The unincorporated settlement of Ny Ålesund is operated by Kings Bay, an infrastructure company owned by the Norwegian government. A former coal-mining center, the town now provides living and operational facilities for the handful of researchers present in this arctic wilderness. Take a short stroll through Ny Ålesund to understand the unique lifestyle choice made by the researchers who live here year round. Not only must they deal with subzero temperatures, they also live with the very real threat of polar bears, especially during the three months of total darkness from November to January. From the port, a marked path leads you on a walk around the 60 buildings of the settlement as well as various cultural sites. End your brief stay here with a visit to the information center that houses a small exhibition on the area's history.