Hornsund, Svalbard

Jun 16, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer


Last night, National Geographic Explorer sailed from Storfjorden around the southern tip of Spitsbergen to Hornsund, one of the most spectacular fjords in Svalbard. After breakfast, we were set ashore near a trappers’ cabin at Gnålodden. The name means “noisy point” and is known to derive from the sound of thousands of kittiwakes nesting on the sheer cliff above. Below, lush carpets of grass, moss, and purple saxifrage provided an ideal feeding ground for arctic geese. Gnålodden is a perfect example of the link between geology, nutrients from the sea, and plant and animal life. In the 18th and 19th century, man was the top predator, basing his hunting station on this productive ecosystem. By noon, the wind had picked up, but we were able to go for a Zodiac cruise in Burgerbukta. A few very scenic glacial fronts along the coastline were the highlight of our afternoon.

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About the Author

Carl Erik Kilander

Naturalist

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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