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Svalbard - The Midnight Sun

Experience the magic of the midnight sun on the Svalbard archipelago and the world's northern most town of Longyearbyen.

Overview

Overview
This holiday is a journey into the northern wilderness archipelago of Svalbard. It is for those with a love of nature, an appreciation for spectacular scenery and special locations and will appeal to anyone looking for a holiday with a difference. Svalbard is an environmentally sensitive location and the ice coverage in winter is often used as an indicator of global warming. 

History
Svalbard has a complicated history dating back to the 12th century. Whaling, hunting and fishing have played an important role and many countries tried to claim Svalbard during the 16th and 17th centuries, including Britain, France and Denmark. Following WWI, the 1920 Svalbard Treaty granted sovereignty to Norway and Svalbard became an economic free and demilitarized zone. Today Longyearbyen and Svalbard have an established, low-key tourism industry.

Geography
Glaciation covers 60% of Svalbard and the highest point is 1700m above sea level. Longyearbyen is the world’s most northerly town and has just 2700 residents and this northerly latitude means the midnight sun shines from the end of April until the end of August – leave your body clock at home. There are no roads on Svalbard outside the settlements, so villages are connected by boat, snowmobiles and aircraft.

Nature
Polar bears are the symbol of Svalbard and one of the main tourist attractions. You will also find reindeer and a myriad of bird and marine wildlife. It is not unusual to see whales and seals during your stay on Svalbard, and this holiday includes options for some wonderful wildlife experiences during boat safaris around Isfjord. There are approximately 3000 polar bears on Svalbard, 7 national parks, 15 bird sanctuaries and 6 nature reserves, all allow these animals to thrive in the Arctic.

Itinerary

Typical Itinerary

Sunday
Fly from UK to Longyearbyen on Svalbard (via Oslo).
Typical flight times.
London Heathrow to Oslo 1730-2040.
Oslo to Longyearbyen 2135-0030.
Land under the midnight sun during the summer.
Transfer to your hotel.
Check in.

Monday
Leisurely breakfast.
Day at leisure to enjoy this amazing location.
We recommend you book activities to make the most of your time on Svalbard (see activities tab).

Tuesday
Leisurely breakfast.
Day at leisure to enjoy this amazing location.
We recommend you book activities to make the most of your time on Svalbard (see activities tab).

Wednesday (if choosing to visit Isfjord Radio)
Breakfast at your hotel.
10am transfer to the harbour. Safety briefing and issue of thermal floatation suit.
Enjoy the Svalbard scenery and marine wildlife from your open RIB.
2 course lunch served on arrival at Isfjord Radio.
Spend the afternoon exploring Kapp Linné and learn more about Arctic wildlife.
3 course evening meal served during the evening. 
Relax in the sauna, and for those that are brave enough, a dip in the Arctic Ocean – the locals call this the Arctic SPA.

Thursday (if choosing to visit Isfjord Radio)
Breakfast and a day to explore by boat.
Discover Grønfjorden and the Russian settlement of Barentsburg. 
Go ashore where a light lunch is served in the Russian brewery.
Jump back on board and head towards Longyearbyen with some interesting sites along the way.
Back to your hotel by mid-afternoon.

Friday
Breakfast.
Transfer to the airport.
Typical flight times:
Longyearbyen to Oslo 1305-1600.
Oslo to Heathrow 1715-1830.


Accommodation

Basecamp Hotel - Svalbard

Click on the image for more photos.

Located right at the heart of Longyearbyen close to restaurants, pubs and shops Basecamp Hotel is a rustic hotel full of character reflecting traditional life in the Arctic. The bedrooms are decorated in a traditional trapper’s style with driftwood, sealskins, pictures and objects that illustrate life as a trapper.

Each of the 16 rooms is individually decorated and no two rooms are alike. They are all en suite with comfortable beds and wireless internet. Many of the rooms are twin rooms and they all offer a view over the town and towards the mountains surrounding the Longyeardalen valley.

