The largest settlement on the Svalbard archipelago (Norway) is the gateway for expedition cruises in the High Arctic. It is reached only by flight from mainland Norway or by ship. Due to its remote location and hard living conditions Svalbard has been declared a tax free zone, which of course is a blessing in Norway. Good French wine and Belgium beer is actually cheap.
Longyearbyen (long year city) is located on the western coast of Spitsbergen, which again is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Its population of approx. 2000 all predominantly engaged in tourism, Polar research and mining. Winters are long and dark in Longyearbyen as the sun completely disappears for over 4 months, with a day off for the inhabitants to celebrate the return of the sun in late winter. The temperatures in Longyearbyen are on average 20 degrees higher than similar areas of the world at the same latitude, which is due to the warm Gulf Stream. In summer, however, when most tourists visit, you can enjoy 24 hour sunlight and really recharge the batteries.