Today, arrive at the Svalbard archipelago and Spitsbergen, the largest of the three main islands. Magnificent brown and green mountains rise and ripple up from the High Arctic tundra while rivers of snow-melt trickle through the valley plains, glistening under the summer sun.
Take a moment to just be here, now, in Svalbard. You’re at a latitude more than 78°N and under 820 miles / 1,500 kilometres from the North Pole itself. The air is fresh and pure, and the overall temperature in summer is mild thanks to a warm northern branch of the Gulf Stream.
You’ll disembark the ship at Longyearbyen, nestled on the banks of a sweeping, large fjord. It is the biggest settlement in Svalbard and pegged as the world’s northernmost settlement with a population greater than 1,000.
Home to some 2,000 inhabitants from across the world, it originally sprang up as a coal mining colony in 1906. Today, it is a hub for adventure travellers, as well as scientists and engineers attached to local research projects, like the famous Global Seed Vault.
After transferring and checking in to your hotel, you can discover the lovely restaurants and cafes on offer in Longyearbyen.
Funken Lodge, Junior Suite.
Funken Lodge is a lovely new hotel nestled 15 minutes away from the town centre.The lobby, library room and restaurant are beautifully designed and super cozy and welcoming. There are thick carpets, lots of pillows and a fireplace. Enjoy nice views to the mountains and water. There is a wine cellar, champagne cellar and a fitness centre.
We also recommend booking the Huset restaurant, with one of Scandinavia's largest wine cellars with over 15 000 bottles.