpler sort but Villa Fredheim was an exception. With a flag pole, pot plans and curtains, this two storey villa is a palace compared to other cabins. Despite the ‘luxurious’ standard of his dwelling, it is hard to not feel a sense of respect for Nøis and his family, who lived here in the wilderness year after year.
The area in front of the Von Postbreen is an important restplace and nursery for ring seals, and therefore, the chance of seeing a polar bear here is better than in Longyearbyen. The birdlife is another important representative of the Arctic fauna, and on the way in towards the glaciers, we will make a short stop by the bird cliff at Diabas, to look for nesting birds near the seashore.
Meeting these busy birds from the sea is like being part of a more primitive world. The sheer number of birds that circle over you, and nest nearly on top of each other in the steep mountainside is fascinating, and quite different to experiencing birdlife from land.
‘I will always remember the freedom in the wide plains’, wrote Hilmar Nøis in his diary. With views towards the Von Post and Tuna Glaciers from his kitchen table, it is perhaps not strange to hear that Nøis never forgot the landscape of Svalbard. Von Post is a 15km long and 100km² glacier lying at the southern end of Tempelfjord, and if you include its tributaries you can nearly double the area of the glacier. Tunabreen, whilst the smaller of the two glaciers, is a fjord glacier, plunging straight into the fjord like a massive wall meeting the sea. Both the size and location of this glacial massif will take your breath away. Suddenly, you will feel small, particularly as our specially made open boats can take you closer than you otherwise might get to these walls of ice.
We will enjoy an expedition lunch at Bjonahamna, right under the Tempelfjellet, before returning 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.
3 - Average physical fitness
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