Tag Archives: tourism

Blown away: Biggest cruise ship ever in Longyearbyen makes huge waves for stores, tours – but strong winds nearly kept it from docking

shiparrives

As expected, the biggest cruise ship to ever dock in Longyearbyen meant a day of big crowds, big sales and big discussions. But another big – the wind – nearly made things very small.

DOING THE WAVE: Locals and passengers up early to greet each other from far and near as first large cruise ship of year arrives

shipgreet

Carsten Wuenscher, 41, knew nothing about Svalbard before arriving Wednesday morning, but clearly was eager to start learning as he was the first to disembark from the 2,100-passenger AIDAluna after it became the first large cruise ship to dock here this year. 

Behaving badly near bears: Governor considers access restrictions due to high snowmobile traffic disrupting wildlife

bearwarning

Imposing access restrictions on popular fjords where numerous polar bears have been observed is being considered by The Governor of Svalbard due to high numbers of snowmobilers, some of whom are violating rules prohibiting disturbing the animals.

‘Gotten scary’: Profits from tourism’s huge rise comes w/ huge pains in housing shortages, work conditions and disruptions

masstourism

Complaints of disruptive behavior by tour companies and individual tourists at all hours and during all months. Workers being forced to leave because the proliferation of AirBnb rentals means they can’t find housing. Guides considering unionizing due to what they call abusive take-it-or-leave it contracts.

The rapid rise of mass tourism is a problem being felt across Europe and beyond, with the deluge of visitors appreciative of an area’s beauty stirring up a rapid and ugly rise of hostile feelings among people living there. But as with many things, the situation in Longyearbyen is occurring in unique and extreme ways due to a staggeringly rapid change that has seen several hundred coal mining jobs replaced by tourism workers during the past few years.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 13, 2018

svalbardpostenbriefs021318

The ratio of foreign residents to Norwegians continues to increase in Longyearbyen; Norway’s trade minister is seeking input about Longyearbyen’s economic future when he visits Monday; tourism was flat in 2017 but expected to rise in 2018 in part due to new hotels.

Random weirdness for the week of Sept. 26, 2017

navyship

Hmmm…this week we’ve got the military strutting its stuff in our non-militarized haven, the mayor worrying tourism will soon be as unpopular as mining (at a time when many local pols are rooting for boom times in both industries) and outrage in Hong Kong about the exorbitant prices of our local “super premium” Svalbarði bottled glacier water. So which to lead off with? Well, since a real newspaper would go with the item most likely to significantly affect the most people reading this (and in this case the plural reference may be overly optimistic), we’re obviously starting with the water weirdness…

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 22, 2017

beerbingo

City forces brewery forced to halt beer bingo, Friday evening gatherings
Svalbard Bryggeri is suspending its Thursday beer bingo and Friday evening social gatherings indefinitely because the city states the facility is not legally licensed for such activities.

Cool comrades: Barentsburg greeting visitors with a huge facelift, but residents’ wariness and unseen decay linger

thenandnow

A hotel room without hot water or toilet paper (as for internet…surely you jest), buildings in full post-Cold War decay, and vodka flowing freely during breakfast before 8 a.m.

That was then.

Freedom tour: Free ways to go exploring in Longyeabryen without your wallet or a weapon

cruisebehindchurch

We get it: It’s a long and expensive trip to get to Longyearbyen and not everyone is into 1) being immediately herded by the dozens onto tour buses or 2) walking aimlessly past a bunch of ugly industrial buildings in the hope of finding something interesting once you reach the nicer part of town.

Ship shape: First cruise ship passengers of the year greeted with fewer snags organizing tours – but a few during them

cruisefirst

A year ago the first cruise passengers in Longyearbyen were a couple merely planning to walk into town to discover possible activities. This year the first passengers were a couple expressing anxiety about being among the relative few taking that approach.