A historical travel along the west coast of Spitsbergen

A historical travel along the west coast of Spitsbergen
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Activity Snapshot

Activity description

 A historical travel along the west coast of Spitsbergen
Join our adventure along the west coast of Spitsbergen. On our way we will pass mining settlements, run down trappers’ stations and modern scientific installations.

In Svalbard we meet our neighbors in the east when driving west. 60 kilometers from Longyearbyen we’ll find Barentsburg among other places which we’ll pass through. The trip takes us through grand valleys and along the beautiful coast of Spitsbergen. The terrain is relatively easy to drive and our experienced guides will adapt the trip also to those who are new to snowmobiles. We will drive in terrain that has throughout history been used by trappers, whale hunters, miners and scientists, and still is. This will be a snowmobile trip back in time to when the world was divided between east and west.

Barentsburg can be reffered to as the “little Russia” of Svalbard. As we enter Barentsburg you can still read “Our goal – communism!” written with large letters. We will take a break in Barentsburg and a walk trough the city. Be aware that we will not access any of the cities facilities or buildings, and there will not be possible to purchase  any souvenirs or any other things during the time we spend in the Russian settlement.

We will do several stops on our way to talk about the nature and historical remains that we encounter. This also provides us with good opportunities for taking pictures. During the day we will also find a nice place to sit down and enjoy a homemade soup for lunch that we brought from Longyearbyen.  If weather and time permits, we will also a short stop at Colesbay.

Information regarding tours with any form of connection to Russian state-owned companies in Svalbard:
Owing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the related violations of international law and human rights, an extraordinary general meeting in Visit Svalbard has decided that all products, tours, services or other offers with any form of connection to the Russian state-owned companies in Svalbard, will be removed from Visit Svalbard’s platforms.
This specific activity does not have any economic ties to Russian state-owned companies in Svalbard, and is therefore still available on visitsvalbard.com.
For more information, see the media release from Svalbard Tourism Council and Visit Svalbard: https://en.visitsvalbard.com/visitor-information/news/trust-arcticugol-excluded-from-the-svalbard-tourism-council

Course of events

We will visit the settlement of Barentsburg and spend time here on this trip.

However, due to the situation in Ukraine, we have decided not to support the Russian state. All the money someone spends in Barentsburg and/or Pyramiden goes directly to the company Trust Arcticogul which is 100% owned by the Russian state. It can be anything such as food, local guided tours, hotels, harbor fees and souvenirs. We will therefore bring food and coffee from Longyearbyen that we can enjoy during the trip. 

It is safe to visit the Russian settlements on Svalbard. The lovely Russian and Ukraine citizens that live here are always very friendly and welcoming.

Activity requirements

It is recommended by the guide of this activity to wear a base layer in 100% wool, a mid-layer in wool, down or fleece and thick woollen socks. It is possible to bring a small backpack.

Special terms

All snowmobile drivers must bring a valid driver's licence and you need to be at least 18-years old. If you don't have a valid licence, you will not be able to drive the snowmobile. In Norway, there is a zero tolerance for the influence of alcohol when driving a snowmobile.

You can choose to purchase an optional snowmobile insurance policy for NOK 200 from the guide of this activity. With this option, you will be insured in any case of accident. If you wish to share a snowmobile as a driver and passenger, then you only need the insurance for one person. The minimum required age for passengers is 12.

This guide has 6 snowmobiles available. In case you are booking as a group, please be aware that there can be only 6 drivers. Each snowmobile can fit the driver and passenger. Driver and passenger can switch though during the activity.

The only locations the instructor can pick up in Longyearbyen is as follows:
Radisson BLU Polar hotel
Basecamp Hotel
Gjestehuset 102
Coal Miners Cabin
Funken Lodge
Cruise port
Mary Ann´s Polarrigg
Svalbard hotel – Polfareren
Svalbard hotel – The Vault
Tourist Information center

  • Snowmobile
  • Suit
  • Shoes
  • Goggles
  • Helmet
Do not forget to bring
  • Driver licence
  • Warm clothes
  • Gloves
  • Camera
  • Hat
Meeting point
Svalbard Tourist Information or please contact your instructor for a pickup from the other locations provided. Pickup locations are listed in the "special terms" under the activity description. Get directions