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Fjord Safari to Pyramiden and Nordenskiöld Glacier

with Svalbard Adventures

This is the ghost town that everyone talks about and journalists from around the world want to write about. The Russian settlement of Pyramiden on the shores of the Billefjord was once a lively mining community.

We depart from the port in Longyearbyen in a closed rigid inflatable boat (RIB) and travel further into the Isfjord. On arrival in Pyramiden, the guide will take us on a tour and provide an insight into the history of this unique place as we stroll through the abandoned streets.

 

— One of 10 ghost towns in the world you need to visit

National Geographic

 

Pyramiden had a population of around 1,000 in its heyday and, with facilities such as a school, hospital, indoor swimming pool, greenhouse and cowshed and a cultural centre, was considered a good place to live. The clear architectural and artistic features from the Soviet era bear witness to the settlement’s golden days and remain as a historical document.

The town was abandoned abruptly in 1998 when the mining operation was shut down and most of the jobs disappeared. The buildings, monuments and technical installations remain just as they were left, as does the exercise equipment in the gym. This reinforces the impression of Pyramiden as a ghost town. The Russian state-owned mining company Arktikugol Trust still owns Pyramiden, which now has a population of 4-8 people to take care of building maintenance and run the tourism activities.

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Facts

Difficulty: 2

09:00 – 16:00

Minimum participants: 4 persons

Age limit: 10 years

 

 
  • Transport to and from your hotel
  • Floating suit, life vest, shoes, gloves, googles, and balaclava
  • Guide with safety equipment
  • An expedition lunch, hot drinks and biscuits
  • Search and Rescue Insurance
  • Lunch, hot drinks, and biscuits
  • The boat may not carry passengers under 14 years unless such passenger is accompanied y an adult. Minimum age on this trip is 10 years old.
  • We do not recommend this tour if you are pregnant or have back problems
  • We recommend warm clothing to wear under the floating suit such as wool underwear, wool socks, thick sweater, and windproof outer clothing

  • A small backpack for extra clothing and other items
  • Please state any food allergies or other preferences
  • Note! Early in the season, there may be too much ice in Billefjorden to reach Pyramiden

Svalbard has a common grading system so you will find the trip that suits you. Highlighted number is graded for this trip:

1- Suitable for all

2- Suitable for most

3- Average physical fitness

4- Above average physical fitness

5- Demands exceptional physical fitness

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Pyramid shaped mountain

The spectacular backdrop of the pyramid-shaped mountain and the Nordenskiöld glacier create a sharp contrast with the industrial settlement. After a hot lunch, we leave Pyramiden and travel even further into the fjord to the Nordenskiöld glacier, a glacier terminus (glacier front) often regarded as the most spectacular in Svalbard.

The group size on this tour is limited to 12 people, and each group has its own guide. These boats are smaller and faster than the larger boats, and they are equipped with an onboard heating system and toilet.

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Please note: Early in the season there may be too much ice in the Billefjord for us to get all the way in to Pyramiden. However, there is a lot of nature to explore in this area and, if we are lucky, we will experience the rich wildlife at this time of the year.

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