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Svalbard Archipelago, Norway Overview

The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 defines Svalbard as all islands, islets and skerries from 74° to 81° north latitude, and from 10° to 35° east longitude.The land area is 61,022 km2 (23,561 sq mi), and dominated by the island of Spitsbergen, which constitutes more than half the archipelago, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya.All settlements are located on Spitsbergen, except the meteorological outposts on Bjørnøya and Hopen.The Norwegian state took possession of all unclaimed land, or 95.2% of the archipelago, at the time the Svalbard Treaty entered into force; Store Norske owns 4%, Arktikugol owns 0.4%, while other private owners hold 0.4%.

Since Svalbard is located north of the Arctic Circle it experiences midnight sun in summer and polar night in winter. At 74° north, the midnight sun lasts 99 days and polar night 84 days, while the respective figures at 81° are 141 and 128 days.In Longyearbyen, midnight sun lasts from 20 April until 23 August, and polar night lasts from 26 October to 15 February.In winter, the combination of full moon and reflective snow can give additional light.

Glaciation covers 36,502 km2 (14,094 sq mi) or 60% of Svalbard; 30% is barren rock while 10% is vegetated.The largest glacier is Austfonna on Nordaustlandet, followed by Olav V Land and Vestfonna. During summer, it is possible to ski from Sørkapp in the south to the north of Spitsbergen, with only a short distance not being covered by snow or glacier. Kvitøya is 99.3% covered by glacier.

Svalbard Archipelago, Norway Ports of Call Cruise Discounts from BoostVacations.com

Detailed Map of Svalbard Archipelago, Norway

Svalbard Archipelago, Norway Detailed Map Ports of Call Cruise Discounts from BoostVacations.com