Return of the Sun

Light winter: 01.03.-18.05.2016

It’s been dark for four months. Svalbard is about to emerge from a long, cold winter. A steely blue colour tints the landscape. A blast of red is on the horizon. Today is March 8. The sun is returning. The days are about to get brighter and longer. In a month from now, the midnight sun will be back. Time to go out and play! 

Arctic Wilderness evening 

Away from Longyearbyen, in Advent Valley, an open fire is crackling inside a cabin. A pot of reindeer stew is being prepared. It’s cold outside, it’s warm inside. So are the hosts working here at Camp Barentz in the Arctic wilderness. They’re waiting for you, ready to serve you a hot meal, tell the story about the explorers who discovered Spitsbergen in 1596 and teach you everything you need to know about the king of the Arctic: The Polar Bear.

Snowmobile safari Tempelfjorden

Right in front of you: A towering wall of blue ice. The fjord is frozen thick with ice, so you are able to drive up close on your snowmobile. You’re marvelling at the Tuna glacier in the Tempelfjord. Seals are resting on the ice, close to their escape routes back into the Arctic water, away from hunting polar bears. You pass Villa Fredheim, Hilmar Nøis’ trapping station. It’s remarkable that people overwintered in the harsh Arctic climate. You’re only here for a short stay, but this trip will leave an everlasting impression.

Snowmobile safari Camp Barentz

The Advent Valley opens up. You drive past high mountains all dressed up in white. The air is fresh, cold. You’ve never been on a snowmobile before, but you like it. It’s exciting to drive far away from Longyearbyen. All of a sudden, the group comes to a halt. Engines are turned off. Silence. The snowmobile guide points to the left. A pack of reindeer wander across the open tundra. In the distance, you see a camp. That’s where you’re headed - to Camp Barentz. You’ll hear the story of the brave explorers who discovered Spitsbergen in 1596 and the challenges they overcame in an attempt to survive the Arctic winter: Freezing cold temperatures, scurvy and polar bears climbing down the chimney. No bears today though. Yet…

Ice cave tour

The light from your headlamp reveals a glittering, crystal-like cave. The walls are frozen. Just a few minutes ago you were at your hotel, waiting to be picked up by the big red snow cat. Now here you stand, inside an icy cathedral, and yet you’re not cold. It’s warm inside the ice cave. Silent, still and magical. Now if they only had a bed in here…

Dog sledding Bolterdalen

It was loud and hectic. Dogs barking and people running around, getting the sleds ready. But now, out here, all you hear is paws hitting the soft snow. You follow a frozen riverbed, meandering back and forth into the long, luminous Bolterdalen. Steep mountains frame the valley on both sides. The sled in front of you comes to a halt. The Scott Turner Glacier is just up ahead. You sit down, next to the dogs. They look at you. You look at them. Today is a great day – and it has just started!

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