Jun - Aug
When you fly in over Svalbard, one of the first things you will see are the unique mountains that initially gave the archipelago its name "Spitsbergen". The mountains, filled with old sediments from rivers and swamps, can be read like ancient books if you take a closer look at them. Svalbard is in many aspects a geological paradise, and on this tour you will experience it up close!
Your guide will pick you up at the hotel and drive you to our expedition centre. Here you will get equipped with a flotation suit, life jacket and goggles, before we set course down to the harbour. We drive with an open polar circle boat to Deltaneset, a beautiful point north of Longyearbyen. The boat trip takes about 30 minutes, during which you will get to experience the magnificent mountains up close. We land on Deltaneset, and continue the trip by foot. After about an hour of hiking, parts of it going fairly steep uphill, we arrive at our fossil hunting spot.
Most of the major fossils that have been unearthed on Svalbard over the last few decades have been marine reptiles from the Jurassic period, approximately 150 million years ago. The Jurassic period is most well known for the dinosaurs which inhabited the lands, but the fossils found on Svalbard are marine reptiles, like plesiosaurs, which lived in the ocean. These would have sunk into the seabed when they died, when they have remained for millenia. The Jurassic was the time of the reptiles, and these marine reptiles could be up to 13 metres long, and weigh up to 3 tonnes. We will search for fossils in the same area where the paleontologist, Jørn Hurum, and his team, have spent the last several years digging out several plesiosaurs.
The characteristic mountain formations and the unique landscape are so unlike anything you may have seen before, that it feels like you are visiting a different planet. That alien feeling doesn’t diminish when the guide picks up a fossil as large as your hand! If you are lucky enough to find a nice fossil – and it doesn’t weigh 3 tonnes – you can take it home with you.
After a warm expedition lunch and something hot to drink, we return to the town and you will be dropped off at your hotel.
We do not recommend this tour if you are pregnant or have back problems
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.
4- Demands good physical fitness, not suitable if you have limited mobility (steep, slippery and uneven terrain)