Longyearbyen
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Longyearbyen History & Heritage

Longyearbyen: Wilderness Evening Experience with Dinner

1. Longyearbyen: Wilderness Evening Experience with Dinner

Your Arctic adventure begins with pickup from Longyearbyen and travels out into the Advent Valley to Camp Barentz, in the midst of the tundra. Upon arrival, meet your friendly guide and listen to a brief safety induction about the camp before heading inside the cozy log cabin where an open fire creates the most blissful atmosphere. Enjoy a delicious welcome drink, then settle in for story time as you listen to your hosts share unique tales and anecdotes about life in the Arctic. Learn about the discoverer of Svalbard, Willem Barentz, then watch an informative and interesting presentation about the King of the Arctic, the polar bear. Throughout the evening, the smells of a traditional reindeer and root vegetable soup will fill the cabin as its cooked over an open fire. When it’s ready, tuck into this hearty dish and don’t be afraid to ask for second servings! Beer, wine, and soft drinks are also served, as well as a delicious chocolate dessert and bonfire coffee. At the end of the evening, the bus takes you back to civilization, bursting with new knowledge and a full belly.

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Longyearbyen: Historic Coal Mine Tour at Gruve 3

2. Longyearbyen: Historic Coal Mine Tour at Gruve 3

Start with pickup at the hotels and guesthouses in town before a short drive to the outside facility of Mine Number 3. On the way there, you will pass the world-renowned Global Seed Vault where over 1 million seeds from around the world are stored. The first seed bank on Svalbard was opened in Mine no. 3 in 1984. This is where the ideas to build the Global Seed Vault on Svalbard started — by storing seeds in the permafrost with no need for electricity.  Enter the facility and explore maps over Longyearbyen and Svalbard. Enjoy a historic coal mine and listen to the stories and anecdotes of what was the last mine in town where thin-seam production was applied. Expect in-depth information about the town’s history and why some men decided to settle here some 100 years ago. A model of the mine is used to illustrate how the coal was extracted using thin-seam techniques. Walk through the workshops and see machines and equipment that was left behind when the mine was shut down in 1996. Put on a miner’s overall and crawl through a replica of a mining shaft and get a feeling of how a miner spent his days. Towards the end of the tour, discover the mine itself by walking 300 meters in and entering two different side tunnels.

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Longyearbyen: Hybrid-Electric Catamaran Cruise to Pyramiden

3. Longyearbyen: Hybrid-Electric Catamaran Cruise to Pyramiden

Take a cruise to Nordenskiöld Glacier and visit the abandoned town of Pyramiden on an eco-friendly catamaran trip, with lunch included. Get picked up and drive to the harbor to board the boat. See the highlights and listen to expert commentary as you speed across Isfjord towards the ghost town. Arrive at Pyramiden and take a guided tour of this unique town, abandoned in the 1990s. Visit the swimming complex and other interesting buildings to get a sense of what life was once like. Head back to the boat and sail towards the glacier in complete silence. Listen to the ice as it pops and crackles in the water, before heading back towards Longyearbyen. Along the way, learn about wildlife beneath the surface, with a hydrophone to listen for whales and an underwater camera.

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Longyearbyen: Hybridelectric Catamaran Cruise to Barentsburg

4. Longyearbyen: Hybridelectric Catamaran Cruise to Barentsburg

Take an eco-friendly catamaran cruise from Longyearbyen to discover the Russian town of Barentsburg. After pickup, head to the harbor to board the boat. Sail into Isfjord as you keep an eye out for whales in the icy water. Listen to your guide's commentary as you pass through Grønfjord, to arrive at Barentsburg. Climb the stairs to the town and admire the traditional architecture of the chapel and the statue of Lenin. Stroll through the town and visit the brewery, stop at a handicraft center, or shop for souvenirs. Return to the harbor to board the ship for the trip back to Longyearbyen, passing under the bird cliffs of Fuglefjella. Listen to marine life with the boat's hydrophone, and watch the scenes below with an underwater camera. You'll be transferred back to your hotel at the end of the tour.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Longyearbyen

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What people are saying about Longyearbyen

A very good excursion, well worth the cost! Comfortable and nice way to move around, nice and knowledgeable staff who could tell you about places we passed and also answer follow-up questions that came afterwards. The guide in the Pyramid was really interesting, an experience! At the Nordenskiöld Glacier, we were lucky enough to see a polar bear with two cubs, which really counts as a very positive bonus!

The catamaran was clean, spacious and comfortable. The guides were professional; biologists and knew birds and animals. Getting to know the Pyramids was more interesting than I expected. Lunch was served on the outward journey, there was no possibility to dine on the return journey and there was little hunger.

A well organized and interesting tour. The boat trip is comfortable and the Pyramiden experience was well worth the effort.

Everything was very good. Nice people and the weather made the trip fantastic

Cosy Intresting stories Perfect intro too Spitsbergen