The atmospheric Ciudad Vieja
Abandoned coal mines and polar bears
The Svalbard museum

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A remote, welcoming village

The Svalbard islands form the most remote province of northern Europe. Arriving in Longyearbyen on an MSC cruise therefore means reaching the northernmost municipality in the world.

Small but vital, the town offers interesting collections of old maps and books on the Svalbard in the town gallery, as well as slides by photographer - composer Thomas Widerberg and a display of paintings by Kåre Tveter. Longyearbyen was founded for extraction purposes due to the abundance of coal, so one often comes across abandoned coal mines.

The pylons that support the funicular are also vestiges and part of the local culture that still highlight the local coal extraction methods. The Svalbard museum offers insight into this activity, as well as hosting examples of local flora and fauna and illustrating the hunting methods used in the islands, where man had to compete with polar bears, the king of these lands and still present in the wild (all excursions in the wild are tackled following the local safety indications).

A curious feature of this remote locality is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, an underground, anti-nuclear vault where all known and classified seeds are preserved. In Longyearbyen there are plenty of places where you can enjoy a relaxing beverage, but if you’re looking for something unique we advise you eat in one of the hunting lodges. You will only have the embarrassment of the choice of possible excursions.

You can go looking for marine birds, wander about the fjords on a kayak looking for seals, or even take a ride on a dog sleigh, either on the snow or on wheels. Some routes instead lead you to the peak of Mount Sarkofagen, from where you can enjoy a staggering view of Longyearbyen and its fjord.

Must see places in Longyearbyen

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    The magic of the northern lights
    The magic of the northern lights

    A holiday in Norway is a dream. A dream along a fjord, the most evocative and characteristic natural formation of this land.

    The Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord are listed as part of UNESCOs World Heritage Sites, but it's also worth mentioning the longest of all the Fjords, the 204 km long Sognefjordas well as the Hardangerfjord where cherry and apple blossoms can be seen on the cliff-side during spring.

    But a Northern Europe MSC cruise also means experiencing the spectacular beauty of the Northern lights; while those of you who travel in the summer can admire the spectacular midnight sun, once north of the Arctic Circle. A cruise to Norway also means discovering the culture of two ancient populations: the Vikings, not just pirates and warriors, but merchants, explorers and colonisers who, for over three hundred years until the 11th century governed Scandinavia and the northern Atlantic: and then, the Samis, the natives of these lands, dressed in multicoloured clothes with immense herds of reindeer, who have lived in the deep North for more than 10,000 years.

    Finally, watch out for the Trolls! Many of the places you will visit are named after these legendary creatures: Trollheimen, Trollstigen (with the spectacular Troll’s path), Trollhatten and Trollveggen.