Today I can safely say that we’re about to start the truly Arctic portion of our expedition. After a hearty breakfast we make our to the airport to board a charter flight to the world’s northernmost city: Longyearbyen. The town of Longyearbyen is on the island of Spitzbergen, the largest of the islands the make up the Svalbard archipelago.
Mining (particularly that of coal) remains an important industry in Longyearbyen. I found it ironic that although 99% of Norway’s electricity is renewably generated (mostly from hydroelectric facilities), the export of fossil fuels remains one Norway’s greatest sources of income. It’s a strange site to see
After spending some time touring Longyearbyen we finally begin to board our ship, The National Geographic Explorer!