Destinations

Ice Ice Baby

24-Hour Summer Days in the Arctic Tundra

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It's getting hot in here. So if you're looking for a place to cool down, Svalbard is your spot. This undiscovered patch of rugged, glacier-bound Arctic islands just south of the North Pole is replete with towering mountains and icy fjords—and from April to August, Svalbard gets "midnight sun": 24 hours of daylight (meaning the fun never has to end).

Take advantage of the balmy 50-degree weather to live out your Into Thin Air fantasies (sans snowstorms, frostbite and hypoxia)—you can dogsled across glaciers, ride horseback through ice canyons or strap on your crampons and scale an ice mountain, Everest-style. Later, head back to the cozy driftwood and sealskin lounge at hotel Spitsbergen Hotel, where, inside its Funktionaermessen Restaurant (they don't mess around with names here), you can sample Arctic specialties like seal, whale, and, occasionally, polar bear (which actually goes well with an akevitt on the glacier-ice rocks).

If a Viking homage is more your speed, climb aboard the double-masted schooner The Noorderlicht. You'll spot walruses, dolphins and even Svalbard reindeer as you dodge shifting ice floes. The fully modernized Noorderlicht is equipped for long stays. In the winter months it freezes to the glaciers to form the world's only "ice-bound" hotel, and in the summer, it's a free-sailing Nordic voyage complete with gourmet dinners, a professional Dutch crew and a full bar.

And an extra nine hours of sun to enjoy it.

Vitals

Spitsbergen Travel
Box 548, 9171
Longyearbyen
+47 79 02 62 00
website

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