Various dates available

Circumnavigation of Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway

From £4915 per person

Deposit 50%. Final balance due 12 weeks before departure.
On this trip you will have the chance to see Svalbard in it’s full variety in all aspects
Clear
Pay a 50% deposit per item
Suited to
Families, Couples, Individuals, Group
Difficulty
Open to beginner sailors.
Nights onboard
11
Vessel type
70ft steel expedition yacht
Vessel length
70ft
Skipper
Yes
Berth Style
Single + double cabins
Insurance Required
Yes

Welcome on board for a very special trip and nature experience! We invite you to an exclusive voyage around Svalbard - by sailboat! On this expedition you will have the opportunity to see and experience Svalbard in a way that few have done before you.

11 nights: 29 July 2022 to 09 August 2022

10 August 2022 to 21 August 2022

Price: 57,500 NOK / £4,915 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.

Fjords, mountains, and vast wilderness areas are still untouched by human activity here even now. From sea ice to snow, explore the remote terrain of glaciers and frozen tundra sheltering Svalbard reindeer, Arctic foxes, and polar bears. You will be able to hike up mountains and sail through majestic fjords in this stunning arctic landscape, immersing yourself in this ice kingdom as few have done before you.

Sailing under the midnight sun, you will seek out remote harbours and historic places, with the strong possibility of spotting whales and walruses as you weave your way through ice and along inlets in this true bucket list experience.

If these dates don’t work, why not book the yacht charter for dates that do? Minimum 5 participants.

Please note: This trip is a working passage and you are expected to take turns with the cooking, crewing and cleaning of the boat throughout the trip.

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 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 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 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 – 5: Cultural heritage in the desolated north

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 – 8: With the bow heading south

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 – 12: Towards civilization

We spend the last days onboard 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.

In Longyearbyen

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 traveling 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

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 disfavor of a trip on land, then we spend the day sailing or do something else fun.

  • Trip experience with sailboat – experienced and locally familiar skipper/instructor on board
  • Extra crew/Svalbard guide
  • All the food we eat on board during the trip
  • Accommodation on board the whole trip
  • Our Comfort Package which consists of accommodation in a shared double cabin (bunk or double bed) with a ready made bed (warm and nice duvets and pillows!)
  • 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, HH inflatable life vest
  • A shared experience and friendship with like-minded adventurers from around the world
  • A lot of time outdoors – raw and honest nature experiences
  • Advice, guidance and practical training on sailing and boating in general. As an active crew member, you will be engaged in, and learn to run a boat.
  • Search and rescue insurance for everyone on board (only on Svalbard)
  • An environmentally friendly, sustainable, unique, exotic and exclusive Norwegian adventure holiday
  • Travels to and from Longyearbyen
  • We do not have our own chef on this trip. As a part of the crew, you contribute on a rotating basis to the cooking and operation of the boat
  • Optional meals at cafés/restaurants
  • Entrance to galleries, museums and similar, or other alternative arrangements and activities that you/we may come up with along the way
  • Optional activities where we hire external guides and equipment, such as kayaking, glacier hikes or surfing
  • Personal snack for excursions on land (so, it’s smart to bring a little extra snack)
  • Drinks like wine, beer or high-exclusive apple juice and other luxuries (yes, we drink beer and wine on board, bring your own)
  • Travel/cancellation insurance – recommended, but up to you (normally you don’t need special insurance to sail)

Vessel

70ft steel yacht designed to withstand tough arctic conditions, but with comfort and high standard along the way. The yacht sails very well, especially when it’s windy! There is a lot of space outside for sailing and staying on deck. Inside, the boat has ample space in the lounge and in the wheelhouse and a well-equipped galley. The boat has 6 cabins, most of them with private baths and showers.

Valiente is very well equipped for trips and expeditions including; RIB light boat, two folding kayaks, big tanks for both water and diesel, watermaker, generators, safety, and rescue equipment, communication equipment

Travel – in general

Sometimes we have to fly, but not always. If you have the luxury of time, we always encourage to travel as environmentally friendly as possible. Traveling slowly also gives another start to a holiday. Cycling, taking the train or driving a car together are good alternatives! Feel free to add some extra time before and after, since up in the north weather can sometimes change your plans…

Travel Longyearbyen

Very few row to Longyearbyen, a few more sail, but most fly. Norwegian and SAS fly to Longyearbyen, check out www.norwegian.no or www.sas.no.

