30th July 2023 to 22nd August 2023

Spitsbergen Arctic Expedition

From £5000 per person

Deposit 25%. Balance due 12 weeks before departure
Experience Svalbard in a way that few others have done. Get close to nature and wildlife, both on sea and on land by foot on a very special sailing expedition and nature experience.
Clear
Pay a 25% deposit per item
Suited to
Families, Couples, Groups, Perfect for Solo Travelers
Difficulty
Open to novice sailors
Nights onboard
11
Vessel type
70 ft Expedition Yacht
Vessel length
70ft
Skipper
Yes
Berth Style
Single + double cabins, max 12
Insurance Required
Yes

Experience Svalbard in a way that few others have done. Get close to nature and wildlife, both on sea and on land by foot on a very special sailing expedition and nature experience.

11 Nights: 30 July - 10 August 2023 | 11 - 22 August 2023

57, 500 NOK / £5,000 per person*

*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: Familiarise yourself with the boat, the gear and the other participants

At 14:00 you will meet onboard and meet with your fellow passengers in the Longyearbyen harbour before running through the programme for the trip. The crew will go through the programme for the trip and you will be familiarised with the boat and its equipment before getting the trip started. As life onboard requires cooperation, the crew will go through a number of protocols and procedures with the passengers in case of an emergency before setting sail. Later this evening, you will be on your way and set sail towards the world’s northernmost settlement, Ny-Ålesund.

Day 2: The world’s northernmost settlement New Ålesund

Be sure to keep an eye out to spot a walrus colony as the yacht continues a little farther north until you arrive at what is considered one of the most beautiful places on Svalbard, the inlet of Kongsfjorden. Here you’ll stop off at Ny-Ålesund, known as the starting point for Roald Amundsen’s voyage to the north pole with the airship “Norway”. Gear up and get ready for a trip on land and be sure to get your cameras ready to start snapping the good memories with the majestic glaciers and mountains as your backdrop including the three pyramid mountains in the heart of the Kongsfjord named after the Scandinavian countries Dana, Nora and Svea.

Day 3 – 5: Cultural heritage in the desolated north

At Svalbard, you will be exposed to an archipelago rich in cultural heritage. All the remains from before 1946 on Svalbard have been preserved and you will notice a range of distinct cultural monuments. The crew will then reach Virgohamna which also carries a lot of history and you will have the opportunity to spot visible remains from early whaling. Once you have travelled a bit further eastward, the crew will allow the passengers to stop off on land in Woodfjoden to enjoy bonfires and share stories. The trip will continue north from here until you reach the milestone of the trip, 80 degrees north where there will be chilled champagne and a suitable ice floe from the pole ice at our northernmost point for a true celebration! The expedition then continues south into the Hinlopen Strait, a region rich in water flow and sea life surrounded by nearby glaciers. If weather permits, you’ll have the opportunity to go ashore and stretch your “sea legs” in Hinlopen.

Day 6 – 8: With the bow heading south

At this point in your adventure you are now about halfway and heading south. You will sail through Freemansundet, an area known for many polar bears and pass the inner parts of Storfjorden. Along the way, you’ll pass some of the most beautiful, and least visited areas throughout Svalbard. Along the east coast there are several mountains we can climb, the Keilhau mountain is especially a good option with a steep ascend. You will then head towards Sørkapp (south cape), which you will have to round before turning northward up the west side and towards Hornsund.

Day 9 – 12: Towards civilization

You will spend the last days onboard in Hornsund, along the west coast, up towards Isfjorden and Longyearbyen. Hornsund is peaceful as it is protected against the wind and weather from the sea and provides good views. Hornsund’s inland-like climate makes this a good spot 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 you approach Longyearbyen, you will pass Isfjord Radio lying at the entrance of the Isfjord, an old radio station which today is an attractive place for accommodation. If there is time, you’ll stop at the Russian mining town of Barentsburg; a special place with its own rhythm and atmosphere. The next morning you will sail into Longyearbyen, where the crew will clean and wash the boat, and you will check out at 14.00. Everyone is encouraged to stick around at least until the next day, with accommodation on land, so all passengers can meet for a farewell dinner on land in Longyearbyen this last night.