Keeping true to the trapper’s style, there are no televisions in the rooms, but you are more than welcome to borrow some arctic books from the lobby and just enjoy the arctic atmosphere in your room. If you still yearn after evening programs you can climb up to the loft where there is a big screen television for guests to use. You can also rent bikes from reception.

Isfjord Radio - Svalbard

During summer 2013, Isfjord Radio was awarded with the St Olav’s Rose – a hallmark of Norwegian Heritage. Awarded to distinguished places that have succeeded to combine modern development and historic preservation, the rose is a symbol of what binds together Norwegian unwritten history and our own time - it embraces the global perspective and the historical landscape, both literally and metaphorically.

Isfjord Radio is a wilderness boutique hotel located 90 km west of Longyearbyen. Historically an important telecommunications link between the Norwegian mainland and Svalbard, it is now a newly renovated and tastefully decorated wilderness hotel of a high standard, with a focus on comfort, a cosy atmosphere and good food.

Far away from any roads or civilization, this is the place to enjoy the Arctic silence. Sit outside with a warm drink and listen to the silence around you. You can hear birds, seals coming to the surface of the ocean and even whales crossing Isfjord. These are the voices of Arctic nature. There are no noises from cars or airplanes, no loud buses or beeping horns - only the sound of nature.

Isfjord Radio can comfortably accommodate 49 people in 23 rooms. The toilets and showers are in common use along the corridor and are newly renovated to a high quality. A three-course meal is provided for all guests, served in the dining room with breathtaking views over Isfjorden towards Greenland. There is fully licensed bar and we recommend you to taste Isfjord Radio's very own special Radio Wine. Where possible credit-card payments are preferred to Norwegian cash. We are proud to offer you full Arctic luxury and unforgettable adventures. There is also a relaxing sauna, and for those that are brave enough, a dip in the Arctic Ocean – the locals call this the Arctic SPA. Isfjord Radio is open from 1 February until 31 September.

Svalbard Hotel - Longyearbyen

Click on the image for more photos.

Located right at the heart of Longyearbyen close to restaurants, pubs and shops, Svalbard’s newest hotel is located across 3 sparkling new buildings with a range of accommodation options including modern hotel rooms and apartments. All hotel rooms booked by Simply Sweden are Standard Plus (or of a higher standard) unless otherwise specified and breakfast is always included. This is the perfect location from which to explore Longyearbyen and beyond!

Your time on Svalbard is all about nature, culture, 8 fast-changing seasons, history and appreciation for the sensitive nature of our environment. It is not possible to leave the settlement of Longyearbyen without a guide due to the risk posed by polar bears. To appreciate this vast landscape please booked some excursions!

Activities & Excursions

Longyearbyen - Svalbard (Summer June to September)

Fossil Hunting £49pp
A leisurely walk from Nybyen up onto the Longyear Glacier.  You are not allowed to pick living flowers on Svalbard, however, if you find a 40 million year old fossil it’s yours to keep! Snacks and hot drinks are included.
Duration: 3hrs. Availability: 0930 daily Jun to Sep.    
Suitability: Average fitness required. Info: Bring walking boots and small rucksack.

Trollsteinen – over the Lars Glacier £95pp
This landscape has been carved out by thousands of tonnes of ice during the last ice age. Cross the glacier and hike along the mountain ridge before enjoying a well-earned lunch from a sheltered location with breath-taking views from 850m. Sandwich and hot drinks are included.
Duration: 7hrs. Suitability: Good fitness required – experienced walkers. Availability: 1030 Mon, Thur & Sat Jun to Sep.    
Info: Bring walking boots and a small rucksack. The terrain is rugged and steep.
 
Sea Kayaking £105pp
A day exploring the Advent Fjord. A great way to get up close and personal with nature and the wilderness in the fjord. Lunch, hot drinks and snacks included.
Duration: 7hrs. Availability: Jun to Sep.     Suitability: Good fitness required, especially in upper body.
Info: No paddling experience required. Dry suit and life jacket provided. Availability: 0900 Tue, Fri & Sun May to Sep.    
 
