Barneo Canceled; May Route Through Russia Next Year

Two outfitters currently in Svalbard confirmed today that the Barneo Ice Station definitely won’t run this year. Permission from Norwegian authorities has not been forthcoming, polar guides Eric Larsen and Eric Philips told ExplorersWeb.

Nevertheless, the ice station will be experimentally set up this spring through Russia, as a “proof of concept,” for next year, said Philips. However, no tourists will go there.

Routing through Russia in 2024 would no doubt be controversial. Some clients from the Middle East or Asia might be open to the idea, but Westerners would face criticism for indirectly supporting what has become a blackballed state since its invasion of Ukraine.

Jerry Kobalenko

Jerry Kobalenko is the editor of ExplorersWeb. One of Canada’s premier arctic travelers, he is the author of The Horizontal Everest and Arctic Eden, and has just finished a book about adventures in Labrador. In 2018, he was awarded the Polar Medal by the Governor General of Canada and in 2022, he received the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal for services to exploration.