All posts tagged: Longyearbyen

I visited the little Russian town inside a NATO country | World | News

I visited the little Russian town inside a NATO country | World | News

Arriving at Barentsburg (Image: Tom Burnett/Reach PLC) The sun is high in the late April sky as the ship makes its way down the fjord – although this is not surprising, I’m so far north that it is not set to go down until August. It has been several hours since the MS Billefjord pulled away from the quay at Longyearbyen, the largest town on Svalbard and by most estimates the most northerly town of any size in the world, with around 2,300 making it their home. There are few other settlements of any size on Svalbard anymore, many of the coal mining operations that brought people to this remote Arctic archipelago at scale have closed down – following the path of the intrepid European whalers who would wait out the winter season in this barren land centuries before. As the ship makes its way through the choppy waters of the Isfjorden I keep an eye out on the shore for the elusive polar bears that live on this remote land at what feels like …