RIB tour to Fuglefjellet £109pp
A nature safari along Isfjorden to steep bird cliffs where thousands of birds have sought sanctuary from predators. Pass by abandoned Russian mining settlements which originate from the 1900s. Hot drinks and snacks are provided.
Duration: 3hrs. Availability: 0800 or 1300 daily Jun to Sep.    Suitability: Not suitable for those with back problems.
Info: Dress warmly with woollen layers, gloves, hat and walking boots. Floatation suit provided.

Fjord Cruises
Pyramiden and Nordenskiöld Glacier £155pp
Pyramiden is a powerful, brutally isolated town surrounded by empty buildings and an obvious lack of life. This town was a showcase of communist excellence. Polar Bears can appear at any time during the cruise, or during your guided tour of Pyramiden. Lunch is included and served on board.

Glaciers and Barentsburg £185pp
Arctic bird life, blue glaciers and Barentsburg is one magical day tour of Isfjorden. Understand the size, stature and power of glaciers at Ymerbukta Bay with the Esmark Glacier. After lunch the boat cruises across Isfjorden towards Barentsburg. A guided tour with a local guide through a town that time forgot. Opportunities to buy some Russian souvenirs. Lunch is included and served on board.

Cruise info
Duration: 8hrs. Availability: 0830 daily June to Sep.     Suitability: Suitable for everyone.
Info: Bring warm windproof clothing. Drinks and snacks are available to purchase on board.

Dates

Midnight Sun on Svalbard
19th April to 24th August.

Svalbard is a year round destination and we can tailor make your holiday to your individual requirements. Summer is a particularly busy period under the midnight sun so we have some fixed departures to offer you the best flights between the UK and Svalbard.

Use this booking form to book this holiday.

Summer 2017
4th to 9th June
11th to 16th June
18th to 23rd June
25th to 30th June

9th to 14th July
16th to 21st July
23rd to 28th July
30th July to 4th August

6th to 11th August
13th to 18th August

 

Prices

Use this booking form to book this holiday.

Svalbard Hotel
Prices from

£1355 per person

Upgrades for Svalbard Hotel from
£60 per person per night for a Superior Room
£120 per person per night for a Deluxe Room
£395 per person per night for the Polar Bear Suite

 

Basecamp Hotel
Prices from

£1385 per person - please note this is a smaller hotel with limited availablity.

 

Isfjord Radio
Include Isfjord Radio (full board) with 2 days of activities / excursions by boat from £780pp

 

Supplements from
£150pp for departure on 18th June. 

Includes
Flights from UK to Longyearbyen (via Oslo)
Airport transfers to and from Longyearbyen airport and your hotel
Bed and breakfast accommodation at your hotel in Longyearbyen

Gallery

Information

Svalbard Information
Svalbard is unlike any other location and we strongly recommend you read the information below so you have a good understanding of what life is like deep inside the Arctic Circle. It is for those with a love of nature, an appreciation for spectacular scenery and special locations and will appeal to anyone looking for a holiday with a difference. Svalbard is an environmentally sensitive location and the ice coverage in winter is often used as an indicator of global warming.

Polar Bears
Polar bears are the largest living predator on Earth and are generally recognised as the symbol of Svalbard. There are 3000 polar bears on Svalbard and these sensitive creatures are vulnerable to climate change, pollutants and human interference.
Rules protecting polar bears are strict and it is forbidden to lure, pursue, seek out or disturb them; hence there are no ‘polar bear excursions’. Polar bears can appear anywhere at any time on Svalbard and you should never venture outside the settlement without a qualified guide.

The Svalbard Dictionary
Svalbard – is the name given to the entire archipelago.
Spitsbergen – is the name of the largest island within the Svalbard Archipelago.
Longyearbyen – is the main town / settlement on Spitsbergen and Svalbard. 

Midnight sun – the period when the sun does not set (mid-April to late August)
Polar night – the period when the sun does not rise (late October to mid-February)

Northern Lights
The northern lights are potentially visible on Svalbard mid-September to mid-March.

