About The Cruise Handbook for Svalbard

Iceberg and cruise vesselIceberg and cruise ship in Isfjellbukta close to Vestre Torellbreen off the west coast of Spitsbergen. (Image: Jørn Henriksen)

The objective of  ”The Cruise Handbook for Svalbard” is to provide quality assured information about the natural environment, history and cultural remains for seafaring visitors along the coasts of Svalbard.

We have concentrated on the areas most frequently visited by cruise ships, based on statistics supplied by the Governor of Svalbard. Also contributing to the selection is the robustness of the landing sites, with the aim of choosing places that can still bear the influence from tourist traffic. The information presented is sought to contribute to protect vulnerable elements in the best way possible.

”The Cruise Handbook for Svalbard” starts with a general chapter about Svalbard's natural environment, history, cultural remains and environmental legislation. Subsequently follow chapters on different areas, defined by the chapter headline. Along the west coast and the north coast of Spitsbergen a number of popular landing sites is described. Included in the descriptions are hints of what to experience and advice on how to behave at the site.

The Norwegian environmental authorities are currently considering changes in the regulations within the nature reserves covering most of the eastern part of Svalbard. That is the reason why  ”The Cruise Handbook for Svalbard” is not treating eastern Svalbard at the same level of detail as the other areas.

This is a web-version that will be edited when needed. We also plan to publish a shorter book-version of ”The Cruise Handbook for Svalbard” as a publication in the Handbook Series of the Norwegian Polar Institute.

Responsible for contents relating to history and cultural heritage is Kristin Prestvold, while Øystein Overrein, Jørn Henriksen and Bjørn Fossli Johansen are responsible for the other topics.

The four authors have enjoyed contributions from Stein Tronstad and Ivar Haugen, in the phase of collecting facts and early versions of the manuscript. Winfried Dallmann has written the geological part of chapter one, and quality assured texts about geology throughout the other chapters. Lennart Nilsen has contributed to the botanical facts in chapter one. Oddveig Øien Ørvoll has produced the maps and Audun Igesund has designed the lay-out. Ann Kristin Balto has contributed to the image selection and Paul-Inge Flakstad has constructed the English site. The text has been translated to English by Jørn Henriksen, Marte Lundberg and Monica Szakallos Jaklin.

The idea behind ”The Cruise Handbook for Svalbard” and the selection of landing sites has been discussed  with The Governor of Svalbard, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage and the Directorate for Nature Management.

Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, 27 June 2008

Bjørn Fossli Johansen


Updated March 2015

The Cruise Handbook is also available in book form

Order now

Hard cover with numerous pictures - 249 pages - NOK 249.00

Norwegian Polar Institute
Fram Centre
NO-9296 Tromsø