Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

For travellers with their ice axes and crampons at the ready, Svalbard (Spitsbergen) is about to come a whole lot closer, with a Norwegian budget airlines offering flights in 2008 to the Arctic archipelago.

article summary —

Our feature on northern Norway highlights that it was once possible to travel all the way to Svalbard (Spitsbergen) by regular scheduled shipping services. Run as an offshoot of the regular Hurtigruten services, selected summer season sailings headed north from Honningsvåg to the Svalbard capital at Longyearbyen. The services also served five other Svalbard ports. When the MS Lofoten made her debut on these Svalbardruta services in 1968, there was no easy air access to the Svalbard archipelago. With the opening of the airport at Longyearbyen in 1975, passenger numbers on the shipping services slumped. The ships to Svalbard survived another few seasons, but by then there were regular air services into Longyearbyen from both Russia and Norway.

Until now, Svalbard has been a pricey destination to reach by air, but that changes next summer.

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About the authors

hidden europe

and Susanne Kries manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

This article was published in hidden europe 16.