Svalbard: Soviet Frontier Cruise – Second Departure
Due to popular demand we will be offering a second departure on our Svalbard Cruise, right after the first one! Join YPT on a bespoke tour in the northern reaches of the world on a cruise around Svalbard visiting Russian settlements and abandoned coal mining outposts turned ghost towns!
It’s not that usual we are this excited about something more than 18 months from now, but this tour has got our tastebuds tingling. Not only will we be on an arctic cruise on the very cool s/v Noorderlicht in one of the most inspiring natural environments of the planet, but we’ll be ticking off most YPT boxes on this trip.
We kick off in the main town of Longyearbyen where we’ll get a feel for the kind of people who live amongst reindeer and polar bears, before heading on a cruise and stopping at Barentsburg, an old Russian mining settlement still populated by about 500 people. Here even though we’re still officially in Norway we’ll see the northernmost statue of Lenin in the world and grab a drink at the northernmost brewery!
We then head to an arctic ghost town – the abandoned settlement of Pyramiden, built by the USSR, which is still completely intact with Soviet style architecture and a monument to Lenin! There are only 18 places on the ship and we expect this to sell out quickly, like the previous tour!
Arrival into Longyearbyen which has flights from Oslo or Tromso
Longyearbyen is the main town in Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, and the northernmost settlement in the world.
Meet at 6pm at our hotel for dinner and pre-tour meeting where you can get to know your fellow travelers and YPT guide
Relax at Barentz Pub, the world’s northernmost bar. Fortunately being tax-free, a pint in Svalbard is way cheaper than the Norwegian mainland!
Overnight in Longyearbyen Coal Miners’ Cabins
Thursday 14th October – Longyearbyen and the Beginning of the Voyage
After breakfast head out to explore Svalbard, we may bump into reindeer but it’s not advisable to leave the town centre without a rifle because of polar bears!
Head first to the Svalbard Museum which delves deep into the human history and rich natural history of the archipelago
Lunch in Longyearbyen
Visit the northernmost church in the world, Svalbard Church
In the late afternoon we make sure we have all our provisions for the voyage
Early evening departure on the s/v Noorderlicht from Isfjorden
Look out for whales or just take in the scenery as dusk approaches
Dinner and overnight on the ship
Friday 15th October – Barentsburg
Breakfast on the ship
We’ll be scanning the waters for whales and other creatures but also taking in the atmosphere in this remote part of the world
Lunch on the ship
If there’s time then we’ll visit Colesbukta, a former Russian coal mining settlement long since abandoned
Trip highlight – we arrive in Barentsburg, the only Russian settlement in Spitsbergen still inhabited with a population of about 500 people, almost all of Russian or Ukrainian descent
Explore this old mining town and meet its very friendly Russian locals, we’ll even head to the Russian consulate – the northernmost diplomatic mission of any kind in the world
Visit the Barentsburg Pomor Museum, a Soviet era museum from the 1960s. The museum mainly deals with the Pomors – Russian settlers from the Novgorod region – but has great sections on the Second World War and Soviet Era as well as local history. Barentsuburg is named after the Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz, who discovered Svalbarg in 1596, though the Russians claim it was Pomors who got there first.
Get your kit off and swim in the heated seawater swimming pool
Spot the Communist Star and Slogan “Peace to the World” on the hillside above Barentsburg
This may be officially Norway still, but we’re still YPT and so we pay our respects to the statue of Lenin! Never will you see a statue of Lenin looking out over a fjord with the colourful Scandinavian style houses in the background.
Grab a couple of drinks at the northernmost brewery in the world, the Red Bear
Back aboard our ship for dinner and overnight
Saturday 16th October – Nordenskiöld – Pyramiden
Breakfast on the ship
Visit the glacier of Nordenskiöld, you most probably have never seen as much Arctic ice in one place, and the way the world is going, you may never do so again
Lunch on the ship
Trip highlight – In the afternoon we arrive in Pyramiden, a former coal mining Soviet settlement which is now completely deserted but hauntingly complete – this former Swedish settlement was sold to the USSR in 1927 and abandoned in 1998
We explore the abandoned settlement showing how the resident coal miners lived – it is predicted that because of the climate the buildings will remain largely as they are for another 500 years!
See the world’s northernmost monument to Lenin!
Check out the Pyramiden Monument, the old coal-fired power plant and Siberian style wooden barracks
Get back on board the ship for dinner and overnight
Sunday 17th October – Longyearbyen
Breakfast on the ship
Arrival back into Longyearbyen and transfer to our accommodation
After lunch we head out to the North Pole Expedition Museum
Visit the Svalbard Gallery and artists workshops
Dinner at Mary Anne’s Polarrigg where you can sample Arctic-Thai fusion including a whale stir-fry
Finish our tour with a Svalbard pub crawl, no wandering off into polar bear territory though!
Overnight in Longyearbyen
Monday 18th October – End of tour
End of tour with YPT able to arrange extra activities like hiking or snow mobile expeditions for those who want more of a taste of Svalbard or airport transfer and onward transport
– Accommodation in twin share in Longyearbyen and on board our ship in twin cabins
– All transport to complete the tour
– Breakfast in Longyearbyen and all meals on the ship
– Full ship crew and YPT guide
– Transport to and from Longyearbyen
– Visa fees if applicable (Svalbard is generally visa free though)
– Lunches and dinners in Longyearbyen
– All entrance fees
– Single Supplement in Longyearbyen, not available on ship (€100)
– Drinks and personal spending
We have expert guides ready to help answer any questions you may have.