GETTING THERE: The airlines SAS and Norwegian have regularly scheduled flights from Norway's northern city of Tromsoe to Svalbard. Frequency depends on season. Cruise ships and Norwegian coastal steamers also call on the islands in summer.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Hotel rates for single rooms range from $100 per night a bed and breakfasts to about $360 at the two luxury hotels. Sharply lower rates in the winter offseason.
FOOD: A variety of upscale restaurants, and less expensive cafes. Some offer local specialties, such as whale and seal.
THINGS TO DO: All year: Wildlife watching, skiing, dogsled treks, coal mine visits, museums. Summer: kayaking, hiking, glacier treks. Winter: Snowmobiling, ice-caving.
CLOTHING: Extreme cold in winter, with an average temperature in January of about 4 degrees, demands warm clothing suitable for the Arctic. Outfitters provide such specialized clothing as snowmobile suits for trips. Summer can also be cold, at about 43 degrees. Bring slippers for use inside buildings.