Samarinvågen [76° 58' N 16° 15' E]

Samarinvågen is a nice and secluded bay with good anchorage just north of where the glacial front is at its highest on the west side of the bay. Here, you get a wonderful feeling of being very close to the Hornsundtind massif. The calving glacier often fills the bay with pieces of ice which are popular haul-out sites for bearded seals. Seabirds are often plentiful, including little auks, Brünnich’s guillemots, common and king eiders. With luck, you might glimpse a white whale.


Take care:
  • There are no good landing sites in Samarinvågen, so travelling by boat is recommended.
  • At some places the glacier fronts are high and unstable. Keep a safe distance.
  • There are often birds on the water, especially where glacial rivers have their outlets. Navigate carefully to avoid frightening them.
King eiderThe king eider male is colourful. Females and males fly towards Samarinbreen. (Image: Jørn Henriksen)

Recommended approaches to the glaciers by boat

There is good anchorage at the west side of the bay, under Traunkammen. With this as a starting point you can follow the coast south towards the glaciers in small boats. The first glacier fronts that appear are very high – more than 50 m in some places. Consider carefully how close to the glacier you can safely navigate. The rule of thumb is to keep a distance of three times the height of the glacier front.

Vulnerable elements

Seabirds on the water and seals on the ice are easily scared by boat engine noise. Navigate at a slow speed in the vicinity of wildlife.

Updated May 2009

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Norwegian Polar Institute
Fram Centre
NO-9296 Tromsø