Ny-Ålesund is a tiny settlement on the west coast of the island of Spitsbergen, Svalbard.
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.
Getting into Ny-Ålesund as a tourist is difficult, to say the least. Bona fide scientists interested in running a research project at Ny-Alesund may contact NySMAC to apply.
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.
For most non-scientists a cruise stopover is the only way of reaching Ny-Ålesund. This will generally involve at least ten nights on a boat, covering various points of interest around Svalbard, and prices start from $1500 and go up from there. Operators include P&O and 5 Stars. Cruises operate only from May to October.
There's only one game in town: