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| Birthplaces of Digital Giants | World's Largest Axe | Giant Crocodile Shaped Hotel | Beautiful But Cursed Island Of Gaiola | World's Largest Mosaic | Temple Which Is Not Temple - Palace of Baron Empain, Egypt | Unusual Extra-Terrestrial Landscape Of Yehliu Geo Park | Some More Giant Hands Around The World | Amazing Subterranean Cathedral of Wieliczka Salt Mine | World's Tallest Statue of Virgin Mary | Butterfly Bridge - A Unique Tri-Bridge in Copenhagen | Fountain Which is A Digital Clock | Bibliotheca Alexandrina - The New Library of Alexandria | Gateway to Heaven - Tianmen Cave, China | Beautiful Kalyan Minaret, Bukhara, Uzbekistan | Huge Irrigation Circles | Khichan - Best Place in India to see Demoiselle Crane | Small Town Made Famous by BBC Serial | Las Lajas Cathedral - A Cathedral Built in A Gorge | A Modern Bridge Designed by Leonardo da Vinci | Clingstone House - A Remarkable House on A Rock | ACROS Green Building, Tenjin, Japan | Weird Houses Around the World - 10 | Performance Piece - An Abstract Sculpture | Fabulous Four - The Beatles in Topiary | World Wide Web - Birthplace | A "Mammoth" Statue, Salekhard, Siberia | Hill of Crosses, Šiauliai, Lithuania | Cat Who Walks Through Walls | Amazingly Balanced Rocks Around the World - 2 | Amazingly Balanced Rocks Around the World - 9 | Jasenovac Tri-Bridge, Croatia | Strange Custom of Baby Jumping | World's Tallest Mud Earth Building | The Trojan Horse of Troy is in Turkey! | Wave Rock, Hyden, Australia | World's Largest Bicycle | Strokes of Nature - Black Dragon | World's Lowest Height Building - Fuji Kindergarten | Palace on the Rocks | Man who single-handedly built his own palace | Graffiti @ Kelburn Castle | World's Largest Thermometer | Garden of Dolls | Amazingly Balanced Rocks Around the World - 17 | A Jumbo 747 Hotel | World's Largest Speaking Horn | Where old planes go to die! | Stone House at Fafe | Kjeragbolten (Kjerag Boulder), Norway | Tri-Bridges Around the World | Keshwa Chaca - Oldest Surviving Inca Rope Bridge | Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), Norway | Drive-in Ferris Wheel | Huge Colourful Streamers on the Hills of Tibet | Sign Post Forest | World's Largest Sculpture of Beatles | Weird Houses Around the World - 8 | Amazing Rice Paddy Art | Airstream Ranch - Art or Junk | Which is the World's Highest Peak? | St. Beatus Caves With Stunning Entrance | Iglesia El Rosario, El Salvador | Tri-Bridges Around The World | Amazing See Through Church Of Borgloon | World's Most Crooked Street - Lombard Street, San Francisco | More Giant Hands Around the World | Vertigo Inducing Glass Balconies at Willis Tower, Chicago | Floating Swimming Pool - Badeschiff | Widest Non-Clonal Tree in The World | World's Tallest Memorial Cross | Worlds Largest Spherical Dome - Ericsson Globe | Amazing Coffins of Ga Tribe, Ghana | World's Largest Horseshoe Crab | A Giant Sized Welcome in the City of Giants | Tower of Thousand Cranes - Children's Peace Monument, Hiroshima | Lena Pillars - World's Remotest Natural Wonders | Hand Pump Without Handle - A Strange Memorial In London | Green Building of School of Art, Design and Media, Singapore | Cinque Terre - Five Colourful Villages on Italian Coast | Painting in Field | Guitar Shaped Buildings | Unique Saturn Shaped Building - Lucknow Planetarium | World's Largest Tyre | Unusual Pyramid Mosque | Unique Building Which Looks Like Fabergé Egg | Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul | Not A Mosque | Duke of York's Picture House - Oldest Cinema Hall in UK | Oldest Wooden Building in the World | Piano and Violin Shaped Building | Colourful Evaporation Ponds - South Bay, San Francisco | Automatic Bike Dispensing Machines in The Netherlands | Amazingly Balanced Rocks Around the World - 3. | Amazingly Balanced Rocks Around the World - 21 | Hole N' The Rock - An Amazing Cave House Built Single-handedly | Can You Recognise This # 5 | Vertical Green Garden of Madrid | Maman - The Mother Spider Around the World | World's Largest Treetop Hotel - The Ariau Amazon Towers | Giant Rock Painting of Buddha, Lashaosi, China | Bloemencorso Bollenstreek - A Dutch Flower Parade | Microsoft - Birthplace | Thirteen O'clock | World's Biggest Cashew Tree | Gangnam Style Hands, Seoul, Korea | Alnwick Treehouse | Strange town of Setenil | Strokes of Nature - Hell's Fire | Nikola-Lenivets - Small City With Big Art | When Walls Had Ears | Tower which is leaner than the Leaning Tower of Pisa | Oldest Hanging Train | Weird Houses Around the World - 9 | World's Steepest Funicular Railways | Yellow Submarine of The Beatles | Quetzalcoatl's Nest - Snake Shaped Housing Complex | Strokes of Nature - Pink Galaxy | The Square Head Building - An Amazing Habitable Sculpture | World's Highest Outdoor Lift (The Bailong Lift) | Turtle Shaped Temple, Nagasaki, Japan | Grasshopper Bridge, Denmark | A Giant Egg for the Easter | Equatorial Monuments Around the World | For the Spider Lovers - A Giant Web | Razzle Dazzle Ship of Arnhem | Can You Recognise This # 21 | Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, Yamoussoukro | Locks of Love around the World! | London Bridge has fallen down | Tree Lockup | Weird Houses Around the World - 15 | Weird Houses Around the World - 2 | ING House - Another Huge Building on Stilts | Pietermaritzburg Station - Start Of Gandhi's Fight Against Discrimination | Last Hiding Place Of Lenin | A Lake Named Pi (3.1416) | Gravity Defying Stones | Göbekli Tepe - World's Oldest Excavated Temple | Zorbing - Rolling Down a Slope in a Ball | America's Oldest Functioning Windmill | Quadripoints of the World | Louisa/Fort Gay Tri-Bridge | Amazingly Balanced Rocks Around the World - 14 | Tunnel of Love | Hiran Minar, Fathehpur Sikri - A Uniquely Studded Tower | World's Northern Most Mosque | Oldest Cherry Blossom Trees in The World | The Heart of Voh | Erawan Museum - World’s Largest Zoomorphic Building | Unique and Beautiful Crystal Mosque of Malaysia | Fairy Walking Bridge, Xihai Grand Canyon, China | Weird Houses Around the World | From Abandoned House to Doll House - Converting Unsightly to Showpiece | Can You Recognise This # 3 | Beautiful Salt Pans, Tegguiada-In-Tessoum, Niger | Goat Towers Around The World - Updated | World's Largest Poster | Oldest Wooden House in the World | Carhenge - Modern Day Stonehenge | Catatumbo - Where Lightning Strikes Almost Whole Year Round | World's Longest Tapestry | Amazing Landscape and Cave Settlements of Cappadocia, Turkey | Swallow's Nest | Amazing Volcano House - Living on Top of A Volcano | Bar Coded Building | Can You Recognise This # 24 | Island of the Dead - Venetian Cemetery | World's Largest Ship - Emma Mærsk | Can You Recognise This? | Beach House on A Pole | World's Largest Aircraft - Antonov AN-225 | The Rundetarn (Round Tower), Copenhagen, Denmark | Ennedi Plateau - Sahara’s Secret Garden - Revisited | Remarkable Rocks' Australia are Truly Remarkable | WYSIWYG and GUI - Birthplace | Weird Houses Around the World - 11 | Amazing Temple Built From Million Beer Bottles | Can You Recognise This # 9 | 3.2 km long Slogan, Chile | Riding the Lion's Back | First IBM-PC - Birthplace | Tower of Hercules - World's Oldest Lighthouse | Brick Train Locomotive | Musical Wall of Dresden | World's Largest Grid Clock | Intricate Stepwell Near Jaipur | Thrown out of Window | Strokes of Nature - "Autumn Trees" | Amazing Horse Shoe Shaped Hotel | Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe - Chapel on a volcanic plug | Mausoleum of Tamerlane - A Precursor To Mughal Architecture | World's Biggest Image Building | Slauerhoff Bridge - A Giant Flying Kite | Strokes of Nature - Colours of Desert | Huge EU Poster in Google Earth | Selfridges, Birmingham - A Building Adorned With Sequins | Sacra Cintola (Holy Belt) of the Virgin Mary, Prato Cathedral | Statues of Amazing Penitents of Taxco, Mexico | A colourful Hotel Complex - Marques de Riscal | Can You Recognise