Kvitoya Island is located approx 98 km (61 ml) from Victoria Island (Russian Arctic territory, part of Franz Joseph Land). The Russian island is closer than Svalbard Archipelago (Nordaustlandet Island) located to the west of Kvitoya. The island covers a total area of approx 682 km2 (263 ml2). It is uninhabitted and part of Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve.
Kvitoya is Norway's easternmost part. On the east coast is the rarely visited Kraemerpynten. Due to themany polar bears on the island, land tours are not offered. Instead, cruise tourists enjoy wildlife viewing via zodiacs (large motorized boats used for landings). Herds of walrus can also be seen.
The island is almost completely covered by the ice cap Kvitoyjokulen - with land area 705 km2 (272 ml2) and hourglass-shaped dome. The ice-free land areas are barren and rocky, only a few km2 large. The largest one (Andreeneset) is on the island's southwest corner. Andreeneset is one of these spits where the Salomon August Andree's balloon expedition to the North Pole in 1897 came to a tragic end. The S A Andree's (1854-1897) balloon was launched in 1897 and was airborne for 60 hours before it crashed.
Kvitoya was discovered in 1707 by Cornelis Giles (1675-1722, Dutch navigator and cartographer) and showed on maps (under the name "Giles Land") in different sizes, shapes and positions throughout the following centuries. Island's present name was given in 1876 by the whaler Johan Kjeldsen (from Tromso).
Kvitoya Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Kvitoya Island dock (anchor) either at Torellneset or Vibebukta Bay, Nordaustlandet Island.