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Kraken Travel Sailing Holidays

Various dates available

Svalbard: To the polar ice edge and the islands furthest north

From £3865 per person

Deposit 25%. Balance due 12 weeks before departure
Journey in an Arctic expedition sailing to the polar ice edge or Sjuøyane, the northernmost Svalbard islands. Encounter Arctic tranquility, diverse landscapes, and wildlife in constantly changing ice conditions.
Clear
Pay a 25% deposit per item
Suited to
Families, Couples, Groups, Perfect for Solo Travelers
Difficulty
Open to novice sailors
Nights onboard
9
Vessel type
70ft Expedition Yacht
Vessel length
70ft
Skipper
Yes
Berth Style
Single + double cabins, max 12.
Insurance Required
Yes

An unparalleled journey into the heart of the North. These remote regions of Svalbard showcase towering glaciers that meet the sea, and wildlife that thrives in an otherworldly environment.

9 nights: 22 June–1 July 2024 & 2 - 11 July 2024

Price: 50,300 NOK/£3,865 per person*

Sailing into the Arctic is like stepping into another world! The air is crisp, the sights are mind-blowing, and the vibe? Absolutely electric! There's a sense of calm and raw power in the surroundings. You'll see glaciers that tower over the sea, and wildlife like polar bears, seals and walrus that you might have only even seen in films.

Every single day is packed with something new. You'll explore places where history was made, like Ny-Ålesund, the launchpad for Arctic explorers. We’ll cruise along the ice edge, keeping an eye out for incredible wildlife, and celebrate with champagne at the Northernmost point of Norway all under the glow of the midnight sun.

Experiencing the atmosphere, tranquillity, and sounds along the polar ice edge is the goal and focus of this expedition. To help you understand it all and deepen your appreciation for the area, experts on board are there to share insight into  the Arctic's history, ecosystem, and how we can help protect it.

The sheer beauty of it all and the untouched landscapes act as a reminder of how special this planet really is. It’s a journey that leaves a mark, making you realise just how crucial it is to protect these incredible places for the future.

Why You’ll Love This Trip

  • Travelling up North means possibly meeting walruses in Forlandsundet, and exploring Kongsfjorden with Ny-Ålesund, the launch site for Amundsen's "Norge" blimp.
  • Experience the pyramid peaks Dana, Nora, and Svea named after Denmark, Norway, and Sweden? Quite surreal,
  • Explore remains of a bustling whaling hub at Smeerenburgfjord and soak up polar tales at Virgohamna. It's like diving into history books while on this epic adventure!
  • You’re in for an icy quest towards Rossøya, Svalbard's northernmost spot. Hunting the ice's edge, scouting for wildlife, and, hey, who's up for an icy swim celebration? Chill vibes all around (literally!).
  • You'll be beaming at the trip's end, as we pass Isfjord Radio turned hotel and the unique vibe of the Russian mining town, Barentsburg.
  • No cruise ships here. You’ll travel onboard a 70-feet expedition sailboat with expert guides to lead the way.

Who The Trip Is For

  • This is a voyage for adventurers who crave unique landscapes and wildlife sightings. The sailing isn't overly challenging, yet you might experience both calm and rough conditions.
  • If you are a team player, you’re in! Everyone is involved in onboard tasks such as cleaning and cooking on a shift basis.
  • Beginners receive guidance, while experienced sailors gain added responsibilities within the crew's watch teams.
  • The small crew size means you’re likely to form strong connections with other passengers, as you sail through the Arctic's waters. It’s an opportunity to meet new like-minded people.
  • If you're keen on eco-friendly adventures, sailing with us will align with your environmental values. We are committed to environmental responsibility in all our sailing and tourism activities and strive to minimize our carbon footprint to preserve the Arctic's pristine beauty.

*Trips are priced in the operator's local currency. The sterling amount shown is a guide only and the amount you pay in sterling will change with currency fluctuations.

 

Day 1: The adventure begins!

