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Getting to the Arctic

Arriving From Abroad

Oslo is the main entry point for Arctic travelers arriving by air. Oslo is a modern city well worth a day or two of exploring. Situated at the end of a long fjord, and ringed by green mountains, the city has a host of neat parks to explore by foot or by bike. Fine architecture abounds throughout the city, especially the towering skyscrapers of the Barcode area and along the waterfront. Among others, three particular museums stand out, and these include the Munch museum (which houses the famous work, The Scream), the National Museum of Art and the Viking ship museum, which is home to 3 original Viking ships.

For Northern Lights trips, the gateway is the delightful city of Tromso. Tromso, population 85,000, is sometimes referred to as “the Paris of the North,” with its attractive cultural and sea-side natural riches always on display. Uniquely, Tromso is home to the world’s northern-most university, botanical garden and planetarium. Be sure to take time and explore the town and see some of its fine and colorful old-style wooden houses. The climate here is sub-Arctic, so while it’s chilly in the winter, overall the weather is mild compared to its latitude, primarily due to its coastal location and calming influences of the gulf stream. There are daily flights between Oslo and Tromso.

For Spitsbergen expeditions, the gateway is Longyearbyen, a modern city of just under 3,000 people and the political capital of Svalbard (northern Norway). Longyearbyen, whose name means “Long Year Town,” provides stunning views of mountains and two awesome glaciers, Lars Hjertabreen and Longyearbreen. It’s location as the northern-most city in Europe means chilly conditions, but it’s also situated along a gulf stream that moderates the severity of the cold. Many people enjoy casual walks through town, taking in its small museums and art galleries, cozy restaurants, and browsing local shops. There are daily flights between Oslo and Longyearbyen.

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