Located only 600 miles from the North Pole, Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, administered by Norway. The island has rugged mountains, sweeping tundra, ice caps and glaciers. The island is wonderful for observing seabird colonies on Norskøya, Raudfjord and Lomfjord, and tundra birds like Barnacle Geese and Red-throated Divers in the world's northernmost settlement, Ny Ålesund. Polar Bears can be spotted on the ice or on land and you will also see many walruses. Smeeren-burg is of great archaeological interest with the remains of 17th century whaling activities. If ice conditions allow, we will reach Hinlopen Strait and Nordaustlandet in the east. Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen has a population of over 3,000, and about 1,000 people live in the Russian settlement Barentsburg, but the island's 62,000 sq.kms are largely unspoilt. The coasts are ice free in the summer and colourful wildflowers, mosses and lichens abound.