We meet by the boat in the harbour of Longyearbyen at 14.00. We start with 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 equipment. 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 course towards Alkehornet, a mountain across the Isfjord. Throughout the night we continue our voyage on the inside of the island Prins Karls Forland, and through the narrow passage by Forlandsrevet.

Day 2: The world’s northernmost settlement

If we are lucky, we might get to meet a walrus colony in Forlandsundet already this first morning. A little further north we reach the inlet of Kongsfjorden, where the research town Ny-Ålesund is located. Here we moor for a trip ashore. Ny-Ålesund is also known as the starting point for Roald Amundsen’s voyage to the north pole with his blimp “Norge”. Kongsfjorden is considered to be one of the most beautiful fjords in all of Svalbard, so it is a great time to get our cameras set up and start snapping some photo memories. In the heart of Kongsfjorden are three pyramid-shaped mountains: Dana, Nora, and Svea – named after the three Scandinavian countries. The combination of the mountains and the majestic glaciers in the area make the fjord a truly breathtaking sight.

Day 3: Cultural remains on the northwestern corner

We continue north, to the north-west corner of Spitsbergen. Here, we sail into the Smeerenburgfjord, an area which got its name from 17th century Dutch whalers. This area has clearly visible cultural remains from the activity that took place in “Blubber town”. All the remains from before 1946 are protected areas on Svalbard. We continue towards Virgohamna, also with visible remains from the early whaling, but which also carries a lot of polar history: Virgohamna was used as a starting point for many North Pole expeditions. This was the starting point for the Swede Salomon August André’s balloon trip, and American Walter Wellman’s experiments with airships.

Day 4-5: Towards the ice-edge and Rossøya; Norway’s northernmost point

From the north-west corner, we then set course straight for Rossøya, the northernmost island on Svalbard and in Norway. Now it is time to start looking for the ice! If we meet the ice edge, we follow it eastwards and see if the sea opens up as we get closer to land. The ice decides. We sail calmly along the ice edge while scouting for bears, seals, and other animals. We could also have a good possibility to see whales along the ice edge. When we finally find our northernmost point, we will break out some cold champagne and find a suitable iceflow from the polar ice to celebrate! Who will be the first to go for a swim??

Day 6-7: Around Sjuøyane and southwards

We spend a little time in the far north around Sjuøyane, while we work our way nice and steady south. If there are less ice and we have enough time, we can visit many of the islands up here. Maybe we also get the chance to do a hike for some views towards the big glaciers at Nord-Austlandet, and the rest of the archipelago. In the end we always have to set our course south again, and we sail past Verlegenhuken, the northernmost point of the Spitsbergen island. If we have enough time we stop by the trapper station at Mushamna, with its well protected lagoon, for a rest.

Day 8-9: Back towards civilization

The last days with our course back towards Isfjorden, we adapt landings and shore-visits to the distance and time we have left. We definitely didn’t have time to visit all the interesting sites on our way up along the northwest coast so we get another chance now. At the entrance to Isfjorden, the large fjord where Longyearbyen is located, we pass Isfjord Radio which is an old radio station – now it has been turned into a welcoming and cozy hotel. After passing Isfjord Radio, we will hopefully have time for a stop in the Russian mining town of Barentsburg; a special place with its own unique rhythm and atmosphere. If we are able, we will go ashore and spend the evening here and have dinner on land.

Day 10: Return to Longyearbyen and goodbye for now!

On the last morning we sail the final leg into Longyearbyen. We clean and tidy ourselves out of the boat, pack with us all our stuff and disembark by 14.00. We however encourage everyone to stay at least until the next day with accommodation on land, so we can meet for a closing dinner in Longyearbyen on this last night. Thanks for a wonderful experience!

In Longyearbyen

We recommend everyone that is joining us on a trip to/from Longyearbyen to staying an extra day or two before traveling home/before the trip starts. Longyearbyen is a thriving little Arctic village, with the raw arctic natre It’s always smart to add time for some rest and calmness before and after such a trip, to relax and let the impressions sink in.

