Glacier hike at 14th of July Glacier

Birthday Bonanza at the Glacier

14th July Glacier, Krossfjord, West Coast, Spitsbergen, Svalbard
14th July Glacier, Krossfjord, West Coast, Spitsbergen, Svalbard

Day 8 – June 28, 2015

Visit to The 14th of July Glacier, Krossfjord, West Coast, Spitsbergen, Svalbard.  Technically we are just outside the settlement of Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of the Svalbard archipelago in one of the little fjords in the area.

Located on the west coast of Spitsbergen at the entrance Krossfjord, Silver Explorer anchored and then guests set out for one of two experiences that were available after landing at the site: guests could choose a climb onto the 14th of July Glacier or undergo a leisurely hike along the foreshoe for a tundra rock to observe a beautiful plant oasis underneath a bird cliff.

Birthday hike up to the 14th of July Glacier

Below is what I found on the Silversea Voyage Journal dated August 3, 2011 from Peter W. Damisch – Historian, General Naturalist, Cartographer & Polar Bear Guard (who was also on our cruise),

Soon enough it was time to lower our Zodiacs and prepare for the first landing of the cruise. It occurred at a super location, the 14th of July Glacier, named by a French Expedition after Bastille Day. This site has a wonderful combination of options to consider and there was plenty of time for everyone to pursue all primary activities. One popular hike takes guests to the top of the glacier.

Lateral moraine and heavily crevassed glacier

The 14th July Glacier Svalbard
14th July Glacier, Krossfjord, West Coast, Spitsbergen, Svalbard

The hike was relatively easy but the ground was uneven and the trail (although well marked by the guides) was narrow in most places. Walking up the moraine and onto the side of the glacier was very impressive (although a little tricky in spots for mobility challenged passengers). The good thing though was that there was no pressure to continue on when one got uncomfortable. Our guides were very nice and made it quite clear that it would be ok to head back at any point should someone choose not to pursue the climb.

I made it to the glacier, which is a big accomplishment for me (I prefer swimming and yoga).

Perhaps I had a little extra motivation to make it to the top of the glacier since it was my birthday. I thought it would be super fun to take a “selfie” on top of the glacier in the Arctic, which will be a great birthday present for many years to come.


Onward to Lillehookbreen, Svalbard

True to form, Silver Explorer offers two activities per day. In the afternoon, we found ourselves in an idyllic situation: blue sky, green-blue glacier water, and stunning views of glaciers, mountains, and ice.

One of many glaciers in Svalbard
One of many glaciers in Svalbard

The Chronicles (Silversea Explorer’s daily news and information publication) described Lillehookbreen as a glacier complex in Albert I Land and Haakon VII Land… To the uninitiated, that means that Silver Explorer anchored in an area that was surrounded by a quintessential glacier theater. There were 20-foot high ice faces and numerous glacier ice masses floating the water. Our expedition staff guide was excellent at giving us enough information to help us really appreciate the beauty.

Hotel director Marcelo
Silver Explorer Hotel Director taking good care of guests

The glacier calved a couple times, and a curious elephant seal popped up to give us all a quick look. To top things off Silversea hotel director Marcelo, the sommelier, and a couple of helpers were making the rounds on a Zodiac offering champagne, chocolate dipped strawberries, and an assortment of cookies.

Related Stories

Share on Social Media