Ny Alesund, Svalbard, Norway cruises

Introduction to Ny Alesund, Svalbard

Nature in the raw continues at Ny Alesund on Kongsfjorden, to the northwest of Spitsbergen.

Located on the Brøgger peninsula that juts out into the Arctic Ocean from the northwest coast of Spitbergen in the Svalbard archipelago, Ny Alesund is said to be the world’s northernmost permanent settlement.

Originally a coal mining town, Ny Alesund is now an important research base and almost everyone who lives within this tiny, yet beautiful environment is a scientist that works for one of the many research agencies that are located here. Two of the most important research stations based here are the Arctic Marine Laboratory - the northernmost in the world - and the Natural Environment Research Council’s Arctic Research Station. The latter is part of the British Antarctic Survey and operates within an international network that includes stations owned by Norway, Germany, Japan, Italy, France and the UK.

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NY ALESUND - INFORMATION

Ny Ålesund is situated at 78° 55´ N, 11° 56´ E on the west coast of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. The Svalbard archipelago is part of the high arctic region with permafrost - which means that the ground is frozen all year round.

We do not offer shore tours for this port, but it is possible to go ashore independently. Within Ny Ålesund there is a shop and post office and a small mining museum. The exhibitions include equipment and pictures from the mining periods and daily life in Ny Ålesund.
 

Ny Ålesund is situated at 78° 55´ N, 11° 56´ E on the west coast of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. The Svalbard archipelago is part of the high arctic region with permafrost - which means that the ground is frozen all year round. The vegetation in the area varies from sparse ground cover to the meadow-like vegetation of the bird sanctuaries. There are several bird sanctuaries along Kongsfjorden, home to large colonies of birds. In summer Arctic Terns nest on the ground alongside the path and may "dive-bomb" visitors who get too close! Ny Ålesund experiences four months of polar nights and four months of midnight sun – during the very darkest period there is literally no difference between night and day!

The English whale hunter Jonas Poole first discovered Ny Ålesund in 1610 – a further 300 years were to pass before Peter S Brandal – a polar sea captain – and his three partners began to exploit the commercial coal deposits located on the southern banks. Today the former coal mining community is a centre for international arctic scientific research and environmental monitoring. The settlement is the permanent home to around 35 persons serving the research station all year round. In the summer the activity in Ny Ålesund is greatly increased, with up to 120 researchers, technicians and field assistants. Ny Ålesund is home to the new Arctic Marine Laboratory which is the world’s most northern, which was officially opened in 2005.

All traces of human activities on Svalbard from 1945 or earlier are protected cultural remains. One of today's challenges is to preserve the cultural heritage in Ny Ålesund at the same time as people are living and working next to it. Therefore a special plan for Ny Ålesund has been set up in co-operation with The Governor of Svalbard in order to protect and preserve the cultural heritage in the area. Visitors may cause interference with the sensitive scientific devices in the settlement, so tourists are closely observed. Visitors are supplied with a local map and are required not to stray off the marked path - a round trip of approximately one kilometre from the pier. A number of information boards are strategically placed to explain the history and purpose of the various buildings; many are research establishments.

We do not offer shore tours for this port, but it is possible to go ashore independently. Within Ny Ålesund there is a shop and post office and a small mining museum. The exhibitions include equipment and pictures from the mining periods and daily life in Ny Ålesund.

CORRECT FOR 2014 NORWAY CRUISES
 

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We do not offer shore tours for this port, but it is possible to go ashore independently. Within Ny Ålesund there is a shop and post office and a small mining museum. The exhibitions include equipment and pictures from the mining periods and daily life in Ny Ålesund.


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