The program

The program should be seen as a rough itinerary that we can adapt to the weather and conditions. We also reserve the right to change and improve our itineraries. We will have a dinghy for beach trips and small expeditions, fishing gear for cod, and gear to hike or make bonfires on the beach on all our trips – we are ready for adventure! Are you?

  • Trip experience with sailboat – experienced and locally familiar skipper on board
  • Extra co-skipper and guide/crew onboard
  • Our Comfort Package which consists of accommodation onboard in a shared double cabin (bunk or double bed) with a ready-made bed (warm and nice duvets and pillows!)
  • All the food we eat onboard during the trip
  • An environmentally friendly, local, sustainable, unique, exotic and exclusive Norwegian adventure holiday
  • A shared experience and friendship with like-minded adventurers from around the world
  • A lot of time outdoors – raw and honest nature experiences
  • Use of our shared trip-equipment: dinghy, kayaks, fishing equipment, etc.
  • All boat-related expenses such as diesel, gas, harbour fees, etc.
  • Personal safety equipment; Helly Hansen inflatable lifejacket
  • Survival Suit and Search and Rescue insurance for everyone on board
  • Teaching, advice, and guidance about boat life and sailing
  • Travel to and from the start/end location
  • Optional meals at cafés/restaurants
  • Entrance to galleries, museums, and similar, or other activities that you/we may come up with along the way
  • Drinks like wine, beer or high-exclusive apple juice and other luxury drinks (yes, we drink beer and wine on board, bring your own)
  • Travel/cancellation insurance – optional, but recommended.

Travel – in general

Sometimes we have to fly, but not always. If you have the luxury of time, we always encourage you to travel as environmentally friendly as possible. Traveling slowly also allows you to start your holiday in a special way. Cycling, taking the train, or driving a car together can be good options! Feel free to add some extra time before and after your trip, since up north the weather can be unpredictable and might affect your plans!

Travel Longyearbyen

Very few row to Longyearbyen, a few more sail, but most fly. Norwegian and SAS fly to Longyearbyen.

Safety and risk – in general

We take safety seriously and on our trips we train on handling different situations that can occur at sea. On board a boat and on trips, everyone must know what to do in potentially dangerous situations. For us it is important that you as a guest and participant are trained quickly enough to be a participant – not a passenger. It contributes to learning, a sense of achievement, and increased safety for all. It’s also why our trips are considered to be sailing courses: you are trained to be one of the crewmembers on board. Feel free to contact us to discuss risk.

Safety and risk – expedition

On our expedition trips, we often spend multiple days on sea-crossings, and we sail into areas far from people and with extra risk factors, such as sea ice and unreliable navigations charts. This requires our crew to have extra focus and awareness of the potential situations that might arise. We sail in these areas only in the most optimal seasons, and use only our largest and most sturdy boats, which are both equipped and dimensioned to cope with this type of expedition sailing. We are fully aware that sailing is the safest and most accessible way to visit these very inaccessible places. However, sailing in general, and especially sailing in the Arctic and over the high seas, involves a certain risk that you must be willing to take. Feel free to contact us for a chat and guidance regarding risk.

Level of this trip

This is a trip for people who want to experience the Arctic, and the spectacular landscapes and the unique wildlife Svalbard has to offer! In terms of sailing, this trip is not very difficult, but you must be prepared for both calm winds and sailing in harsher weather. If you are a beginner, we want to make you a seaman/woman as soon as possible, and if you are experienced, you will quickly get more responsibility and greater challenges. The group and crew will be divided into watch teams so that we can learn from each other and help each other out.

Equipment/packing

As with all activities, there is plenty of specialized equipment and clothing for sailing. We do not expect you to buy lots of new equipment to join any of our trips, so, use what you have, borrow what you need from a friend, try to purchase used equipment, and if you have to invest in new equipment – buy quality items that will last. What you need is something waterproof and windproof on the outside, and layered clothing underneath. A pair of higher rubber boots for landings from the dinghy is very nice to have, in addition to slippers to wear below deck. Out on the high seas and in the Arctic, it is cold even in summer, so bring both swimwear and plenty of warm clothes. We will send you a detailed recommended packing list in good time before departure.

