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.