Discover the magical and wild Spitsbergen, Svalbard, with this incredible ski touring trip from a boat!
Ski touring and sailing in the fjords of a Polar region. The dates might seem a bit strange… But mid May to late June is the only period where Spitsbergen (Svalbard) is accessible by boat and where the snow remains good for skiing. The rest of the year the island is surrounded by ice.
- Next departure: Friday 5th May to Friday 12th May 2017
In this northern latitude and at this time of the year, the climate is similar to what can be found in April in Norway, further south of the island. The scenery is very beautiful and provides a soothing serenity.
From Longyearbyen in Svalbard, we are heading to the south of Spitsbergen, where only a few dare to go. This trip I’m organizing is a unique polar expedition. Very few people know the southern coast of the Svalbard archipelago, it is very wild.
We will have the chance to admire some polar animals: the bearded seals, beluga whales, puffins, reindeer and also the polar bear.
But do not worry, the mountain guides are trained and accredited by the Governor of Svalbard to lead these expeditions. They have great experience of this region and know its wildlife very well. All the guides are armed.
Our base camp will be a beautiful 168 ft three-mast schooner. Its name is the Rembrandt Van Rijn. It is very comfortable and elegant, with 15 twin cabins, each with its own bathroom and toilet. It also has a spacious deckhouse with open bar and lounge, and an additional saloon. The food served during the trip is excellent!
The Rembrandt Van Rijn is a ship specially equipped for navigation in polar regions, refurbished for this very purpose! It is a true floating luxury hotel. It moves quietly and drop us off each day in a different spot. The size and comfort of the boat (for 18 passengers + 3 guides) offers great freedom in navigation programs.
During eight days, sailing and ski touring rhythm the life on board.
This journey is a complete discovery. It provides a much more unique experience than a traditional ski touring trip. Specialized guides who know the local wildlife will structure the ski tours. This “cruise exploration” also allows the grasping of current environmental issues, global warming, melting ice….
The Captains of the boats navigating around Spitsbergen for many years never saw any skier on the island. Some do ski touring traverses using pulka (sledge) to carry their equipment and sleep in tents on the glaciers.
Leaving from Longyearbyen, we head towards northern Spisbergen. We sail to Ny-Âlesund, the scientific polar base close to the 80th north parallel, which is the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world. Some of the places we will explore include the ancient whaling posts and fur traders’ cabins: Isfjorden, Bellsund and Hornsund. Finally, the end of the expedition is returning to Longyearbyen, a small but lively university town. We will have a celebratory evening before we say goodbye.
This ski touring journey is dedicated for experienced skiers having a good physical conditions.
The program will be as follows.
Flight from your departure point to Oslo and Longyearbyen (Svalbard, Norway). Night on the boat.
Days 2 to 7
Board the ship midday, then sail towards northern Spitsbergen. Among this magnificent and unspoiled scenery, we will have six full days of ski touring in a different fjord every day. We choose the tours each morning according to the weather, the state of the ice, the snow conditions and the skiers’ wishes and stamina. Gradients of 800 to 1300 m, 3 to 6 hours walk per day. Of course, we will choose ski itineraries according to the skiing ability of the group, with the possibility of different group levels. Finally, on day 7 in the evening return to Longyearbyen harbor at the end of the day.
Early flight back to Oslo and further connections.
Please contact me if this unique adventure sounds interesting to you. I will be happy to give you all the details and share with you my best memories in Spitsbergen.
I also invite you to read the article that the Explore-Share’s team made about myself and Spitsbergen, my favourite ski touring destination 😉 You’ll find it here Spitsbergen: Skiing in the Arctic.
Price per person
|Group of 2||3850EUR|
|Group of 3||3850EUR|
|Group of 4||3850EUR|
|Group of 5||3850EUR|
|Group of 6||3850EUR|
|Group of 7||3850EUR|
|Group of 8||3850EUR|
- Guiding fee
- All meals during trip
- Transport to the start of the trip
- Transport during the trip
- Group equipment
|Friday 5th May in Oslo mid-afternoon for the flight to Longyearbyen|
|Very comfortable sailing ship, with fully equipped twin berths cabins with hot and cold water and a 220v powerpoint, showers and toilets. Below deck saloon and galley, upper deck lounge and open bar. Three course evening meal, breakfast with freshly baked bread, cakes and snacks. Large viewing deck outside.|
|The price is per person excluding flights. Flights are approximatively €500 from the main European cities to Longyearbyen via Oslo. We are going to travel with SAS from Geneva to Oslo and Longyearbyen, Companies NORWEGIAN or SAS. You can of course book flights from other airportsAlthough the guide ratio is 1:6, we can be up to 18 participants with 3 guides on the boat!- Formalities: Passport valid for more than 6 months for EU citizens. - Porterage: All skiing days are completed with a backpack. - Local transports: Minibus or taxis for all ground transfers, zodiacs to go ashore. - Payment: €1850 at booking. The balance of €2000 to be paid at least one month before departure. - Technical equipment included: an avalanche transceiver (ARVA) and mountain harness, basic group pharmacy. The rest of the equipment is not included. - All meals in general are included. Not included: personal drinks and snacks to be taken while skiing (dried fruits, nuts, cereal bars, energy bars or drinks, chocolate…), drinks at the ship’s open bar, dinner and drinks in Longyearbyen on the first night. - Insurance: We recommend that you to take out insurance "Cancellation - Emergency Assistance - Repatriation" of the type offered by the "French Alpine Club", “Ski Club of Great Britain” or the “British Mountaineering Council”, even if the payment with certain credit cards may offer partial insurance.PERSONAL EQUIPMENT - Backpack: You will use this bag for cabin luggage on the plane and each day skiing. The bag should not be large (approximately 30 litres) and it should contain heavy or fragile items and items that you may need between check-in at the departure airport and arrival at the destination airport. For example: cameras, jacket, books, magazines, personal medication, toiletries, etc. We strongly recommend that you carry your ski boots with you in the cabin in this bag or another shoe bag. During the trip you will use this backpack every day – it will contain all you need while skiing and your picnic lunch. The guide will tell you what you will need to take with you at each stage. - Check-in bag: This bag will be checked in at the airport. During the stay in Spitsbergen it will remain on the boat in your cabin and contains the material that you won’t be using during the day. The bag should not weigh more than 20 kgs (in accordance with the airlines’ luggage allowance). Skis are usually subject to a supplement for oversize luggage. We ask you to adhere strictly to the weight allowance for luggage. - Ski equipment: Touring skis with touring bindings, “skins”, “couteaux”, crampons, standard ski poles, ski touring boots with Vibram sole (recommended). We will lend you mountain harnesses and an ARVA. - Clothing: Dress in the system we call ‘three layers”: Base layer in a synthetic, moisture wicking fibre (but not cotton). A second layer comprising polar fleeces or pullovers and/or a sleeveless or sleeved down vest (bring 2 top layers and 1 bottom layer). The third layer is a windbreaker (top and bottom). These are garments made of microporous fabric such as Gore Tex (trousers with a side zip opening will provide better ventilation during the climb). Three pairs of wool or terry socks, ski gloves, mittens, sweatshirts, ski hat, cap. - Personal medical kit: Any medicines you take normally, vitamin C or multi-vitamins, painkillers - aspirin, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or similar, Imodium and Ganidan or similar, an 8-day course of broadspectrum antibiotics (on prescription), anti-inflammatories, stretchy self-adhesive bandage (Elastoplast), a selection of plasters and disinfectant compresses and second skin or Compeed (protection against blisters available in chemists).|