Of course the most verbal of the country collectors are the zealots at the 193 club, but for many of us searching out weird and wonderful political anomalies is what floats our boat, and as anomalies go, you really cannot beat Svalbard.
Here’s everything you ever needed to know about Svalbard!
Where is Svalbard?
Svalbard, formerly known by its Dutch name of Spitsbergen is a Norwegian group of islands located north of the arctic circle between Russia and Norway.
What language do they speak in Svalbard?
The official language of Svalbard is not in fact Norweigan, but Swedish, and is the only part of Norway where Swedish is the official language. There are Russian outposts in Svalbard (we will get to that later) which speak Russian (obviously).
What is the capital of Svalbard?
The capital of Svalbard is Longyearbyen, which is also the largest island and settlement and is essentially considered a Norwegian county.
What is the population of Svalbard?
Currently just over 2000, with just over half being “Norweigan”.
What is the political status or Svalbard?
Svalbard is technically an unincorporated territory of Norway, but that far from tells the whole story about Svalbard. Following World War 2 whilst Norway reasserted sovereignty the USSR was able to set up several mining and scientific stations, which exist to this day, hell they even have a Lenin bust!
How do you get to Svalbard?
The most common way to get to Svalbard is via flight from Oslo in Norway to Longyearbyen. The flight time is 3 hours, and it is not exactly a cheap flight. Fun fact! Longyearbyen Airport is the most northerly airport in the world to receive regularly scheduled flights.
How can I visit Svalbard?
There are a number of ways to visit Svalbard, but what we truly recommend is joining our cruise in October, be sure to secure your spots quickly as places are filling fast!