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SVALBARD SUMMER SAIL WITH TOP GUIDE View Full Screen Itinerary

3-WEEKS COMPREHENSIVE SUMMER SAILING AROUND SVALBARD / SPITSBERGEN WITH TOP NORWEGIAN POLAR GUIDE (SPECIALISING IN SVALBARD EXPLORATION), CHANCE TO SEE POLAR BEARS, WALRUS, WHALE-WATCHING, ARCTIC FOX, SVALBARD REINDEER AND TENS OF THOUSANDS OF MIGRATORY SEA-BIRDS, GLACIER HIKES, WILD-SWIMS, HIKING, KAYAKING, FOSSIL HUNTING, SITES OF HISTORIC IMPORTANCES INCLUDING FAMOUS TRAPPERS HUTS, TOTALLY ABANDONNED SOVIET SETTLEMENTS AND WORLD WAR 2 WRECKAGE. 

Set high in the Arctic Ocean, the remote Svalbard archipelago extends between 74 and 81° north, about halfway between Tromso in Norway and the North Pole. It is the northernmost place in Europe, and is the farthest north you can travel by scheduled flight. 

Spitsbergen which is the largest of the islands within the archipelago, offers Arctic experiences on the edge of the inhabitable world. So untouched by man, there are no roads beyond Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen's capital. Here, you really are on the border of civilization. Outside the city the vast wilderness is waiting for you.

The archipelago features an Arctic climate, although with significantly higher temperatures than other areas at the same latitude. The flora take advantage of the long period of midnight sun to compensate for the polar night. Svalbard is a breeding ground for many seabirds, and also features polar bears, reindeer, the Arctic fox, and certain marine mammals. 

Seven national parks and twenty-three nature reserves cover two-thirds of the archipelago, protecting the largely untouched, yet fragile, natural environment. Approximately 60% of the archipelago is covered with glaciers, and the islands feature many mountains and fjords. Svalbard truly is, wilderness in it's most raw form.

 

Day 1 - 21

Day 1 - 21: 3 weeks

Glacier hiking

The archipelago of Svalbard is to a large extent covered by ice, in fact 60% of the land areas are covered by glaciers. In the summer, the winter snows melt, but the glaciers remain all year around. Travelling through the arctic by sailboat provides the perfect way...

Glacier hiking

The archipelago of Svalbard is to a large extent covered by ice, in fact 60% of the land areas are covered by glaciers. In the summer, the winter snows melt, but the glaciers remain all year around. Travelling through the arctic by sailboat provides the perfect way of seeing some of these magnificent glaciers up close. The glaciers can provide a fun playground, we can rappel down crevasses, climb in the ice or simply just go for a hike on it with amazing views. By sailing for 2-3 weeks around Svalbard we will have the best opportunity to not only hike on one or two glaciers, but the chance to actually learn the do's and dont's of glacier travel. This will enable us to explore more remote places on the glaciers and have much more fun! 

Kayaking

If the sea is calm, kayaking in Svalbard under the midnight sun is a wonderful and tranquil experience. It allows us to get closer to the surroundings and the wildlife, such as puffins, seals and whales. Polar bears and walrus are animals we prefer not to meet while we are in the kayaks, however with a good understanding of the environment and locations we are travelling through, it is unlikely we will decide to kayak if there is a chance of seeing these awe-inspiring animals. Kayaks can be brought along for the entire sailing itienrary to give us the possibility kayak wherever we want.

Hiking

With a lot of easy access mountains and plenty of sunlight, hiking is a really wonderful summer activity on Svalbard. It gives us the opportunity not only to get closer to wildlife on land, experiencing unique moments and encounters never to be forgotten, but also to look for fossils and explore cultural heritage sites such as old trapping or whaling stations from hundreds of years ago. Or, we could simply have bonfire from driftwood and enjoy being in that moment, some of the most remote humans on earth! 

Cultural Heritage

Svalbard is full of cultural heritage sites that dates back to many hundreds of years. Because the climate is so cold and so dry it takes a very long time for these remains to deteriorate, as a result the remains can still be seen easily offering a glimpes into the depths of the past. Cultural heritage sites we can visit include 50 to 60 years old ghost cities from the Soviet era, planes that were shot down during the war (WW2) along other artifacts from that time still in the fuselages. Throughout the whole of Svalbard, several old trappers cabins can be found, for example the famous Texas Bar on the north west corner of Spitsbergen - looking as those it was left only days prior. We can also view the remains of the life of the earliest people to come to Svalbard, whalers from 400 years ago. 

Wildlife

Svalbard has an amazing  wildlife, millions of birds migrate north each summer spending the time breeding and feeding in this nutriant rich environment, expect to see numerous arctic fox and the Svalbard reindeer (which only exist here!), seal, whales, walrus and of course the king of the arctic, the Polar bear. Despite there being far more Polar bears than people here, some people live in Svalbard for many years without ever seeing a single polar bear, however the chance of seeing one increases dramatically by sailing north along the coast of Svalbard. If conditions allow it, the sea ice edge at approximately 80 degrees north would also be an amazing spectacle for the cruise. Here the marine wildlife is blooming, perhaps we will see bears hunt for seal and beluga whale, or we may catch a glimpse of a narwhale. 

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DID YOU KNOW?

Svalbard was named by the Vikings who first visited the archipelago in 1194. Svalbard which means 'cold edge' in ancient norse was later renamed Spitsbergen by the dutch explorer Willem Barentsz in 1596. 

For a long time it was believed by the whalers in the 1500s and 1600s that Svalbard was linked to Greenland. Observations of ocean currents as early as 1614 however led people to the assumption that there was no connection between Svalbard and Greenland. 

Lord Nelson the famous English Naval Admiral (HMS Victory and the Battle of Trafalgar) visited the arctic archipelago at the age of 14 on an expedition looking for a direct route to the East Indies. During this visit he is famed to have killed a polar bear but this is in fact a myth. 

In total there have been recorded 168 species of birds on Svalbard since 1998, mostly as vagrants who happen to have been 'blown' to the Arctic but do not belong there. There are only approximately 30 bird species that come to Svalbard as regular breeders. 

In winter there is only one species of bird on the island, Ptarmigan. 

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