Tuesday, 6 June 2017
Norway - Svalbard - Ny-Ålesund
With postmark and cover collectors the polar regions have always been very popular. A collection is not complete without mail from bases in Antarctica. On the other side of the world post offices above the Arctic Circle exist in Norway, Greenland, Finland, Alaska, Canada and Russia.
In Norway there are post offices above the Arctic Circle on the mainland. Also the island of Jan Mayen has a post office. The region of Svalbard has four post offices on the largest island Spitsbergen and two on the islands of Hopen and Bear Island (Bjørnøya).
This envelope was postmarked in the city of Ny-Ålesund. It lies in the Oscar II Land on Spitsbergen. The company town is owned and operated by Kings Bay, who provide facilities for permanent research institutes from ten countries. The town is ultimately owned by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and is not incorporated. Ny-Ålesund has an all-year permanent population of 30 to 35, with the summer population reaching 120. Its facilities include Ny-Ålesund Airport, Hamnerabben, Svalbard Rocket Range, a port and Ny-Ålesund Town and Mine Museum, as well as fifteen permanent research stations. It is the northernmost functional civilian settlement in the world, which makes the post office the northernmost functioning post office in the world.
The postmark shows a seal and the geographic coordinates of the town. It has been in use since March 2012. As stamps I bought the most recent Norwegian Svalbard stamps from 1996. Although the postal rate for an international letter is only NOK 17, I used the complete series because they look very nice on the envelope.
Date sent: 28 April 2017
Date postmark: 9 May 2017
Date received: 17 May 2017
Number of days: 19
Envelope in collection: 67