Food and cooking

On our trips you will be part of the crew onboard and get the chance to participate in all aspects of the running of the sailboat. This includes the cooking, where everyone is taking turns in the galley! Skippers and guides assist as much as they can along the way. Before the trip we set up a menu and purchase what is needed. We offer good menus with healthy “boat friendly” food. If you have allergies or preferences, let us know in the registration form and we will take that into account. During the trip, we often sail by a good restaurant or two where we stop and eat.

What we expect from you

We want you to take part in the routines onboard the sailboat, whether it is sailing, docking, navigating, looking for whales and icebergs, washing up, cooking, cleaning the boat, or contributing in other ways when required. You will be split into a watch team, with the teams working in rotations of 4 hours on and 8 hours off, with a rotating system to make sure that the night-shifts are divided equally among all watch teams. Our trips require a little work from the participants – and you must be open to contribute and open up a bit socially. We have many different people with us on our trips, and most people get along very well. Our experience is that doing things with others out in nature, and not least doing things with new people with different personalities than one might be used to, is what creates the best, most interesting and memorable stories :)

Life on board and accommodation

Life on board a sailboat is social and pleasant, but for some it can be perceived as quite intimate and crowded, which one should be prepared for. On our trips everyone participates in the operation of the sailboat and everyone is considered crew. We would like to get to know you well and hope that you will get to know everyone else on the boat as soon as possible. It requires some patience, generosity, and an open mind to thrive, but the new acquaintances and completely raw nature experiences will take your focus as soon as you become comfortable with life at sea.

Accommodation on the boat is part of the fun. The accommodation is generally in shared cabins, some of which have a double bed and some of which have bunk beds. Figuring out who sleeps where can be a bit of a puzzle, but we do believe we’ve gotten quite good at it. Let us know if you have any special needs or reservations.

We have plenty of heating and good food on the boat, but not always abundance of fresh water. This means it will not be possible to shower every day, but more or less every other day we are either in a harbor with fresh water or we sail through a place where we can borrow showers or enjoy a sauna. A morning swim in the sea is free and is available all year round!

What kind of people join this trip – and how many are we on board?

Many come alone, some travel as couples, and others travel as a group of friends. The common denominator for everyone is that these are fun and interesting people you will become friends with almost no matter what. Sharing grand experiences creates strong ties! Many people wonder about the age composition of our trips, but this isn’t so important to us. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old as long as you want to go on a trip and intend to do your part in making this a great trip for everyone. Most of our participants are usually between 25-55 years old. The number of participants varies from trip to trip, but on these trips we are usually between 6 and 11 people.

Environment and sustainability

In general sailing is an environmentally friendly activity,, and we sail as much as we can and use the engine as little as possible. We encourage crew and participants to travel as environmentally-friendly as possible, and we use local ingredients and resources as much as we can. We also run trips where we collect litter and clean ocean trash from beaches.

Philosophically, we often say that sailing is an exercise in sustainability: we move with the wind and we have limitations on things like water, diesel, electricity and food. In order to run sustainably, knowledge, patience, flexibility, and hard work are required. The same can be said about many other things that one tries to do in a sustainable way.

Please see ‘Other Practical Information Section’

Please see ‘Other Practical Information Section’

Day 1: The adventure begins!

We meet by the boat in the harbour of Longyearbyen at 14.00. We start with 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 equipment. 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 course towards Alkehornet, a mountain across the Isfjord. Throughout the night we continue our voyage on the inside of the island Prins Karls Forland, and through the narrow passage by Forlandsrevet.

