Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen Longyearbyen is the world’s northernmost full-service hotel located on the island of Spitsbergen, only 1,333 kilometers or 828 miles from the North Pole. Spitsbergen is part of an administrative region of Norway known as Svalbard, an Arctic islands archipelago known for wildlife and wildlife photography. This is the land of walrus and polar bears. There are an estimated 3,500 polar bears in the Svalbard region.
Radisson Blu Polar Hotel is currently Club Carlson category 6 at 50,000 points per night and rising to Category 7 on June 1 at 70,000 points per night. This hotel is kind of a trophy travel destination for people who want an Arctic travel experience with the comfort and shelter of a hotel.
How to get to Longyearbyen
You might think travel to one of the world’s most remote places is prohibitively expensive. You are wrong. Longyearbyen is surprisingly affordable if you plan for the right dates.
Yesterday, I played around with the idea of going to Longyearbyen in September. You might be surprised at how inexpensive it is to reach Longyearbyen from Oslo, Norway.
Fares to Scandinavia have been discounted for the past couple months. Getting to Norway from USA is under $700 from many airports. Here is one example using Oakland, California.
Oakland – Oslo, Norway
$742.50 August 25 – September 5 (nonstop flights)
Of course, frequent flyer miles may substitute for the need to buy airfare to Oslo or Longyearbyen.
Once you are in Oslo, the price to travel to Longyearbyen is really inexpensive.
Depending on your dates, Norwegian has fares as low as $187 round trip. Sticking with the dates used above for Norwegian Airlines Oakland to Oslo flight, a six-night trip to Longyearbyen can be arranged with a $207 Scandinavian Airways SAS round trip fare.
Scandinavian Airlines SAS
Oslo, Norway OSL – LYR Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway
$207 round trip August 28- September 4
Last year I transferred Diners Club points to SAS in hopes of flying to the Arctic region of Norway. My points did not post to my SAS account for several weeks and I was unable to use them for my September 2014 Norway trip.
Scandinavian Airlines SAS Award Flight Oslo OSL – LYR Longyearbyen
10,000 points + $49.91 USD round trip Monday September 14 – Wednesday September 16.
I was fascinated with Arctic exploration as a school kid and I spent many hours reading books about Arctic explorers. Norwegians played a big role in polar exploration. Longyearbyen sounds like a fun Arctic adventure to me
Arctic Svalbard – a paradise for birds
Svalbard has one of the largest late summer bird populations in the world with millions of birds. National Geographic published an article last summer: Arctic Svalbard: A Summer Paradise for Birds with photos and video.
Once the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel rises to 70,000 points per night on June 1, the paid rate will often be a better deal than the reward rate.