An MSC cruise of Northern Europe will take you to the wildest areas of the north-west coast of Spitsbergen, the largest of the Svalbard islands.
Here the sea penetrates the hinterland for eight kilometres, amidst mountains of blackgranite always covered with snow and glaciers like the Waggonwaybreen which lunges towards the sea to close the bay or like the Gullybreen that instead descends down to the Gullybukta bay.
In Magdalenefjorden the atmosphere is surreal as your cruise ship penetrates a territory of tundras, glacial moraines and dark sand beaches, ice and even icebergs. However, a cruise in the Magdalenefjorden is made even more pleasant by the mitigating effects of the Gulf Stream that ends its influence right here: the North Pole is just 600 milesaway, just 200 more than the distance between the Svalbard and the Norwegian coast.
A base for whale hunting in the 17th century, this remote outpost has been inhabited for centuries in extreme conditions, as testified by the discovery of four blubber furnaces and 130 tombs dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Today a protected location, the Magdalenefjord is a haven for nature lovers: bird fauna is rich and fascinating. Here you can see Ross polar seagulls, black guillemots, arctic terns, marine magpies, arctic petrels just to mention some.
Besides the dangerous but fascinating polar bear (there are set safety rules to follow scrupulously when visiting these wild areas) other animals that you find here are the polar moose, the arctic fox and the walrus. And if you’re in the right season you can also see the flowering of the Svalbard poppy in its characteristic yellow or white version.