• Arctic tern, Svalbard

Highlights and main attractions of Ny Alesund

Highlights and main attractions of Ny Alesund

Ny Alesund is a research town where a number of nations run their stations under Norwegian administration and coordination. Previously a mining society, coal was mined until 1962 when the mine was closed after a number of serious accidents. One of the northernmost year-round communities, Ny Alsund now has a permanent population of about 30-35, although numbers in the summer can reach 120. The town boasts the world’s northernmost post office, and there are now a couple of hotels, plus a small café and souvenir shop. 

Ny Alesunds claim to fame is historical – as the launching point for North Pole Expeditions pioneered by Amundsen and Nobile. In 1925, Amundsen attempted to reach the North Pole with the seaplanes N24 and N25, but finally succeeded with the airship Norge in 1926. A monument to this successful crossing still exists in Ny Alesund today. 

Reindeer, Svalbard

Location and activities

While not all expeditions stop in Ny Alesund, those that do are often rewarded with some beautiful photo opportunities. Due to the town’s location in a fjord, with an impressive mountain range as a backdrop, even the 60+ buildings make for a great photograph. If you are able to wander quietly between the buildings, keep an eye out for Arctic foxes, as they are often seen hunting nearby. If you are visiting in the late summer, you may even be lucky enough to spot a few fox cubs out in the sunshine.

Surrounded by rich tundra, there are often reindeer seen in the area. Due to the fact they are not hunted, and often in the presence of humans from the town, you’ll likely find they are unfazed by your presence and will continue on about their business – usually sleeping or eating. Ask us about the best ships, dates and itineraries for visiting Ny Alesund.

The main attraction for bird lovers is the cliffs, home to numerous seabird colonies, with Brunnich’s guillemots, kittiwakes, and Glaucous gulls in overwhelming numbers.


Contact one of our Destination Specialists to start planning your journey to Svalbard. Please note we recommend a budget of from £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.

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