Esmarksbreen & Ymerbukta

Esmarksbreen & Ymerbukta

Trip from Longyearbyen to Barentsburg is a boat ride which takes around 8 hours, while covering over 100 km in length. Besides visiting the aforementioned Russian settlement, there is a lot to enjoy as well while being onboard the ship. This trip included visiting Esmarkbreen (Esmark glacier) front and the nearby Ymerbukta (Ymer coast), but we also had a splendid sight of Protektorfjellet mountain at the throat of the Isfjorden, Grumant and gorgeous mountain formations next to it, and a pod of fin whales decided to treat us by approaching the ship.

First, Protektorfjellet.

It is insane how good it looks. So powerful.

Esmarkbreen is one of the glaciers on the northern side of Isfjorden which collapses into the sea. We were approaching it slowly, and when we reached the front, the captain shut the engines off so we could enjoy the silence for a moment. No one said a word, there were no sounds, just a huge wall of ice descending slowly in Isfjorden.

Here are some photos of Esmarkbreen while we were approaching it.

I love how the size changes drastically when you approach it and come closer to the front.

Near the Esmark glacier lies Ymerbukta, a small peninsula. It has a really interesting shape, and a large part of it is almost disturbingly flat surface. We onboard had a long discussion about the geological process which could have caused this, and it all got cleared out when a competent conversationalist concluded that that particular surface was a part of the ocean bed and was shaped – flattened out – by seawater and seastreams.

Ymerbukta also serves as a gathering point for local birds.

On the way back to Longyearbyen we had an opportunity to gaze upon the gorgeous mountains wearing the autumn collection colors.

These are some of my favorite pictures from Svalbard.

Look at these shapes, please.

Nearby lies Grumant, an abandoned settlement in Svalbard. It was built by the Russians during the pre-revolution Soviet era, and during its peak period there were over 1000 people living and working residing in it.

The docking conditions near Grumant were challenging, to say the least, so a short range railroad was built towards Colesbukta for the sake of transporting mined coal. Unfortunately for me (not kidding, I seriously love such places 💔) it is not possible to disembark off the ship and explore it. I love observing how deterioration and merciless teeth of time gnaw everything on their way, and cannot literally refuse such an option.

The whales are absolutely fascinating creatures and if there is an option to see them – it will be booked, for sure. What I also love are the random events, when a pod of fin whales comes close to the ship and makes us lose our minds. There were 25 of us onboard; everyone was stuck on the railing, trying to get a decent view or even a proper picture or video.

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