Master courses: We find all the cheap food at the supermarket so you don’t have to

Master courses: We find all the cheap food at the supermarket so you don’t have to

Yeah, we know –  the prices here suck. And every kroner spent on real food is money that can’t be spent on beer. What’s a starving college student to do? More »

Using Finns to fly: First international flights at Svalbard Airport scheduled by Finnair beginning next summer

Using Finns to fly: First international flights at Svalbard Airport scheduled by Finnair beginning next summer

Finnair will become the first airline to offer scheduled international service to Svalbard Airport with direct flights between Helsinki and Longyearbyen from June 1 to Aug. 27 of next year, the airline More »

Random bits of weirdness for the week of Aug. 18, 2015

Random bits of weirdness for the week of Aug. 18, 2015

“The island of Spitsbergen has been a nude zone for decades. However it is not required to stay naked in this area.” We ought to just end this week’s roundup here since More »

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 18, 2015

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 18, 2015

Russia: We didn’t reject bear census; we need more time Russia is denying it has rejected granting researchers access to its territory for a joint Russian-Norwegian census of polar bears in the More »

Terror suspect: Ny-Ålesund cowering with polar bears nearby, or so scream headlines with dodgy mug shots

Terror suspect: Ny-Ålesund cowering with polar bears nearby, or so scream headlines with dodgy mug shots

“Growing Polar Bear Presence Terrifies Scientists In Arctic Town Of Ny-Ålesund.” That headline, along with variations such as “nightmare” and “stalk,” is declaring the Svalbard research settlement under siege because  – wait for More »

 

Master courses: We find all the cheap food at the supermarket so you don’t have to

fishheads

Yeah, we know –  the prices here suck. And every kroner spent on real food is money that can’t be spent on beer. What’s a starving college student to do?

Using Finns to fly: First international flights at Svalbard Airport scheduled by Finnair beginning next summer

finnairsvalbard

Finnair will become the first airline to offer scheduled international service to Svalbard Airport with direct flights between Helsinki and Longyearbyen from June 1 to Aug. 27 of next year, the airline announced in a press release this week.

“During midsummer we will provide three weekly flights to Svalbard, which is mainly aimed at European customers, but can be also be connected from our Asian flights,” said  Petri Vuori, Finnair’s Vice-President of Global Sales, in a prepared statement.

That means three airlines will be offering regular flights to Longyearbyen next summer, in contrast to the monopoly Scandinavian Airlines had for five years until 2013. Discount carrier Norwegian Air resumed service in March of that year, significantly boosting and redefining Svalbard’s tourism industry in ways both praised and criticized. Still, many locals are hoping the additional competition will allow the positive aspects to continue.

“Let the bidding wars commence,” wrote Benjamin Vidmar, a Longyearbyen resident, in the comments section of a Barents Observer article about the announcement. “Now I hope the prices come down as more airlines come online. Presently it is more expensive to fly from Oslo to Longyearbyen, than it is to fly from Oslo to just about anywhere else in Europe.”

Initial round-trip fairs at Finnair’s website start at 198 Euro (1,829 kroner) for the roughly three-hour flights. The inaugural inbound flight is scheduled to to depart Helsinki at 11:45 p.m. (Finnish time) and arrive in Svalbard at 1:45 a.m. (local time). It is scheduled to depart Longyearbyen at 2:45 a.m.

Passengers flying to and from the Longyearbyen will need to go through passport control and customs since Svalbard is not part of the Schengen Area.

Random bits of weirdness for the week of Aug. 18, 2015

nuditysign

“The island of Spitsbergen has been a nude zone for decades. However it is not required to stay naked in this area.” We ought to just end this week’s roundup here since there’s no way we’re going to get weirder than that.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 18, 2015

bearcensusrussia

Russia: We didn’t reject bear census; we need more time
Russia is denying it has rejected granting researchers access to its territory for a joint Russian-Norwegian census of polar bears in the Barents Sea region, instead arguing Russia’s legislature needs sufficient time to evaluate the project.

Terror suspect: Ny-Ålesund cowering with polar bears nearby, or so scream headlines with dodgy mug shots

bear2011

“Growing Polar Bear Presence Terrifies Scientists In Arctic Town Of Ny-Ålesund.”

That headline, along with variations such as “nightmare” and “stalk,” is declaring the Svalbard research settlement under siege because  – wait for it – there are polar bears nearby and people need to carry guns when they wander out.

Random Weirdness for the week of Aug. 11, 2015

netspeedmap

Rejoice people of Svalbard: this is the fastest place Earth for ordinary yokels to download porn.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 11, 2015

NilsEngen

Say, aren’t you that rock star? Why are you driving my cab?  
If you think Rod Stewart is now a taxi driver in Longyearbyen, you’re excused.

Photo: The good, the bad and the really, really ugly

flagexhibit

A Longyearbyen School student, top left, holds up the flag she would have designed for Norway if she prevailed in an 1821 competition among the country’s elite. About 20 flags designed by Longyearbyen students will be part of an exhibit of more than 400 flags titled “Utforsking av Norges Flagg” (“Exploration of Norway’s Flag”), which will be unveiled at 7 p.m. Friday at Galleri Svalbard.

Beer here! Longyearbyen’s first-ever brewery gets off to rollicking, slightly bitter start

beermakerstoast

After waiting months longer than expected for the first keg of Longyearbyen’s first-ever locally brewed beer to be tapped, the revelers decided they didn’t need their hosts to start the buzz.

Your name here: Gov’t to track all passengers on Svalbard flights, changes law to kick out ‘undesirables’

dmitryairport

Congratulations Dmitry – you just made coming here a bit more annoying for everybody.

Airlines are now being required to submit the names of all passengers on all scheduled and charter flights to The Governor of Svalbard before traveling to the archipelago. In addition, persons banned in mainland Norway can now also be exiled from Svalbard due to a change in entry requirements announced Friday by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security.