Take an internal flight within Norway to Longyearbyen.
Take an internal flight within Norway from Longyearbyen.
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Day 1 – Get to know the boat, the gear and the other participants
We meet onboard the boat in the harbour of Longyearbyen at 12.00. We start by getting to know each other before we go through the plan for the week. We get to know the boat and the equipment and finish packing provisions and equipments. The life onboard requires cooperation, and before departure, we go through routines and procedures onboard, for sailing and emergency situations. In Longyearbyen there is midnight sun this time of year, and we will make the most out of the afternoon and evening and set sail with a course towards the world’s northernmost settlement, Ny-Ålesund.
Day 2 – The world’s northernmost settlement New Ålesund
If we are lucky, we will see a walrus colony already this morning in the Forland Strait. A little farther north we get to the inlet of Kongsfjorden where we find the research town of Ny-Ålesund. Here we moor for a trip on land. Ny-Ålesund is also known as the starting point for Roald Amundsen’s journey to the north pole with the airship “Norway”. The Kongsfjord itself is considered one of the most beautiful places on Svalbard, so now it’s time to check that the setting on the camera is correct and start snapping the good memories. In the heart of the Kongsfjord there are three pyramidal mountains, Dana, Nora and Svea, named after the Scandinavian countries. The mountains and the majestic glaciers in the area make this fjord a truly beautiful sight!
Day 3 – Cultural heritage in the desolated north (day 3-5)
We continue north, to the north-west side of Spitsbergen. Here we sail into the Smeerenburgfjord, an area that has its name from Dutch whalers in the 17th century. There are clearly visible cultural monuments from the activity in “Spekkbyen” (blubber town). All remains from before 1946 are completely protected on Svalbard. We continue onwards to Virgohamna, which also has visible remains from the early whaling, but also carries a lot of polar history from the period this place was used as the starting point for reaching the north pole; both for Swedish Salomon August Andrée’s ballooning, and the attempt by Walter Wellman by airship. Furthermore, we head eastwards and into the fjords on the northern side of Spitsbergen towards Woodfjorden. Here we stop at the Mushamna fishing station for bonfires and stories on land. From here it continues north and we approach the milestone on the trip; 80 degrees north. At our northernmost point, we find both cold champagne and a suitable ice floe from the pole ice for a real celebration! Who will be the first to swim? Then, the journey goes south into the Hinlopen Strait, an area with a lot of water flow and sea life, and with small and large icebergs drifting from the surrounding glaciers. If weather permits, we go ashore and stretch our “sea legs” somewhere in Hinlopen.
Day 6 – With the bow heading south (day 6 – 8)
We are now about halfway and we have a course south. We sail through Freemansundet, an area known for many polar bears. Furthermore, we pass the inner parts of Storfjorden, a large and shallow fjord that extends all the way down to the southern parts of Spitsbergen. Along the way, we pass some of the most beautiful, and least visited areas throughout Svalbard. Along the east coast, there are several mountains we can climb, especially the Keilhau mountain is a good option with a steep ascend. We are now approaching Sørkapp (south cape), which we have to round before turning northward up the west side and towards Hornsund.
Day 9 – Towards civilization (Day 9 – 11)
We spend the last days on board in Hornsund, along the west coast, up towards Isfjorden and Longyearbyen. Hornsund is an incredibly beautiful area, with good protection against wind and weather from the sea. A somewhat more inland-like climate makes this a good area for anchoring, and the possibilities for mountain hikes are many. In the fjord, four glaciers meet, and the sight and sound of the glaciers calving into the sea is nothing less than enormous. As we approach Longyearbyen, we pass Isfjord Radio lying at the entrance of the Isfjord, an old radio station which today is an attractive place for accommodation. Inside the Isfjorden, we hopefully have time to a stop at the Russian mining town of Barentsburg; a special place with its own rhythm and atmosphere. The last morning we sail into Longyearbyen, we clean and wash the boat, and check out at 15.00. We encourage everyone to stick around at least until the next day, with accommodation on land, so we can meet for a farewell dinner on land in Longyearbyen this last night.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience Longyearbyen in advance of the trip, then we recommend staying an extra day or two before travelling home. It’s always smart to add time for some rest and calmness before and after such a trip, to let the impressions sink in and see what’s happening.
The program may change according to weather and conditions, but it gives an indication of how we spend the days. We start every day with a good breakfast and make a packed lunch before we go ashore. Some of the days we eat dinner right away after getting back to the boat, other days we just eat a snack at the beach, and then sail on before we make a later dinner. Some days, we spend time fishing, and time to look around. If the weather should be in disfavour of a trip on land, then we spend the day sailing or do something else fun.
Trainers/ deck shoes (no black soled shoes please – they mark the deck)
Waterproof sailing kit (two sets are recommended. Heavy gear for on-board and lighter kit for trips ashore)
Sailing gloves – 2 sets
Hot water bottle
Clothes for on-board and on shore
A small backpack for trips on-shore (30-40 litres)
A water bottle
Thermals, two sets
Thick socks, two sets
Sun glasses (polarized)
Sun cream – SPF50+
Small quick dry towel
USB cord to charge your phone
Warm sleeping bag
Printed out Insurance details
Any medication you require