Monday, 22 July 2013


After sailing for most of the day at about 12:30 hrs we finally saw land.  The first visible bit of land was  Prince Kong Forland, however with the fog visibility was low. A soft rain was with us while approaching to Ny Alesund.

Ny Alesund is a small settlement that initially started as a mining town and later become a research town.  Year round there is people in town, although the number of residents is variable during the summer months might be 150 inhabitants, while during the winter months it might reach 10 to 15 persons.  There is a small hotel, Post office, two mini museums and a souvenir shop, on the daily life most people run in bicycles and if they have to go to the outer parts of town they carry a gun and sometimes dogs.

This settlement gained fame during the 1920’s, this fame was through the dramatic flights attempts to reach the North Pole.  Among the individuals that came to this settlement were Richard Bird, Roald Amundsen, Lincoln Ellsworth, and Umberto Nobile to name some.  All of these persons were trying to reach the North Pole by either flying boats or airships. There is much to talk on the theme but we have no space here to do so, but check on board for lectures on the topic. The airship mast from were some of this expeditions departed still there a bit moved by the permafrost but still in good shape.