Day 2: The world’s northernmost settlement

If we are lucky, we might get to meet a walrus colony in Forlandsundet already this first morning. A little further north we reach the inlet of Kongsfjorden, where the research town Ny-Ålesund is located. Here we moor for a trip ashore. Ny-Ålesund is also known as the starting point for Roald Amundsen’s voyage to the north pole with his blimp “Norge”. Kongsfjorden is considered to be one of the most beautiful fjords in all of Svalbard, so it is a great time to get our cameras set up and start snapping some photo memories. In the heart of Kongsfjorden are three pyramid-shaped mountains: Dana, Nora, and Svea – named after the three Scandinavian countries. The combination of the mountains and the majestic glaciers in the area make the fjord a truly breathtaking sight.

Day 3: Cultural remains on the northwestern corner

We continue north, to the north-west corner of Spitsbergen. Here, we sail into the Smeerenburgfjord, an area which got its name from 17th century Dutch whalers. This area has clearly visible cultural remains from the activity that took place in “Blubber town”. All the remains from before 1946 are protected areas on Svalbard. We continue towards Virgohamna, also with visible remains from the early whaling, but which also carries a lot of polar history: Virgohamna was used as a starting point for many North Pole expeditions. This was the starting point for the Swede Salomon August André’s balloon trip, and American Walter Wellman’s experiments with airships.

Day 4-5: Towards the ice-edge and Rossøya; Norway’s northernmost point

From the north-west corner, we then set course straight for Rossøya, the northernmost island on Svalbard and in Norway. Now it is time to start looking for the ice! If we meet the ice edge, we follow it eastwards and see if the sea opens up as we get closer to land. The ice decides. We sail calmly along the ice edge while scouting for bears, seals, and other animals. We could also have a good possibility to see whales along the ice edge. When we finally find our northernmost point, we will break out some cold champagne and find a suitable iceflow from the polar ice to celebrate! Who will be the first to go for a swim??

Day 6-7: Around Sjuøyane and southwards

We spend a little time in the far north around Sjuøyane, while we work our way nice and steady south. If there are less ice and we have enough time, we can visit many of the islands up here. Maybe we also get the chance to do a hike for some views towards the big glaciers at Nord-Austlandet, and the rest of the archipelago. In the end we always have to set our course south again, and we sail past Verlegenhuken, the northernmost point of the Spitsbergen island. If we have enough time we stop by the trapper station at Mushamna, with its well protected lagoon, for a rest.

Day 8-9: Back towards civilization

The last days with our course back towards Isfjorden, we adapt landings and shore-visits to the distance and time we have left. We definitely didn’t have time to visit all the interesting sites on our way up along the northwest coast so we get another chance now. At the entrance to Isfjorden, the large fjord where Longyearbyen is located, we pass Isfjord Radio which is an old radio station – now it has been turned into a welcoming and cozy hotel. After passing Isfjord Radio, we will hopefully have time for a stop in the Russian mining town of Barentsburg; a special place with its own unique rhythm and atmosphere. If we are able, we will go ashore and spend the evening here and have dinner on land.

Day 10: Return to Longyearbyen and goodbye for now!

On the last morning we sail the final leg into Longyearbyen. We clean and tidy ourselves out of the boat, pack with us all our stuff and disembark by 14.00. We however encourage everyone to stay at least until the next day with accommodation on land, so we can meet for a closing dinner in Longyearbyen on this last night. Thanks for a wonderful experience!

In Longyearbyen

We recommend everyone that is joining us on a trip to/from Longyearbyen to staying an extra day or two before traveling home/before the trip starts. Longyearbyen is a thriving little Arctic village, with the raw arctic natre It’s always smart to add time for some rest and calmness before and after such a trip, to relax and let the impressions sink in.

The program

The program should be seen as a rough itinerary that we can adapt to the weather and conditions. We also reserve the right to change and improve our itineraries. We will have a dinghy for beach trips and small expeditions, fishing gear for cod, and gear to hike or make bonfires on the beach on all our trips – we are ready for adventure! Are you?

Sailing boots

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)

Hat

Balaklava

Sailing gloves – 2 sets

Glove liners

Hand warmers

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

Swimming kit

USB cord to charge your phone

Cash

Warm sleeping bag

Head torch

Sailing knife

Passport

Printed out Insurance details

Any medication you require