In Longyearbyen

It is recommended that everyone that joins on this trip to/from Longyearbyen to stay an extra day or two before travelling home/before the trip starts. Longyearbyen is a thriving little Arctic village with raw arctic nature. It’s always a good idea 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 can be adapted to the weather and conditions. The right to change and improve the itinerary is reserved. A dinghy will be available for beach trips and small expeditions, fishing gear for cod, and gear to hike or make bonfires on the beach on all trips – Are you ready for an adventure?

  • Trip experience with sailboat – experienced and locally familiar skipper/instructor 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 (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: Familiarise yourself with the boat, the gear and the other participants

At 14:00 you will meet onboard and meet with your fellow passengers in the Longyearbyen harbour before running through the programme for the trip. The crew will go through the programme for the trip and you will be familiarised with the boat and its equipment before getting the trip started. As life onboard requires cooperation, the crew will go through a number of protocols and procedures with the passengers in case of an emergency before setting sail. Later this evening, you will be on your way and set sail towards the world’s northernmost settlement, Ny-Ålesund.

Day 2: The world’s northernmost settlement New Ålesund

Be sure to keep an eye out to spot a walrus colony as the yacht continues a little farther north until you arrive at what is considered one of the most beautiful places on Svalbard, the inlet of Kongsfjorden. Here you’ll stop off at Ny-Ålesund, known as the starting point for Roald Amundsen’s voyage to the north pole with the airship “Norway”. Gear up and get ready for a trip on land and be sure to get your cameras ready to start snapping the good memories with the majestic glaciers and mountains as your backdrop including the three pyramid mountains in the heart of the Kongsfjord named after the Scandinavian countries Dana, Nora and Svea.

Day 3 – 5: Cultural heritage in the desolated north

At Svalbard, you will be exposed to an archipelago rich in cultural heritage. All the remains from before 1946 on Svalbard have been preserved and you will notice a range of distinct cultural monuments. The crew will then reach Virgohamna which also carries a lot of history and you will have the opportunity to spot visible remains from early whaling. Once you have travelled a bit further eastward, the crew will allow the passengers to stop off on land in Woodfjoden to enjoy bonfires and share stories. The trip will continue north from here until you reach the milestone of the trip, 80 degrees north where there will be chilled champagne and a suitable ice floe from the pole ice at our northernmost point for a true celebration! The expedition then continues south into the Hinlopen Strait, a region rich in water flow and sea life surrounded by nearby glaciers. If weather permits, you’ll have the opportunity to go ashore and stretch your “sea legs” in Hinlopen.

Day 6 – 8: With the bow heading south

At this point in your adventure you are now about halfway and heading south. You will sail through Freemansundet, an area known for many polar bears and pass the inner parts of Storfjorden. Along the way, you’ll pass some of the most beautiful, and least visited areas throughout Svalbard. Along the east coast there are several mountains we can climb, the Keilhau mountain is especially a good option with a steep ascend. You will then head towards Sørkapp (south cape), which you will have to round before turning northward up the west side and towards Hornsund.

Day 9 – 12: Towards civilization

You will spend the last days onboard in Hornsund, along the west coast, up towards Isfjorden and Longyearbyen. Hornsund is peaceful as it is protected against the wind and weather from the sea and provides good views. Hornsund’s inland-like climate makes this a good spot 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 you approach Longyearbyen, you will pass Isfjord Radio lying at the entrance of the Isfjord, an old radio station which today is an attractive place for accommodation. If there is time, you’ll stop at the Russian mining town of Barentsburg; a special place with its own rhythm and atmosphere. The next morning you will sail into Longyearbyen, where the crew will clean and wash the boat, and you will check out at 14.00. Everyone is encouraged to stick around at least until the next day, with accommodation on land, so all passengers can meet for a farewell dinner on land in Longyearbyen this last night.

In Longyearbyen

It is recommended that everyone that joins on this trip to/from Longyearbyen to stay an extra day or two before travelling home/before the trip starts. Longyearbyen is a thriving little Arctic village with raw arctic nature. It’s always a good idea 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 can be adapted to the weather and conditions. The right to change and improve the itinerary is reserved. A dinghy will be available for beach trips and small expeditions, fishing gear for cod, and gear to hike or make bonfires on the beach on all trips – Are you ready for an adventure?

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

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