Sjuøyane (Seven Islands), Svalbard

May 21, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer

During the night, the National Geographic Explorer brought us past 80° N on our sail towards Sjuøyane, which literally means the Seven Islands. As the wake-up call sounded, we found ourselves close to Phippsøya, the largest of these islands. Sjuøyane makes up the northernmost part of dry land in Svalbard and in Norway as a whole.

In the afternoon, Jasper Doest, our National Geographic photographer, gave a presentation on “The Highs and Lows of Storytelling in the Arctic” and naturalist Carl Erik Kilander provided an introduction to Svalbard, with an emphasis on history, nature and Svalbard policy. During dinner Expedition Leader Brent announced that we had just crossed the 82nd parallel. Shortly after, we encountered pack ice and proceeded northeast in search of wildlife. In the late evening, we reached the northernmost point of our expedition: 82° 8’ N! Going this far north on an expedition cruise ship is very unusual, but it seemed necessary this time, given that we wanted to sail along the ice edge to find continuous pack ice.

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About the Author

Carl Erik Kilander


Carl was born in Norway and received a master’s degree in forestry and nature conservation from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in 1973. His professional experience is mainly connected to environmental issues and natural resource management on the Norway mainland and in Svalbard. A major part of his professional experience comprises planning and management of protected areas, particularly in the southern parts of Norway and Svalbard. During the period 1999-2001 Carl was Head of the Environmental Department at the Governor of Svalbard´s office. He has also been District Manager (southwestern Norway) followed by the position of Senior Environmental Adviser at the Norwegian State Forest Service.

About the Videographer

Steve Ewing

Video Chronicler

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Steve fell in love with the beauty of the natural world at an early age. In addition to nature, his other main passion was telling stories though the medium of television and radio. Steve studied broadcast journalism at the University of Oregon. There, he learned how to shoot, edit, and report compelling stories using digital video.

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