Bjornoya or Bear Island was named by Dutch navigator Willem Barents to commemorate his first sighting of the Far North's great white polar bear. The island sits like a large rock in the Arctic Ocean between the Norwegian mainland and Svalbard (Spitsbergen), radiating an eerie atmosphere because of the perpetual fog that hovers along its rocky shores. Approaching the island's southern face, the cliff wall may appear to be a moving wall of birds, with tens of thousands of murres and kittiwakes jostling for position on narrow ledges, and glaucous gulls breeding at the very top.
You can visit the remains of a whaling station active from 1905-1908 in Kvalrossbukta or Tunheim, an abandoned mining settlement. Arctic Skuas and Great Skuas can be seen during a walk across the desolate hills and tundra. Take Zodiacs to see the spectacular caves and tunnels at the foot of the cliffs.
The following 4 cruises call at Bjornoya (Bear) Island.
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