Svalbard's history is one of coal mining; today, tourists are replacing the miners who have long since gone. Yet their rusting legacy is everywhere, "from the ruined railway to the photographs of faces grinning through coal that adorn the walls of the local bars". The old coal-mining company's quarters are now the upmarket Spitsbergen Hotel, says Matchett, which is "well stocked with French food, champagne and cognac".
Fogo Island, Newfoundland
Fogo Island is the most remote and magical place on earth, says Sarah Hepola in Bloomberg Pursuits, and the new Fogo Island Inn, just off the coast of Newfoundland, is impressive. The modern design by architect Todd Saunders takes its inspiration from the fishing shacks that dot the shoreline. In one of the 29 suites, "tastefully decorated with locally built furniture, I'm immediately drawn to a floor-to-ceiling window that looks out onto the Atlantic". Outside, the waves crash onto the rocks and the air is bracing.
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Mother Nature makes the rules here and "she takes wild swings". Summertime is great for hiking along trails "fabled for their beauty". In the autumn, you can pick wild berries, while spring is the time to spot icebergs floating south from Greenland. But in winter, the landscape is "piled high with snow and the spruce are covered in exoskeletons of ice".
Rooms at Fogo Island Inn begin at $1,235 for two people per night, including all meals. For more information, see Fogoislandinn.ca.
Most travellers to Iceland don't get beyond the country's south-west corner. That's a shame, says Laura Holt in the Evening Standard. Among the delights waiting to be discovered in the north is the Diamond Circle trail, linking the whale-watching centre of Hsavk with a "parade of natural wonders", such as the volcanically active shores of Lake Myvatn and several waterfalls, including Godafoss, dubbed the "Waterfall of the Gods". Akureyri, Iceland's second yet diminutive "city", is an ideal place for a spot of whale watching. It's set in a ford whose "smooth, pancake-flat water makes it easy to see the flick of a tail fin from far away".
Week-long packages with Discover The World (01737-214250; Discover-The-World.co.uk) start at £1,140 per person including flights, accommodation and car hire.
Catastrophe tours on the Crystal Serenity
MoneyWeek readers may be familiar with the name Crystal Serenity. The luxury cruise liner, operated by Crystal Cruises, played host to the MoneyWeek Cruise last October, sailing from Rome to Athens. This month, the Crystal Serenity will steer its way through the Northwest Passage, supported by the British research vessel, RRS Ernest Shackleton, reports Tom Whipple in The Times.
For centuries the passage was blocked to shipping due to ice, but rising temperatures have made it increasingly navigable, enabling passengers to see the effects of the melting ice caps up close. Not everybody is impressed. One polar expert says that the carbon-intensive trip made a mockery of the Shackleton's role in researching climate change.
The voyage starts in Anchorage, Alaska, and ends in New York. Along the way more than 1,000 passengers will have the chance to experience a feng shui-inspired spa and helicopter trips over the tundra at a minimum cost of £15,557 a head.
Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.
Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.
By Ruth Emery Published
By Ruth Emery Published