Weather and Climate
A land of extremes! With endless summer days and never ending winter nights the weather can be unpredictable so close to the North Pole. In the middle of summer temperatures average +7C but can be as warm as +17C or as cold as 0C. In the depths of winter, when Svalbard is covered in a blanket of virgin snow, average temperatures are -15C and extremes can reach 0C and -30C. During the winter warm outer clothing can be included in your holiday.

Passports and Visas
All visitors need to go through passport control. The identity of all travellers between Svalbard and the Norwegian mainland will be checked upon arrival and departure. Please note that if you need a visa to arrive to Norway (not relevant to British passport holders) you will need another visa (double entry) to enter Norway again after your visit to Svalbard.

Currency
The Norwegian Krona is used on Svalbard and international credit and debit cards are widely accepted so only a small amount of local currency is recommended.

Electricity
Standard European sockets at 220V.

History
Svalbard has a complicated history dating back to the 12th century. Whaling, hunting and fishing have played an important role and many countries tried to claim Svalbard during the 16th and 17th centuries, including Britain, France and Denmark. Following WWI, the 1920 Svalbard Treaty granted sovereignty to Norway and Svalbard became an economic free and demilitarized zone. Today Longyearbyen and Svalbard have an established, low-key tourism industry. 

Geography
Glaciation covers 60% of Svalbard and the highest point is 1700m above sea level. Longyearbyen is the world’s most northerly town and has just 2700 residents and this northerly latitude means the midnight sun shines from the end of April until the end of August – leave your body clock at home. There are no roads on Svalbard outside the settlements, so villages are connected by boat, snowmobiles and aircraft.

Nature
Polar bears are not the only animals on Svalbard! You will also find reindeer and a myriad of bird and marine wildlife. It is not unusual to see whales and seals during your stay on Svalbard, and boat safaris around Isfjord offer some wonderful wildlife experiences. There are 7 national parks, 15 bird sanctuaries and 6 nature reserves; all allow these animals to thrive in the Arctic.

Overview

Overview
This holiday is a journey into the northern wilderness archipelago of Svalbard. It is for those with a love of nature, an appreciation for spectacular scenery and special locations and will appeal to anyone looking for a holiday with a difference. Svalbard is an environmentally sensitive location and the ice coverage in winter is often used as an indicator of global warming. 

History
Svalbard has a complicated history dating back to the 12th century. Whaling, hunting and fishing have played an important role and many countries tried to claim Svalbard during the 16th and 17th centuries, including Britain, France and Denmark. Following WWI, the 1920 Svalbard Treaty granted sovereignty to Norway and Svalbard became an economic free and demilitarized zone. Today Longyearbyen and Svalbard have an established, low-key tourism industry.

Geography
Glaciation covers 60% of Svalbard and the highest point is 1700m above sea level. Longyearbyen is the world’s most northerly town and has just 2700 residents and this northerly latitude means the midnight sun shines from the end of April until the end of August – leave your body clock at home. There are no roads on Svalbard outside the settlements, so villages are connected by boat, snowmobiles and aircraft.

Nature
Polar bears are the symbol of Svalbard and one of the main tourist attractions. You will also find reindeer and a myriad of bird and marine wildlife. It is not unusual to see whales and seals during your stay on Svalbard, and this holiday includes options for some wonderful wildlife experiences during boat safaris around Isfjord. There are approximately 3000 polar bears on Svalbard, 7 national parks, 15 bird sanctuaries and 6 nature reserves, all allow these animals to thrive in the Arctic.

Itinerary

Typical Itinerary

Sunday
Fly from UK to Longyearbyen on Svalbard (via Oslo).
Typical flight times.
London Heathrow to Oslo 1730-2040.
Oslo to Longyearbyen 2135-0030.
Land under the midnight sun during the summer.
Transfer to your hotel.
Check in.

