Quick Facts about Svalbard
Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, which is situated about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. In 1925, Svalbard became part of the Kingdom of Norway. The islands were first used as whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Svalbard Act of 1925 made Svalbard a free economic zone and a demilitarized zone.
The largest island of Svalbard is Spitsbergen, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya. Longyearbyen is Svalbard's main settlement with about 2,400 people in 2019.
The average summer temperature in Svalbard is around 4-6 °C (39 to 43 °F). The January average is −16 to −12 °C (3 to 10 °F). Due to the West Spitsbergen Current, the west coast of Spitsbergen is navigable most of the year.
Polar bears are the iconic symbol of Svalbard. There are around 3,000 polar bears in the Svalbard archipelago and Barents Sea, which exceeds the human population. Other primary species you may see include the Arctic fox, the Svalbard reindeer and southern voles. Svalbard is also home for eighty specifies of bird like the Arctic tern, little auk, northern fulmar and black-legged kittiwake etc.
Top 5 Reasons to visit Svalbard
Svalbard is the perfect place to admire polar bears in their nature settings
Get your cameras ready for walruses, seals, whales, arctic foxes, reindeer and millions of nesting birds
Enjoy the stunning view of fjords and glaciers & hike on tundra
Discover the rich history of Arctic exploration by visiting Ny-Ålesund and other sites
Daily directly flights from Oslo make Svalbard the most accessible Arctic destination
The Seasons of Svalbard
Landing Sites in Svalbard
There are many possible landing sites in Svalbard. The actual expedition plan depends on weather and ice conditions. The water north of Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet might be blocked by sea ice in early season, which could prevent a circumnavigation of Spitsbergen. But regardless, you will still have ample opportunities to view stunning fjords, glaciers and encounter polar bears among other wildlife anywhere in Svalbard.