Fiercely protected, all but unspoiled, Svalbard sits near the top of the world; it is the last bastion of civilized land before the ice floes of the North Pole. Lodgings are few here, so to find cheap hotel deals in Svalbard, it's best to use Expedia. If you have ever had the urge to attend the world's northernmost church or see where Bill Gates, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto, DuPont and the Norwegian government have cooperated to build the bomb-proof, so-called Doomsday Seed Vault deep in the Arctic permafrost, there are special rooms for you in Svalbard hotels.
While Svalbard may indeed be one of the world's true outposts, the main island of the archipelago, Spitsbergen, features a small airport. Travel to Svalbard is on the rise. Research operations and tourism have replaced whaling and coal mining as the main industries on the islands. More and more travelers are looking to book a cheap Svalbard hotel deal for the opportunity to see polar bears and reindeer meander around the tundra, arctic terns and guillemots silhouette before the midnight sun, and walrus shuck clams on the beds of the Barents Sea. That said, you'll be so far north, neither Vikings nor Inuit ever bothered, or dared, to colonize these islands.
Two-thirds of Svalbard is national park or wildlife sanctuary and covered by glaciers. You'll see very few cars, no matter how far apart the hotels in Svalbard are located; To get from place to place, you take a small plane, boat, or snowmobile. Visitors can make reservations for all of these vehicles at discount rates as part of their Svalbard hotel packages.
Svalbard hotel deals make popular stopovers for expeditions bound for the North Pole. However, some hardy people live on Spitsbergen, principally in Longyearbyen, year round. The town features a movie theater, university, bank, several museums, library, and a public pool. The Russian settlement of Barentsburg has similar features as well as a souvenir shop with affordable prices on Arctic folk arts and handmade goods.
Svalbard tourists tend to be environmentalists, and they most frequently visit Longyearbyen. Kayaking the glacial rivers, hiking the tundra, and exploring the icy geodes of the glacier caves represent the most popular activities. Snowmobile and dog sled safaris are always in demand too.