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NRK to Feature Hurtigruten Expedition For Nine-Day TV Program

Spitsbergen

Hurtigruten is playing a key role as Norway’s marks the 100th anniversary of the 1920 Svalbard treaty.

NRK (Norwegian broadcasting) has scheduled a nine-day non-stop Svalbard report filmed aboard Hurtigruten’s expedition ship Spitsbergen sailing around the Arctic island group last summer.

The program, described as the ultimate in slow TV, is being shown on the Norwegian NRK2 channel, running from Jan. 31 to February 9, for a total of 13,319 minutes.

Viewers will start and end their voyage in Longyearbyen, calling at Smeerenburgodden, Bockfjorden, Murchinsonfjorden, Hinlopstredet, Boltodden, Burkerbukta, Recherchefjorden and Nordenskioldbreen, circumventing the main island, except for Nordaustlandet (easternmost part).

Known internationally as Spitsbergen, which is the largest island (Svalbard is the official Norwegian name), the treaty gave Norway sovereignty over the islands in 1920, but all the treaty signatories (46 countries) have equal rights to conduct commercial activities there, although in most cases that has been limited to scientific studies, except for Norway and Russia that have engaged in coal mining.

Said to be the northernmost year-round settlement on the planet, Svalbard, which is halfway between Norway and the North Pole, has a population of around 2,200 plus some 2,000 polar bears, in addition to walruses, reindeer, foxes, birds and other wildlife.

Other tourist attractions also include an abandoned Russian mining town from the Soviet era.

Svalbard also features a global seed vault since. The “doomsday” seed vault was built to protect millions of food crops from climate change, wars, and natural disasters deep within a mountain. There are more than 200,000 seed samples stored in the vault.

Hurtigruten also participated in a seven-day non-stop slow TV in 2011 aboard one of its coastal vessels, sailing Bergen to Kirkenes. NRK reported that the show amounted to 134 hours, 42 minutes and 45 seconds and with 3.2 million viewers was the most watched channel during the broadcast.

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