Welcome onboard a very special experience! We invite you to an exclusive trip around Svalbard by sailboat! On this trip you will have the opportunity to see and experience Svalbard in a way that few have done before you. With the sailboat as a means of transportation, we will get very close to nature and wildlife in a careful way. We will get wind in the sails, and saltwater in our hair and experience lots along the way!.
On this trip, we put extra focus on the places and experiences beyond reach from Longyearbyen and the most visited sites. That is, even if you have been to Svalbard before, this trip will give you so many new and exciting experiences that it will be worth a new trip to the archipelago. Or, if this is your first time at 78 degrees north, you will meet the Arctic in a way you did not think was possible, this will be amazing! With the sailboat, we are able to enter to small lagoons and sheltered harbours, places you may have read about in old expedition tales. On Svalbard there is midnight sun until August 11, so there will be daylight 24 hours a day.
This is an expedition where we sail around the whole archipelago with the sun, clockwise and with the current around Svalbard. We sail through the Hinlopen-strait in the north-east and visit Nordaustlandet, but we do not sail around this land. The program is packed with highlights and we pass through and by many great places, see Program for details.
During the 850 nautical miles in varied landscapes there are good opportunities to see polar bears, whales, seals and a bustling birdlife. You will have a unique encounter with the beautiful and uninhabited arctic landscape, habitated only when you dwell and take your time to look around and become at one with it. On Svalbard there is midnight sun until August 11, so there will be daylight 24 hours a day.
It’s not just any sailboat we use on this trip, it is a 70-feet expedition sailboat. She is a very steady and comfortable boat built in steel, made for sailing in arctic waters. The boat is well equipped and has a large outdoor area, a wheelhouse and a 360-degree-view lounge.
During the 850 nautical miles in varied landscapes there are good opportunities to see polar bears, whales, seals, reindeer and walruses. You will have a unique encounter with the beautiful and uninhabited Arctic landscape.
On this trip there will be two or three skippers and crew, of which at least one of us has a lot of local experience in Svalbard. We will work as polar bear guides and guards when we are on land. On the way, sailing or motoring, we will include all participants in the navigation. In general, we will sail at any time of day so that all passengers on board will have four-hour shifts on duty followed by eight hours of rest.
An expedition with us to Svalbard is mainly an arctic exploration trip, but also a great opportunity to learn a lot about navigation. Are you ready for the great polar adventure of summer?
The Arctic is an area vulnerable to human presence and climate change. We believe that small boats with small crew, little pollution and waste are much less harmful to the environment. In Svalbard we follow the AECO guidelines for a responsible Arctic tourism..
Get to know the boat, the gear and the other participants
We meet onboard the boat in the harbor of Longyearbyen. 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. 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 course towards the world’s northernmost settlement, Ny-Ålesund.
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!
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”. 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.
With the bow heading south
We are now about halfway and we have 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.
We spend the last days on board in Hornsund, along the west coast, up towards Isfjorden and Longyearbyen. Hornsund is an incredible 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 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 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.
What is included?
- Captain / instructor experienced on board.
- Accommodation on board during the entire trip.
- Bedding, including duvee.
- All meals on board.
- Sustainable, local, ecological, unique, exotic and exclusive holidays full of experiences.
- All expenses related to the vessel, such as diesel, gas, port fees, etc..
- Free use of equipment such as dinghy boats, kayaks, fishing equipment, etc.
- Search and rescue insurance for all crew members.
- High quality safety equipment for all crew members.
- Transportation to / from Longyearbyen
- Visits to restaurants, museums, galleries, usually before or after the trip.
- Alcoholic drinks.