You should go on a boat trip or a mixed cruise and fishing trip if you want to see and explore the wild, raw and untouched nature of the Arctic!
The russian settlements of Barentsburg and Pyramiden are reached by boat during both summer in winter.
Pyramiden was a russian settlement which was closed in 1998. Now it is considered as a ghost town. By visiting the settlement, you will be able to know and feel how rich the community was. They had lots of big buildings– hospital, their recreation center which is called The Cultural Center, a large cafeteria and more, which are still standing strong up to today! Expect to hear lots of interesting story. The magnificient Nordenskiold glacier will welcome you on your way to Pyramiden. A glass of white wine with an arctic ice would be perfect while observing this piece of art.
Barentsburg is the second largest settlement in Longyearbyen with about 450 russian and ukranian inhabitants. Although the Russian mining company still operates the mines, in recent years it has also invested in tourism. Even the most experienced globetrotters are fascinated by Barentsburg and the huge contrasts with Longyearbyen. You can combine the trip to Barentsburg through pristine Arctic nature with interesting history, Russian culture, Soviet era architecture, a visit to the mine, traditional food and exciting entertainment. There are several accommodation options in Barentsburg, a husky kennel and a beautiful Russian orthodox church, which is well worth visiting.
Arctic wildlife at sea
The unique wildlife of Svalbard is best seen from a boat. Trips to the settlements of Pyramiden and Barentsburg give you not only the taste of history but the arctic animal life as well. While on the way to the glaciers of Nordenskiold or Esmark, high chances of seeing seals, walruses and even Polar Bears are present!
There are also boat trips that really focus on wildlife. On which the most popular are Whale Safari and Walrus Safari.