19th June – New species for a new season

It’s started. The big cruise ships have arrived in Longyearbyen, bringing more visitors than the normal population here in one go, for a few hours.  Yesterday there were  over 3000 plus hundreds of crew, today over 2000 plus 800 crew. Everyone seems to know when they will arrive and how many people are coming. This is an entirely different type of tourism and tourist to those choosing to stay overnight here and engage in some daytrips and activities (which is still ongoing). It’s quite exciting to see how a whole new set of logistics are set into action. Now I see why there are so many buses around town, usually not in use. It is interesting to observe the flows of people, what is being photographed and observed, how the local businesses react (one or two more stuffed polar bears have appeared on the streets, a few ad hoc stalls popped up…), what temporary services and labour markets evolve to cope with these numbers of people…. in other words, how value is constructed and flows differently.
Picture

It would be nice to see a big ship pic right? Sorry events transpired against that. This is still interesting though, it may not look that busy, but it feels busy and this ‘species’ looks and behaves differently.. honestly!

2 thoughts on “19th June – New species for a new season

  1. looks exciting but odd -especially the giant ship. Where are these tourists from and are they on their way somewhere?
    Does the town need to get extra supplies or do the 2000/3000 always eat on board?

    1. Hi Janice. Well, a couple of the boats last week were exclusively fuill of German tourists, others are a complete mixture. Some go up the coast of Norway, see the fjords, come to Svalbard as the northern most point and then back via some different places, others go from Shetlands, to Iceland to Svalbard then mainland Norway. Some do Greenland as well. Smaller ones try circum-navigations around Svalbard. I think local businesses brace themselves in general, but they typically spend 9-5 in town/ doing activities, so some snacks and a meal at most I would imagine.

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