Svalbard's only town – indeed, only centre with more than a handful of inhabitants – Longyearbyen enjoys a superb backdrop including two glacier tongues, Longyearbreen and Lars Hjertabreen. The town itself is fringed by abandoned mining detritus and the waterfront is anything but beautiful, with shipping containers and industrial buildings. The further you head up the valley towards the glaciers, the more you'll appreciate being here. Even so, Longyearbyen is a place to base yourself for trips out into the wilderness rather than somewhere to linger for its own sake.
Longyearbyen 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.