Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard

1 Spitsbergen / Svalbard – Longyearbyen

World’s northernmost cruise destination

Longyearbyen in Svalbard is the world’s northernmost cruise destination – and also one of the most spectacular. Located just below the North Pole, the vulnerable nature, glaciers, polar bears, alluring light and Arctic activities of the Svalbard archipelago offer a truly unique cruise experience.

(Text copyright by CNNS / Erik Joachimsen)

Spitsbergen, the largest island in the archipelago, was discovered by Dutchman Willem Barents in 1596. Spitsbergen, which means “pointed mountains” in Dutch, has mountains towering 1700 m above sea level, surrounded by glaciers and picturesque fjords. Over the following 300 years, the hunting and trapping of whales, walruses, polar bears and Arctic foxes proved the basis of existence for fortune hunters from across Europe.

Coal mining operations became a significant industry in the 20th century and led to the establishment of several permanent communities. Svalbard was also the starting point for expeditions by some of the era’s greatest explorers who set off in search of the Northwest Passage and on the race to be first to the North Pole. The stories about these people are a vivid part of the Longyearbyen experience.

The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 recognized Norwegian sovereignty and the majority of Longyearbyen’s current population of 2100 are Norwegian citizens. However, the town has a very international atmosphere with 40 nationalities represented. The primary industries today are mining, research and tourism, and the Longyearbyen population today is characterized by a high proportion of families.

As Norway’s 15th largest cruise destination, Longyearbyen offers a broad range of shorex options. Many guests opt for guided sightseeing walks or bus tours focussing on Svalbard’s history of mining and trapping. Highlights include visiting the Svalbard Museum, winner of the Council of Europe’s Museum Prize for 2008, and the Spitsbergen Airship Museum.

For Tourism Manager Ronny Brunvoll, the tough Arctic wilderness is the most spectacular at latitude 78° N. “Visiting husky kennels, fossil hunting, RiB safaris to bird cliffs and dog sledding trips with qualified guides are popular activities,” says Brunvoll. In Longyearbyen, he emphasizes the well developed range of shops, bars and restaurants. “All shopping in Svalbard is Tax Free and alcohol, gold, clothes, shoes and outdoor equipment are popular purchases among our visitors.”

“Cruise destination Longyearbyen is working purposely to develop the cruise traffic with focus on sustainable, new experiences and improved onshore logistics. Our ambition is to get cruise lines to stop here for one or two nights, so the passengers have the opportunity to experience both Isfjorden and Longyearbyen, while the cruise line will save on fuel costs by docking,” concludes Brunvoll.

Community Specific Guidelines

LONGYEARBYEN Community Specific Guidelines

Cruise port Longyearbyen
Number of calls 2012 (2013) (2014): 42 (50) (41) Estimate 2014: 26
Unique Selling Points: The world’s northernmost cruise port, just below the North Pole
Shorex contact: Ronny Brunvoll

View and download Spitsbergen Travels ShorEx Manual 2016-edition

Product Manual 2015/16: Spitsbergen

Port information (Source: Cruise Norway)

PORT OF Longyearbyen
Visiting address: Bykaia, Port of Longyear
Mailing address: POB. 350, NO-9171 Longyearbyen
Phone /Fax: +47 911 22 300 / +47 79 02 13 15

Visiting address: Svalbard Tourism
Distance from port: 2.0 km
Mailing address: PO. 323, NO-9171 Longyearbyen
Phone: +47 79 02 55 50

Visiting address: Svalbardporten/ Gateway to Svalbard
Distance from port: 1.5 km
Mailing address: PB 323, 9171 Longyearbyen
Phone / Fax: +47 79 02 55 50 / +47 79 02 55 51

Guide Service: English/German/French
Terminal/Restrooms in pier area: YES
Shuttle bus: YES
Parking place for buses: YES
Taxi: YES
Rental cars: YES
Public transportation: NO
Shopping: 1.5 km
Local currency: NOK
ATM: YES 1.7 km
Currency exchange: NO
Tax refund: Taxfree zone
Public telephones in pier area: YES
Internet access in pier area: YES
Mailboxes in pier area: NO
Distances – airport: 4 km
Distance to city center: 1.7 km
Nearest hospital: 1.7 km

Bunkers delivery /method: YES/ truck
Supplies: YES
Waste handling: YES
Waste water method: Not available
Tugboats: NO
Anchorage: YES
Pontoons: YES
Pilot: YES
Emergency: VHF channel 12(16)
Medical emergency: Phone 113
Tidal movement: Max 2 m
ISPS approved: YES
Designated quays for cruise ships: YES
Ship tenders allowed: YES
Beam: City quay 16 m. Tourist quay 5 m
Max size ship in port: No limit
Max number of passenger per day in port: 4000
Max number of ships per day in port: No limit
Ships stay min /max: No limit
Environmental limitations /restrictions: NO
Port facilities according to
Cruise Norway`s guidelines: YES
Maximum ship length: City quay 300 m. Tourist quay 65 m.
Old quay 90 m. Coal quay 120 m
Maximum ship draft and depth in sea:
City quay: 9 m Tourist quay: 6 m Old quay: 5 m Coal quay: 8 m
Maximum ship air draft if bridge: No limit for all

Type of bottom: Bay/rock
Minimum depth: 30 m
Distance from anchorage to tender pier: 400-800 m