Spitsbergen's history

Antarctic Peninsula

Región: Ártico

Destinos: Svalbard

Spitsbergen History 

Spitsbergen has had a major attractive force on hunters and explorers. Promises of fabled lands and fortune lured many 17th century explorers into these unknown frozen lands and seas. Many perished but some returned home with stories of hardship and despair. Artefacts of these often tragic expeditions can still be seen on the desolate shores.

First contact

Nobody is 100% sure about who should get the credit for being the very first to discover the Svalbard archipelago. If you care to dip into legends then you may believe that the Vikings, who were certainly active in the general area, get the nod for being the start of humanity’s history with Svalbard. Starting in the 1800s Norwegian historians began to insist that Vikings discovered the region as early as 1194. They base this claim on maps and annals that listed a Svalbarði (the basis for the name Svalbard, translates as “Cold Rim”) as being four days sail away from Iceland. The problem is that archaeologists have never found any physical evidence to back up the idea that the Vikings had ever been close enough to see the archipelago, never mind setting foot on one of the islands or establishing any sort of base.

Russian historians believe the Pomors may have been chasing their dinner in Svalbard back in the 1400s. But just like the Vikings, no physical evidence has turned up to back up the claim. What we do know is that the earliest recorded contact with the region goes to the Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz. The name Spitsbergen was given to him.

Willem Barentsz 

Barentz  like so many other explorers, was on his way to find a new sea route to the fabled land of Cathay, the Far East. What he found instead was Bjørnøya (“Bear Island”, the southernmost island), on June 10th, 1596 and the northwest edge of Spitsbergen on the 17th of June, 1596.   The meaning of the name Spitsbergen in the Dutch language is “Jagged Peaks” because of the sharp pointed mountains that Barentsz met in the north-west of Spitsbergen.

Polar expeditions

Spitsbergen has been the starting point of many expeditions to the North Pole. In Virgohamna, on the island of Danskøya the remains can be seen of several expeditions that used this remote bay as their starting point. The most famous of these is by large the balloon expedition of Salomon Andrée, from 1897. Artefacts of his tragic expedition can still be seen here.

¿Le gusta este artículo? Compartir su apreciación:

Cruceros relacionados

North Spitsbergen, Arctic Summer

RVR22-17

The North Spitsbergen cruise sails to some of the remotest locations of northern Europe. The expedition gives you the opportunity to spot historic whaling remains, glaciers, a variety of Arctic birds including the Little Auk, and polar bears.

Fecha del crucero:

27 jun - 8 jul, 2017

Precio:

5020 USD

Norte de Spitsbergen, Especial Oso Polar

PLA08-17

Navegando a lo largo de la banquisa del Norte de Spitsbergen tendremos las mejores oportunidades para encontrar al Rey del Ártico. Navegaremos hacia Raudfjord en la costa norte de Spitsbergen Occidental, un hermoso fiordo coronado por glaciares espectaculares y preferido por las focas oceladas y bar...

Fecha del crucero:

29 jun - 6 jul, 2017

Precio:

5800 USD

Alrededor de Spitsbergen

PLA11-17

Un viaje alrededor de Spitsbergen, donde hay chances de ver al Rey del Ártico, morsas, renos, varias especies de aves y una flora sorprendentemente bella. Cerca de la embocadura del Liefdefjorden, desembarcaremos para realizar una caminata a través de la tundra de Reindyrsflya. A medida que nos aden...

Fecha del crucero:

24 jul - 2 ago, 2017

Precio:

4900 USD

Alrededor de Spitsbergen

NOO20-17

Navegaremos alrededor del archipiélago para echarle un vistazo a la variada fauna y paisajes que Svalbard esconde en sus rincones mientras recorremos la historia de esta tierra. En Smeerenburg visitaremos un viejo asentamiento ballenero del s. XVII y luego navegaremos hacia Sorgfjord donde tenemos b...

Fecha del crucero:

25 jul - 9 ago, 2017

Precio:

por encargo

Alrededor de Spitsbergen

OTL12-17

Un viaje alrededor de Spitsbergen, donde hay chances de ver al Rey del Ártico, morsas, renos, varias especies de aves y una flora sorprendentemente bella. Cerca de la embocadura del Liefdefjorden, desembarcaremos para realizar una caminata a través de la tundra de Reindyrsflya. A medida que nos aden...

Fecha del crucero:

3 ago - 12 ago, 2017

Precio:

4900 USD