Monday
Leisurely breakfast.
Day at leisure to enjoy this amazing location.
We recommend you book activities to make the most of your time on Svalbard (see activities tab).

Tuesday
Leisurely breakfast.
Day at leisure to enjoy this amazing location.
We recommend you book activities to make the most of your time on Svalbard (see activities tab).

Wednesday (if choosing to visit Isfjord Radio)
Breakfast at your hotel.
10am transfer to the harbour. Safety briefing and issue of thermal floatation suit.
Enjoy the Svalbard scenery and marine wildlife from your open RIB.
2 course lunch served on arrival at Isfjord Radio.
Spend the afternoon exploring Kapp Linné and learn more about Arctic wildlife.
3 course evening meal served during the evening. 
Relax in the sauna, and for those that are brave enough, a dip in the Arctic Ocean – the locals call this the Arctic SPA.

Thursday (if choosing to visit Isfjord Radio)
Breakfast and a day to explore by boat.
Discover Grønfjorden and the Russian settlement of Barentsburg. 
Go ashore where a light lunch is served in the Russian brewery.
Jump back on board and head towards Longyearbyen with some interesting sites along the way.
Back to your hotel by mid-afternoon.

Friday
Breakfast.
Transfer to the airport.
Typical flight times:
Longyearbyen to Oslo 1305-1600.
Oslo to Heathrow 1715-1830.


Accomodation

Basecamp Hotel - Svalbard

Click on the image for more photos.

Located right at the heart of Longyearbyen close to restaurants, pubs and shops Basecamp Hotel is a rustic hotel full of character reflecting traditional life in the Arctic. The bedrooms are decorated in a traditional trapper’s style with driftwood, sealskins, pictures and objects that illustrate life as a trapper.

Each of the 16 rooms is individually decorated and no two rooms are alike. They are all en suite with comfortable beds and wireless internet. Many of the rooms are twin rooms and they all offer a view over the town and towards the mountains surrounding the Longyeardalen valley.

Keeping true to the trapper’s style, there are no televisions in the rooms, but you are more than welcome to borrow some arctic books from the lobby and just enjoy the arctic atmosphere in your room. If you still yearn after evening programs you can climb up to the loft where there is a big screen television for guests to use. You can also rent bikes from reception.

Isfjord Radio - Svalbard

During summer 2013, Isfjord Radio was awarded with the St Olav’s Rose – a hallmark of Norwegian Heritage. Awarded to distinguished places that have succeeded to combine modern development and historic preservation, the rose is a symbol of what binds together Norwegian unwritten history and our own time - it embraces the global perspective and the historical landscape, both literally and metaphorically.

Isfjord Radio is a wilderness boutique hotel located 90 km west of Longyearbyen. Historically an important telecommunications link between the Norwegian mainland and Svalbard, it is now a newly renovated and tastefully decorated wilderness hotel of a high standard, with a focus on comfort, a cosy atmosphere and good food.

Far away from any roads or civilization, this is the place to enjoy the Arctic silence. Sit outside with a warm drink and listen to the silence around you. You can hear birds, seals coming to the surface of the ocean and even whales crossing Isfjord. These are the voices of Arctic nature. There are no noises from cars or airplanes, no loud buses or beeping horns - only the sound of nature.

Isfjord Radio can comfortably accommodate 49 people in 23 rooms. The toilets and showers are in common use along the corridor and are newly renovated to a high quality. A three-course meal is provided for all guests, served in the dining room with breathtaking views over Isfjorden towards Greenland. There is fully licensed bar and we recommend you to taste Isfjord Radio's very own special Radio Wine. Where possible credit-card payments are preferred to Norwegian cash. We are proud to offer you full Arctic luxury and unforgettable adventures. There is also a relaxing sauna, and for those that are brave enough, a dip in the Arctic Ocean – the locals call this the Arctic SPA. Isfjord Radio is open from 1 February until 31 September.

Svalbard Hotel - Longyearbyen

Click on the image for more photos.

