Cruise Tourists in Spitsbergen around 1900

Between Observation and Transformation

Emneord (Nøkkelord): Arctic history, Spitsbergen/Svalbard, cruise tourism, exploration, nature/culture divide

Sammendrag

This article examines the early commodification of the Arctic, using emerging cruise tourism to Spitsbergen as an example. Its objective is to investigate how an Arctic tourism discourse emerged around 1900 and what its central characteristics were. Covering the period between 1893, when German Arctic cruise tourism took off, and 1914, the article argues that early cruise tourists drew on exploration, adventure and leisure discourses in order to frame their experiences. However, unlike explorers and explorer travellers (Laing and Frost 2014), they wished only to a limited extent to experience adventure themselves, or report transformative experiences due to the sublime landscape; rather, the travel narratives indicate that they were interested above all in observing adventure, this process being facilitated by the advanced technology and luxurious lifestyle of the cruise ships. As the article demonstrates, this ambivalence between images of a wild, uncontrolled and sublime Arctic and an Arctic controlled by modern technology and modern life helped to map the Arctic as a tourism space.

Forfatterbiografi

Ulrike Spring, University of Oslo

Dr. phil., Associate Professor of Modern European History, Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo. Relevant recent publications: Expeditions as Experiments: Practicing Observation and Documentation, co-edited with Marianne Klemun (Palgrave Macmillan 2016); “Early Mass Tourism at the North Cape: Infrastructure, Environment and Social Practices” (in Arctic Modernities, edited by Heidi Hansson and Anka Ryall, 2017).

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Publisert
2020-02-01
Hvordan referere
Spring, Ulrike. 2020. «Cruise Tourists in Spitsbergen Around 1900». Nordlit, nr. 45 (februar):39–55. https://doi.org/10.7557/13.5026.
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