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Added 29 Aug 2012

An early start from at our offices near Tenterden in Kent with a mini-coach transfer to Heathrow for some guests. The M25 is kind to us and we arrive in good time ready to greet everyone arriving at Terminal Three. We've pre-seated and check everyone on the flight, so it's simply a case of handing out boarding cards and dropping off luggage. We're soon through security and enjoying a breakfast snack and coffee. Our flight from London to Oslo is on time and uneventful. On landing, we take the long walk to baggage reclaim and wait for our luggage to arrive, as we need to clear customs before our onward flight. This is normal procedure arriving in Oslo but we're in for a surprise! After about half an hour, none of our luggage has arrived on the carousel. Richard goes off to investigate. He finds out that, unusually, all the luggage bound for Longyearbyen has been moved directly to the next aircraft so we do not need to do another check-in. Guests are updated and we inform the other airline passengers too! OK, time to spring another surprise - we've arranged lunch at the very adjacent and very comfortable Park Inn Hotel. Very civilized too and far more comfortable than sitting in an airport terminal. After lunch we head back to the airport for our second flight of the day. We meet up with two of our guests who have flown in from Manchester. With the party complete, we head for Spitsbergen.

On landing in Longyearbyen we check the (one) luggage carousel and are delighted to find all our bags! Our friendly local guide, Doreen, meets us, and we're soon off to the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel. It's now around midnight but it's still light outside. However we're all keen for some sleep!