Take an adventure holiday in the SPITSBERGEN with World Expeditions, one of the world’s leading travel companies.
The Arctic group of islands known as Svalbard, or Spitsbergen (or even Spitzbergen) was a no-man's land until in the 1920's it became Norwegian through the Svalbard treaty. A barren part of the world, with no permanent or indigenous population, it has for some hundred years been exploited for furs, whaling and coal mining.
The archipelago is located about halfway between Tromsø and the North Pole. The major city of Longyearbyen is the northernmost place in the world that you can visit on a regular scheduled flight. The name Svalbard means "cold coast", and the first written mention of the archipelago appears in 12th century Icelandic texts. Around 60 per cent of the islands in the archipelago are covered by ice.
Even though people have been visiting Svalbard for years, it was not until 1990 that the Norwegian authorities permitted general tourism. Spitsbergen is Svalbard's largest island, and thanks to the Gulf Stream the 400km long western coast has a rich flora and fauna. In 1596, the Dutchman Willem Barents passed by the peaked mountains on the northwest corner of the island, and this is how the island was given the name "Spitsbergen", which means "pointed mountains".
World Expeditions offers a wide selection of Arctic voyages that take in the best of Spitsbergen. Choose from voyages that circumnavigate Spitsbergen or combine a cruise to Spitsbergen with a visit to Greenland and Iceland.