CRUISE BAN REINSTATED: Norway halts cruises of more than 100 people for two weeks following COVID-19 outbreak aboard Hurtigruten ship

CRUISE BAN REINSTATED: Norway halts cruises of more than 100 people for two weeks following COVID-19 outbreak aboard Hurtigruten ship

All passenger cruises carrying more than 100 people have been banned for at least two weeks following outbreak of COVID-19 aboard Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen that became public last Friday, Norway’s government announced More »

COVID-19 outbreak on Roald Amundsen revives global cruising fears; Hurtigurten stops all voyages due to ‘internal procedures’ failures, police and health officials investigating

COVID-19 outbreak on Roald Amundsen revives global cruising fears; Hurtigurten stops all voyages due to ‘internal procedures’ failures, police and health officials investigating

The COVID-19 outbreak aboard Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen voyaging in Svalbard the latter of half of  July that as of Monday has infected at least 40 crew and passengers, and put nearly 400 more under More »

POLAR BEAR, CUB AT HIORTHHAMN: Governor reponds to late Saturday night visit at cabin area across from Longyearbyen

POLAR BEAR, CUB AT HIORTHHAMN: Governor reponds to late Saturday night visit at cabin area across from Longyearbyen

A polar bear with a cub is in the cabin area of Hiorthhamn across the channel from Longyearbyen, The Governor of Svalbard stated in an alert at about 11 p.m. Saturday. More »

COVID-19 WATCH IN LONGYEARBYEN: Two women w/ ‘Hearts in Ice’ tested after trip on infected Huritgruten ship to cabin; people second ship in contact w/ couple being kept aboard in Longyearbyen

COVID-19 WATCH IN LONGYEARBYEN: Two women w/ ‘Hearts in Ice’ tested after trip on infected Huritgruten ship to cabin; people second ship in contact w/ couple being kept aboard in Longyearbyen

Two women who made history by spending the past year at a cabin in Svalbard for their “Hearts in the Ice” adventure are being tested for the COVID-19 virus after being dropped More »

AT LEAST 35 CREW MEMBERS ABOARD HURTIGRUTEN SHIP NOW HAVE COVID-19 AFTER SVALBARD VOYAGE; QUARANTINE FOR ALL PASSENGERS FROM TRIP AND PREVIOUS ONE ORDERED AFTER ONE TESTS POSITIVE

AT LEAST 35 CREW MEMBERS ABOARD HURTIGRUTEN SHIP NOW HAVE COVID-19 AFTER SVALBARD VOYAGE; QUARANTINE FOR ALL PASSENGERS FROM TRIP AND PREVIOUS ONE ORDERED AFTER ONE TESTS POSITIVE

(This is a breaking story in progress and is being updated frequently as details are known.) At least 35 crew members aboard Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen during a voyage to Svalbard that ended More »

 

Effort to begin wrecked Northguider trawler begins (again), travel in area banned until job completed in September

northguiderremoval

During a year where pretty much everything seems new and/or different, there’s one summer rerun/sequel in the works in Svalbard as crews are attempting again to remove the wrecked Northguider trawler from the northern part of the archipelago after similar efforts failed last year.

Nine years after July 22 attacks, local victims and families say new turmoil is why ‘utmost consequence of totalitarian and hateful thought can’t be remembered too often these days’

july222020

Nine years after nearly being killed – but losing an eye and suffering other long-term injuries – in Norway’s deadliest terrorist attack at Oslo and Utøya, Viljar Hanssen didn’t have much to say – at least about that fateful July 22 date.

LOADED 22: Record high temperature predicted Saturday for Longyearbyen. But don’t kill yourself – things will be ‘normal’ again the next morning

recordhigh

It’s going to be 10 degrees Celsius on Friday morning and 10 degrees again on Sunday morning, so how radically different could things possible be in the interim?

About as radical as it can get, it turns out, as the Norwegian Meteorological Institute is predicting Longyearbyen will set a new all-time record high temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, exceeding the current record of 21.3 degrees set in 1979.

NO POLAR BEARS BY 2100? Svalbard faces most drastic threat to entire population, even if climate change impacts are reduced, in new global study

polarbeardecline

Svalbard’s polar bears are among the least threatened under current global climate conditions, but are facing the most drastic best-to-worst scenario and being among those most likely to go extinct during the next several decades due to climate change, according to a study published Monday.

Ultimate open-source doomsday safeguard? Or fodder for the post-apocalyptic ‘graffitists of Pompeii?’ Github makes long-delayed 21TB deposit in Svalbard’s Arctic World Archive

github archive

A set of film strips almost exactly 200 kilometers long is how we’ll share amazing technical wonders such as Bitcoin and Netflix with civilizations 1,000 years from now, at least in a scenario envisioned by GitHub after depositing 21 terabytes of “preserved” open-source software in Svalbard’s Arctic World Archive.

SVALBARD REOPENS TO EU/EEA COUNTRIES – WITH LIMITS: Travel to/from Norway w/out quarantine OK as of July 15; some countries still banned; other exemptions/restrictions apply

travel071020

Norway is reopening its borders to many residents of EU/EEA countries on July 15, but keeping them closed to several countries with high rates of COVID-19 infections and most residents of other countries worldwide, the government announced Friday.

However, officials in Svalbard are continuing to emphasize prospective visitors should exercise extreme caution in whether to visit this summer – and suggesting those in high-risk groups avoid doing so this year – even though the archipelago continues to suffer devastating economic impacts as summer tourism is only expected to be about 20 percent of that in recent years.

‘Gradually and more controlled than on the mainland’: Svalbard reopens to Schengen/EEA residents on July 15, limits continue on some aspects such as charter flights and cruise ship size

reopenjuly15

A week after announcing mainland Norway will reopen for residents from Schengen Area and EEA countries on July 15, the government extended the order to include Svalbard – but with some limitations due to the archipelago’s ongoing relative lack of medical facilities and remote access for emergency transport.

HIGH NEGLIGENCE: Owner and captain of Northguider fined total of 330,000 kr. for wrecking trawler in north Svalbard, necessitating rescue of crew and multiyear removal effort

northguiderfines

The owner of the wrecked Northguider shrimp trawler that’s been stranded in north Svalbard since December of 2018 has been fined 300,000 kroner and the ship’s captain 35,000 kroner for safety and navigation violations, The Governor of Svalbard announced Monday.

UNLUCKY SEVEN: A new study takes Longyearbyen’s ‘warming faster than anywhere’ claim to yet another level – twice the Arctic average and seven times the Earth’s

minus10days

Chart showing number of days under -10C in Longyearbyen since 1910 by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

It’s starting to resemble a bidding war.

 

For a while Longyearbyen was warming twice as fast as Earth, a couple years ago it was three times, late last year all of Svalbard earned a six times claim, and now Longyearbyen has reclaimed the high spot with a new study relying in part on lost documents literally found deep underground that show warming is happening seven times faster.

Furthermore, now that “twice as fast” designation now applies to Longyearbyen compared to the rest of the Arctic, according to the study.

RADIOACTIVE SVALBARD: ‘Very low levels,’ possibly from Russian reactor, detected this month at stations near Longyearbyen and in Finnmark

radiationstation

It’s not Chernobyl, Three Mile Island or probably even a trip to the dentist, but there’s something a bit strange in the air.

A small amount of radioactivity was detected earlier this month at monitoring stations near Longyearbyen and Kirkenes, according to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. The amount is not considered hazardous and the organization stated the source is still being determined.