Visitors to Jan Mayen

To  Visitors of Jan Mayen


The Norwegian Armed Forces operates the community of Jan Mayen. The Station Commander is the official representative of the Norwegian Authorities. The Station Commander carries local police authority over Jan Mayen territory (on behalf of the Chief of Police in Nordland). On behalf of the County Governor of Nordland the Station Commander is also responsible for environmental and cultural/historical law and public administration.

Jan Mayen is regulated, as a nature reserve by Norwegian regulation no. 1456 of November 19th, 2010 called «FOR 2010-11-19 nr. 1456, Forskrift om fredning av Jan Mayen naturreservat”. The objective of the Jan Mayen nature reserve is to conserve a near-pristine arctic island and its adjacent sea areas including the ocean floor, with a distinctive landscape, active volcanic system, special flora and fauna and cultural remains, including securing;

  • the island’s grand and unique landscape
  • the island’s distinctive volcanic rock types and landforms
  • the island as a very important habitat for seabirds
  • the close relationship between life in the sea and on land
  • the distinctive ecology of isolated islands
  • the historical perspective that remains from all major eras in Jan Mayen’s history represents
  • the island and adjacent marine areas as a reference area for research

Mount Beerenberg, (2277m) on north end of Jan Mayen is the world’s northernmost active volcano and dominates the scenery when visible.

On the island of Jan Mayen there is a weather station, a EGNOS/GALILEO navigation site and a variety of infrastructure throughout the island – communications, seismic sensors, roads, airstrip, power station, water production, etc. 18 persons employed by the Norwegian Weather Service and Norwegian Armed Forces man the island and infrastructure.

  • The airstrip is a 1600 meters gravel airstrip – closed for civilian flights.
  • There are no operation seaports/harbours. Landing from boat is through the surf in either Båtvika or Kvalrossbukta. Landing by permission from station commander only!
  • Olonkin City (built 1958-60) on the SE part of the island near Båtvika. This is the main station and accommodation for all personnel.



Jan Mayen is Norwegian territory and Norwegian citizens are free to visit Jan Mayen, but must follow the islands regulations.

Foreign citizens who wants to visit the island of Jan Mayen must obtain a permission from the Norwegian authorities prior to arrival; this is regulated through a Norwegian regulation regarding non-Norwegian citizens entry of Jan Mayen («Forskrift om utlendingers adgang til Jan Mayen»), of June 1962. Permission to visit Jan Mayen for non-Norwegian citizens can be granted as follows:

 Norwegian regulation no. 1456 of November 19, regulates and restricts activity throughout Jan Mayen. For all visitors it is pertinent to note the following:

  • There are only two areas permitted for landing and disembarkation; this is Båtvika on the SE side and Kvalrossbukta  on the NV side of the island.
  • Camping is only permitted in KVALROSSBUKTA or BÅTVIKA (details provided upon arrival).
  • Driftwood and other natural/human objects encountered on Jan Mayen (except obvious marine waste) are protected and to be left in place.
  • All visitors are to receive a mandatory safety/security brief upon arrival.

If visitors intend to conduct research or any other activity apart from being a tourist they must send an application to Statsforvalteren i Nordland (sfnopos (aa)


FACTORS to consider:

On Jan Mayen there are no polar bears, or other predators who are a threat to humans. Lack of natural sheltered harbour, rough weather, windy beaches and rough sea makes it a challenge to visit Jan Mayen. The nature of Jan Mayen is extreme, one must be prepared for winter conditions with sandstorms throughout the year, there is limited to no natural shelter and freshwater is scarce.

There is no dedicated SAR capacity on the island and Jan Mayen is normally outside of helicopter coverage. There are no medical services available although the station crew includes a registered nurse in case of emergency.

The station does not offer accommodation or transport services by car/boat. If one choose to anchor/land in KVALROSSBUKTA it is a 9km walk to Olonkin City. The road between KVALROSSBUKTA and Olonkin City is winterclosed November through May.

All buildings of Jan Mayen are off limits to visitors except a portion of the main building in Olonkin City if permission is granted. The area of Olonkin City open for visitors contains Krambua Kiosk (souvenirs), a reception area with a historic exhibit, and a restroom. Please note that station crew provides visitor services in their free time. Also note that the station operates on Norwegian time (one hour prior to GMT during winter and two hours prior to GMT during summer).

Does & Don’ts of Jan Mayen:

  • One should stay away from the tip of cliffs as they may slide into the sea due to heavy erosion.
  • DO NOT touch/go near antennas, as they carry very high voltage.
  • No walking on airstrip, boot prints will freeze and the airstrip must be scraped prior to flight operations.
  • All buildings are off limits for visitors, except area of Olonkin City detailed above and permission is granted. No shoes/boots inside Olonkin City. Please be respectful of the fact that one is entering the station crew’s home.
  • No littering (this also includes cigarette butts and chewing gum).
  • Please ask before taking pictures of station crew and respect their privacy if they don’t accept.
  • Be aware of traffic, especially in conditions with poor visibility.

For visiting ships/yachts

Please provide the following information at earliest possible time in advance of arrival:

  • Name, nationality and port of registration of ship / yacht.
  • Ship/master contact information (MMSI number, call sign, e-mail, Iridium number,etc)
  • Name & nationality of master.
  • Last port of departure – next port of arrival.
  • POB (persons on board).
  • Passenger manifest list.

Contact information for station commander Jan Mayen:

+47 32177902

Jan Mayen maritime radio is remote controlled through Bodø Radio. A listening watch is conducted on VHF ch 16. Working channels is VHF ch. 60.

Best regards,

Station Commander Jan Mayen