8th.June: Longyearbyen, Arrival back
Position: 78°12.60’ N 15°32.6’ E
Wind: NNW 3
Air Temperature: +3
Around midnight, we arrived in Longyearbyen. While we enjoyed a last breakfast on board, our suitcases were taken off the ship. It is a sad moment to disembark from Plancius, which has been a comfortable and cozy home during this unforgettable journey. We have shared many unique moments, seen a range of rarely sighted wildlife, and made new friends. Loaded with fond memories we now must head home.
I was starting my return journey the same day but the short transfer to the airport was not until midday, so that there was still some time to view the town. However my room mate was staying one night in Longyearbyen before his somewhat longer journey to Beijing. After depositing our luggage at his hotel and buying some maps at the tourist office, we enjoyed a coffee and some excellent cake at the visitor centre restaurant. Then we made our way to the two museums of Longyearbyen passing close to a reindeer as we did so, no need for a telephoto lens for a photo! The North Pole Expedition museum shows as one would expect relics and photographs from the time of Nansen and Amundsen, but also much information about an ill-fated Italian airship expedition, whose members had to be rescued by a Russian icebreaker. The Svalbard Museum is a more modern nature museum with many interesting exhibits of the wildlife which we had been seeing live. I was finally able to see a polar bear at close quarters even if it was a stuffed one, which had to be shot when it attempted to attack a group of people.
Once on the plane my journey was uneventful except that on arrival in Oslo I experienced darkness for the first time for a week.
Dates: 1 Jun – 8 Jun, 2023
Duration: 7 nights
Ship: m/v Plancius