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About Longyearbyen

Surrounded by dark, rugged mountains and built on the permafrost of the tundra, Longyearbyen gives you a true taste of life inside the Arctic Circle. It's generally snow-free in summer so exploring on foot is a breeze, but wrap up warm as the average temperature is between 4-6°C. The abandoned mines on the hillsides provide a clue to the town's history, but the Svalbard Museum tells the whole story with fascinating displays. Culture lovers will enjoy the Svalbard Gallery, with its local artworks and crafts.

 

Two landmarks worth a visit are the world's most northerly church and the 24-hour sundial - the sun doesn't set here from April to August. Foodies will find several cafés and restaurants serving local fare, such as seal and whale. There are plenty of shops for those seeking souvenirs. And as you stroll, look out for local quirks - roads with numbers instead of names, and reindeer wandering along the streets.

 

Shore excursions in Longyearbyen

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Arctic Art and Natural History

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 3 hours

Appreciate the nature and culture of this remote region, both past and present.

Get under the skin of Longyearbyen’s fascinating mix of culture, history and natural wonders – all in one experience.

Explore the award-winning Svalbard Museum to discover how the region has changed over the last 400 years. Lose yourself in captivating interactive exhibits, understand what daily life is like in this remote part of the world and find out about the local wildlife. There’ll be a chance to pick up a souvenir in the gift shop and don’t forget to pose for a picture with the ‘resident’ polar bear.

Feast your eyes on the art of the Arctic at Galleri Svalbard, a unique gallery which showcases a dazzling collection of local work. Admire pieces that reflect life in the far north in various styles and marvel at the historic prints from Longyearbyen.

Round off your experience with a scenic drive through Svalbard. Your guide will share stories of the town and its surroundings and you’ll stop for photos at key landmarks such as the infamous polar bear warning sign.

Essential information

This tour operates on coach and on foot. There is approximately 1½ hours of walking on this tour, as well as some steps to negotiate.

Arctic Art and Natural History

Catamaran Cruise and Soviet ‘Ghost Town’

Activity mediumRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 6¼ hours

A once-in-a-lifetime chance to explore an abandoned mining town and see incredible landscapes.

Marvel at natural wonders on a scenic catamaran cruise and explore an abandoned Soviet mining town in one unforgettable day.

Enjoy the ride as your comfy catamaran glides along the Isfjord and into the majestic Billefjorden. Gaze out at the craggy mountains and stark tundra plains and keep your eyes peeled for reindeer on the shore and whales in the water, which the crew will help you spot.

Follow your guide into Pyramiden, a Soviet mining community which has been frozen in time since it was abandoned in 1998. Stroll by the still buildings, landmarks and the bust of Lenin overlooking the town square as you hear fascinating tales about this now-peaceful place, and pick up a souvenir in the gift shop to remember the unique experience.

Eat like an Arctic explorer by tucking into an authentic expedition lunch (just add hot water) and relax on the return sailing to Longyearbyen. Skirting the shoreline, you’ll have a fantastic view of the Nordenskiöld Glacier – a gargantuan, gleaming beauty.

Essential information

This tour operates by catamaran and on foot. There is approximately 1¾ hours of walking on this tour, some of which is over uneven ground. The sighting of wildlife is not guaranteed. Whilst there are sufficient seats for everyone on the boat, we cannot guarantee that you’ll be able to sit in the area of your choice (either inside or on the open deck). There will be a limited pre-recorded commentary onboard the boat. Guests must be able to negotiate a high step to access the boat. Cash (Norwegian Kroner) is required for purchasing souvenirs at Pyramiden. This tour requires a high minimum number of participants to operate. This tour is not exclusive to P&O Cruises.

Catamaran Cruise and Soviet ‘Ghost Town’

Coastal Views and Husky Ride

Activity medium

Duration: 2 hours

A unique and exciting way to explore the beautiful coast.

Soak up the sights of the Svalbard coast on a fun-packed husky-pulled wheeled sled.

Get to know the large team of dogs as you help your guide strap on their harnesses before you set off on your adventure. Breathe in the pure sea air and keep your eyes peeled for reindeer and migratory birds as the energetic canines race ahead, pulling your wagon along the coastline at a leisurely pace.

Your guide will do the driving as well as point out famous historic sites and local flora and fauna, leaving you free to relax and admire the views of the idyllic landscapes. Stop along the way to water the dogs and gaze out over the serene Isfjord before you finally say goodbye to your new-found, four-legged friends and head back to your ship.

Essential information

This tour operates by minibus and wheeled sled. This tour is over uneven ground in parts and is not suitable for those with back or neck injuries which may be affected by the bumpy ride. Guests must be able to negotiate a high step to board the sled. Warm, layered clothing is recommended. The tour is not self-drive. The sighting of wildlife is not guaranteed. Space on this tour is extremely limited, therefore booking early is recommended.

Coastal Views and Husky Ride

Inside a Coal Mine and Polar Beer Tasting

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 3 hours

Get a flavour of two intriguing industries and taste the crisp polar beers.

Find out about the mining of ‘black gold’ and the brewing of ‘liquid gold’ as you discover two industries that are poles apart.

Soak up the scenery on the short drive from the harbour, which takes you alongside the expansive, mountain-flanked Isfjord and past the famous subterranean Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Follow your guide into Mine 3 and experience the total blackout of the tunnels where men once sweated in the darkness to retrieve coal from shafts just 60cm high. Hear fascinating facts as you wander through the workshops and main tunnel (don’t worry, it’s big enough to stand in) and get a feel for life underground.

Settle in at the Svalbard Brewery and get acquainted with Svalbard’s newest export. Norwegian parliament had to change the laws to allow the making of polar beer – and lucky for you they did. Sample five varieties of the delectable nectar made with water from the 2,000-year-old glacier Bogerbreen Glacier before you take the short walk back to your ship.

Essential information

This tour operates by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1¼ hours of walking on this tour, as well as a few steps to negotiate. This tour is not suitable for those with a fear of enclosed spaces.

Inside a Coal Mine and Polar Beer Tasting

Northern Sights, Svalbard Museum and Huskies

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 3 hours

Discover several sides of this spellbinding region.

Get a feel for the natural wonders and intriguing culture of this remote region and meet some of its cutest ‘locals’.

Soak up the wild scenery on your panoramic drive through Longyearbyen and visit the pretty, red-painted Svalbard Church – the world’s second northernmost place of worship.

At the Svalbard Museum, immerse yourself in interactive exhibits and find out about the natural environment of this beautiful part of the world. Discover what life is like for both people and animals in the Arctic and browse for souvenirs in the gift shop.

Meet the mushers and their huskies at Camp Barentz, a charming wilderness camp. If you’re lucky you might get to play with the puppies before settling into a ‘gamme’ – a traditional wooden cabin. Get cosy and absorb a fascinating presentation about polar bears as you tuck into a Norwegian waffle with hot coffee.

Essential information

This tour operates by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1½ hours of walking on this tour, some of which is over uneven ground. There are also some steps to negotiate.

Northern Sights, Svalbard Museum and Huskies

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