The workshop will take place in Longyearbyen, in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. At a latitude of 78° North, Svalbard is very remote and the climate and geography are extreme. Longyearbyen is only about 1300 km from the North Pole. At the same time, its location is of great advantage to download satellite data through the SvalSat ground station (used for IRIS and other NASA and ESA missions), and to experience the polar landscape and northern lights.
The start of the workshop, on Feb 27, is only about 10 days after the end of the polar night in Svalbard. At this time of the year the days are quickly getting longer, but the Sun will still be very low on the horizon and not visible from most of Longyearbyen. Instead, a large part of the days will be under a blue twilight. This is also the coldest part of the year. Taking into account windchill (winds between 10-20 m/s are common), temperatures typically "feel" between -20°C and -35°C.
The workshop venue will be at UNIS, the University Centre in Svalbard. UNIS is located only 250 m from the workshop hotel.
Despite the cold outdoors, the venue and the hotel will be nicely heated so you don't need to be dressed for a polar expedition. The only periods when you need to be outside will be to walk from the hotel to UNIS (about 250 m), and during the excursion to the SvalSat ground station (which will not take place if the weather is too extreme). We recommend to dress in several layers (ideally wool) instead of relying on a single heavy layer (thick jumper or jacket). If you are unsure about how to dress for cold outdoors, see this video by the Norwegian trekking association
At UNIS, the workshop venue, no outdoor shoes are allowed beyond the entrance. Boots, heavy shoes, etc. get easily dirty when outside (snow, ice, gravel), and must be left in the large vestibule at the entrance. For the auditorium, lunch, and other rooms, we recommend you take comfortable inner shoes, sandals, or if you prefer just socks (bring your nicer ones!). The same policy on outside shoes applies to several buildings in Svalbard.
An important aspect of the cold in Svalbard is that low temperatures (< -10ºC) can be associated with strong winds, which can make it "feel like" -30ºC or colder. If you want to be outside, wind-proof outer layers are strongly recommended (both trousers and jacket). Headgear is also important. A wind-proof balaclava (or ski mask) is recommended. If you bring a beanie, make sure it is wind-proof (many are not). If you have clothes for alpine skiing, these are usually good outer layers for the outdoors in Svalbard. (Light clothes for cross-country skiing are not.)
If you want to join organised activities in Svalbard (e.g. dog sledding or snowmobile tours), most tour operators provide full winter clothes and boots, so you only need the inner woollen layers.
If your clothes are not warm enough for the Svalbard outdoors, you can buy appropriate clothes at the shops in Longyearbyen.
Credit and debit cards (at least from the Visa and Mastercard networks) are widely accepted in Longyearbyen (including in the airport shuttle bus), so it is not necessary to bring cash with you.
Svalbard is outside the Schengen area, so everyone (including Norwegian and EU citizens) needs to have a valid passport or EU/EEA/CH ID card and go through passport control before the final flight to Longyearbyen. No visa is required for Svalbard, regardless of your nationality, but if you need a visa to enter the Schengen area, you will need a double-entry visa one to come to Longyearbyen, since travel must occur via Oslo or Tromsø.
When you arrive at Longyearbyen airport, we recommend you take the Airport Shuttle Bus. The bus cannot be booked in advance, but its timetables are synced with the flight arrivals, since there are few flights per day. The bus will wait for flight delays, and will only depart after the luggage belt is empty (approximately 30-40 minutes after arrival). It stops at all hotels in Longyearbyen. Get off at the Radisson hotel, not at UNIS.
Given its remote location, a trip to Longyearbyen needs careful planning. Hotels are not widely available as in most cities, and flights are limited. At the moment only two airlines fly to Longyearbyen: SAS and Norwegian (from Oslo and Tromsø). On most days there are two flights, but (so far) there are no return flights on Saturdays. Oslo has direct flights to many international locations, and Tromsø is accessible directly from Oslo and several European hubs (e.g. Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Paris, Vienna, Stockholm). It is recommended most participants travel to Longyearbyen on Sunday Feb 26 and return on Friday March 3.
