24th April 2023 to 2nd May 2023

Svalbard: Crossing of the Barents Sea – from Tromsø to Longyearbyen

From £2830 per person

Deposit 25%. Balance due 12 weeks before departure
A very special sailing experience from mainland Norway to Svalbard. Get close to the forces of nature over the Barents Sea, and to wildlife for the last days along the coast of Longyearbyen.
Clear
Suited to
Families, Couples, Groups, Perfect for Solo Travelers
Difficulty
Open to novice sailors
Nights onboard
8
Vessel type
70ft Expedition Yacht
Vessel length
70ft
Skipper
Yes
Berth Style
Single + double cabins, max 10.
Insurance Required
Yes

A very special sailing experience from mainland Norway to Svalbard. Get close to the forces of nature over the Barents Sea, and to wildlife for the last days along the coast of Longyearbyen.

8 Nights: 24 April - 02 May 2023

32, 500 NOK / £2,830 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: Departure from Tromsø

At 14:00 you will meet onboard and meet with your fellow passengers in the Tromsø 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. The trip will begin and you’ll pass the Lyngen Peninsula on your way north. At this time of year the nights are still bright, and if conditions are good, we go straight out into open waters heading for Bear Island.

Day 2-4: Past fishing boats and oil rigs to Bjørnøya

The first part of the Barents Sea is actually quite trafficked, and it is quite common to pass a couple of fishing vessels here. It takes approximately two days from the time you leave the mainland until you see land on Bjørnøya, of course depending on the wind and sea. There is a large stretch of open sea between the mainland and Bjørnøya, therefore there is a possibility of seeing whales, and maybe have dolphins and birds surrounding the boat at all times. 

Day 5: Bjørnøya: the misty island in the middle of the sea

There are around 300 days of fog a year here in the middle of the Barents Sea, so it can be a bit tricky to spot the island. If conditions permit, you’ll be taken to shore and will be able to catch Barents cod on the secret fishing spots around the island. The crew will find a sheltered bay for anchoring up next to one of the islands, depending on the current wind.

Day 6-7: Second leg; from Bjørnøya to Sørkapp

This next leg is slightly shorter than the leg from the mainland to Bjørnøya, and by now you’ll be getting fairly close to the remote parts of the ocean! The trip will continue up the southwest coast of Spitsbergen towards Bellsund. Here you will notice the very characteristic layered Svalbard-mountains divided by glaciers. Sometime during the night the yacht will anchor up in a sheltered and ice-free harbour for a well-deserved rest.

Day 8: Finally on land in Svalbard!

One in Bellsund, you can expect to go ashore and stretch your legs, and prepare for a bonfire beach breakfast and adventure off for a small hike to one of the nearby peaks. An interesting place that you must view in the area is the old radio station that once was the only communication the Svalbard society had with the outside world, which today is a nice hotel. If time permits, you can expect to stop at the Russian settlement Barentsburg, located quite close to the entrance of Isfjorden. This is a  special experience in itself and a time travel back to the Soviet era.

Day 9: Goodbye in Longyearbyen

Very early this morning the yacht will cast away from Barentsburg for the last stretch through Isfjorden. The yacht will reach Longyearbyen just after breakfast where you’ll have time to pack up your things before the trip ends at 10.00 latest. If you have the time, it is recommended that you stay a night or two extra in Longyearbyen to explore this cozy village in the middle of the raw arctic nature! 

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 on board
  • 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 alternative arrangements and 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 Tromsø

The fastest option for getting to or from Tromsø is to fly. But if you have time to travel slowly we recommend doing that instead. Taking Hurtigruten south from Tromsø to Bodø and train from there is one option.

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 – expeditions

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 sailing expedition where we will undertake multi-day sea crossings, which can be an incredibly wonderful and special experience! You do not need to have sailed before to be on board, and we are joined by both people who have never sailed before and experienced sailors. 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.

The boats we sail on our expeditions are large, robust, and sail well in the open seas.. However, we do not control the weather, and we must be prepared for wind and potential heavy seas that we might encounter offshore. From light breezes to sailing in hard weather with several meters of swell, and the proximity to the forces of nature on such an expedition is something most people find very unique and rewarding!

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. Some jackets may not be waterproof enough, or might not perform well in saltwater, so you might want to consider purchasing or renting a set of “oilskins” from us to use on the wettest days. 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: Departure from Tromsø

At 14:00 you will meet onboard and meet with your fellow passengers in the Tromsø 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. The trip will begin and you’ll pass the Lyngen Peninsula on your way north. At this time of year the nights are still bright, and if conditions are good, we go straight out into open waters heading for Bear Island.

Day 2-4: Past fishing boats and oil rigs to Bjørnøya

The first part of the Barents Sea is actually quite trafficked, and it is quite common to pass a couple of fishing vessels here. It takes approximately two days from the time you leave the mainland until you see land on Bjørnøya, of course depending on the wind and sea. There is a large stretch of open sea between the mainland and Bjørnøya, therefore there is a possibility of seeing whales, and maybe have dolphins and birds surrounding the boat at all times. 

Day 5: Bjørnøya: the misty island in the middle of the sea

There are around 300 days of fog a year here in the middle of the Barents Sea, so it can be a bit tricky to spot the island. If conditions permit, you’ll be taken to shore and will be able to catch Barents cod on the secret fishing spots around the island. The crew will find a sheltered bay for anchoring up next to one of the islands, depending on the current wind.

Day 6-7: Second leg; from Bjørnøya to Sørkapp

This next leg is slightly shorter than the leg from the mainland to Bjørnøya, and by now you’ll be getting fairly close to the remote parts of the ocean! The trip will continue up the southwest coast of Spitsbergen towards Bellsund. Here you will notice the very characteristic layered Svalbard-mountains divided by glaciers. Sometime during the night the yacht will anchor up in a sheltered and ice-free harbour for a well-deserved rest.

Day 8: Finally on land in Svalbard!

One in Bellsund, you can expect to go ashore and stretch your legs, and prepare for a bonfire beach breakfast and adventure off for a small hike to one of the nearby peaks. An interesting place that you must view in the area is the old radio station that once was the only communication the Svalbard society had with the outside world, which today is a nice hotel. If time permits, you can expect to stop at the Russian settlement Barentsburg, located quite close to the entrance of Isfjorden. This is a  special experience in itself and a time travel back to the Soviet era.

Day 9: Goodbye in Longyearbyen

Very early this morning the yacht will cast away from Barentsburg for the last stretch through Isfjorden. The yacht will reach Longyearbyen just after breakfast where you’ll have time to pack up your things before the trip ends at 10.00 latest. If you have the time, it is recommended that you stay a night or two extra in Longyearbyen to explore this cozy village in the middle of the raw arctic nature! 

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