An archipelago located north of Europe’s mainland in the Arctic Ocean, Svalbard constitutes the most northern part of Norway. Because of its close proximity to the North Pole, Svalbard is a favored spot for daring adventurers thanks to Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz who landed there more than 400 years ago. Today, the islands are inhabited by just over 2,000 people who make their living primarily in the coal mining, tourism and research sectors while whaling and fishing remain steady industries. Though not one of the more well-known tourism destinations, Svalbard sees a significant amount of visitor traffic from the cruise ship travel. It is no wonder as on and offshore activities are bountiful, including hiking through glacier caves, dog sledding and kayaking.
But the backdrop for these ventures is the showstopper; a purely mesmerizing landscape of ice and snow, jagged mountain peaks and an extreme winter climate that is somehow invigorating to the well-traveled. A juxtaposition to the flawless white of daytime, nights are highlighted with the varying kaleidoscope of the Aurora Borealis’ multiple hues.
There’s only one added element that could elevate this experience further: witnessing a total solar eclipse in the Arctic sky. In March 2015, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity becomes reality as TQ hosts the 2015 Svalbard Arctic Eclipse Tour. The eclipse viewing will take place on March 20, atop a picturesque fjord located only 700 miles from the North Pole. Looking up from the snow and ice, travelers will experience nearly 2 and a half minutes of totality; a period of bliss unlike any other.
The week-long adventure is one not to be missed, so mark your calendars for March 17-23, 2015 and get ready to expect the extraordinary.