The highlight of my trip to Svlabard was an overnight trip from Longyearbyen to Pyramiden, a near-abandoned Russian mining settlement reached via boat.
I booked with Arctic Explorer because it offered the better schedule, though other companies offer full meals onboard (such as BBQ whale) while we just had complimentary coffee + biscuits and snacks for purchase. Cost for two r/t tickets to Pyramiden was NOK 3,400 ($413) and easily reserved online.
We booked only a couple hours before our trip and had no trouble calling the office after to arrange a pick-up from our Airbnb. Everyone knows everyone in Longyearbyen.
A bus driver who looked like a veteran seafarer with a full white beard picked us up and brought us to the boat dock.
We departed midday from Longyearbyen and our departure was delayed a bit due to a late arriving vessel. The boat makes a morning trip to Barentsburg, another Russian mining village, before returning to Longyearbyen and continuing to Pyramiden.
Our journey to Pyramiden took 2.5 hours on the way out because we traced our path along the coast of the Billefjorden and stopped at the beautiful Nordenskioldbreen glacier, where ran into a whale.
Our guide onboard, Liga, did a wonderful job explaining the history, biology, geology, and zoology of the region.
Finally we docked in Pyramiden and were ushered onto a bus for our tour.
Next up: an amazing tour and overnight in Pyramiden
I’ll include pictures of the return voyage as well, since I am not going to do a separate post:
You can see the journey back the following day was much clearer and we again ran into polar bears. The direct journey back from Pyramiden only requires 90 minutes.
Read more of my Scandinavia Trip Report:
Review: SAS A330 Business Class Los Angeles to Stockholm
Lounge Review: SAS Gold Lounge Stockholm
Review: SAS Business Class Stockholm to Oslo (Scenic Flight)
Lounge Review: SAS Gold Lounge Oslo
Review: SAS Business Class Oslo to Longyearbyen
The Advantage of AirBnB in Longyearbyen
A Boat Trip to an Abandoned Russian Mining Island
Review: Hotel Tulpan in Pyramiden
Walking Around Pyramiden at 2:00a
Why Pyramiden is a Must-See
Lounge Review: SAS Café Tromso
Review: Radisson Stockholm Airport
Review: Hilton Stockholm