Longyearbyen Cruises

Colourful houses and mountains in background, Svalbard
Colourful houses and mountains in background, Svalbard

Situated at 78° north, deep within the Arctic Circle, Longyearbyen is widely regarded as the world's northernmost town. It is also the largest settlement in Svalbard, located amongst incredible Norwegian Arctic wilderness on the archipelago's largest island, Spitsbergen. 

Set at the end of the Advent Fjord, and framed by flat-topped, snow-covered peaks, Longyearbyen is home to some 2000 inhabitants, several reindeer and the odd polar bear.[ReadMoreMob] The town Longyearbyen was only established as a permanent settlement in 1906 to exploit local coal reserves, and is named after American mining specialist, John M. Longyear.

Only one mine remains working, but Mine 3, which was turned into a living museum in 1996 on its closure, can still be visited. The museum guides are all former miners who give first-hand accounts about life underground. The Svalbard Museum also provides insights into the life of miners, and the other local industry, whaling. The 24-hour sundial reminds visitors that the sun doesn’t set for months during summer, and the Spitsbergen Airship Museum, which has exhibits from the era of polar exploration, is worth discovery.