Category Archives: Svalbard

Svalbard Daily Planet for the week of July 28-Aug. 3, 2019

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Direct flights to/from Greenland’s northernmost tip, summer hotel stays down for the first time since 2013, Svalbard Vet now offers 24/7 care and more recent headlines from mainstream local and global media.

20 MORE YEARS OF MINING: Store Norske, after drastic downsizing, plans to extract coal from Mine 7 until 2040

Store Norske, which is dismantling its two largest mines after laying off most of its employees the past few years after billion-kroner losses left it days from bankruptcy, earned a profit of 10 million kroner in 2018 and plans to continue its last remaining coal extraction at Mine 7 until 2040, according to its annual report.

Random weirdness for the week of July 30, 2019

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“What’s black, white and red all over? Not a newspaper – but a polar bear mother and her cub having lunch.” Not entirely a new joke for Svalbard, but that first sentence in a Daily Mail story about photographer Andy Rouse encountering the pair of bears during a cruise July 15 is fitting after they ate a fresh-killed seal while he watched.

POLAR BEAR INVADES CAMP: Ten kayakers removed by rescue officials after bear tears apart tents at site at Gipsvika

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A polar bear that invaded a campsite and tore apart tents just after midnight Friday forced the ten kayakers to abandon the site after rescue officials chased the animal away with a helicopter, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

VIVA SVALBARD! Food truck serving ‘Mexican’ tacos w/ fillings including whale and reindeer set to debut in August

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A bit of spice is coming soon to Longyearbyen’s food truck – um, perhaps it can’t yet be called a “scene” – as a colorful custom wagon selling selling Mexican-style tacos with fillings including Svalbard-themed items like whale and reindeer is scheduled to debut in mid-August.

A ‘TITANIC’ ICEBREAKER? Sea ice damage forces science ship dubbed ‘Norway’s new pride’ to abandon first Arctic expedition

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There’s no good way to spin this: The Kronprins Haakon research ship, hailed as one of the world’s most advanced icebreakers, sustained enough damage from sea ice on its maiden Arctic expedition north of Svalbard to force the cancellation of the trip and put several major projects in jeopardy.

BAILING OUT: Two kayakers rescued after flooding leaves them in the water of Isfjorden for two hours

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Two Danish men unable to pump out water flooding their kayak in Isfjorden, leaving them in the sea with their dry suits, were rescued after triggering their emergency beacon late Sunday night, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

Svalbard Daily Planet for the week of July 21-27, 2019

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NEW! If you instinctively closed the new pop-on our website without glancing at (we do it all the time elsewhere, so we know how annoying they can be and are trying to do something actually appealing and newsworthy), this is a week-by-week roundup of stories about Svalbard from media around the world that are interesting, but not worthy of their own articles here. From deadly serious headlines about planetary threats to utterly bizarre tabloid fodder about planetary invasions here, the range of what others write is as diverse and fascinating as Svalbard itself (if not always completely spot-on, so these summaries are edited for context where necessary).

DAWN (AT MIDNIGHT) OF A NEW HYBRID FERRY ERA: Hurtigruten’s new battery-powered ship makes first stop in Longyearbyen overnight under sunny skies

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Since the ship is designed for maximum energy efficiency in the Arctic in particular, it’s only fitting nature provided a matching setting as Hurtigruten’s first hybrid-powered ferry made its debut in Longyearbyen with a 12-hour stop beginning at 10 p.m. Friday where passengers were able to spend a long “day” exploring under clear skies lit by the midnight sun.

DESTROY AND REPLACE: Three-week excavation at Vei 232, snowmobiles at Vei 230 must go by Sunday for city projects

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One of Longyearbyen’s busiest residential roads will be torn up for three weeks and snowmobiles parked near an adjacent street must be moved by Sunday due to infrastructure replacement projects by the city, officials announced Friday.