April 25 — May 2, 2022

Welcome on board for a very special experience! We invite you to an exclusive trip from mainland Norway to Svalbard – by sailboat! On this trip you will have the opportunity to arrive at Svalbard in a way that few have done before you. With the sailboat as a means of transport, we get close to the natural forces over the Barents Sea, and we get close to nature and wildlife for the last days along the coast up to Longyearbyen. We will get winds in the sails, saltwater in our hair and experience lots along the way!

NOK 32’500 (What’s included?)

To be a part of, and experience multiple nights out on open sea was the biggest experience for me. Combining that with ascending mountainpeaks, and the trip to Bear Island was very unique, and something I never would’ve experienced without you. There were plenty of smaller, beautiful moments underway, too!

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On this trip we cover a distance of about 600 nautical miles. The crossing of the Barents Sea is a wonderful experience, and we’ll sail through the bright polar night on our way to the goal; Svalbard. As we leave the mainland, we’ll only have the ocean in front of us until we arrive at Bjørnøya (translated: Bear Island), which is about halfway. When reaching the southernmost tip of Svalbard we’ll be greeted by the typical Svalbard nature with its iconic mountains, deep fjords and glaciers. We sail into one of the fjords of South-West Spitsbergen; Hornsund or Bellsund, where glaciers meet and crash into the sea. A spectacular sight. If time allows we also visit the Russian settlement of Barentsburg, before we arrive in Longyearbyen.

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.

Our skipper and 1st Officer onboard will include everyone in the sailing along the way. From start we will divide into watchteams, and as long as we are more than a total of 9 persons onboard, you as a participant will have 4 hours on duty and 8 hours off. When we get to Bear Island (Bjørnøya) and into the fjord of Svalbard we will adapt the shifts to the best possible so we can be flexible and go explore land.

Whether you want new sailing experiences, or learn more about sailing and crossing of oceans with a big boat, this is an ideal arena for learning and new insight. The sailing comes in addition to the experiences along the way, which makes this a great nature experience!

This trip will take place in late April/early May, and during this time of year we can get quite some weather and strong winds out in the Barents Sea. Our expedition vessel Valiente however, is an incredibly sturdy boat that handles all these conditions.

The Arctic is a vulnerable area under pressure from people and climate change. 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.

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Day 1: Departure from Tromsø

We meet on board the boat in the harbour in Tromsø center at 14:00. Here you’ll meet the other participants, work on getting to know our home for the coming days and we’ll fill up the boat with the necessary supplies and equipment for the voyage. Life aboard the boat requires cooperation, and before leaving we’ll hold a briefing on safety and how the boat works. Then we set sail, passing the Lyngen Peninsula on our 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 2-3: Past fishing boats and oil rigs to Bjørnøya

The first part of the Barents Sea is actually quite trafficked, and we’ll usually pass at least a couple of fishing vessels here. It takes approximately two days from the time we leave the mainland until we see land on Bjørnøya, of course depending on the wind and sea. The distance is about 220 nautical miles, and there is a large stretch of open sea, but with abundant wildlife below sea-surface. We hope to see whales, maybe have dolphins follow the boat and the birds are with us all the time. In the evening on the third day we will begin to hear music from the bird colonies on the southern tip of Bjørnøya.

Day 4: 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 the island is not easy to spot. Neither for those who come by sea or flying over, so it will be an interesting view as we approach. If conditions permit, we go ashore, and we will try to catch Barents cod on our secret fishing spots around the island. We will almost anyways find a more or less sheltered bay for anchoring up on one of the sides of the island, depending on the current wind. So we can at least have a rest at anchor

Day 5-6: Second leg; from Bjørnøya to Sørkapp

This next leg is slightly shorter than the leg from the mainland to Bjørnøya, and now we are getting to the remote parts of the ocean! We’ll pass by South Cape around 24 hours after we leave Bjørnøya. We continue up the southwest coast of Spitsbergen towards Bellsund. Where both Van Mijenfjorden and Van Keulenfjorden are cutting in through the raw landscape. Here we find the very characteristic layered Svalbard-mountains divided by glaciers that calf into the fjord! Sometime during the night we’ll find a sheltered and ice-free harbour where we anchor up for a well-deserved rest.

Day 7: Finally on land in Svalbard!

In Bellsund we plan to go ashore and stretch our legs, and we surely find enough driftwood for a bonfire at the beach for breakfast! Maybe we also aim for a small hike to one of the nearby peaks. Further the sail into Isfjorden pas by Isfjord Radio at Kapp Linnè. 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, we stop in the Russian settlement Barentsburg, located quite close to the entrance of Isfjorden. A special experience in itself and a time travel back to the Soviet era.

Day 8: Goodbye in Longyearbyen

Very early this morning we cast away from Barentsburg for the last stretch through Isfjorden. We reach Longyearbyen just after breakfast where we pack our stuff and clean ourself out of the boat before the trip ends at 10.00 latest. If you have time we recommend a night or two extra in Longyearbyen to explore this cosy village in the middle of the raw arctic nature! Goodbye for now and thanks for a wonderfull experience!

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.

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