Unlike Longyearbyen, the people living at Ny Alesund are researchers and not local residents. The town is an important scientific research centre, with work being carried out constantly by people from ten different nations around the world, including Norway, China and the UK. Previously a mining base, an accident in 1962 led to the end of all activity of this kind and the town become a designated research area. There are many different experiments taking place within the fifteen different research buildings; monitoring everything from marine life to the weather in the skies above.
Despite its location, only 700 miles south of the North Pole, the surrounding area is still home to many plant and animal species. Waders and other seabirds can be heard squawking from their cliff-side nests, whilst all doors in the town are ordered to be kept unlocked to allow retreat from any roaming polar bears who decide to investigate the research site.
Many air explorations have departed from this town on their way to the North Pole and it will be a great chance for you to get an insight into all the environmental work that goes on here, whilst taking in your spectacular surroundings.