FUN-travel: Oslo, Norway to Longyearbyen, Svalbard – A&K Arctic Cruise Day 1

August 24, 2014 by  

Day 39 – Friday, August 8 – Oslo to Longyearbyen, Svalbard – A&K Arctic Cruise Day 1 – full sun w/high clouds – high 40’s – 24 hours daylight

Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway 2014 11

Coal Mining Towers

What I LIKE

  • 6:30 – get up
  • 7:40 – bus departs
  • 8:30 – arrive airport
  • SAS charter flight – get United points & lounge access
  • 9:15 – lounge has separate Star Alliance Gold
  • Lovely lady changes boarding pass to sit together
  • 9:45 – head to gate
  • 11:00 – takes off – has meal & beverage service @ no charge
  • – smoked salmon w/potato salad – brie & bleu cheeses
  • 2:00 – arrive Longyearbyen – take bus to cultural center
  • 2:45 – lunch – roast chicken & mashed potatoes
  • – w/movie about the small town life in all 4 seasons
  • 3:50 – bus to museum w/flora, fauna – see stuffed birds, polar bear, and seal from region
  • 4:30 – board ship Le Boreal
  • No satellite coverage or internet on ship
  • – just enjoy being present w/o any distraction
  • 5:00 – go to spa to book massage & manicure
  • Deck 3 lounge for champagne
  • 6:00 – safety drill

Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway 2014 8

  • 7:15 – welcome & meet expedition team
  • – Janni is same cruise director from Antarctica trip 2009
  • 8:15 – dinner deck 6 – opt for the self service buffet
  • – same food as deck 2 – more casual & you can control your portions
  • 11:00 – night night
  • It’s only cold the first day
  • – trip includes parkas & backpacks
Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway 2014 17

Polar Bear at Museum

What I DON’T LIKE

  • 5:15 – wake up
  • Standing in another long line snaking thru airport
  • – shouldn’t have to on A&K – seats not together either
  • – told we have to change at gate
  • 10:00 – supposed to board – more hurry up & wait
  • 5:00 – don’t do gel nails!
  • – now I’m screwed big time as I have no other options
  • No satellite coverage – no internet
  • – never let anyone know ahead of time & don’t want them to worry
  • – inbox will be jammed full – like to clean it up every day or two
  • Rubber boots not included – $80 rental fee or bring your own (requires extra luggage charge)

Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway 2014 18

FUN-fact – Svalbard is an archipelago run by Norway but considered international because 100 countries signed a treaty to do business under their jurisdiction. Longyearbyen is the city with an airport on Spitsbergen which is the biggest island.

 

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