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Although they are separate entities, Jan Mayen and the Svalbard archipelago are often referred to collectively and share the same country code of SJ.
Jan Mayen

Jan Mayen Expedition Cruises

Similar to Bear Island, Jan Mayen is another small island located off the coast of Northern Norway. However, this piece of land can be found in the Norwegian Sea, in a southeasterly direction from Greenland and not within the Barents Sea.

Before the name Jan Mayen was officially given, the island was christened with many other titles by various Dutch explorers who believed they were the first to arrive. These included names such as Mauritius, Isabella and, the rather less catchy, Sir Thomas Smith's Island. It wasn’t until 1623 when Willem Jansz Blaeu, a famous cartographer, published his atlas which named the island Jan Mayen after Jan Jacobszoon May who was one of the first to land there.

In a comparable way to Iceland, the landscape is largely volcanic, with the Beerenberg volcano situated in the north, and is split into two areas, named Nord-Jan and Sor-Jan, which are linked by a long, thin stretch of land. The area around the volcano is largely made up of beautiful glaciers that can be seen spilling into the sea, whilst there are also three peaceful lakes in and amongst the rugged terrain.

Wildlife spotting enthusiasts will be pleased to know that Jan Mayen has been declared an Important Bird Area due to the fact that various species of seabird can be found mating here; including auks and guillemots. The seas around the coast are also rich feeding grounds for whales.

Jan Mayen