Located right at the heart of Longyearbyen close to restaurants, pubs and shops, Svalbard’s newest hotel is located across 3 sparkling new buildings with a range of accommodation options including modern hotel rooms and apartments. All hotel rooms booked by Simply Sweden are Standard Plus (or of a higher standard) unless otherwise specified and breakfast is always included. This is the perfect location from which to explore Longyearbyen and beyond!

Your time on Svalbard is all about nature, culture, 8 fast-changing seasons, history and appreciation for the sensitive nature of our environment. It is not possible to leave the settlement of Longyearbyen without a guide due to the risk posed by polar bears. To appreciate this vast landscape please booked some excursions!

Excursions

Longyearbyen - Svalbard (Summer June to September)

Fossil Hunting £49pp
A leisurely walk from Nybyen up onto the Longyear Glacier.  You are not allowed to pick living flowers on Svalbard, however, if you find a 40 million year old fossil it’s yours to keep! Snacks and hot drinks are included.
Duration: 3hrs. Availability: 0930 daily Jun to Sep.    
Suitability: Average fitness required. Info: Bring walking boots and small rucksack.

Trollsteinen – over the Lars Glacier £95pp
This landscape has been carved out by thousands of tonnes of ice during the last ice age. Cross the glacier and hike along the mountain ridge before enjoying a well-earned lunch from a sheltered location with breath-taking views from 850m. Sandwich and hot drinks are included.
Duration: 7hrs. Suitability: Good fitness required – experienced walkers. Availability: 1030 Mon, Thur & Sat Jun to Sep.    
Info: Bring walking boots and a small rucksack. The terrain is rugged and steep.
 
Sea Kayaking £105pp
A day exploring the Advent Fjord. A great way to get up close and personal with nature and the wilderness in the fjord. Lunch, hot drinks and snacks included.
Duration: 7hrs. Availability: Jun to Sep.     Suitability: Good fitness required, especially in upper body.
Info: No paddling experience required. Dry suit and life jacket provided. Availability: 0900 Tue, Fri & Sun May to Sep.    
 
RIB tour to Fuglefjellet £109pp
A nature safari along Isfjorden to steep bird cliffs where thousands of birds have sought sanctuary from predators. Pass by abandoned Russian mining settlements which originate from the 1900s. Hot drinks and snacks are provided.
Duration: 3hrs. Availability: 0800 or 1300 daily Jun to Sep.    Suitability: Not suitable for those with back problems.
Info: Dress warmly with woollen layers, gloves, hat and walking boots. Floatation suit provided.

Fjord Cruises
Pyramiden and Nordenskiöld Glacier £155pp
Pyramiden is a powerful, brutally isolated town surrounded by empty buildings and an obvious lack of life. This town was a showcase of communist excellence. Polar Bears can appear at any time during the cruise, or during your guided tour of Pyramiden. Lunch is included and served on board.

Glaciers and Barentsburg £185pp
Arctic bird life, blue glaciers and Barentsburg is one magical day tour of Isfjorden. Understand the size, stature and power of glaciers at Ymerbukta Bay with the Esmark Glacier. After lunch the boat cruises across Isfjorden towards Barentsburg. A guided tour with a local guide through a town that time forgot. Opportunities to buy some Russian souvenirs. Lunch is included and served on board.

Cruise info
Duration: 8hrs. Availability: 0830 daily June to Sep.     Suitability: Suitable for everyone.
Info: Bring warm windproof clothing. Drinks and snacks are available to purchase on board.

Dates

Midnight Sun on Svalbard
19th April to 24th August.

Svalbard is a year round destination and we can tailor make your holiday to your individual requirements. Summer is a particularly busy period under the midnight sun so we have some fixed departures to offer you the best flights between the UK and Svalbard.

Use this booking form to book this holiday.

Summer 2017
4th to 9th June
11th to 16th June
18th to 23rd June
25th to 30th June

9th to 14th July
16th to 21st July
23rd to 28th July
30th July to 4th August

6th to 11th August
13th to 18th August

 

Prices

Use this booking form to book this holiday.

