Bjornoya, Svalbard
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 18 May 2022

Bjornoya, Svalbard, 5/18/2022, National Geographic Resolution

  • Aboard the National Geographic Resolution
  • Arctic

Waking up to a beautiful and peaceful ocean...what a treat! As we approached Bjornoya, we saw ice starting to appear. We made our way closer to this island in the middle of nowhere.

Our captain took us safely to the sheltered bay of Sorhamna on the south side of the island. The sheltered horseshoe bay is protected from the swells around the island.

We took a Zodiac cruise along the southern end of the island, cruising between small patches of ice toward the seabird cliffs called Fuglefjellet. Thousands and thousands of birds surrounded us. We saw fulmars, gulls, common guillemots, razorbills, skuas, and the northernmost colony of garnets. How amazing!

Looking at the birds sitting on almost vertical cliffs was just astounding. There didn’t seem to be even an inch left for the approaching birds, but there sure was...birds flew in and out constantly.

We had all our Zodiacs cruising the area, zigzagging between ice to get the best possible views of the seabird cliffs.

Bjornoya is the southernmost island of Svalbard, discovered by Dutch explorers Willem Barentsz and Jacob van Heemserck on June 10th, 1596. It is uninhabited but for the personel working at the island’s meteorological station on the north side.

As we were leaving the island, the sun came out and the skies turned blue, promising a special evening. The seas were absolutely flat as we cruised through the ice, making our way up towards southern Svalbard.

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