Visiting the Russian mining settlement of Barentsburg is like stumbling upon a forgotten outpost of the Soviet Union somewhere close to the end of the earth. The first thing you see is its power-station chimney, belching dark black smoke into the blue sky. This isolated village continues to mine coal against all odds and still produces up to 350,000 tonnes per year, though selling it on the open market is a constant problem and stockpiles are huge. With its signing in Cyrillic script, a still-standing bust of Lenin, murals of muscly workers in heroic pose and a run-down and dishevelled air, the overwhelming feeling is of a settlement whose time has past.
Barentsburg destination guides
Realm of the Polar Bear
From close-up encounters with icebergs and glaciers to the region’s plentiful wildlife, this is a voyage of non-stop highlights. Always on the lookout for exotic animals, you’ll explore this landscape not only by ship but also on foot and via Zodiac.
Realm of the Polar Bear in Depth
Similar to our 'Realm of the Polar Bear' itinerary (XVRPNX), you'll enjoy three additional days of exploring. Scour the ice and tundra in search of the elusive polar bear and encounter even more icebergs, glaciers, and unique wildlife than you ever thought possible on this 11-day expedition.