This is the expedition for the most adventurous. Not only are we going on an extraordinary sail trip to Jan Mayen, but we will also try to climb the summit of Beerenberg; Norway’s only active- and the world’s northernmost volcano.
NOK 68’800 (What’s included?)
I would like to summarize, first and foremost, to thank you for a thoroughly WELL executed arrangement…
The expedition is carried out with our 70 foot expedition boat Valiente and the voyage over takes 4-5 days. When arriving Jan Mayen we set up camp on the beach as a base for hiking and trekking around this beautiful and inaccessible island, and we prepare to climb the 2277 meter high peak.
During the voyage from Longyearbyen to Jan Mayen, we will really get a feeling of the open sea. What kind of weather to expect is never easy to know, but we are sailing at a favorable time of year for this part of the Arctic, so we are hoping for good winds and calm sea, and as much time as possible on Jan Mayen. These will be adventurous days at sea where we will get to know each other well. Everyone on board is a participant and we all take shifts on watch keeping, so expect to see whales as you keep a steady course looking out for Jan Mayen in the distance. In these waters at this time of year, we have full midnight sun and large parts of the day will be bright, which is always a good starting point for an adventure trip like this.
Upon arrival on Jan Mayen, we set up a camp as a starting point for exploration and discoveries on land, and for the ascent of Beerenberg which is priority #1, which we start as soon as we have a suitable weather window!
As a tour organizer we take care of the logistics, and we provide all the common equipment needed for this kind of trip. When meeting, all participants go through all the equipment, distribute and pack, and we work as a team when establishing the camp, cook and do other practical tasks. The boat will be available near the camp, so if necessary it will be possible to carry people and goods back and forth. However, the weather determines whether it is safe to get back and forth between the boat and land, and we must constantly consider risk.
Our skilled guide and expedition leader will in collaboration with the group plan the trips on land. There will be a great focus on safety and we review the plans carefully so that everyone feels informed and involved in everything that is going on. As a team we are united. The summit climb is not necessarily very technically challenging, but parts of the ascent pass glaciers where we will be using ropes, crampons and ice axe, and walk in rope teams. The biggest challenge is the length of the climb. We expect to use around 30 hours up and down, without the possibility to set up tent along the way because of the special regulations on the island. Much of the time and effort will be hiking from the campsite to the foot of the mountain, and once we get there we have one of the country’s toughest hills ahead of us at 2200 meters. In previous years, we have received help with transportation of the equipment to the foot of the mountain, but it is not something we can count on and we just have to wait and see from time to time.
A good alternative is to sleep for a few hours under the open sky or in windsacks along the way. On the trip we did in 2019, the group chose to sleep a few hours on the glacier, and it worked well. It is definitely to prefer a couple hours of sleep during this long trip.
This is an expedition where several factors must play together for success; The weather is the biggest factor of uncertainty for both the summit hike and the voyage to Jan Mayen, but also the group and each person’s physical shape play a part. In addition, the technical with boat and equipment has to work out. We will do our utmost to make sure that everything fall into place, but as always on an expedition like this, we cannot guarantee that we will reach the top.
Jan Mayen is no man’s land. If someone gets injured, it’s not just to be picked up by helicopter, even if the Norwegian station there has some resources. Given where we are and the forces of nature in the Arctic, we take every precaution and prepare for a tough hike up and down the mountain.
We will be 2-3 skippers and crew, all good sailors, of which at least two of us will have solid seagoing experience and also experience from similar expeditions. In addition, we have a guide and expedition leader who is responsible for the trip on land.
It’s not just any sailboat we use on this trip, but our 70-feet expedition boat Valiente. 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. For pictures and more info about Valiente see link here.
This expedition is, like our other longer trips, primarily a great voyage of discovery, but also an excellent opportunity to learn a lot about sailing and navigation, and not least using a boat as a starting point for discoveries and experiences on land. Are you ready for the early summer’s expedition to Jan Mayen?
The Arctic is a vulnerable area under pressure from people and climate change. On board Valiente we are committed to taking care of the environment as much as possible and we believe that small boats with few people and little pollution and waste are much less harmful to the environment, climate and local wildlife, than larger boats and cruise ships. We also try to gather garbage at the places we visit, instead of leaving something behind. On Svalbard we follow AECO’s guidelines for encounters with wildlife, beach cleaning, cultural heritage sites and for arctic operators. More about AECO’s guidelines can be read here.
Day 1: Trip start in Longyearbyen
We meet at 12:00 on the harbour in 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 equipments. The life onboard requires cooperation, and before departure we go through routines and procedures onboard, for sailing and emergency situations. We depart and start sailing out the Isfjord this first evening.
Day 2-6: From Longyearbyen to Jan Mayen
This will be some ocean crossing from Svalbard to Jan Mayen(!). After getting out into the open seas we head straight for Jan Mayen. If we get good conditions we arrive in less than four days, but if the weather is against us it can take up to a day extra. The actual crossing is around 570 nautical miles, but how long time we spend depends on the wind direction and sea conditions.
Day 7-11: “Campsite Beerenberg” and exploration of Norway’s only active volcano
We bring all the equipment needed to set up camp on a volcanic island in the Arctic. We set up the camp together and get to know the area and plan the next days in detail. The weather plays an important role in all planning and we are prepared for all conditions. The goal is for the whole group to climb the summit of Berensbeerg, but if we don’t manage to do so for different reasons, the trip to Jan Mayen is well worth the try. We have quite a few days available and are optimistic.
Day 11-15: We sail back to Svalbard
When arriving and well anchored up we bring all the equipment needed to set up camp on a volcanic island in the Arctic. We set up the camp together and get to know the area and plan the next days in detail. The weather plays an important role in all planning and we are prepared for all conditions. The goal is for the whole group to climb the summit of Berensbeerg. We have some days available and are optimistic. At Jan Mayen there are limitations in terms of where it is allowed to establish camp site and we must thus choose between Hvalrossbukta on the west side, or Båtvika on the east side. The Hvalrossbukta is a somewhat better harbor to be in, but with a lot of wind from the west we go to Båtvika. From these natural harbors there is a hike to the foot of the mountain of 12-15 km., something that must be taken into account when planning.
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 may change according to weather and conditions, but it gives an indication of how we spend the days.