Svalbard Hotel
Prices from

£1355 per person

Upgrades for Svalbard Hotel from
£60 per person per night for a Superior Room
£120 per person per night for a Deluxe Room
£395 per person per night for the Polar Bear Suite

 

Basecamp Hotel
Prices from

£1385 per person - please note this is a smaller hotel with limited availablity.

 

Isfjord Radio
Include Isfjord Radio (full board) with 2 days of activities / excursions by boat from £780pp

 

Supplements from
£150pp for departure on 18th June. 

Includes
Flights from UK to Longyearbyen (via Oslo)
Airport transfers to and from Longyearbyen airport and your hotel
Bed and breakfast accommodation at your hotel in Longyearbyen

Gallery More Info

Svalbard Information
Svalbard is unlike any other location and we strongly recommend you read the information below so you have a good understanding of what life is like deep inside the Arctic Circle. It is for those with a love of nature, an appreciation for spectacular scenery and special locations and will appeal to anyone looking for a holiday with a difference. Svalbard is an environmentally sensitive location and the ice coverage in winter is often used as an indicator of global warming.

Polar Bears
Polar bears are the largest living predator on Earth and are generally recognised as the symbol of Svalbard. There are 3000 polar bears on Svalbard and these sensitive creatures are vulnerable to climate change, pollutants and human interference.
Rules protecting polar bears are strict and it is forbidden to lure, pursue, seek out or disturb them; hence there are no ‘polar bear excursions’. Polar bears can appear anywhere at any time on Svalbard and you should never venture outside the settlement without a qualified guide.

The Svalbard Dictionary
Svalbard – is the name given to the entire archipelago.
Spitsbergen – is the name of the largest island within the Svalbard Archipelago.
Longyearbyen – is the main town / settlement on Spitsbergen and Svalbard. 

Midnight sun – the period when the sun does not set (mid-April to late August)
Polar night – the period when the sun does not rise (late October to mid-February)

Northern Lights
The northern lights are potentially visible on Svalbard mid-September to mid-March.

Weather and Climate
A land of extremes! With endless summer days and never ending winter nights the weather can be unpredictable so close to the North Pole. In the middle of summer temperatures average +7C but can be as warm as +17C or as cold as 0C. In the depths of winter, when Svalbard is covered in a blanket of virgin snow, average temperatures are -15C and extremes can reach 0C and -30C. During the winter warm outer clothing can be included in your holiday.

Passports and Visas
All visitors need to go through passport control. The identity of all travellers between Svalbard and the Norwegian mainland will be checked upon arrival and departure. Please note that if you need a visa to arrive to Norway (not relevant to British passport holders) you will need another visa (double entry) to enter Norway again after your visit to Svalbard.

Currency
The Norwegian Krona is used on Svalbard and international credit and debit cards are widely accepted so only a small amount of local currency is recommended.

Electricity
Standard European sockets at 220V.

History
Svalbard has a complicated history dating back to the 12th century. Whaling, hunting and fishing have played an important role and many countries tried to claim Svalbard during the 16th and 17th centuries, including Britain, France and Denmark. Following WWI, the 1920 Svalbard Treaty granted sovereignty to Norway and Svalbard became an economic free and demilitarized zone. Today Longyearbyen and Svalbard have an established, low-key tourism industry. 

Geography
Glaciation covers 60% of Svalbard and the highest point is 1700m above sea level. Longyearbyen is the world’s most northerly town and has just 2700 residents and this northerly latitude means the midnight sun shines from the end of April until the end of August – leave your body clock at home. There are no roads on Svalbard outside the settlements, so villages are connected by boat, snowmobiles and aircraft.

Nature
Polar bears are not the only animals on Svalbard! You will also find reindeer and a myriad of bird and marine wildlife. It is not unusual to see whales and seals during your stay on Svalbard, and boat safaris around Isfjord offer some wonderful wildlife experiences. There are 7 national parks, 15 bird sanctuaries and 6 nature reserves; all allow these animals to thrive in the Arctic.