This # 26 | Shibam - World's Oldest Skyscraper City | Cosmovitral - A Beautiful Stained Glasshouse Garden | Poor Man's Taj Mahal, Aurangabad, India | Shot Tower, Clifton Hill, Yarra City, Australia | Giant Millennium Clock, Tianjun, China | Ju Ming Museum - Taiwan's Largest Sculpture Garden | Poetic Palindromic Roundabout | Weird Houses Around the World - 14 | Monasteries on the Rocks - Meteora, Greece | One O'clock Gun, Edinburgh | Container Buildings at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London | Best Place to see Tigers - Bandhavgarh, India | Can You Recognise This # 25 | The Painted Wall, Barcelona | World's Largest Mud-brick Building | Magdeburg Water Bridge - World's Largest Navigable Aqueduct | Relocated Nubian Temples outside Egypt | Google - Birthplace | Giant Hand at Holocaust Memorial, Miami | Merry Cemetery of Sapanta, Romania | Magnificent Stained Glass Winter Garden, Ursuline Institute, Belgium | Sculptures in White Desert | The Wave (Rock), Arizona, USA | The Silent People of Finland | World's Largest Sludge Storage Tank - IJsseloog | Crazy Tower With Crawling Babies | World's Largest Terrestrial Vehicle | Weird Houses Around the World - 6 | Goat Towers Around The World | Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge | Bridge to Nowhere | When Martians Landed | Can You Recognise This # 4 | Metronome - A Huge & Strange Public Art Work in NYC | Gundam RX-78 Giant Robot Hero - Life Size Statue | World's Largest Filing Cabinet | Colourful Waste Incineration Plant at Osaka | The Eerie Chapel of Bones | World's Largest Granite Soup Bowl | Can You Recognise This # 15 | Shaking Minarets of Sidi Bashir Mosque, Ahmedabad | A Green Church | World's Tallest Inclined Tower - The Montreal Olympic Tower | City Lounge, St. Gallens - World's Largest Open Air Lounge | Tower of Dreams and Desires | World's Littlest Skyscraper | Amazing Sigriya Lion Rock Fortress | Huge Chalk Lion, Whipsnade, England | World's First Swing Aqueduct - Barton Aqueduct | 29 More Giant Hands Around The World | Dali's Museum and Torre Galatea - Strange Architecture | Snake Building, Berlin | Giant Elephant of Nantes | Can You Recognise This # 11 | Spectacular Murmuration of Starlings at Gretna Green | Ancient Karla and Bhaja Buddhist Caves of India | The Headington Shark - Which Survived Attack | Bridge to Nowhere, Atlantic Road, Norway | "Desert Breath" - Art in the desert | World's Largest Island within a Lake on an Island within a Lake on an Island | Weird Houses Around the World - 19 | Tallest Statue in the World - Spring Temple Buddha | Bookshelf Murals Around The World | Almost Perfect Cone - Mt. 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Ha! Pyramid | Hoba Meteorite - World's Largest Meteorite (in single piece) | World's Largest Bulldozer | Pigeon Tower, Isfahan | Maeslantkering - World's Largest Storm Barrier | Can You Recognise This # 20 | Can You Recognise This # 10 | Islet Made Famous by Bond Movie | Nice Chalet at Cascade de Gairaut, Nice | Amazingly Balanced Rocks -25 Giant Mushroom Rock, Saudi Arabia | Giant Wall Sockets | Habitat '67 - World's First Modular Pre-fab Housing Complex | Magical Floating Water Taps Around The World | World's Largest Painting | Unique Curling Bridge | Amazingly Balanced Rocks Around the World - 19 | Amazing Volcanic Vineyards of La Geria | Giant Hands Around The World | Lucy - World's Biggest Elephant | Ice which is not ice - Pamukkale, Turkey | Periplaneta Americana Invades Havana | Prebischtor - Largest Natural Stone Bridge in Europe | World's Largest Titanic Museum, Branson, USA | Pant-y-Goitre Bridge - A Bridge With Holes | Zhivopisny Bridge - A Picturesque Red Bridge With Spider's Sac | 1000 Islands - 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World Heritage Site | Fyrish Monument - A Monument Built To Give Employment | Tri-Bridges Around the World | Unique Circular Footbridge, Aveiro, Portugal | Giant Hands of Mario Irarrázabal | Spectacular Painted Hills of Oregon |

