Jan Mayen

Jan Mayen - one of the most isolated islands in the world.

Norwegian territory and one of the most isolated islands in the world. The closest other land mass is Iceland some 600 kilometres away and Norway, almost 1000 kilometres to the east.

The volcano Beerenberg is the northernmost active volcano on earth and had its last eruption in 1985. It is also one of the highest mountains in Norway with its perfectly coned shape and a summit at 2277 metres above sea level. In the 16th century Ducth whalers operated out of Jan Mayen and today a Norwegian weather station holds a few souls all year round having mail dropped from a plane occasionally.

Tourists visiting Jan Mayen are extremely rare, specially being able to land on the shores.

Wildlife on Jan Mayen

Simply put, this island is not known for its flora and fauna. Still, visitors on Norwegian cruises will likely encounter seabirds breeding on steep cliffs. The most abundant species is the northern fulmar, a gull-like relative of albatrosses. This bird is spectacularly evolved for the frigid conditions of the island. Other popular birds are the kittiwake and Brünich's guillemot as well as the little auk, which breeds under rocks on steep slopes rather than on vertical cliffs. Including these, there are 27 species of birds use the island as their regular nesting site.

If you're lucky, you and the crew will catch a glimpse of hooded seals and harp seals that have important breeding areas northwest of Jan Mayen. Some years these creatures can be spotted near the shores of the island, due to ice conditions.

There are no land mammals since the polar fox was hunted to local extinction in the 20th century. Once in awhile, polar bears may visit the island when there is ice drift around, but in recent years they have not been seen since the East Greenland ice sheet no longer reaches Jan Mayen.

During calm weather, a number of whale species might be seen, including the king of the waters, the blue whale.