The rich deposits of very high-quality hard coal also ensured a certain industrialization of the islands quite early on. Most of the coal mines have been closed in recent years. However, there some production that is used to run the local coal power plants.
Longyearbyen is the “capital”, a small town with a well-developed airport and port. Ny Ålesund is a little further north. It is a settlement which today is more or less a big international research station.
The Russian town of Barentsburg is also inhabited and has been receiving more and more tourists in recent years. There are also some abandoned places, mines and posts.
Our diving expedition to the north, east and south of the Arctic Archipelago starts from Longyearbyen. Weather and ice conditions often determine the exact course.
But even before leaving the port, you come into contact with the amazing animal life. Nesting barnacle geese, eider ducks and terns can be found while walking in the village. You can often see ptarmigan, gyrfalcon, the small Svalbard-Rein and arctic foxes. Even beluga whales visit the fjord regularly.
Once on board, everything is possible: in the vicinity of the town we have already seen polar bear mothers with cubs successfully hunting seals and plundering duck nests, discovered walruses on the pack ice and even met the biggest creature of all time, the blue whale.
The list of animal species that we may see on our tours includes more or less all high Arctic species.
A flexible travel plan and the small group size make it possible to fully enjoy every extraordinary encounter – more Arctic adventure is not possible!