Bjornoya (aka Bear Island) is one of the Lofoten islands group. It was named by the Dutch navigator Willem Barents (1550-1597) in order to commemorate his first sighting of Far North's white polar bears. Bjornoya Island is more like a huge rock in the sea, located between mainland Norway and Spitsbergen Island (Svalbard Archipelago). This is a rather mysterious destination due to the perpetual fog hovering over the rocky shores. While approaching the southern coast, the cliff wall appears like a moving wall of seabirds, with thousands of kittiwakes and murres on the narrow ledges and glaucous gulls breeding at the top.
Cruise passengers to Bear Island can visit the remains of an old whaling station. It was active between 1905-1908 and located in the abandoned mining settlement of Kvalrossbukta (Tunheim). The Arctic and Great Skuas (seabirds) can be seen during a walk across the tundra. Zodiacs (inflatable boats) are used for observation of the colossal tunnels and caves at the foot of the cliffs.
Cruise ships to Bjornoya usually stop at Herwighamna (meteo station, radio station) and Sorhamna Bay (southern Bear Island) from where via Zodiacs passengers explore the cave.