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, Magic of the Arctic , Magic of the Arctic

Baltic Travel Blog

Magic of the Arctic

Posted on October 23rd, 2017.

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Dogsledding in the Advent Valley

After touching down at Longyear airport and being escorted to the Basecamp Hotel on Spitsbergen, lunch awaited us with guidelines for the first excursion. We packed a smaller bag of suitable, warm clothes and equipment, and headed to the polarcirkel boat which would take us to Isfjord Radio; one of the main attractions in the Svalbard archipelago. On the journey alone the wildlife and scenic views were impressive, and we anxiously awaited our arrival. At the modern Hotel Isfjord Radio, we settled in for an Arctic three course dinner prepared by the Hotel’s chef, before retiring to rest for the following day.

Isfjord Radio Hotel (Photo by Basecamp Explorer)

Isfjord Radio Hotel (Photo by Basecamp Explorer)

An early breakfast meant that we had a packed day of exploring to come. We boarded the boat which throughout the day sailed along the expansive coastline, and before stopping in Trygghamna to go ashore for lunch, we passed Isfjorden at Kapp Starostin and the bird-filled Alkehornet cliffs. We followed lunch with even more breath-taking scenes at the Esmark Glacier in Ymerbukta and even caught a glimpse of some whales. We weren’t lucky enough to see any polar bears, but the guides informed us that it was possible we would later on in the trip, so we kept our fingers crossed.

Walruses on the shore (Photo by Basecamp Explorer)

Walruses on the shore (Photo by Basecamp Explorer)

On the third day we made our way back to Longyearbyen, stopping in the boat along the way at Gronfjorden and the Russian inhabited mining city of Barentsburg, which only has around 350 citizens. We had a delicious lunch of locally caught mean delicacies at the brewery in the town after some exploring. We spent the night at the Basecamp Hotel back in Longyearbyen, with dinner at the neighbouring restaurant ‘Huset’, where we ate new Nordic delicacies, such as fresh fish and unusually prepared vegetables.

Huset Restaurant

Huset Restaurant

Day four held a plethora of exciting activities, so after breakfast at the Basecamp Hotel we set off for a hike to the top of Plateau Mountain, which boasted some of the most beautiful panoramic views over Longyearbyen, and the rest of the Archipelago. We continued our hike, stopping to warm up with hot food and drinks atop the mountains, and then on to the Longyear glacier en-route back to the city centre for some leisurely strolling and shopping. After a quick refresh in the Hotel, we made our way to the Trapper’s station for an evening filled with history, culture and food. The Trapper’s Station is where the Alaskan huskies are trained for mushing, as well as housing artefacts from previous Trappers and their expeditions.

Trapper's Station Quarters

Trapper’s Station Quarters

On our final day, before being transported to the airport in the evening, we got to experience dogsledding. We had the opportunity to learn how to harness and prepare the dogs for the journey, and also to be paired up with a team of six dogs for our trip along the road towards the vast Adventvalley. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience, and probably one of the highlights of our Arctic holiday!

Huskies taking a break in the snow

Huskies taking a break in the snow


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