Safety and risk – in general

We take safety seriously and on our trips, we train on handling different situations that can occur at sea. Onboard the boat and trips, everyone must know what to do in potentially dangerous situations. For us, it is important that you as a guest and participant is trained quickly enough to be a participating crew, not a passenger. It contributes to learning, a sense of achievement, and increased safety for all. This is also why our trips are considered to be sailing courses, you are trained to be one of the crew members on board.
Mountain hikes and alpine/backcountry trips involve a certain risk, as does sailing. However, we as an operator, and our skippers and guides, do everything we can to minimize the risk in a professional manner. Everyone gains on this and we have no one to lose.

In terms of risk, we sail a safe and sturdy steel boat that is well equipped for this type of trip. However, all sailing in general, and sailing in arctic regions, involves a certain risk that you must be willing to take.

Feel free to contact us for a chat and guidance about risk.

Level of this trip

Sailing wise, our trips are not difficult, and you are always welcome to join us! We have with us both people who have never sailed before and experienced sailors. However, you must be prepared for everything from no wind to sailing in harsh weather. If you are a beginner, we will try to make you a seaman/woman as soon as possible. If you are experienced you will be given responsibility and greater challenges.

Equipment/packing

In Northern Norway and the Arctics we must be prepared for all seasons, often during a single day. It’s a part of the experience; it’s wild, beautiful and raw – in all aspects, also with regards to weather. Prepare for the contrasts! For us the most important thing is to enjoy the ride and the sailing. Use what you have, borrow if you can, and invest in something new if you must. In good time before departure, we will send you a detailed recommended packing list for this trip.

Food and cooking

On our trips everyone contributes to the operation of the boat, so as long as you have not booked one of our trips with a designated chef, all take their turns in the galley during the trip. Skippers and guides assist as much as they can along the way. In advance of the trip, we set up a menu and shop what is needed. We try to offer good menus with healthy and “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 also often sail by a good restaurant or two where we stop and eat. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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, clean the boat or contribute in other ways when required. Our trips require a little effort from all participants – and you should be open to contribute and open up a bit socially. We have many different people with us on our trips, and most people go very well together. Our experience is that doing things with others out in nature, and not least do things with new people with different personalities than one might be used to, is what creates the best, most interesting and memorable stories :)

Life onboard and accommodation

Life onboard a sailboat is social and pleasant, but for some, it can be perceived as quite intimate and crowded, which is important to 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 sailboat as soon as possible. It requires some patience, generosity and an open mind to thrive, but the new acquaintances and completely raw nature experiences are quickly what 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 have a bunk bed solution. The distribution is quite a puzzle, but we do believe we are quite good at it. Let us know if you have any special needs or reservations.Any accommodation before and after the trip must be arranged on its own. If you have any doubts about where to stay, we are happy to give you some recommendations.
On the boat we have a lot of heat and a lot of good food, but not always abundance of fresh water.

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

Many come alone, some travel as couples, some travel as a group of friends. The common denominator for everyone is that these are fun and committed people you become friends with almost no matter what. Sharing grand experiences creates strong ties! Many people wonder about the age composition of our trips, but that is not 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 so that you and the rest of the crew will have a good trip together. The number of participants varies from trip to trip. If we get many participants, we will expand with more boats and skippers. On most trips we sail more boats in a fleet, with 7-9 people onboard each boat.

ECO, Environment and sustainability

Both sailing and hiking/alpine/backcountry trips are environmentally friendly activities 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 far as possible. We also have our own 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, agility and hard work are required. The same applies to almost everything you try to do in a sustainable way.

Changes to the program

The program should be seen as a starting point that we adapt to weather and conditions. We also reserve the right to constantly improve our itineraries. On board with us we always have a dinghy for beach landings and small expeditions, we have fishing gear for the cod, and gear to hike or make a bonfires on the beach – we are ready for adventure!

Please see 'Other Practical Information' for more information on this

Please see 'Other Practical Information' for more information on this

Please note: This trip is a working passage and you are expected to take turns with the cooking, crewing and cleaning of the boat throughout the trip.

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 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 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 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 – 5: Cultural heritage in the desolated north

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 – 8: With the bow heading south

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 – 12: Towards civilization

We spend the last days onboard 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.

In Longyearbyen

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 traveling 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

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 disfavor of a trip on land, then we spend the day sailing or do something else fun.

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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