Hinlopen, Svalbard

Jun 03, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer

The wake-up call sounded at 06:30, just as the National Geographic Explorer approached Alkefjellet, one of the most spectacular bird cliffs in the Svalbard Archipelago. After breakfast we sailed into Lomfjorden, where kayaking and hikes of various lengths were offered.

During lunch we sailed across the Hinlopen Strait to Lundehuken in Wahlenbergfjorden. Most of the guests went ashore for a second hike of the day, and this location proved to be an interesting spot for birdwatching. We observed an arctic skua, several common eiders, kittiwakes and glaucous gulls. The bird lovers particularly enjoyed seeing many of the species of wading birds in Svalbard, including the purple sandpiper, dunlin, ringed plover, and red phalarope, and two species rarely seen in Svalbard: a few sanderlings and red knots.

Just as we were finishing dinner, two walruses were spotted from the bridge. We managed to keep quiet out on deck, and the walruses seemed very relaxed, thanks to the very gentle handling of the ship. What a wonderful ending to another great day in Svalbard!

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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.

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