Given the limited availability of rooms in Longyearbyen, we have made a block reservation at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, and we will administer the bookings. Participants will need to pay for the hotel in full when registering for the meeting.
For participants staying for the duration of the workshop, the recommended flights are below. Please do not book your flights until your abstract has been accepted (except for invited speakers).
Departure on 25 Feb 2023:
|SAS||16:00||Oslo (OSL)||—||19:00||Longyearbyen (LYR)||SK4496|
This is a new flight has no stop in Tromsø and leaves in the afternoon, making it easy to catch international connections on the same day. The downside is that you will need to spend an extra night in Longyearbyen, which is outside our block hotel reservation, so you need to book it by yourself.
Departure on 26 Feb 2023:
|Norwegian||07:20||Oslo (OSL)||—||11:30||Longyearbyen (LYR)||DY396|
|SAS||09:55||Oslo (OSL)||—||14:10||Longyearbyen (LYR)||SK4414|
Return on 3 Mar 2023:
|Norwegian||14:10||Longyearbyen (LYR)||—||18:30||Oslo (OSL)||DY397|
|SAS||13:10||Longyearbyen (LYR)||—||17:30||Oslo (OSL)||SK4425|
Flights to/from Oslo have a 40 min stopover in Tromsø.
Departure on 26 Feb 2023:
|Norwegian||09:50||Tromsø (TOS)||—||11:30||Longyearbyen (LYR)||DY396|
|SAS||12:30||Tromsø (TOS)||—||14:10||Longyearbyen (LYR)||SK4414|
Return on 3 Mar 2023:
|Norwegian||14:10||Longyearbyen (LYR)||—||15:45||Tromsø (TOS)||DY397|
|SAS||13:10||Longyearbyen (LYR)||—||14:45||Tromsø (TOS)||SK4425|
From Oslo there are many international connections. Most flights do not arrive early enough on Feb 26 to catch the flight to Longyearbyen, but it may be possible with the following flights:
|Ethiopian||06:50||Stockholm (ARN)||—||07:45||Oslo (OSL)||ET714|
|KLM||06:45||Amsterdam (AMS)||—||08:35||Oslo (OSL)||KL1141|
|Lufthansa||07:00||Frankfurt (FRA)||—||09:00||Oslo (OSL)||LH866|
|Finnair||07:20||Helsinki (HEL)||—||07:55||Oslo (OSL)||AY911|
For the return flight, it may be possible to fly from Oslo on Mar 3 with the following flights:
|Brussels||18:00||Oslo (OSL)||—||20:00||Brussels (BRU)||SN2284|
|Lufthansa||18:20||Oslo (OSL)||—||20:35||Frankfurt (FRA)||LH867|
|Norwegian||18:45||Oslo (OSL)||—||20:15||London (LGW)||DY1310|
|Ethiopian||18:45||Oslo (OSL)||—||19:50||Stockholm (ARN)||ET715|
|KLM||18:55||Oslo (OSL)||—||20:55||Amsterdam (AMS)||KL1150|
|SAS||19:25||Oslo (OSL)||—||20:30||Stockholm (ARN)||SK886|
|Finnair||20:55||Oslo (OSL)||—||23:15||Helsinki (HEL)||AY911|
From Tromsø there are no international flights arriving on Feb 26 in time for the flight to Longyearbyen. Here are some direct international flights arriving on Feb 25:
|Lufthansa||10:00||Frankfurt (FRA)||—||13:25||Tromsø (TOS)||LH870|
|Austrian||10:35||Vienna (VIE)||—||14:10||Tromsø (TOS)||OS329|
|Air France||11:05||Paris (CDG)||—||14:55||Tromsø (TOS)||AF1220|
|SAS||13:35||Stockholm (ARN)||—||15:30||Tromsø (TOS)||SK1491|
|Finnair||17:40||Helsinki (HEL)||—||19:00||Tromsø (TOS)||AY945|
There are no direct international connections from Tromsø on Mar 3 after the flights from Longyearbyen.