Welcome onboard a full circumnavigation of Spitsbergen. Our professional friends in Sail Norway will take you on a trip where you will see Svalbard in all it’s glory; the wildlife, nature, geology and most probably also weather and temperature. With the nimble sailboat as our mobile base we come close up on nature and the animals. We will have wind in our sails and saltwater in our face, all in the continuous arctic summerlight this time of year.
This polar adventure is a decent sail around the Svalbard archipelago, but there is no better way to explore than doing watches at different times of day every day, as we seek out remote harbours and historic places along our 800 nautical miles long voyage. We will see many different species of birds, seals and whales, and hopefully we we will also see the Polar Bears on our way. We are using our expedition-equipped and comfortable 70 feet sailboat “Valiente” built in steel for arctic sailing, and we staff up with both a skipper and a co-skipper that know the boat and the area well. As on all our trips you will be involved in the running of the vessel, take watches and have the chance to learn as much as you can about sailing and navigation. These sailing-elements come in addition to the exploration of Svalbard itself, and gives extra learning and extra dimension and meaning to the whole experience.
Dates: 24 th July - 4th August Duration: 11 days. Can be extended with a stay in Longyearbyen before and/or after.
Price per person: NOK 36 500 (approximately €3705 / $4350)
Includes: Full board accommodation (*alcoholic drinks in addition), all sailing and safety equipment, SAR insurance and polar bear protection, Up Norway digital travel guide.
*Up Norway will help you arrange domstic flights and plan your stay in Longyearbyen and on the mainland before/after the sail.
DAY 1: Longyearbyen - new Ålesund
We meet onboard the boat in the harbour at 4 pm, and get to know eachother, the boat and the equipment. Together we stow all our gear and the food, and then we go through a safety drill and practice handling the boat and the sails. After making sure we are all set we cast off and sail straight across the fjord from Longyearbyen to Tempelet (The Temple) with it’s impressive shapes in sand and stone. Then we head out the Icefjord and turn north on the inside of Prins Karls Forland towards the Forlands-reef. Our first destination being New Ålesund; the northernmost settlement in the world.
DAY 2: new Ålesund & kongsfjord
We make a visit ashore in New Ålesund. The town has a progressive international research environment and is a rare outpost/pioneer-like place to be, however most famous probably as the starting point for the polar explorer Roald Amundsen's expedition towards the Northpole with the airship “Norway”. Back onboard we set sail deeper into the Kongsfjord; a fjord by many considered the most beautiful fjord in Svalbard. This mainly due to the surrounding two glaciers as well as the three spectacular pyramid-shaped peaks Dana, Nora and Svea, named after the three Scandinavian countries.
DAY 3-5: North side of svalbard
We sail into the Smeerenburgfjord where we will spend some time at a few historical sights. In Virgohamna we will make it to land and see the remains both from the 1600th century whaling as well from two major attempts to reach the Northpole by both airballoon and airship.
On the way eastwards we will pass either Moffen, a small 360 degree beach resort for walruses, or we’ll go closer to land and visit the harbour Gråhuken where 6 Norwegian vessels froze in during the winter 1872.
As we go through we’ll pass the Alke-mountain; the biggest bird sanctuary of Svalbard, and we will stop at Torellnesset, housing a big walrus-colony on the south-eastern tip of the Hinlopen Strait. If the weather allows we will also now stop for a longer walk ashore to stretch and move our sailorbodies. Hopefully we can also dip briefly in the crystal clear water on the beach.
DAY 6-8: heading south
Almost halfway on our journey we are now heading south. From Hinlopen we pass out through the bumpy tidal streams of Ormebolet and the Heløy-sound, separating Spitsbergen from the Barents island. Here, the tidal stream goes up to 9 knots.
We then reach the inner pool of Storfjorden, a big and shallow fjord reaching all the way down to the south cape of Spitsbergen; the point that will be our general direction for the next days. On the way south we will spend time and sail passing by destinations like the Nigri Glacier, Cape Lee, Crozier Point, and Whale Bay. Possibly we also find time for a hike up the Keilhau-mountain close to the South Cape before we sail around the cape and up north on the western side. Our next destination is southernmost fjord of Spitsbergen; Hornsund.
DAY 9-11 Hornsund & The west
Hornsund is a beautiful place with good shelter and warmer temperatures, perfect for an anchorage and a hike up on the mountains deep in the fjord. Here four glaciers meet and calve into the sea, a spectacular sight.
We head northwards and will go into the Recherche-fjord for a short visit, before heading north again and into the Icefjord. As we pass the cape of Icefjord Radio we will know if there is time for a visit to the interesting and colourful Russian mining settlement of Barentsburg.
We will be in Longyearbyen in the afternoon of August 2nd and we will tidy and ship shape the boat before we all go ashore to eat and conclude the trip in a proper manner. Check-out from the boat in the morning of August 3rd. at 1000 o’clock.