Exploration boat in front of Lilliehook glacier in Lilliehook fjord, a branch of Cross Fjord, Spitsbergen Island, Svalbard archipelago, Norway.

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Top choice in Svalbard

This 30km-long fjord north of Ny Ålesund is a popular detour for cruise ships, partly for the scenic beauty of Lillehöökbreen (its grand tidewater glacier), but also for the abundance of cultural relics scattered around the shores – the first whaling station on Spitsbergen was established here in 1611. Despite being so far north, as with Ny Ålesund, much of the fjord's shore is free of snow in summer.

At Ebeltoftbukta (also known as Ebeltofthamna), near the mouth of the fjord, you can see several whalers' graves that date from the 17th century, as well as a heap of leftover junk from a 1912 German telegraph office that was shifted wholesale to Ny Ålesund after only two years of operation. Opposite the entrance rise some crowded bird cliffs overlooking one of Svalbard's most verdant spots, with flowers, moss and grasses.

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