Noorderlicht - World's Only Ice-Bound Ship-Hotel

Noorderlicht – A more than a century old steel schooner has the unique distinction of being not only the World’s Northernmost Hotel but also of being the World’s only Ice-bound Hotel which when not ice-bound is an active seafaring vessel.

The so called hotel-ship is a regular ship which plies in the Arctic Ocean along the Svalbard archipelago during the summer months and in the Barents Sea along coastal Norway in the autumn. It is however during winters it achieves the remarkable yet simple USP of becoming an ice-bound hotel and serves as a base camp for sleigh rides for tourists exploring the frozen Spitsbergen and the surrounding areas.

From February to May each year, the ship is purposely moored in Tempelfjorden fjord in the island of Spitzberg, Svalbard archipelago in Norway, where it gradually becomes ice-hotel as the water around it freezes. This simple but unique idea was first implemented 10 years ago. The ship has had a chequered past. Built in 1910/11 as a three-masted German schooner christened ‘Kalkgrund II’, it was originally used as a lightship at Flensburg, Germany. In 1919 it was inducted into German navy and remained with them as a lightship-cum-pilotship till 1963 when it was de-commissioned and sold for use as a residential ship for expatriates.

In 1967 the ship was sold to a sailing club and towed to Möltenort in the Kiel Fjord to serve as club house. Due to poor maintenance it started decaying. Its fate from 1986 till 1992 is not known but in 1992, the current owners discovered the decaying ship in Friesland and bought it for renovation. Its rusty hull was stripped, completely restructured and provided with two masts. The ship was made sea worthy for cruising in the high seas and was rechristened with Dutch ‘Noorderlicht’ meaning "Northern Light". In the initial year after renovation the ship cruised around Spitsbergen during summer and in winters the ship sailed to the sunny Canary Islands and the Azores.

In 2004 at the suggestion of Norwegian tour operator, ‘Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen’, the ships hull was strengthened and interiors refurbished to make it suitable for the extreme cold weather conditions and also to provide amenities to sled dogs and parking for snowmobile which bring passengers and rations when the ship is snow-bound in the midst of icescape which to stretches to miles and miles of irregular packs of ice and snowy peaks.

The British Sunday Times has twice named the ship as one of the “5 places to visit before you die”.



Image Source: Google Street View - This is the street view which first attracted my attention to this unique Hotel/Ship. My first impression was that GSV had captured rescue operation of some ship which had accidentally got stuck in the Ice. Further search on the WWW gave me true idea about it. The ship in above image is located at 78° 24' 18.5754" N, 16° 59' 31.4628" E and it is moored every winter within couple of hundred metres of this location, making it the Northernmost Hotel in the World.

View location in Google Earth / Google Maps and Street View

Source of Information and more information;
Credits: I am thankful Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen for furnishing the images (except GSV) used here.

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