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Ny-Ålesund

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Europe : Scandinavia : Norway : Svalbard : Ny-Ålesund
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Ny-Ålesund is a tiny settlement on the west coast of the island of Spitsbergen, Svalbard.

Amundsen monument and the North Pole Hotel

Understand

Located at 78°55′N 11°56′E, Ny-Ålesund is by most measures the northernmost permanent settlement in the world (except for a few military bases). Founded in 1916 as a coal mining town, the town housed 400 people at its peak, until it was shut down in 1962 after an explosion killed 21 people.

Ny-Ålesund reopened in 1968 as a research base. Today owned and run by Kings Bay AS, the tiny town is home to 30-35 people year-round, but the population can swell to over 120 in the summer. Practically all inhabitants are scientists.

Get in

Ny-Ålesund can be visited fairly easily as a cruise stopover, but spending any more time there is difficult, to say the least. Bona fide scientists interested in running a research project at Ny-Alesund may contact NySMAC to apply.

By plane

Lufttransport operates semi-regular flights all year round (2-3 weekly) to Longyearbyen (25 minutes), albeit subject to weather conditions. Reservations can only be arranged via Kings Bay, and seats must be booked well in advance.

By boat

For most non-scientists a cruise stopover is the only way of reaching Ny-Ålesund. The cheapest and fastest way appears to be Spitsbergen Travel's [1] 3/4-day cruises from Longyearbyen, with rates starting at 7900 kr (c. US$1500, cheapest cabin, twin sharing). Cruises operate only from May to October.

Get around

See

  • Mining Museum. Yes, there's one of these in every settlement on Svalbard.

Do

Summer

  • Boating
  • Kayaking
  • Hiking

Winter

  • Snowmobile trips
  • Skiing expeditions

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

  • North Pole Hotel (Nordpol Hotellet). Originally opened in 1936 to house fishermen.
  • There is a free camping ground located near the Zeppelin launch tower and the Italia Memorial.

Get out

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