The Arctic archipelago of Svalbard is not your average tourist destination. Nestled in the far north of Europe, the archipelago is home to hundreds of polar bears and offers visitors the chance to camp in snow and ice, far removed from civilization. German tour operator Christian Bruttel leads these groups of adventurous guests on camping trips, making sure they are armed with all the necessary gear to protect themselves from the bears. We join him as he prepares for his next excursion, eager to explore the breathtaking landscape of the Arctic.
However, life in Svalbard is not for the faint of heart. With darkness reigning during the long winter months, citizens of any country are welcome to settle in Svalbard, but there are no social services to rely on if they fall on hard times. Those who can’t cover their living expenses must leave. Efren Regato, a cleaner from the Philippines living in Svalbard with his family, has had to adjust to frigid temperatures and his sons complain that life in the capital of Longyearbyen is pretty monotonous. For Élise Thil from Belgium and her French husband Loup Supéry, the coronavirus pandemic almost made them give up on their dream of a new start in the Arctic. We learn about their story and witness the challenges they face living in such a remote location.