The Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic is also known as Spitsbergen, which is the name of the main island. Svalbard has about 2,600 inhabitants. In the past mainly the rich coal deposits attracted companies and people to come here.
Today the Norwegian outpost is destination for cruise ships, photographers and workplace of international research groups. Longyearbyen, is the main village, Ny Ålesund is a large research station, Barentsburg is a Russian settlement. There are also some abandoned settlements and outposts.
The group of islands with the main islands Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet extends over a length of about 450 kilometres from the south to the north and from 74° to 81° N in longitudes. From here it is a bit more than 1,000 kilometres to the North Pole. However, it is only around 70 kilometres to the Russian territory. The Norwegian mainland is 600 kilometers away.
We start our diving expedition from Longyearbyen to explore the north and east of the Arctic archipelago. Many of the wild arctic animals living here are not shy and incredible encounters can happen here.